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Faculty Spotlight: Doc Collins

Panhandle State Communications on 12/18/2020 Doc Collins Doc Collins

Best known as “Doc” on campus, Justin Collins was born in Ada, Oklahoma, but was raised in Guymon, Oklahoma. Collins came to Panhandle State on a livestock judging scholarship for Dr. Woodward. It was Dr. Gardner’s General Chemistry class that changed his passion from animal science to biology/chemistry. Doc graduated with a degree in Biology in 1990.

Doc continued his education in Stillwater at Oklahoma State University, obtaining a Masters in Entomology with an emphasis in Insect Fungal & Viral Diseases in 1993, and a Doctorate in Entomology with an emphasis in Insect Pheromone Chemistry in 1996. Once he graduated from OSU in 1996, Dr. Goodwin offered him a position as the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Collins has been a part of the OPSU family for 23 years and is currently the Department Chair for Science and EMS and Professor of Biology and Chemistry. He said, “I have been at OPSU for a long time, but the best thing, in my opinion, is the interactions with the students. I love being in the classroom because that is where I think I can make the greatest impact.”

Doc has continued developing his education during his time working at Panhandle State by receiving an Associates in Technology – Emergency Medical Services Paramedicine in 2013 and an Associates in Technology in Fire Protection & Safety Training in 2015. This education allows him to be a firefighter with the Goodwell Fire Department, a Paramedic with the Goodwell and Guymon EMS departments, and the Oklahoma Region I HazMat team as a HazMat Technician.

When he isn’t on campus or working for the fire department, Collins enjoys using his hands with woodworking, remodeling, welding, working on trucks, and playing guitar. He has been married to his wife, Rilla, for 31 years, who he met at Panhandle State. They have two sons, Jordan and Jeremy, who also graduated from OPSU. Jeremey and his wife Ashley have a little girl, Magnolia, and Justin and Rilla love spending time with them as much as possible.