In Memoriam: Barbara J. Schenck Collins, 1929-2013

barbara collinsBarbara Collins, who served on the biology faculty at California Lutheran University for 50 years, died in her sleep on April 30 at her home in Thousands Oaks, California. She was 84 years old and suffered from an incurable bacterial lung infection. Her death came just weeks before her scheduled retirement from the university.

A native of Passaic, New Jersey, Professor Collins was a graduate of Bates College in Maine. She earned a master’s degree at Smith College and was the first woman to earn a doctorate in geology at the University of Illinois. Later in her career, she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in botany at the University of Illinois.

She joined the faculty at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University Northridge) in 1958, where her husband was a professor of petrology. In 1963 she became one of the first faculty members at California Luthern University. She worked full time while raising five children.

Professor Collins was the author of 10 textbooks and the memoir You Lead a Mean Trail: Life Adventures and Fifty Years of Teaching (Luthern University Press, 2012).

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