Duke hires new counseling director

Author name
Chris Heltne, Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Duke University Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek announced today that Dr. Wanda Collins has been hired as the new director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Duke. Collins, currently the director of the Counseling Center at American University in Washington, D.C., will start March 3, 2014, in this critical campus role.

"Collins has a keen understanding of college counseling centers and trends related to mental health issues in higher ed today," Wasiolek said. "Her resume is incredibly impressive, and her references are stellar. She is clearly committed to multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion, and possesses an inspiring competence, confidence and poise. I have no doubt that Wanda will be a great asset to the health and wellness community on campus," Wasiolek added.

A nationwide search was conducted for a new director, pulling in a number of well-qualified candidates from across the country. Faculty, administrators and students participated throughout the interview process. Collins, who has spent the past 15 years as a member of the Counseling Center at American University and the last eight as Director, rose to the top.

"I am very impressed by the CAPS staff, the trainees, the students, and all campus partners I met during the interview process. It was also clear in my meetings that CAPS is highly regarded on campus and well supported by the senior administration, which I believe is critically important," Collins said. "I'm looking forward to working with the students, as well as getting to know the staff better and figuring out how I can support and contribute to them and an already great counseling center."

"I have been fortunate to work with a staff and colleagues who I admire and respect. However, after 15 years at American University, I am poised for this new challenge at Duke University," Collins said, adding, “I am also excited to explore the Durham area, learning about the different communities and cultural events, finding new restaurants, and hiking the parks and forests.”

Collins holds a Ph.D. and MS in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in General Psychology from American University, and a BS in Public Relations from Andrews University. She is currently Vice President of the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) and Chair of the Board of Accreditation for IACS, and holds a number of other professional service positions and affiliations. In addition to leading numerous seminars and workshops, she has held a faculty position with Washington School of Psychiatry since 2011 and an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Psychology at American University since 2009. She has also given numerous professional presentations.