Duke Hires New Counseling Director

Wanda Collins, from American University, starts March 3

Duke University has hired Wanda Collins as the new director of the school's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which serves Duke undergraduate, graduate and professional students, the university announced Tuesday.

Collins, currently the director of the Counseling Center at American University in Washington, D.C., begins her Duke position March 3, 2014. 

CAPS services include brief individual counseling/psychotherapy, consultation, couples and group counseling, assistance with referrals and outreach education programs to student groups.

Collins' hiring was the result of a national search. 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, said Sue Wasiolek, Duke's dean of students.

"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."

Collins has a Ph.D. and a master's degree in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master's degree in general psychology from American University, and a bachelor's degree in public relations from Andrews University. 

She is vice president of the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) and chair of the Board of Accreditation for IACS, along with holding a number of other professional service positions and affiliations.

In addition to leading numerous seminars and workshops, Collins 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. 

"I am very impressed by the CAPS staff, the trainees, the students and all campus partners I met during the interview process," Collins said. "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. 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."