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New Picture 2021.tiff

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Episode 24: Dr. CollinsBajek & Brown Hoops Up & Down
00:00 / 01:04
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     Dr. Janice Marie Collins is a multi national and international award-winning journalist, documentarian, research scholar, creative, professor, person of service with more than 30 years of professional media experience and 20 years of teaching experience on the university level. She has also taught K-12 as a substitute teacher.

     During her journalism career, she earned multiple Emmy, Best of Gannett, Associated Press, NABJ, AABJ and other prestigious media awards for writing, producing, reporting, cinematography, and editing and numerous other Emmy awards, as part of a team. Collins has worked in the national network and top-ten market: including ESPN programming and Network NBC News Channel with former NBC News president, Steve Capus. From her beginnings as an anchor, she has worked in almost every position in a newsroom but considers her forte as producing special programs and investigative journalism. Throughout her career, she has covered many national and international events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, the Susan Smith drownings, Oklahoma City Bombings, Michael Jackson abuse allegations, the Atlanta Bombings, the Gullah Geechee connection and stories on relocating Self throughout the Diaspora. She is extremely effective in management, leadership and collaboration. 

     In academia, she was selected as one of the Top 50 Journalism Professors in the nation of 2012 by and has received first place in a national competition for her teaching, service, creative endeavor, and research called the Baskett Mosse National Award for Faculty Development AEJMC 2017, “Best in Digital”  2nd place, for her website of inclusion and diversity called AEJMC 2017, and has, consistently, made the Teachers of Excellence List at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign since 2013. She was also awarded a Faculty of Excellence award by the Department of Minority Affairs at Eastern Illinois University and an Excellence Award for Teaching and Service at Hampton University. College newsrooms she has worked in as faculty advisor or facilitator, have been award winning including a NABJ, Virginia Chapter award for original news-magazine show at Hampton called "Sound Off," and numerous College Regional Emmy, INBA, SINBA and SPJ awards at Eastern Illinois University.

     Dr. Collins’ research and specialization focuses mainly on processes of leadership development, de-marginalization of all individuals, media content, learning and working environments, inclusion with power, diversity, multiculturalism and works across disciplines and nations to center voices. Self-empowerment, self-agency, and addressing issues of Power along the lines of various identity constructs is key to her studies. For 2 consecutive years, Collins won first place in Top Faculty Paper Competition at the National Broadcast Educators Association Conference as, both, coauthor, and sole author.

     Over the past 16 years, Collins researched and developed an award-winning innovative critical pedagogy, praxis and theory of Inclusion called Active Centralized Empowerment (A.C.E.). Learning and working within an A.C.E. designed space allows the voices, talents and skills of each student and professor to be optimized in collaborative settings. She calls it, “teaching without borders,” where no one is left behind or in the margins and each student has an equal opportunity to excel no matter who they are, their skill level, or where they are from. You can read what other students are saying about the Active Centralized Empowerment experience by reading their reflections on the Teaching Without Borders website and see the results of de-marginalization in the classroom. This website works in partnership with her latest book publication, Teaching without Borders: Creating Equity and Inclusion through Active Centralized Empowerment. She also believes in preparing students to lead in a diverse, multicultural world, so effective Transformational leadership development and effective communication and collaboration skills are central to her teaching. A.C.E. can also be beneficial in any working environment to reach optimal performance and results, facilitate Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, communities that are underprivileged and marginalized, and corporations that require enhanced leadership skills and better performance by way of ROIs. 

     Whether she’s teaching video storytelling for broadcast, multimedia, or digital distribution, students learn from intense hands-on activities, management skills engagement on how to exercise their authentic voice with respect for diverse opinions and voices. “It is my belief that each student is special and has something unique and special to offer the world. My job is to assist them on their journey to find just what that “something” is. My approach is to teach the human being who happens to be a student and I always look forward to meeting my students each semester as well as each organization and client.”

     Her creative endeavors and research have also been nationally and internationally recognized. Her book, 250 Years and Still a Slave: Breaking Free with Active Centralized Empowerment, a Critical Cultural perspective book on race relations from a social-psychological platform that helps readers understand how we each play a role in race relations. Prominent race educator, Jane Elliott, calls her publication “a Great read!, and should be required reading for every teacher in the classroom, especially those studying to be educators”. She produced an international award-winning television broadcast program and web-series called A Taste of Gullah that airs regionally and annually on PBS WEIU reaching up to 10 million viewers and won Best Documentary at the International Garifuna Film Festival in Venice, California. She has also published an article on leadership development in a top journal titled, “Leadership Development in College Newsroom Labs: It’s Transactional,” in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, and a book chapter on image portrayals in prime-time commercials titled, "Representations of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Class, and Power in 1,084 Prime-time TV Commercials from 2005," in the book release of the edited collection Feminist Interpretations of Advertising: What’s the Big Idea?, second edition, published by Lexington Press. Book 1, Feminists, Feminisms, and Advertising: Some Restrictions Apply has already been released.      

      Collins produced a comprehensive, unique, 5-hour autoethnography series called, “Journey to My Mother’s Land: Extending the Gate’s Effect into Africa,” that chronicles her immersion-trip back to her maternal ancestral land of Sierra Leone, West Africa and the Mende tribe. As a testimony to her brilliance and expertise and aptitude in media production, even with a zero production budget, she did what few top-tiered media producers are able to do in documentary storytelling. She worked as researcher, director, producer, writer, editor, narrator, reporter and cinematographer for the entire series that took 4 years and 32 days to complete, all the while still teaching, conducting research studies and working in service roles. This very unique documentary was picked up by the Nigerian Television Authority, the largest broadcast network in Africa with an audience penetration into the U.S. , U.K., Canada and all of Africa. Each episode allows the viewer to experience what it is like for an American to reconnect with their ancestral roots and "DNA cousins" in Africa as it happens. The series was selected for the 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival 2021 and awarded first place in the cinematography category and screened in Paradiso Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. It was also selected for the Accolade Global Film Festival 2021 in La Jolla, California. Her most recent trip to parts of Africa was captured and posted as part of an educational/journalism digital project publication.  

      As an inclusive humanitarian Collins has led workshops and initiatives in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Guyana, West Indies, Abuja, Nigeria and Shenzhen, China and across the U.S. She views the world as one multicultural, enormous family of inclusion. As President and Co-Founder of the award winning (2020 African Union Heritage Honours) nonprofit, African International Documentary Festival Foundation (AFIDFF), she expanded its reach and focus across the Globe and across various communities that includes all 7 continents. World Changers Media International Foundation (WCMIF) was formed. Members of the amazing team consists of individuals around the world who are committed to helping others-truly believing in the Global community. They are Change Agents involved in all things media with the purpose of making the world better. 

     Collins also hosts two radio/podcast programs called "Theoretical Tea and Company," and "Martinis & Cigars," a cooking show called "Seasoned with Love", freelances as a spoken word artist in a genre she calls Lyrical Healing, and a national and international Media Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, and various other Media roles. 

          She has a passion for empowering people to reach their optimal potential and “calling” in life.  She believes that each individual has a special gift to give to the world and her goal is to assist in finding and developing this gift and making the inside and outside of the classroom, and the world in general, a kinder, safer, more equitable place to thrive and achieve your positive dreams and goals-whatever they may be. Collins' background as a “military brat” heightened and developed her belief in diversity, leadership and adaptability, since she moved almost every year and a half until the age of 13 and lived among diverse people and voices.. She was born in Oklahoma, but weeks later, she moved to Germany (1 of 2 stints) and so on. Despite living in various states, she considers herself an East Coast native of Virginia where she spends as much time as she can fishing, camping, kayaking, eating plenty of seafood and working on one of her ongoing novels and communication poetry. She loves to play chess, camp, ride horses, cook great meals from scratch for guests, listen to great music-especially classical, write poetry and short novels of love, play the guitar and read non-fiction books. 

     Collins is a Kopenhaver Fellow and was selected one of sixteen participants at the Poynter Diverse Voices workshop in 2017. She earned a leadership certification from Progressive Women Leaders program, a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University-Specializing in Media Management and Leadership and an Associate Certification in Women’s Studies, a Masters of Science in Journalism and a Women’s Studies Certification at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications and Theatre Arts with a concentration in Communication/Rhetoric at Wake Forest University. While attending Wake Forest University, she was also a standout student-athlete and was recently honored by being inducted into the Women's Basketball ACC Legend Hall of Fame for Wake Forest University.


Her Motto: Aspire to Inspire!   


New Picture 2021.tiff

Journalist,  Digital Content Creator, Documentarian,  DEBI-P  Instructional Specialist,   Educator,  Scholar,  Researcher, Creative, Director, NIL Advisor, Motivational Speaker & Humanitarian   for  Social/Global/Professional & Personal  Impact of Positive Inclusion & Empowerment.

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Phone: 773-914-0473

Fax: 217-727-6084



Janice Marie Collins, Ph.D. 

Curriculum Vitae
Websites of Inclusion
CSW MidWinter
Newsletter 2021
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