Leslie V. Collins, PhD


Dr. Leslie V. Collins is an Assistant Professor of psychology in the Behavioral Sciences and Education Department.  She has taught general psychology, social psychology, quasi experimental design, abnormal psychology, psychology of gender, and psychology of race and ethnicity.  Additionally, she leads an independent study group about Participatory Action Research theory and methods. She received her PhD in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University in 2012.

Her research interests primarily focus on using community based research methodologies (e.g., participatory action research [PAR], community based participatory research (CBPR) and action research) and mixed method case study design to examine the following factors:  1) means of community change and activism; 2) The effects of social inequality (e.g. racism, sexism, elitism, heterosexism, etc.) on individual and collective well-being (mental, spiritual, financial, physical, relational); 3) the relationship between resilience and resistance in marginalized communities; and 4) how inequality and diversity among service providers and between the service providers and recipients affect how non-profit organizations function, and how they meet the need of low-income individuals and communities. 

Finally Dr. Collins has extensive experience in the realm of non-profit work including direct service and program management.  Prior to pursuing a PhD, I was employed for over twelve years as a counselor, program director, and volunteer in several community based social service organizations.


  • Resident Experts: Creating Grassroots Policy in Public Housing and Workforce development
  • Examining how community based research translates to action (resistance) and resilience

Recent Pubilications

  1. Collins, L. V., & Barnes, S. L. (in press).  Observing privilege: Examining manifestations of race, class, and gender in health and human service organizations.  Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology.
  2. Collins, L. V. (in press).  Examining Intra-group racism and racial battle fatigue in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In K. Varner, K. Albert, R. Mitchell & C. Allen (Eds.), But You Can’t Take our Souls:  The Front Lines of Racial Battle Fatigue in Higher Education. Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
  3. Freedman, D, Bell, B., and Collins, L.V. (2011).  The veggie project: A case study of a multi-component farmers’ market intervention.  Journal of Primary Prevention, 32, 213-224.
  4. Nation, M., Collins, L. V., Nixon, C., Bess, K., Rodgers, S., & Williams, N. (2010). Community-Based participatory approach to bullying prevention and school climate change: The alignment enhanced service project.  Progress in Community Health Partnerships:  Research, Education, and Action, 4 (3), 197-205.
  5. Bess, K., Perkins, D. D., Prilleltensky, I., & Collins, L. V. (2009). Participatory organizational change in community-based health and human services:  From tokenism to political engagement.  Journal of American Community Psychology, 43(1-2), 134-148.

Leslie V. Collins, PhD
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Community Research and Action – Vanderbilt University
M.S. Community Research and Action—Vanderbilt University
M.Ed. Human Development Counseling—Vanderbilt University
B.A. Psychology and Philosophy—Fisk University

Park-Johnson Hall #312
1000 17th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37208