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Biography of Ross F. Collins

Ross F. CollinsRoss Francis Collins was born on Dec. 21, 1954, in Fargo, North Dakota. His mother, Dorothy Collins, a single mother and newspaper reporter, moved briefly to Seattle before returning to Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1956, where Collins spent his childhood. His maternal grandmother, Mathilde Castonia, also lived in the home as caretaker. His mother worked as a reporter and editor for the Fargo-Moorhead Forum, retiring in 1981. She died in 2008.

An only child, Collins spent his years of primary education at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead before moving to the city's public school system in middle school. He graduated from Moorhead High School in 1973. In 1978 he graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with two degrees, a B.A. in history and a B.S. in mass communications. As an undergraduate he served as editor of the student newspaper and vice president of student senate.

Collins worked for an advertising agency a short time before joining the Forum as a photographer. Later he worked there as a reporter and copy editor. In fall 1979 he entered the University of Warwick, Coventry, England, studying European Cultural History. He received a master's degree in 1981.

Returning to the Forum, Collins worked as a copy editor until he left to try full-time freelance writing and photography. In fall 1982 he returned to Europe, completing a Certificate of French Studies at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France.

He returned to Moorhead in 1983, again as a free-lancer. In fall 1984 he joined MSUM's public affairs office as a writer, and also became an instructor of mass communications. He taught basic media writing, copy editing and visual communications.

In 1987 Collins returned to England as a Rotary Foundation Journalism Fellow to begin work on a doctorate at the University of Cambridge. During his work there he spent an extended period in Marseille, Montpellier and Paris, France, doing research for his dissertation in World War I French journalism. He received a Ph.D. in 1992.

Collins returned summers to work in the MSUM public relations office. He continued there until becoming public relations officer for the rural health office at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, School of Medicine, in fall 1991. He also served as an instructor for the UND School of Communications, teaching public relations, photography, graphic design and visual communications.

In fall 1993 he returned to Fargo to accept a position as assistant professor in North Dakota State University's Department of Communication. At NDSU Collins has taught an introductory mass media course, writing for public relations, advanced writing, photography, publication design, copy editing, mass media ethics, mass media history, internet web design, American power and world media seminar (team taught), and graduate research methods. He served as director of the master's program from 1993-2011. He is coordinator of the department's major in new media and web design, and served as production editor and senior editor of the North Dakota State University Press from 1993-2015. He was treasurer of American Journalism Historians Association from 2000-2008, and currently serves as vice president.

Collins has published or edited six books, 21 refereed articles, three monographs, and several hundred non-refereed articles and photos, including work in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Regina Leader Post, and Best of Photography Annual. He has exhibited photographs in about three dozen gallery exhibits and juried shows.

In 1994 Collins married Julie E. Poseley, a mental health therapist. She died in 2004. The couple had no children. In 2009 he married Kanako Kabaki, a pharmacist and native of Tokyo.

His hobbies include yoga, bridge, cycling, photography, woodworking, stamp collecting, wilderness canoeing, and tae kwon do (3rd degree black belt). He is a certified group fitness instructor and fitness trainer, and teaches yoga and aerobics classes at the YMCA.

Philosophy: Success in life is the satisfaction of knowing you made an effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

Advice: Get as much education as you can when you are young. I promise you, you will need it when you are old.

Things he believes everyone should learn as children: how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

Collins lives in Fargo.

E-mail Ross Collins at ross.collins@ndsu.edu

Facebook profile at http://www.facebook.com/p/Ross_Colllins/712640143

Follow on Twitter: @rossfcollins.