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You Lead a Mean Trail

Life Adventures and Fifty Years of Teaching

Barbara J. Collins

Once, in the middle of a strenuous field trip, a student who was having difficulty keeping up with his botany professor, Dr. Barbara Collins, said: “Dr. Collins, you sure do lead a mean trail.” Indeed, Dr. Collins chose difficult trails. She climbed mountains, took students on field trips all over the world, climbed Mt. Whitney several times, and continued to teach way past retirement age. Her journey has been a long and crazy one, but filled with fun and laughter.

But more than that, it is a story of cracking the glass ceiling again and again. Dr. Collins did not follow the expected route for women of the time. She was the first person at the University of Illinois to receive a Ph.D. in geology. After living two years in Germany, she returned to the University of Illinois to study botany. Life as a female professor in the 1960s, teaching full time with five young children and no such thing as maternity leave, was challenging in itself.

Dr. Collins is an amazing and inspirational professor, and I remain deeply moved by her passion for teaching, the commitment she has to her students, and her breadth of knowledge.
Dr. Michael Lewinski, Chief, Clinical Microbiology,
UCLA Medical School, Class of ’79


Vital, smart, and funny! Dr. Collins’ keen sense of observation carries the reader along. Have you ever had a teacher who changed your life? One who saw your strengths and helped you go farther than you ever dreamed? Barbara Collins is that teacher.
Donna Main, M.S., Class of ’69

A class with Barbara Collins is never “just” a hike. An ordinary trail for her is filled with extraordinary wonders. Often she is out of sight on the trail, then you hear a scream of delight because she has discovered an old friend. To you it may look like just one more wildflower, but to Barbara it is a sign of grace and beauty, deeply beloved.
Pastor Kae Evensen, Class of ’82

Barbara Collins is a brilliant professor, a vocational role model, a brave and generous woman, and a lover of the planet.
Dr. Michaela Reaves, California Lutheran University
Professor of History, Class of ’79

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You Lead a Mean TrailYou Lead a Mean Trail

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ISBN: 978-1-932688-76-4
348 Pages
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfectbound
Publisher: Lutheran University Press
Quantity in Basket: None
$30.00

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