Born and raised in Jamaica, Karen A. White immigrated to the United States of America in December 1983. She graduated from Enfield High School, Enfield, CT., in 1985. Then in 1986, she received a diploma in Word Processing from Stone Academy in New Haven, Connecticut. Her professional career started as an Assistant Administrative Secretary at the Hartford Insurance Company in the Commercial Lines Department. In 1988, Karen relocated from Enfield, Connecticut, to Springfield, Massachusetts, and obtained employment as an Accounts Receivable/Collection agent at Lenox American Saw Manufacturing Company in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. In 1991, Karen found happiness and married Floyd V. Collins, then became Karen A. Collins. Together Karen and Floyd had three beautiful children. Ingrid (29), Sean (27), and Dwayne (26).
Karen decided to further her education and enrolled at the University of Massachusetts in 2006. The University recognized her accomplishments and, in 2010, awarded her a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance/Small Business Development. In 2011, she received a Master of Science degree in Human Services with a Concentration in Organizational Management Leadership from Springfield College. Additionally, she obtained a Master of Education degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health, and Addiction Counseling from Cambridge College in 2015.
As a lifelong learner, Karen continued her education to the doctoral level by attending the Fielding Graduate University Ph.D. program from 2016 to 2019, majoring in Early Childhood Development (IECD). Then, in 2020, Karen changed her degree focus and transferred to the Human Development (H.D.) Ph.D. program at Fielding, where she obtained a Master of Science degree in Human Development. Karen continues to pursue a doctoral Ph.D. in H.D. at Fielding Graduate University with a tentative graduation date of December 2022.
Currently, Karen works as a family support and stabilization mental health clinician at Gandara Mental Health Agency in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she serves at-risk youth ages 10 to 19 years old. She is a powerful resource of work and an unwavering advocate for at-risk youth. Karen practices her promising mentoring approach with determination to inspire at-risk youth to work hard to succeed in education. Karen designed, developed, and facilitated the Every Child Has Creativity Art Therapy within her family stabilization division to elevate young people further. The goal is to empower young people to develop creative alternative flow as positive stabilization skills. Along with her husband, Karen is part owner of Aztec Automotive Repair and Sales in Springfield, Massachusetts. Karen’s passion for teaching and learning motivated her to accept the opportunity as Vice President and Board Member of SissyMarySue Educational Fund alongside Founder and CEO Wendy Muhlhauser, Ph.D.
Karen appreciates life and enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, who are her daily inspirations. Karen is passionate about her spirituality and attends church regularly. She enjoys listening to different genres of music, including gospel, Jazz, and romance artists. In her free time, Karen loves to relax with a bowl of oatmeal, grape nut ice cream, or popcorn while watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Married to Medicine, or HGTV. Karen is humbled and honored to be accepted as an Honorary Marie Fielder Fellow and is passionate about continuing Dr. Fielder’s principles of transformational change for social justice through research and advocacy. Karen will bring awareness and educate youths to build character in a changing society.