Mary Beth CollinsExecutive Director of the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies

I bring to this role a passion for understanding and improving the role of the “third sector” and decades of experience working as a teacher, attorney, and nonprofit director. The binding theme of my career and volunteer experiences is the advancement of the well-being of all communities, families, and mission-based enterprises.

At the Community and Nonprofit Studies (CommNS), I leverage university assets in collaboration with community partners to promote and prepare change agents to support a better third sector, a better Wisconsin, and a better world. In addition to leading the CommNS and directing its research, outreach, and educational mission, I have developed and delivered coursework and other educational experiences for students and community partners in the CommNS network. These offerings include graduate-level School of Human Ecology Professional Skills Courses, including nine 1-credit courses, each focused on a different key topic relevant to preparing future change agents for their careers; the Capstone Certificate Program in Community and Nonprofit Leadership; a Board Development course that places students with nonprofit boards of directors; a Community and Nonprofit Operations and Infrastructure course; and a variety of service learning and professional development opportunities. All of these course offerings bring community and practitioner wisdom to the classroom and prepare students for their careers as effective change agents in a complex world.

Featured Media

Professional photo of Mary Beth Collins in front of 100 Women Wall.


  • Civil Society & Community Studies



  • JD and MA, dual degree in Law and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • BA, English, Appalachian State University


Office: 4285N Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-890-0472



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