Lara Collins

Lara Collins is Professor Emerita of Communication at South Mountain Community College. She started teaching at SMCC in 1982.

Phoenix Gazette, August 25, 1986
Image provided by South Mountain Community College

Lara Collins made a big impact on students at South Mountain Community College.  Lara spent her career challenging students to get out of their “comfort zone” and communicate better both in and out of the classroom. She remembers the earliest days of South Mountain Community College fondly, having worn many hats on the campus from the beginning.

Professor Collins was born in Sacramento, California to a bookkeeper and an Air Force test pilot. She grew up in Sacramento near the University of California, Davis, where her stepfather was a Professor. Lara struggled in school with an untreated learning disability. When Lara was 20, she dropped out of college because it was hard for her to learn and to choose a career due to her dyslexia. When she was 28, she went back to school at Sacramento Community College. Later, she qualified for a tuition waiver at ASU. She remembers it cost her 5 dollars a semester, and she fell in love with her new career – Communication.

Future Video Clip: Career in Education: (5:02-6:43)

Professor Collins felt a calling to South Mountain Community College when it first opened. She loved how different the college was from others because people of all ethnic groups were together as one, not divided. From the earliest days of SMCC, Professor Collins was a part of building its success.

Future Video Clip: “This is where I wanted to be.”
1992 Campus newsletter profile of Lara Collins
Image provided by South Mountain Community College

Student Researchers: Taylor Culberson, Reina Jimeno, Juan Rivera, Fall 2018
Faculty Co-Author: Summer Cherland