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Mary Elizabeth Collins

Professor of Social Welfare Policy, Boston University

Mary Elizabeth Collins, A.M., Ph.D. is Professor and Department Chair of Social Welfare Policy, Boston University School of Social Work. She received her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Dr. Collins joined the faculty of Boston University in 1997. She conducts policy research and program evaluation and has led several research projects regarding vulnerable youth, child welfare, and compassion in policy and programs. She is the author of Macro Perspectives on Youth Aging out of Foster Care and over 80 published articles and chapters. Dr. Collins has been the Principal Investigator on studies funded by federal agencies (e.g., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development); state agencies (e.g., Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance), private foundations (e.g., Spencer Foundation), and other entities (e.g., Council on Social Work Education, Massachusetts Youth Transition Task Force, National Resource Center on Youth Development). In 2011-2012 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam. She has also been a visiting scholar in Northern Ireland, Switzerland, and Ethiopia.


  • 1997–present
    Professor, Boston University


  • 1994 
    University of Chicago, Ph.D.
  • 1988 
    University of Chicago, A.M.