A Central Valley native, Haley Collins was raised in Madera and is the first person in her family to attend college. In her last year at U.C. Santa Cruz, she discovered linguistics and began taking as many courses as she could. That led her to the linguistics department at Fresno State, where she received her M.A. in the Fall of 2019.
During her last semester at Fresno State, she worked at a local Target store and as a research assistant at Fresno State while pursuing a second master’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society from U.C. Irvine.
“Haley was just never satisfied with her own understanding of the material–which was already amazing–she was always seeking to improve, and never became complacent with her handle on the material from the course even though she always carried one of the highest grades in the class,” said Dr. Brian Agbayani, professor of linguistics.
Collins helped found the Madera Omega Leo Club and was vice president of the club for two years.
“In the club, we participated in community service outreach programs such as Parker’s Prom, a ‘prom’ for terminally ill children, hosted by Valley Children’s Hospital; engaged in activities such adaptive sports, specifically wheelchair basketball; and raised money for our little sister club that provides shoes, backpacks, school supplies, and coats for underprivileged kids in Madera schools,” explains Collins.
She was also a member of the Linguistics Club, where she worked as a student volunteer hosting the Western Conference on Linguistics (WECOL) at Fresno State. She contributed to the ‘lol’ Sociolinguistic Project by collecting data, transcription, and analysis. She also assisted in the documentation and preservation of the Chukchansi language.
“Haley Collins is one of those shining stars who not only shines academically but also in terms of selfless service to her peers and to her community. She really embodies the best qualities that we hope to see in our students at Fresno State,” said Agbayani.
Collins would like to pursue her Ph.D. and either work for the U.S. government or in academia.