Published on July 17, 2023 by Eric Holsomback  
Prisca Collins Headshot
Prisca Collins Headshot

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford University’s School of Health Professions has announced that Prisca Collins, Ph.D. PT, will step into the role of Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, effective July 1.

Collins brings her vast experience from Florida Southern College, where she served as an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Community Engagement. Her focus on policy, organization and management studies in health and rehabilitation services, backed by her interdisciplinary pre-doctoral fellowship in policy and evaluation, makes her an excellent fit for the role.

As an academic, Collins's research and teaching specializations lie in psychosocial aspects of physical therapy, wellness and health promotion, and evidence-based practice. Her research has contributed to our understanding of chronic musculoskeletal conditions, health care accessibility for marginalized populations and the impact of educational curricula on societal health.

“Samford's Christian mission statement and the program's commitment to interprofessional collaboration deeply resonates with me,” Collins said, highlighting her anticipation for the role. She is eager to utilize her skills and expertise in community-based participatory research, curriculum and leadership development, and program evaluation to have a significant societal impact alongside her new colleagues at Samford.

Dr. Alan Jung, dean of Samford’s School of Health Professions, voiced his excitement, noting, “Dr. Collins brings an outstanding track record of teaching and scholarship. Her commitment to serving students and the community aligns with our mission at Samford. Her leadership promises a bright future for the department.”

Collins’s impact extends beyond the classroom and clinic. She has played multiple leadership roles within the physical therapy profession. She was recently elected as Vice Chair for the Institute for Community Engagement for the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) and served as chair of the nominating committee for the Global Health Special Interest Group for the Academy of Leadership & Innovation of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Outside of her professional life, Collins is passionate about mentoring the younger generation, dancing to uplifting Zumba rhythms,  reading personal development books at the beach and taking cruises. Her appointment brings both academic and personal enthusiasm to the university and the wider Samford community.

With Collins's appointment, Samford University’s Department of Physical Therapy is set to continue its legacy of excellence, backed by a leader dedicated to addressing emerging complex health problems through innovative educational models.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.