May 23, 2013
CONTACT: Laura Mansfield, 425-352-5406, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOTHELL, Wash. – University of Washington Bothell alumni Mike Collins has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 UW Bothell Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have exhibited distinguished professional achievements and/or community service since graduation from the UW Bothell. Collins graduated in 1994 from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
“Mike is an amazing person who exemplifies the spirit of community engagement that UW Bothell is all about,” says Sean Marsh, Associate Director for Advancement and Alumni Relations at UW Bothell. As an active participant in the UW Bothell Alumni Council, Collins has played an integral role in the growth and success of the Husky 5K Run. Collins has also provided crucial leadership to the UW Alumni Council, resulting in additional programming and an increased ability to raise scholarship funds for current students.
Collins worked in the railroad industry for 23 years until 1988, when a recreational ski racing accident caused quadriplegia at the C-5 level. Since his accident, he has been a powerful advocate for the disabled. He is the author of more than 50 articles published in magazines, newspapers, and professional journals. Collins is also a member of the “Blog Squad” for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
Collins recently retired from the position of Executive Director of the National Council on Disability (NCD) in Washington, DC, a position he held since June 2007. In addition to his work with the UW Bothell Alumni Council, he gives his time and expertise to many other organizations. He is a member of the advisory board for the National Center for Personal Assistance Services at the University of California San Francisco and serves as a peer mentor for the Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System. He also writes a column called “Everyday Advocacy” as a contributing editor for New Mobility magazine.
He is currently completing work with a technical standards committee of the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America, which developed standards for emergency stair travel devices used by individuals with disabilities. Collins is a founding board member of Global Mobility, an international charitable organization that distributes refurbished mobility devices to people in developing countries around the world.