Texas Tech University

Dietetics Alumna Uses Degree to Impact Community from an Environmental Conservation Standpoint

Samantha Salazar

May 19, 2023

Julie Collins

Julie Collins emphasizes the value of the scientific foundation ingrained in the Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics degree

Julie Collins earned a bachelor's degree in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, from the College of Human Sciences in 1990. Currently, Collins is the center director for the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center (DCAC) in Cedar Hill, Texas. The center's mission is to protect birds and their environments around them. 

In her current role, she works behind the scenes managing budgets, reports, staff, and state partnerships. She also connects with the public regarding donors, fundraising, visitors, education, and conservation. Throughout her career, Collins has continuously found her dietetics degree beneficial as it provided her with a background in science and research that she can still apply today. 

"The science courses provoked curiosity and empowerment in understanding not only the nutrition aspect but better overall science comprehension that would prove useful in my next steps," Collins said.

Collins' time at Texas Tech gave her the science background needed to land a role at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, where she worked for 18 years, furthering her experience in the research field. As Collins became ready for a new career venture, her science and research background gave her the confidence to join the Texas Master Naturalist Program, where she would begin her journey in conservation science. While in the program, Collins found a love for working at an environmental organization. 

"I truly enjoy the science of nutrition and its effect on the body, and through building that knowledge and educating others, we can decide how we want to take care of our body," Collins said. "The amount of science required to complete this degree was challenging, but very beneficial for a full understanding of nutrition and dietetics that also provided a good knowledge base to prepare for the next step in a career."

Collins loves her current role at the DCAC and recommends the Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics program, which has helped her get to where she is today. Collins loves how vital nutrition is for the body and enjoys educating others to increase awareness on how to best take care of themselves. 

She has translated her love for caring for her body into caring for wildlife. She enjoys having the opportunity to lead a team that connects the community to the outdoors, promoting an appreciation and love of nature that eventually builds ownership, and advocacy for birds and other wildlife.