Peter J. Collier
Peter J. Collier took a non-traditional road to his position at PSU and that dramatically informs his research and teaching. He deeply understands that not everyone arrives at a university skilled at "being a college student." Dr. Collier began his education studying engineering at Iowa State University in the late 1960's. From there he moved to New York City where he studied at Julliard and later worked several years as a commercial song writer. He moved back to Oregon in the 1970's, but did not resume his academic studies until 1985 when he earned an associate degree in nursing from Rogue Community College. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Southern Oregon University in 1987 and finally landed at PSU after earning his Ph.D. in System Science and Sociology in 1997. His wide-ranging education and real-life experiences make Collier uniquely qualified to study and teach about the sociology of higher education, identity development and social psychology. Currently Professor Collier's research focuses on issues around how a lack of familiarity with the taken-for-granted aspects of higher education make it more difficult for students from non-traditional backgrounds to succeed at the university.