Racquel Collins for District 1 Commissioner

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A military child, Racquel Collins was born in the Philippines and raised in d’Iberville, MS. To follow in her father’s footsteps, she also joined the Air Force, where she trained fighter pilots in electronic warfare. Passionate about pediatric cancer research since childhood, Racquel returned to college after completing her service in 1996 and earned her BS in Medical Technology from Radford University in 2001 and her PhD in Cancer and Radiation Biology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 2008. 

Her career at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital began in 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2011, she joined the Molecular Pathology Laboratory as a board-certified medical technologist, where she was responsible for genetic testing and assay development. During that time, Racquel earned her MBA from the University of Memphis. In 2014, she became the director of Scientific Lab Operations, where she provided administrative and supervisory direction for Scientific Operations and oversaw institution-led laboratory shared resources. Racquel joined the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2016, where her responsibilities include marketing, recruiting, admissions and mentoring.

The 2016 presidential election was a wake-up call for Racquel, so she began researching how to run for political office, successfully completing the inaugural Emerge Tennessee training program in July 2016. She also found a passion for taking care of her community in the process, now serving as a board member of the Millington Crisis Center and in the process of founding a non-profit to help our teachers pay for their school supplies each year.

 As a veteran, Racquel will fight for comprehensive and timely veterans services, including healthcare, job training/placement, and housing. We should be putting it all on the line for those who put it all on the line for us. As a higher education administrator and mother, she will fight for public education, including universal pre-K and programs that prepare students for both vocational-technical careers and college. As a citizen who wants to foster a prosperous future for our community, Racquel will fight for improved infrastructure that connects our citizens to opportunity and allows Memphis and surrounding Shelby County to be a preferred destination for growth in new industry and commerce.