Research Interests: science fiction, particularly the work of Ursula K. Le Guin and Judith Merril, literature by women and women in academia, particularly science and engineering.
Dr. Cummins graduated with an A.A. from Cottey College in 1958, a B. A. in English from the University of South Dakota in 1960, an M.A. in English from the same school in 1962, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985.
She taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia before joining the faculty at Missouri S&T (formerly called UMR) in 1967. Her UMR employment included nine years as department chair (1990-1999). She was the first woman in the history of the school to become a department chair. In that same vein, for her support of women students and her active research program, she received UMR's first Woman of the Year award in 1997.
Dr. Cummins has published the following books:
She has also published many articles, such as:
Before retiring, she taught American and British literature surveys, genre courses (science fiction, British novel), and various writing courses (exposition, research, technical).
After retiring she continued to do reasearch in New Harmony and was invited to give a lecturer on her work: "The Adventure of Making History: The Life and Writings of Caroline Dale Owen Parke Snedeker," Workingmen's Institute, New Harmony, Indiana, March 16, 2010.
She served as the first female President of the Miner Retirees Assoc., 2012-14, and continues to represent the organization on the UM retirees Leadership Assoc. which meets three times a year in Columbia.