Persistence and real-world experience are staples of Cara Salazar’s curriculum.

Salazar, a clinical assistant professor of strategic communication in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, said her passion for teaching comes with a desire to prepare students well for their career.

“I tell my students, ‘When it comes to your career, I don’t want you to merely survive.  I want you to thrive.’”

Salazar teaches Advertising Principles and Practices, Public Relations Management and Campaigns, Professional Marketing Communication Management and Campaigns, and Creative Media Strategies and Techniques for Advertising.

Her emphasis on equipping students with the skills they need for the workforce comes from understanding the expectations employers have of communication graduates.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of North Florida, Salazar worked in Atlanta as a copy editor, digital news editor, and design consultant.

“A lot of discipline and a lot of training were at work there,” Salazar said. “It laid a good foundation for where I would go after.”

With a master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design, Salazar pursued roles within the health care field.  She has driven strategic communication projects and campaigns for Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of wound healing services, and St. Joseph Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in Orange County, California.  She also has consulted on projects for the American Diabetes Association, UCLA, and Modern Healthcare.

A travel learner, Salazar has spent the past 15 years providing humanitarian and educational opportunities in more than 30 countries.  She has worked triage and delivered babies in the Guatemalan rainforest, taught orphans in India, and removed chigoe fleas from children’s feet in east Africa.

Salazar is pursuing her doctorate in intercultural studies by researching how women communicate grief, receive health services, and understand gendered expectations within society, specifically a population of widows in sub-Saharan Africa.

Bio authored by Forrest Holt, Class of 2018