Dr. Leslie Ramos Salazar is a Business Communication and Decision Management Associate Professor at West Texas A&M University. Described as “helpful”, “thorough”, “a clear communicator”, and “the best instructor students have ever had”, Dr. Ramos Salazar has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in classes like Statistics for Business and Economics and Business Communication for Healthcare Managers. Outside the classroom she is equally adept. Dr. Ramos Salazar mentors students in research projects and advises the student group ALPFA (Association of Latino Professional For America).
Like many WT students, Dr. Ramos Salazar went to college as a first generation student who did not know what she wanted to do with her life. Eventually she stumbled upon communication classes and found her passion. She graduated in 2007 from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Toward the end of her undergraduate program, her adviser encouraged her to consider Graduate School. She was one of the top applicants at California State University, Long Beach and was offered a Teaching Assistant position. During this time, she realized that she loved teaching and had plans to teach at a community college or at the instructor level. Her graduate adviser knew of her love of teaching and encouraged her to pursue a doctorate. Dr. Ramos Salazar had not considered earning a Ph.D. until that point and was excited about a career path that would allow her to conduct research and teach. She graduated in 2009 with an M.A. in Intercultural Communication and moved one state over to attend Arizona State University where she completed her Ph.D. in Human Communications in 2013.
After graduation, Dr. Ramos Salazar took an Assistant Professor position at California State University in Fresno. However, even with a second job teaching at a local community college, the cost of living in California began to be too much. The move to West Texas A&M University in 2015 proved to be a good fit for Dr. Ramos Salazar because she connected well with the student body, where roughly 50% of the students are first generation as well. Because of this connection, Dr. Ramos Salazar loves to encourage first generation students. Her advice to all students:
“Connect with supportive peers, staff, and faculty members. We’re all here to make sure you succeed. In college, you will experience “bumps in the road,” but keep pushing forward and never give up, even when it gets hard! Speak to faculty members about your career goals and your struggles because they can provide you with the information and resources that can guide your future decisions. Develop the courage to visit your professors during office hours to ask questions, obtain help, or to seek mentorship. Faculty expect you to go talk to them and most of them would be happy to get to know you better, especially when you’re encountering first generational challenges.”– Dr. Ramos Salazar
In her spare time, Dr. Ramos Salazar enjoys hiking, reading, and Disney movies – not surprising since she grew up in Southern California and regularly visited Disneyland as a kid. She also enjoys writing and would like to author a non-fiction book someday. Now that she has earned tenure, Dr. Ramos Salazar is planning to buy a house in Canyon and would love to travel to Greece someday.
The WTAMU Chapter of ALPFA was establish by Dr. Ramos Salazar in 2016. It is a student organization with the following mission: To empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. Dr. Ramos Salazar chose this organization because it is well-known and its primary goal is to bridge the gap between Latino students and their dream jobs. During the organization’s history at WTAMU, Dr. Ramos Salazar’s favorite service project was called Spreading the Love. For this project, students gathered Valentine’s Day goodies for sick children at Northwest Texas Healthcare System. Students in ALPFA gowned-up and put on medical masks to deliver the goodies to the kids. Currently the WTAMU chapter of ALPFA has about 20 active students on campus and a Blackboard community group for online students and students that are not able to attend the meetings in person. ALPFA meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 12:30 p.m. in Classroom Center 225. For more information, contact Dr. Ramos Salazar or visit their Facebook page.