María Elena Villar is a Professor in the Department of Communication, School of Communication + Journalism (SCJ) and Co-Director/Founder of the Steven Cruz Institute for Science, Media & Technology at Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Villar teaches courses in communication theory, research methods, multicultural communication, science communication and advanced seminars in strategic communications. Her research and engaged scholarship focus on communication for social change, including health and science communication, health disparities, and strategic communication for diverse audiences. Her research and service are deeply connected to our community through partnerships with non-profit organizations, and an emphasis on engaging communities in the research and social change process. She is frequently invited to speak to corporate and community groups about her areas of expertise.