By Sharla Hooper
Angela Salazar highlighted among leaders in Hispanic professional networking community at national conference
University of Phoenix is pleased to share that Angela Salazar, Financial Aid officer, and Lead for La Fuerza, the University of Phoenix Hispanic employee resource group (ERG), was selected as an honoree of the 2021 Rising Star Award by Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), at its national conference, held August 7-11, 2022.
“Angela is a servant leader, both inside the University of Phoenix community and out,” states Julie Fink, vice president of Human Resources at University of Phoenix. “She builds bridges between departments, organizations, and community leaders. She is committed to creating awareness and access of opportunities to those who can benefit most.”
Salazar joined ALPFA Phoenix Chapter in 2019, where she volunteered as a mentor, and began serving as Community Affairs Director in 2020. She was instrumental in establishing relationships between ALPFA Phoenix and organizations such as Teach for America, Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix. She is a nominee for the 2022 Athena Awards by the Greater Phoenix Chamber for her exceptional work as Community Affairs director with ALPFA Phoenix Chapter. In 2022, she was invited to serve on the Advocacy committee for the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix.
Salazar is Lead of La Fuerza, the University’s Hispanic ERG, which has a mission to create and maintain an inclusive environment where differences are valued as strengths, and promote creativity, innovation and the maximization of individual potential. She also serves as Unified ERG Strategy Director at University of Phoenix and is a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB.)
“Once we can empower an individual, they will take the reins for their own professional growth,” Salazar states. “Networking and building social capital are critical to helping individuals from the humblest of backgrounds to bring their experience, ideas, and innovation into the light, to the benefit of our communities and businesses. Helping build relationships and connections with ALPFA and La Fuerza – this is my passion work. The Rising Star Award gives me confidence and encouragement in that effort.”
ERGs at University of Phoenix bring together individuals with shared interests and life experiences. These employee-led, voluntary groups seek to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, increase employee engagement, and support professional and personal growth. They connect people who may otherwise not meet to create new relationships and cross-disciplinary partnerships. Salazar has been instrumental in bringing external speakers to engage with La Fuerza ERG members and in ensuring that members of all ERGs can be involved and have an impact. In addition, she collaborates with departments throughout the University and the community to organize events and volunteer opportunities in the Phoenix area.
“I am a Chicana and an urban Native American as a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe,” Salazar shares. “I was born and raised in an underrepresented and mostly Hispanic community in Phoenix, and I want to share what I’ve learned to help others succeed as well. I aim to be a source for Hispanic and Indigenous community members, volunteerism, events, and resources.”
Salazar leverages her engagement with La Fuerza to collaborate with colleagues across the university to promote understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives, including the University’s Office of Educational Equity which serves the University’s students, alumni, community and alliances and hosts the University’s monthly Educational Equity webinar series. She has led sessions of Inclusive Café, a virtual place for staff to gather, connect, and build community through monthly sessions focused on topics designed to discuss differing perspectives and generate compassionate conversation. Salazar participated in the planning of the University-wide initiative, the newly established annual Inclusive Leadership Summit.
Salazar has been an employee of University of Phoenix since 2003.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.