Staci Saltz ’97 embraces role as chair of the Department of Cinema and Television Arts

In her new role, the longtime Elon faculty member says she hopes to support her colleagues as they make the department an exceptional place for learning and professional growth.

Staci Saltz ’97, lecturer in cinema and television arts, said she isn’t one for the spotlight. Instead, she prefers to be in the background, positioned behind the scenes.

This year, however, Saltz is stepping into the foreground as the new department chair for the cinema and television arts major in the School of Communications. Her goal? To cast a spotlight on the faculty, staff and students who make the department a thriving learning environment.

Staci Saltz, chair of the Cinema and Television Arts Department

“The whole School of Communications is amazing, and the cinema and television arts faculty is no exception,” Saltz said. “I really look forward to working with these colleagues and friends in a different way than I have for the last two decades.”

Saltz is an Elon graduate and has worked at the university since 2002 in a variety of roles. This includes a lengthy tenure advising Elon Student Television, helping shape the television experience at Elon. Before returning to her alma mater, Saltz began her career in television news, serving as a production assistant in Greensboro, Raleigh and South Bend, Indiana. She also earned a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism from the University of Akron.

Saltz’s new role focuses on supporting cinema and television arts faculty as the university begins the fall 2022 semester. Providing assistance during this transitional period is one of her biggest priorities, she explained, and includes welcoming new faculty members such as James Cheek and Meg Daniels.

“I’m trying to be an advocate for my faculty as much as I possibly can and to listen to their needs, their students’ needs, and figure out the best way to accommodate them,” Saltz said. “That will forever be my motivation for what I do, because my faculty are incredible teachers, scholars and people.”

Saltz said she looks forward to helping shape the School of Communications’ continued growth. The school most recently celebrated its 21st anniversary last academic year, and Saltz said she is excited to see what the future holds.

“It’s just such an exciting place to be and to see what our students are accomplishing,” Saltz said. “What drives me and what makes our program so great is our students and our faculty.”

With the semester already underway, Saltz said she is thankful for the support she has received from her colleagues, her fellow department chairs and the school and university administration.

“This is a group effort. I’m one person in a group of very talented individuals and I’m just going to help move the ship,” Saltz said. “The faculty and the students are leading the way for me.”

Taking a leading role in the School of Communications isn’t new to Saltz. She was honored with the Leadership Award at the school’s 2021 awards ceremony for her work on television and cinema arts curriculum and for serving as a “critical voice” in developing the school’s COVID-19 production guidelines.