PhD expands worldview

By Cassandra Porter

Adaptable to any situation–or language–thrown her way, Samara Anarbaeva is ready to take on her newest position as an assistant professor in Chico State’s Department of Journalism and Public Relations.

Originally from Kyrgyz Republic, Anarbaeva has moved around the world enough to pick up six languages and teach at five different universities. She first came to the United States as an exchange student in high school to a small town in Michigan. She loved it—the culture, the democracy and the education—and Anarbaeva decided she needed to come back for college.

Anarbaeva moved to the U.S. and has been exploring ever since. As a lover of the outdoors, she enjoys visiting new parks and beaches while also setting aside plenty of time for yoga.

“Yoga is life,” she said. “Right now I am exploring California one weekend at a time with my husband.”

Anarbaeva began her career after earning her Ph.D. in media and communication from Bowling Green State University. She has since gained an extensive background in public relations. She previously taught public relations, marketing and advertising courses at Central Michigan State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Rhode Island, University of Michigan Dearborn and Florida Southern College.

Now bringing her talents to Chico State, Anarbaeva teaches the courses JOUR 244, “Introduction to Public Relations;” JOUR 341, “Writing for Public Relations;” and JOUR 344, “Public Relations Strategy.” These courses are all vital steps in the advancement of students’ writing and communication skills to be utilized in the public relations industry.

In addition to teaching at Chico State, Anarbaeva works as a communication consultant. Although there is not much time for consulting during the school year, she finds ways to unify her two careers.

“I have a few clients who I work with on a regular basis,” she said. “I mainly consult in the summer, and I love bringing that experience into my classrooms and research.”

Anarbaeva brings her real-world experience into “Public Relations Strategy.” In this course, students work in teams to design appropriate public relations campaigns to meet the needs of their client by conducting research, developing strategies, creating tactics and evaluating outcomes. The client for this semester is Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

“It’s great to get the students involved in this important project,” she said.

Students will spend the semester formulating strategic campaigns for the campus food pantry to improve branding techniques, create partnerships and expand overall awareness of student food insecurity.

Throughout her years working in the public relations field, Anarbaeva has adapted to changing trends in the industry. In the rapidly advancing social media age, it is important for instructors to stay up-to-date with these changes.

“Public relations is all about transparency and engaging in a dialogue with the audiences now more than ever,” she said.

“Organizations have been embracing visual storytelling via social and mobile.”

Anarbaeva teaches students social media strategy and how to use communication skills to effectively work with clients and team members. Her passion for public relations shows through her hands-on teaching methods, and she is excited to embark on her new journey at Chico State.

“I look forward to working with talented faculty, helping students become global citizens who care about the world and their community and contributing to the Chico Experience, of course.”