Meet Your Professor: Edward Salvato

Meet Your Professor: Edward Salvato
Recruiting students from across the U.S., Campus is the new alternative to online community college. Our online associate degree in business program consists of 100% live, online classes taught by professors who also teach at top-ranked colleges and universities. Read on to learn more about our talented teaching team.

Meet the ever-passionate Edward Salvato, fondly hailed as “the world’s leading LGBTQ global travel aficionado.”

From crafting standout marketing campaigns for top-tier hotels and airlines to spearheading ManAboutWorld, the pioneering mobile-first gay travel magazine, his journey has been nothing short of incredible. Salvato’s influence doesn't stop there; he's stamped his mark on renowned publications like The Out Traveler and Out & About.

Now, Salvato is sharing his treasure trove of adventures with budding enthusiasts at NYU's School of Tourism and Hospitality, as a marketing professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and as a professor in our online associate degree in business program.

Finding His Marketing Niche: LGBTQ Travel Expert

Throughout his impressive expedition as a travel writer and editor-in-chief, Salvato has truly been around the world and back. With adventures in over 75 countries under his belt, he's become a go-to source of travel wisdom for many publications.

Yet, he soon discovered that his rich experiences perfectly aligned with the world of marketing.

“I've become, surprisingly, an expert in marketing, although that's not something I ever dreamed of becoming,” Salvato shared.

“I sort of fell into it in a way that is quite organic and in a way reflects the best of marketing, which is organic. When it is really successful, it's usually organic. It can't really be forced.”

Reflecting on his path, Salvato feels his career mirrors the subject he ultimately specialized in. After studying business and market research in business school, he honed his skills working in banks as a market research master. He then transitioned to the agency world, gaining experience across various agencies as a market researcher.

However, he shared that he wanted to move on.

“As a market research expert, I grew a little tired of that career path,” Salvato noted. “I took those skills which were basically, you know, gathering data, analyzing it, and writing reports. And I did that, which I did in the world of consumer goods, essentially, and transferred that to a much more exciting topic, which was travel writing.”

Salvato's love for travel and storytelling took him on quite the career adventure – he started with boots-on-the-ground research and heartfelt interviews, turning them into must-read travel tales. As he honed his craft, he climbed the ranks from a travel writer to the editor of a magazine.

“I grew into the role, and became the editor of a magazine, then editor in chief of a whole bunch of travel platforms,” Salvato shared.

“One of the mandates that sort of came to me that was different from just travel writing was the idea of increasing readership. So how do you increase readership? And it was the tools of marketing that I organically started to understand and apply that helped us grow our online readership. We had a specialized niche: LGBTQ travelers.”

Finding LGBTQ travelers presented its own set of challenges and nuances. Salvato realized they were predominantly online, largely driven by concerns for safety. This insight led his team to refine their strategies.

As Salvato puts it, they focused on “understanding where they were and how we could meet them… with the right messaging or the right product to get them to feel confident in our recommendations and feel that we were thinking about their safety.”

Professor Fun Fact: Outside of the classroom, Salvato is an avid reader with a deep love for science fiction. “If I could just speak to the genre, really good science fiction reflects today's issues and problems to a certain extent. I think one of the biggest takeaways I had when I was really young — I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to travel far away.” As he explained to us, being a gay man he identified with an astronaut because he felt like he was often surrounded by enemies, and he needed to be far away. “I think that's what triggered my love for travel,” he reflected. “I wanted to see different things.”

Opening the Doors to Teaching

How did Salvato go from industry guru to dedicated college professor?

Transitioning from the marketing world to teaching was a significant shift for Salvato sparked by an unexpected opportunity: writing a book with a colleague.

This collaboration resulted in the Handbook of LGBTQ Tourism Hospitality and had a profound impact on Salvato’s career. Not only did it highlight his expertise, but it also opened the doors to a teaching position at NYU, allowing him to share his passion in an academic setting.

“When we published that book, I sent it to the dean at NYU in Tourism Hospitality,” Salvato told Campus. “She invited me in and she offered me a job, essentially, just as it was a one-off teaching one class.”

Interestingly, Salvato began his teaching adventures in January 2020, and just a few months later in March, he swiftly moved to online teaching. This quick shift gave him a deep dive into the world of online learning and allowed him to explore education in a new space.

“Since I was born a pandemic teacher, I immersed myself in how-to videos, how to teach online, technology for online,” Salvato noted.

“So I feel quite confident and comfortable in that environment, and I feel like I try to give the students online every bit of my presence and attention and intention as if they were right in front of me.“

In addition to offering his students an engaging learning experience online, Salvato views the teaching process as a constant learning journey for his students and himself.

He emphasized the importance of using guided conversations and brief lectures to help students grasp and apply the material, and views himself as both a teacher and a co-learner, always striving for interactive understanding.

“I try to learn as much as I can about the attendees, about the topics, and then I just engage in guided conversations with my fellow learners, co-learners in my classroom space,” Salvato shared.

“I try to package up my knowledge in terms of very short lectures, and then we do a lot of work with the material. So I hope that learners can understand how to use the material on their own.”

Now, he uses his expertise and openness in the education space to teach students about a variety of topics like tourism, hospitality, and general marketing at universities across the country, including Campus!

But what initially sparked his interest in becoming a professor?

For Salvato, it’s all about sharing the knowledge he’s gained so that students can expand on it and use it in their future endeavors.

As he puts it, “How can I take all this awesome information that I have here and impart it, share it, or learn from it and grow from it? How do I take the knowledge I have and continue refining it?”

Why Campus?

As we chatted with Salvato about joining the Campus Scholars program faculty network, he was all smiles and enthusiasm. He started off by sharing how teaching in our online program felt like a fantastic opportunity.

“When I think back on the reasons I decided to teach at Campus, it was because it feels like such a great opportunity,” Salvato said. “An opportunity that might have been really interesting to me or even members of my family since we were all first-generation students in college.”

Salvato is a proud first-generation college student, breaking barriers in his family's educational journey. Throughout his academic path, one of the major hurdles he grappled with was the steep cost of college.

Understanding the financial challenges firsthand, he's deeply empathetic to students facing similar situations, and it's part of what drew him to teach at Campus.

It feels like a program that's accessible to people who may not be able to afford other college opportunities that are incredibly expensive,” Salvato stated. “When I was the age of folks applying to campus, already, college seemed very expensive, and now it's four or five or six times as much. It just feels ridiculously expensive.”

Navigating the high costs of college education can be daunting, yet, with the assistance of federal aid programs like the Pell Grant, students can pursue their studies – including Salvato, whose Pell Grant awards helped him earn his degree from Harvard University.

Reflecting on the steep expenses of college, Salvato noted that Campus’s online associate degree program’s affordability is worth talking about.

“I think the idea that Campus is structured in a way that allows students to maybe even set aside financial considerations in their decision to attend the university is really something special nowadays, with the costs skyrocketing,” Salvato shared.

Another big reason Salvato chose to teach at Campus? He was truly moved by the energy and passion he felt around him. From the inspiring teachers to the dedicated Campus staff and the incredible students he would teach every week, it all just clicked for him.

The caliber of the fellows, instructors, the administrative staff that I've met, and the students that I've engaged with thus far is really high,” Salvato noted.

“I'm pretty excited about about that! Having met these folks before committing to this, It gave me a real feeling of comfort to know that I'd be in a community of scholars that seemed very motivated.“

The Smart Way to Launch Your College Career

The Campus online associate degree in business program helps students knock out the first two years of college and supports them as they prepare for life after graduation.

Want to attend classes led by mission-driven educators like Edward Salvato? Apply now to be part of the next trailblazing cohort of the Campus program today.

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