Christopher Salinas

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Senior Lecturer and Director of Public Discourse





Chris Salinas brings a lifetime of experience as a debater, debate coach and public speaker to the classroom. He believes that effective communication has the power to transform lives, and his goal in every class is to empower students through mastery of public and political communication.

One of the pivotal moments of Salinas’s life was his decision to join his high school debate team. He learned firsthand the power of clear speaking, clear ideas and strong arguments. After a successful career as a debater at Baylor University, he set his sights on teaching others those skills. Since his arrival at SMU in 2008, Salinas challenges students to master their communication. Today, he focuses on teaching political communication, rhetoric and public speaking. His underlying message in all of these classes is that professional communicators have a responsibility to exhibit clear, strong and ethical communication.

Salinas believes that better communication makes a better world. That belief led him to create a textbook/blog,, as an experimental project. This project utilizes the internet as a medium for a public speaking textbook. Using a blog allows him to quickly update and adjust his course material in a format that is both free for students and the public at large. His hope is to empower more people inside and outside of the classroom.

Salinas does have a life outside of the classroom. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Wendy, and two kids, Scarlett and Asher. Also an avid art collector, he has compiled one of the largest collections of contemporary urban art in the United States.


Ph.D., Communication Studies, Wayne State University
M.A., Communication Studies, Baylor University
B.A., Philosophy, Baylor University

Course list

CCPA 2300  Public Speaking in Context
CCPA 2310 Rhetoric, Community and Public Deliberation
CCPA 3347 Principles of Political Communication
CCPA 3393 Politics and the Public Sphere
Christopher Salinas