Roberto Santiagoby Dr. Rupert Rhodd | Wednesday, Sep 01, 2021
Roberto Santiago is the community engagement and communications officer in charge of public, media and community relations for Florida Atlantic University’s Broward County campuses. Since joining FAU in September 2013, Santiago has worked to promote and increase awareness of the FAU Broward campuses in the English and Spanish language TV, print, radio and online mainstream media and through advertising campaigns and special events. Santiago is also the person who puts together the FAU Broward Campuses E-Newsletter, which is e-blasted every month to over 21,000 subscribers, most of whom are FAU alumni residing in Broward.
"It’s the greatest feeling getting FAU Broward faculty and students praised in the mainstream media," said Santiago, who is based at the Davie campus. Among his favorite media placements: Santiago was able to get NBC-6 News, as part of its annual College Week series, to film a segment on the School of Architecture in Fort Lauderdale and then film a separate segment on the ocean engineering program at FAU Sea Tech in Dania Beach. During that week, NBC-6 returned to air a live three-hour remote from the FAU Davie Student Union featuring musical and dance performance by FAU Davie students. He also loves working directly with professors. "I loved helping Dr. Joey Bargsten of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters promote his grant-supported multi-media opera that was opening for one night only at a theatre in South Beach," said Santiago. "I secured full page articles about the opera in the Sun Sentinel, The Miami Herald, The Miami and Broward New Times and segments on National Public radio WLRN-FM/91.3 and PBS WPBT Channel 2’s Art Loft. We reached our key audiences and the opera sold out."
Prior to FAU, Santiago was the Public Relations Manager at Miami City Ballet where he worked four seasons at its Miami Beach-based studios. "The highlight of my seasons at Miami City Ballet was spending a month in Paris with the Company and securing European and United States national coverage." Prior to becoming involved in public relations, Santiago was a newspaper and magazine editor and writer, having worked at publications such as The Miami Herald, The New York Daily News, and The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.
He cites interviewing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in Havana in 1990, covering 9/11 in New York City in 2001, and having the experience of breaking the sound barrier as a passenger flying with the Blue Angels in their F/A-18 Hornet among the highlights of his journalism career.
A graduate of Oberlin College with a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing, Santiago is the author of "Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings – An Anthology (One World/Ballentine Books, 1995). From 1989 to 2010, Santiago lectured about Puerto Rican and black Hispanic issues at colleges and universities around the nation, including Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, and Vassar College. Santiago has written for many national publications, including Rolling Stone, Essence, and People Magazine. He currently covers political issues as a contributing writer for Latino Magazine.
"My years in print journalism working as an editor, a writer and a supervisor fully prepared me for the job I do now at FAU," said Santiago, who says getting the good word out about FAU Broward is a never-ending process. "Many people still do not know that FAU has campuses in Broward thus we have to continuously clang the pot," he said.
Santiago, who was born and raised in New York City and lives with his wife and dog in Plantation, trains in Wing Chun kung fu, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at John Wai Martial Arts and at Carlson Gracie Broward County. He loves spending time at the beach, reading, cooking, and traveling. "My favorite FAU Davie event is the annual Family Fun Carnival," said Santiago. "It’s great seeing FAU colleagues and their children being themselves and having so much fun."