Shara Toursh Pavlow comes to academia after a long career managing health and social services in the South Florida area. She served as chief executive to four different community organizations and as chief operating officer to two others. Building on these experiences, Dr. Pavlow strives to merge theoretical learning with real world applications for active student learning.
Dr. Pavlow received her Ph.D. in the first doctoral class of the UM School of Communication where her work focused on the role of communication in community building and public processes.. She earned her Master of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied communication and health care delivery. She received a Bachelor of Arts from UM with a major in journalism.
For the past ten years, Dr. Pavlow taught classes in public communication at Florida Atlantic University where she also directed the FAU Community Conversation Corps. The Conversation Corp was an AmeriCorps academic service learning program in which 115 students learned community organizing techniques and then applied their knowledge with more than 80,000 hours of service to 40 not-for-profit and governmental agencies.
Dr. Pavlow’s academic work focuses on the role of dialogic communication in building resilient communities. She teaches classes on constructive conflict, community organizing and social change, public participation, small group/intergroup processes, organizational communication, communication theory, and qualitative research methods. Her research explores how dialogue among boundary crossing individuals cements intergroup ties in diverse and often fractured communities.