Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
At USC, she developed and teaches journalism for mobile and emerging platforms, and interactive media design for publishing, among other courses. She also teaches digital journalism in the graduate program.
Amara helped lead the creation of USC's JEDI desk, a student team that focuses on creating content natively for social, mobile and emerging platforms at Annenberg Media. She collaborated with Annenberg Media faculty and students to develop JEDI (Journalism, Emerging, Digital, Innovation), which embraces innovation and experimentation on emerging platforms at Annenberg Media.
In 2015, Amara was named an Apple Distinguished Educator for her academic leadership focusing on application design, multimedia journalism and innovation in education.
She previously was the journalism department chair and an assistant professor of journalism at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she advised student news publications and led the journalism program’s mobile and tablet initiatives. She was honored by the California Journalism Education Coalition as “Journalism Educator of the Year” in the two-year college division in 2014.
Previously Amara was a multimedia professor at Pierce College in Los Angeles, where she taught multimedia storytelling, video journalism, podcasting, online journalism, media design and development, app design, and explored journalism on mobile and emerging platforms. There she launched a student-run internet radio station, KPCRadio.com, and developed curriculum for a new mobile application design program.
Before teaching at Pierce, she taught online journalism and design classes at Cal State Long Beach. In addition, she continues to freelance as a writer and a designer (for print, web and social media) and is currently working on independent multimedia and consulting projects. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and was previously a designer and sports reporter for the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa. She has also worked as a video content producer and audience engagement/social media content producer.
Amara has her master's degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton. Her research in graduate school focused on blogging in journalism. She is also an Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut and loves all things tech.
Amara is a member of the Society of Newspaper Design, Online News Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, AEJMC, and Society of Professional Journalists.
She has done media consulting and training for various professional national and local media organizations, universities, colleges and high schools.
Amara has also taught internationally, spending several summers in Spain teaching multimedia and social media journalism. She has conducted various workshops and training on social media, audience engagement, mobile journalism, video journalism, podcasting, digital storytelling, app design, emerging platforms and much more. She does consulting for schools, universities and professional media organizations.