Dr. Salas focuses on the academic literacy needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) and the preparation of teachers to work with, and meet the needs of an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student population. In addition, she addresses issues of race, culture and language in the classroom, in academic environments and in children's literature. She has more than twenty years of experience working with high poverty, Hispanic, and culturally and linguistically diverse learners and their parents. Her university teaching career began at a designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in south Texas and has taken her to universities and schools in North Carolina, California and Nevada.
Her current research deals with the sociocultural aspects of language and literacy development, the preparation of teachers to teach in a culturally and linguistically diverse society and on improving literacy instruction provided to English Language Learners (ELLs) and students who are in at-risk conditions. She is also interested in studying the complex relationship between the cognitive and linguistic demands of academic literacy in school and informal educational settings. She is passionate about science and technology and has been involved in forming and co-coaching a robotics club for elementary school children. Her robotics teams have competed at local First Lego League competitions affording the students immeasurable academic, social, and technical opportunities. She teaches courses in adolescent literacy and children's literature.