The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Florida International University (FIU) has appointed Alejandro Alvarado, Ph.D., as the Telemundo Director of the school’s Hispanic Media Futures Program, an innovative student development program to train future Hispanic journalists and communicators.

The director position is funded through a $300,000 grant from Telemundo Communications Group, Inc., a leading producer of high-quality content for Hispanics in the U.S. and audiences around the world, as part of the establishment of the Hispanic Media Futures program which was announced in May 2011.

Alvarado brings to his position 25 years of communications experience with a strong background in government relations, crisis management, national security and Hispanic journalism. Alvarado has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on a number of topics related to mass communications and has recently served as the school’s coordinator of the Spanish-language journalism master’s program. Alvarado received his bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from the University of Mexico, and his master’s degree in inter-American studies and Ph.D. in international studies from the University of Miami.

“Dr. Alvarado will play an active role in the growth of this new partnership with Telemundo. With his experience and expertise in Hispanic communications, we are continuing our trajectory to lead the country in training the Hispanic communicators of tomorrow,” said Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, dean, School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Prior to joining FIU in 2010, Alvarado served as vice president and strategy director at Porter Novelli Florida/Latin America where he led Porter Novelli’s Hispanic practice in Florida, including directing projects for Fortune 100 companies and government agencies in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. In 2005, his “Mexicanos al Grito de Guerra/Mexicans in the Screams of War” was published by Random House Mondadori.

He was recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his writing on Univision’s news shows “Noticiero Univision,” “Ultima Hora” and “Despierta America.” He has held several editorial positions for a variety of Spanish-language newsmagazines, business shows and web portals including Univision, CBS-Telenoticias, ZDNet Latin America, El Nuevo Herald, La Raza, La Prensa de Nueva York, La Voz de Phoenix, Vista Magazine and other publications in the U.S. Hispanic media. Internationally, he’s contriubted to El Universal, Reforma, El Norte, El Nacional and La Revista Proceso in Mexico, among others. In 2009, he was recognized by the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce as one of the most vibrant Mexicans living in Miami.

The program is part of a multi-level, multi-year commitment by Telemundo to advance the inclusion of Hispanic professionals in the communications industry. The innovative initiative will pair Telemundo executives with SJMC students in a special training and mentoring environment to foster growth and development of future communications leaders. The inaugural group of students will begin the intensive program at the start of the summer 2011 semester. In the first semester, the SJMC students will receive theoretical and practical learning through being immersed in the network and receiving mentoring from Telemundo executives in the areas of News, Digital, Research and Communications. Following a thorough understanding of the various components and interrelated departments that comprise a national network, students will then be assigned a specific job within Telemundo based on their area of study at the SJMC.

The SJMC and the program are housed at the university’s Biscayne Bay Campus with the internship experience solely conducted at Telemundo. For more information, including the selection of future student participants, visit the Hispanic Media Futures program online.

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