Professor Profile: Wilfredo Alvarez


Grace Barattini, Staff Writer

Utica College welcomed Dr. Wilfredo Alvarez to the communications department this semester. 

Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Alvarez moved to the Bronx in 1995 as a teenager and since then has been around the United States. 

Alvarez earned his bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, continued his education with a master’s degree from Florida State University and went even further with a Ph.D from the University of Colorado.  All of Alvarez’s degrees are in communication. 

“I am interested in the ways that people communicate across social differences like race, social class and gender,” Alvarez said. 

After completing his degrees, Alvarez jumped into the world of higher education. He has experience working in student affairs at John Jay College where he helped students get registered and advised them in their degree programs. 

From there, Alvarez began teaching communication classes at various universities.  He started at Northeastern Illinois University, briefly taught at Southern Connecticut State University and started at UC this fall.

At Utica College, Alvarez teaches three different classes in the communication department: Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication and Intercultural Communication.  

In his Interpersonal Communication class, Alvarez goes into depth about how personal relationships are formed, maintained and and how they can deteriorate over time.  

Organizational Communication is a 300-level course that focuses on the communication that takes place within complex systems, specifically organizations like businesses and institutions.  

Intercultural Communication is another 300-level class that focuses on the complexities of human communication in the context of human differences.

Alvarez would describe his teaching style for these classes as “intensely dialogic and relational.”

“I am interested in exploring the ways we get to know ourselves and others as we co-construct knowledge and understanding,” he said.  “I like to run my classes through discussions, to help facilitate students to engage with one another.”  

 Alvarez admires many things about Utica College. He loves the beauty of the campus and its aesthetics, as well as the very welcoming faculty and staff. 

“So far my perception is that the faculty and staff are deeply committed to student’s development and success,” he said.  “That has been noticeable since I got here.”  

When Alvarez is not teaching or in his office at Utica College, he lives a pleasant life at home with his supportive spouse and loving dog. Their dog’s name is Davis and he is a German shepherd-pit bull mix. 

Alvarez and his wife enjoy the simple things in life, such as cooking meals every night, taking Davis on walks and watching TV series together. 

“Currently, my wife and I are watching the ‘Great British Baking Show,’” Alvarez said. 

Aside from spending time with his wife and dog, Alvarez likes to spend time enjoying his hobbies. Alvarez likes to do CrossFit workouts, watch old Hollywood films and travel. 

Alvarez and his family travel often, domestically and internationally. Their most recent trip was to New Zealand.  

Aside from New Zealand, Alvarez and his wife recently traveled to Chicago to visit old friends from when he used to work at Northeastern Illinois University. 

In addition to filling up his free time, Alvarez has a new publication in the works. 

“I am finishing a book on the work experiences of Latino immigrant janitors,” he said.  “The book should be coming out in the spring.”