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CPB awarded Arizona PBS, a member-supported community service which is operated by the Cronkite School, a major grant in 2017 to be the home of the partnership with PBS SoCal and KPCC Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles, KJZZ radio in Phoenix, and Denver’s Rocky Mountain PBS.
Prior to becoming the Elemental executive editor, Alvarez was the assistant news director and executive producer of the student-powered, faculty-led Cronkite News newscast. Airing weeknights on Arizona PBS, Cronkite News has been consistently recognized as the top college newscast in the nation. Cronkite News won Best of Festival for Newscast at the Broadcast Education Association awards in 2018, and first place for newscast as well in 2017 and 2016. The newscast won a 2017 National Student Murrow Award for Video Excellence, was named Best All-Around College Newscast in 2017 by the Society of Professional Journalists, and was a Best Newscast finalist at the College Television Awards in 2015. Prior to that, Cronkite NewsWatch won top national collegiate newscast honors from BEA in 2010, 2012 and 2013; SPJ in 2011; and CTA in 2011 and 2013.
She worked as a newscast producer at KKTV in Colorado Springs, Colorado; WTSP in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida; and KPHO in Phoenix, where she also served as an executive producer for the morning newscast and special projects unit. Alvarez has received several regional Emmy Award nominations, as well as "Best Newscast" and "Best Producer" awards from the Arizona Associated Press.
Alvarez joined the Cronkite School in January 2007 after developing a new special topics course designed to train the next generation of television news producers.
During her time at the Cronkite School, Alvarez has also been the executive producer for "Cronkite: Legend & Legacy" a one-hour documentary tribute to commemorate Walter Cronkite and his enduring impact on the students, faculty, alumni and the future of the Cronkite School.
Alvarez also produces the honoree tribute video for the annual Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism luncheon, working alongside Director of Studio Production Jim Jacoby. These short-form documentaries have gone on to win three BEA National Awards for Excellence as well as a Telly Award in 2016.
In 2014, Alvarez was awarded her Master’s Degree from Arizona State University in Liberal Studies with a focus in Creative Nonfiction, Science and Society. Alvarez graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1997 with a degree in broadcast journalism from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. She served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Trojan, USC's independent student newspaper, and participated in the International Communications Studies Program, spending a summer touring mass media outlets in London, Paris, Prague and Geneva. She is a native of Arlington, Virginia.