Susan McFarlane-Alvarez

Susan McFarlane-Alvarez


  • Advertising + Public Relations


Susan McFarlane-Alvarez, Ph.D. (Georgia State University, 2006) is a Professor of Advertising at Michigan State University's Department of Advertising and Public Relations. Her research focuses at the intersection of identity, images, and corporate expression. McFarlane-Alvarez explores how engaged pedagogical strategies build pathways of access between academia and professional advertising and PR practice. With academic experience spanning three decades, McFarlane-Alvarez has taught and researched at the University of the West Indies, Georgia State University, and Clayton State University.

Alongside her academic career, McFarlane-Alvarez spent 27 years actively involved in the persuasion industries as a creative director with Hernandez/Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB), then a consultant to a diverse array of clients. Her work spans industries including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, training, and tourism, and spans markets from North to South America. Through research and classroom practice, Suzy focuses on affordable learning and on broadening access to advertising education and professional practice.


• Professor of Advertising and Public Relations

• Director, Communication Solutions for a Diverse Society.

• Faculty Advisor, 42PointSEVEN Student Integrated Communication Agency

• Advertising Internship Coordinator


Research and Teaching

Advertising and identity

Moving image representations

Postcoloniality and national identity

Racial reckoning and social activism in corporate expression

Pedagogy, diversity and inclusion

Related Work


PhD, Communication, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

MA, Communication - Film and Video, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

BA, Mass Communication and Broadcasting, State University of New York, College at Oswego

Recent Work

McFarlane-Alvarez, S., & Norman, M. V. (2023). Racial reckoning, Prosopopeia, and consumer-brand disidentification: Rebranding and the reimaging of Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park. Advertising and Society Quarterly, 24(1).

Norman, M. V., & McFarlane-Alvarez, S. (2023). Beyond colorblindness in advertising education: Multiculturalism and advertising pedagogy since the 2020 racial reckoning. Journal of Advertising Education, 109804822311748.

McFarlane-Alvarez, S. (2020). Caribbean Creativity in the North American Classroom: Deploying Difference and Ingenuity for Community-Engaged Pedagogy. Caribbean Educational Research Journal, 5(1), 68–84.

McFarlane-Alvarez, S., & McDonald, S. (2020). Building Bridges with big brothers big sisters: Service-learning links between professional and civic engagement education at a predominantly Black Institution. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 12(3).

McFarlane-Alvarez, S. (2019). “Go back where you come from!”: Aesthetic Identity, “This land” and “old town road.” Flow Online Journal of Television and Media Studies, 26(1).


Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd.
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824