She received her B.F.A in drawing and painting from Murray State University in 1975 where she was a Regents Scholar. In 1991, she received her Ph.D. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a Ray Hall Fellow.
Dr. Alvey joined the faculty of UT-Austin’s advertising program where her creative scholarship focused on message design and development for non-profit organizations. She received awards for her work with The National Wildflower Center, The March of Dimes and other non-profit clients. For her teaching she was named the Nissan Professor of the Year and won The UT-Austin Ex-Students’ Teaching Excellence Award. Prior to coming to SMU she served as Executive Director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s AdCenter. The AdCenter (now named BrandCenter) ranks consistently with UT-Austin’s program as one of the top three advertising programs in the US.
Dr. Alvey joined the faculty of SMU Meadows School of the Arts in 2002 as the Distinguished Chair & Director of the newly endowed Temerlin Advertising Institute. Dr. Alvey led TAI through its first decade during which it rose to national recognition by increasing rigor in the curriculum, creating an award-winning creative portfolio program, raising the quality of students and attracting prominent scholars to the faculty.
Dr. Alvey worked with faculty to create a first of its kind graduate program that focuses on global consumers and social responsibility in advertising. While directing TAI, she and her students, working with Business for Diplomatic Action, created the World Citizens Guide. The guide and its accompanying web site, designed to help US Citizens be better global citizens when traveling abroad garnered international acclaim and media attention along with a gold Webby award for social activism.