Alumni, MFA in Creative Writing Program


Two-time Goddard graduate Mike Alvarez (IMA ’10, MFAW ’13) was recently awarded the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. The fellowship honors and supports young New Americans – immigrants and children of immigrants—to use their graduate training in this country to make distinctive contributions to American life.

Mike will receive up to $90,000 in tuition support and maintenance grants over the course of two years for his PhD study in Communications at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he is currently enrolled and examining the representation of suicide in film and the effects of digital technologies on suicide (e.g., the emergence of online suicide pacts and live streaming of suicides over the Internet).

“Suicide is such a taboo subject,” says Mike, “and to be selected as one of thirty Fellows, in a national competition that drew in more than 1,200 applicants, is to me a meaningful validation of the urgency of my work.”

Mike was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was ten years old. He grew up in a rough neighborhood in Jersey City and then attended Rutgers University, where he suffered from debilitating anxiety and