Why Communication Studies at SDSU?

Dr. Peter A. Andersen

Dr._AndersenDr. Andersen is Professor Emeritus at SDSU. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication at Florida State University in 1975, an M.S. in Communication from Illinois State University in 1972, and a B.A. in Communication from University of Illinois, Chicago in 1969. He has been teaching at San Diego State University since 1981 and earned Professor Emeritus status in 2010. Dr. Andersen teaches classes at SDSU only in the fall semesters, and will retire in December, 2014.

His primary areas of research and teaching include nonverbal communication, relational communication, interpersonal communication, and health communication. He is an avid long distance runner, skier, kayaker, football fan, and wine collector.

He is author of over 150 book chapters and journal articles. His books include The Handbook of Communication and Emotion (1998, coeditied with Laura Guerrero), Nonverbal Communication: Forms and Functions (1999, 2008), The Complete Idiots' Guide to Body Language, 2004, and Close Encounters: Communication in Relationships (2000, 2007) coauthored with Laura Guerrero and Walid Afifi). He was president of the Western Communication Association and Editor of the Western Journal of Communication. He is a coinvestigator on a number of major grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control. [Back to top]

Dr. Wayne Beach

Dr._BeachDr. Wayne Beach is Professor in the School of Communication at SDSU, Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery, and Member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego. His research and teaching focus on the convergence of conversational and institutional interactions. He has pioneered diverse studies focusing on the social organization of verbal and embodied features of everyday talk and action. A particular concern with health and illness has given rise to long-term investigations of how family members talk through cancer on the telephone, medical interviewing in primary, preventive, and oncological care, and related illness dilemmas (e.g., bulimia, obesity, chest pain, cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis).

He is the author of more than 80 articles and chapters, as well as Conversations about Illness (1996) and A Natural History of Family Cancer (2009), which received two prestigious book awards from the National Communication Association: The 2010-2011 Outstanding Book Award (Health Communication Division) and the Outstanding Scholarship Award (Language & Social Interaction Division). He also edited the first Handbook of Patient-Provider Interactions (2013) – a compilation of over 50 seminal studies advancing understandings of communication during medical interviews and related clinical encounters. Other recent awards include the Translational Entertainment and Education Award from George Mason University, SDSU’s President’s Leadership Fund and Dean’s Excellence Awards, and SDSU’s Faculty ‘Monty’ and Professor of the Year Awards for Outstanding Research & Teaching Contributions.

External funding for Dr. Beach’s research has been awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and several philanthropic foundations in San Diego. His current funded work examines how patients make available and oncologists respond to hopes, fears, and uncertainties about cancer. He is also collaborating with theatre professionals in a production – When Cancer Calls… – funded by NCI and adapted from actual family phone calls examined in A Natural History of Family Cancer, documenting how family members communicate about and manage cancer on the telephone. A national documentary film is also being produced, in collaboration with the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, on communication, compassion, and cancer care (in clinics and homes) throughout cancer journeys.
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Dr. Kathleen Czech

Dr._CzechDr. Czech has two degrees in Communication, a BS from Norther Arizona University and an MA from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has a doctoral degree in Leadership specializing in higher education administration from the University of San Diego. Her major area of research is in organizational communication. She has several peer reviewed studies published in defensive vs. supportive communication in organizations. She also teaches interpersonal, leadership, and intercultural communication among many other courses. She has been a full time professor of communication at Point Loma Nazarene University. She has an immense passion for teaching and has been selected as a teaching mentor for PLNU. She enjoys traveling and has been to over 25 different countries and feels most at home when she is somewhere else.
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Dr. George N. Dionisopoulos

Dr._DionisopoulosGeorge Dionisopoulos is Professor of Communication at SDSU. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Speech Communication from San Diego State University. In 1984 he was awarded his Ph. D. in Communication from Purdue University. After a year at Rutgers University, he joined the faculty in the School of Communication at San Diego State. His areas of research and teaching include argument theory, public argument, media criticism, persuasion, and political communication. He lives in San Diego with his wife and three children and in his spare time he bicycles and scuba dives.
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Dr. Lisa Gates

Dr._GatesDr. Lisa Gates is a part-time lecturer at SDSU. Her Ph.D. in Communication was earned at USC. She is published in the fields of organizational and health communication and is a passionate, award-winning educator and key note speaker obsessed with helping students achieve their unrealized potential. With extensive experience in the college classroom, academic administration and management consulting, her passion is found working with students to develop their communication and leadership competencies so they can attain the relationships, careers and lives they envision. The primary courses she has taught include: Communicating Leadership, Qualitative Research Methods, Business and Professional Communication, Advanced Public Speaking, Organizational Communication and Relational Communication, and she is currently teaching much of this same course content at UC San Diego. At SDSU, Dr. Gates teaches COMM 485: Leadership & Communication.
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Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin

Dr._Geist-MartinDr. Geist-Martin is Professor of Communication at SDSU. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from Purdue University in 1985 and has taught at SDSU since 1990. She teaches organizational communication, health communication, ethnographic research methods, and gender & organizational communication.

Her research interests focus on narrative and negotiating identity, ideology, & control in organizations, particularly in health and illness.

She is author of four books including the forthcoming Communicating Health, co-edited with Jill Yamasaki and Barbara Sharf (2015), Communicating Health: Personal, Political, and Cultural Complexities, co-authored with Eileen Berlin Ray and Barbara Sharf (2004), Courage of Conviction: Women's Words, Women's Wisdom, co-edited with Linda A. M. Perry (1997), and Negotiating the Crisis: DRGs and the Transformation of Hospitals coauthored with Monica Hardesty) published in 1992. Dr. Geist-Martin has published over 65 articles and book chapters covering a wide range of topics focusing on narrative and identity in our personal and professional lives. She has conducted research on holistic and integrative medicine in Hawaii, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and in San Diego. In 2011, she was awarded NCA's Francine Merritt Award for outstanding contributions to the lives of women in communication.

When she is not researching, teaching, and writing, Dr. Geist-Martin if off into the wilderness hiking, running, biking, camping, and exploring with her husband J.C. and their daughter Makenna.
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Dr. Charles Goehring

Dr._GoehringDr. Goehring is Assistant Professor of Communication at SDSU. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa in 2008, his M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University in 2003, and his B.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 1993. He joined the School of Communication as a lecturer in 2007 and began as an assistant professor in 2014. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses. His research areas include rhetorical theory and criticism, visual rhetoric, social movements, and feminist criticism.
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Dr. Susan Hellweg

Dr._HellwegDr. Susan Hellweg is Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication. After teaching at San Diego State University for 30 years, she retired from full-time teaching responsibilities in the Spring of 2014. Her research and teaching areas include organizational communication, political communication, and instructional communication. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California in 1977; her master’s degree in Behavioral Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1974; and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972.

Dr. Hellweg has approximately 40 publications and 80 scholarly convention papers to her credit and has served in a number of official capacities in scholarly associations. She has directed approximately 50 master’s theses in the School. She retired as a Commander from the U. S. Naval Reserve as a Public Affairs Officer in 1997. Her outside interests include travel, photography, and spectator sports.
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Dr. Susan Jarboe

Dr. Susan Jarboe (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1986) is a part-time lecturer in the School of Communication at SDSU and a native San Diegan, attending the Francis W. Parker School and Hilltop High School, where she was on the speech team, her first introduction to the field of communication. She selected speech communication as her major at the University of Washington during the height of the free speech movement, because “we talk about important things in communication classes.” She chose a career in higher education for the same reason: to discuss interesting ideas with intelligent people. She received a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and has taught at Cal State Fresno and at Penn State’s University Park campus as well as at several smaller colleges. On her return to San Diego ten years ago she began teaching at SDSU and Grossmont College. Although her dissertation was on group discussion, she is also interested in interpersonal communication, language philosophy, feminist theory, and critical studies.

She reads voraciously in a wide range of areas, from murder mysteries to science fiction, from history to theology. She enjoys film and theater. Her musical tastes are eclectic including opera, classical, chant, and taizè. She still listens to classic rock and is delighted when she sees a student wearing a T-shirt of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, or (best of all) Pink Floyd. She engages in regular meditative practice and reads aloud to the visually impaired.
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Mr. Daniel Iberri-Shea

Danny Iberri-Shea is the Director of Forensics at San Diego State University (SDSU), where he also serves as a lecturer in the School of Communication. His research interests include: environmental rhetoric, critical communication theory, postmodernism/post-structuralism, the philosophy of language, studies in technology and technocracy, and “military speak.” As a collegiate debater, Danny was ranked 5th and 9th in the U.S., by national debate ranking systems during his last two years of collegiate competition, taking 2nd place in the U.S. at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) National Championship tournament his senior year. As a coach, before coming to SDSU, Danny has successfully taught and coached argumentation, debate, and communication courses for Northern Arizona University, the United States Air Force Academy, and the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in Estonia, Italy, and the Czech Republic. His coaching successes include coaching the World Champion Karl Popper Debate Team in Estonia, two of the most highly ranked all female debate partnerships in parliamentary debate, and consistent qualification of teams to the NPTE. Danny enjoys teaching people how to challenge hegemonic ideologies and apply critical communication theory to rhetorical situations, in order to expose lurking injustices. In his free time, Danny spends his time with his wife and two children. More than any other activity, Danny likes to spend his time fishing for a variety of species. Danny has a black belt in judo, and uses his orientation to martial arts to teach debate and rhetorical theory. Danny is a citizen of Ireland and the United States.
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Dr. Kathy LaMaster

Dr._LaMasterKathy LaMaster earned her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Physical Education Pedagogy. Additionally, she holds a M.S. in Physical Education and a B.S. in Medical Technology. She joined the faculty at San Diego State University in 1996 as an assistant professor. Dr. LaMaster is a published author in the topics of physical education, technology, collaboration, and inclusion. Her specific area of interest is educational technology; she was among the first professors to use handheld computers in the classroom and was an early adopter of technology to advance the understanding of the physical condition. She is an internationally recognized author with numerous referred publications, book chapters and presentations. Dr. LaMaster served as the Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts from May 2005 - September 2013.

Since October 2013 she has served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. In this capacity she is responsible for Academic Affairs’ $141M budget including the $78M faculty budget. She provides leadership, problem solving and the management of academic resources to advance Academic Affairs and the University’s vision and goals. She is responsible for the general allocation of Academic Affairs facilities and space, including new and vacated space. She oversees Instructional Technology Services and has general responsibility for Academic Affairs Information Technology security. She is a member of the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, the University’s Academic Program Review Panel, the Senate’s Academic Resources and Planning Committee and the Campus Fee Advisory Committee.
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Dr. Carmen Lee

Dr._Carmen_LeeCarmen M. Lee (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007) joined the School of Communication in the fall of 2008. Her research focuses on factors that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of interpersonal and intergroup (intercultural/interethnic) relationships. More specifically, her intercultural/interethnic program of research focuses, for the most part, on intercultural/interethnic attraction. Currently she is examining intercultural communication exchanges and identity shifts that occur when individuals travel to other countries. Her study of interpersonal communication has been directed toward examining the “dark side of communication.” She has examined issues of communicative aggression/psychological abuse and sexual coercion, and is currently assessing the ways casual sexual relationships differ in order to develop a theoretically-based continuum for understanding casual relationships.

Dr. Lee has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on intercultural and interpersonal relationships. Her publications have appears in journals such as Human Communication Research, International Journal of Intercultural Relationships, Howard Journal of Communications, Communication Research Reports, and edited books such as Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication (edited by William B. Gudykunst) and The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication (edited by Brian H. Spitzberg and William R. Cupach). She has received multiple “top paper” awards for her research from the Western States Communication Association, National Communication Association, and International Communication Association. Moreover, her research (with Dr. Stacy Smith, USC) has been written up in popular press (The Huffington Post)

Dr. Carmen Lee teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in intercultural communication and quantitative research methods in the School of Communication. She also serves as the faculty advisor for various student organizations at San Diego State University.
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Dr. Kurt Lindemann

Dr. LindemannDr. Lindemann earned his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2006. After earning a B.A. in Communication and Theatre Arts and Written Communication from Eastern Michigan University, he received an M.S. in Communication from Illinois State University in 1995 and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University in 1997. He has been teaching at SDSU since 2006. Kurt serves as the Director of Graduate Studies. He is also Director of the Center for the Study of Media and Performance, an interdisciplinary center housed at SDSU focused on the critical inquiry of live art and screen culture. His teaching interests include performance studies, ethnography, critical theory, and organizational communication.

His work primarily examines communicative performances of identity in organizational and mediated contexts. Most recently, his research has been focused on men’s narratives of grief. In addition to publishing articles on this topic, he has adapted for the stage and performed his research in numerous performance venues. His work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, books, and popular press magazines, including Qualitative Inquiry, Text and Performance Quarterly, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Journal of Communication, and Rebel Magazine. Please visit
Dr. Lindeman's personal web page.
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Mr. Michael McHan

Mr._Michael_McHanMichael J. McHan is a lecturer and undergraduate advisor in the School of Communication at SDSU. He earned his M.A. and B.A. degrees in Communication from San Diego State University and is currently working toward his Doctorate in Education Leadership.

Michael’s areas of interest include Public Speaking, Intercultural, Organizational, and teaching Communication Competence through meditation and mindfulness. He has been meditating and practicing yoga avidly for nearly ten years and passionately believes, through reflexivity and intra/interpersonal attunement, high levels of Communication Competence and an increased quality of life may be achieved.

In his spare time Michael runs his own Health and Fitness business, McHan Fitness. Playing competitive basketball and working out in the gym, or outdoors, is a daily activity for him. Additionally, he is a lover of traveling and has been to nearly 30 countries all over the world, including participating in two study abroad programs with the School of Communication at SDSU.

Ultimately, Michael’s mission in life is to inspire and positively influence as many people as possible. He has learned the most powerful and effective tool to accomplish this, is Communication.
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Dr. Meghan Moran

Dr._MoranDr. Moran is an Assistant Professor of Communication at SDSU. She earned her Ph.D. and her M.A. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, and her B.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the San Diego State faculty in 2011 after serving as a Post Doctoral Fellow and Research Assistant at USC's Department of Communication and Department of Preventive Medicine.

Her research uses health communication to understand and reduce cancer-related health disparities, focusing specifically on tobacco control and prevention and the development and evaluation of health promotion campaigns and interventions designed to eliminate health disparities. She is particularly interested in approaches that allow us to expand out from individual-level effects to understand and use health communication to promote change at meso- and macro-levels as well. She uses a wide variety of methods in her research, including large scale surveys, experiments, content analysis and focus groups. She teaches several courses in health communication, as well as persuasion theory/social influence and quantitative research methods.
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Dr. Perry Pauley

Dr._PauleyPerry M. Pauley (Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2009) is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at San Diego State University. Dr. Pauley joined the faculty at SDSU in 2011. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of interpersonal, nonverbal, relational, and health communication. Dr. Pauley also oversees the Communication Sciences Research Laboratory on campus.

Dr. Pauley’s research interests focus broadly on the interplay of physical and relational health. To date, most of his research has focused on the role that supportive and affectionate relationships play in helping individuals manage psychophysiological reactions to stress. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen articles and his work appears in Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, Health Communication, and the Western Journal of Communication.
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Mr. Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp is a full-time lecturer in the School of Communication at SDSU. He earned his M.A. and B.A. degrees in Communication from San Diego State University. He has been teaching in the School of Communication since 2001. Michael serves as Director of the COMM 103 Course.

His areas of interest center on Interviewing, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Skills, and Communication Competence. Michael also serves as a Consultant/Independent Contractor to various Consulting groups and organizations around San Diego County.
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Dr. William B. Snavely

Dr._SnavelyDr. Snavely is Professor of Communication and Director of the School of Communication at SDSU. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1977, his M.S. in Communication from West Virginia University in 1974, and his B.A. degree in Speech Communication at Illinois State University in 1973.

After three years teaching in the Communication Department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (1977-1980), Bill accepted a position in the Management Department at Miami. In addition to teaching courses in organizational behavior, leadership, and managerial communication, he served as chair of the Management Department and later as Associate Dean of the Farmer School of Business at Miami. He joined the faculty at SDSU and became Director of the School of Communication in the fall of 2007.

His areas of research focus have included social style theory, communication competence, Russian business culture, and job stress. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Communication Monographs, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Business Horizons, and Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. His teaching interests include leadership, organizational communication, intercultural communication, organizational behavior, and communication skills in business. Bill lives in Santee, California with his wife, Dr. Kay Snavely. They have two grown children who live in Southern California. Bill enjoys travel, wine tasting, golf, and games of many kinds.

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Dr. Brian H. Spitzberg

Dr._SpitzbergBrian H. Spitzberg is Senate Distinguished Professor of Communication at SDSU, and earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington (1978), and his M.A. (1980) and Ph.D. (1981) in Communication Arts & Sciences at the University of Southern California. He is the 2012 “Alumni Achievement” honoree for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU, the 2011 honoree of the National Communication Association Larry Kibler Memorial Award, and the 2009 honoree of the Western States Communication Association Scholar Award for lifetime contribution to the discipline and association. He is author or coauthor of over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, and has coauthored or co-edited several scholarly books on communication competence, conflict, aggression, stalking, and the dark side of communication. [Back to top]

Dr. Luke Winslow

Dr._WinslowLuke Winslow is an Assistant Professor of Communication at SDSU, joining the faculty in Fall 2014. His teaching and research interests include contemporary rhetorical criticism, political communication, and rhetoric & social justice. He earned his PhD from The University of Texas at Austin and lives in San Diego with his wife Addie. [Back to top]