Why Communication Studies at SDSU?

Dr. Peter A. Andersen

Dr. AndersenDr. Andersen 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.

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. Beach earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of
Utah in 1981, his M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Montana in 1976, and his B.A. in Speech Communication from Drake University in 1973. He joined the communication faculty at San Diego State University in 1984, and is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, and Member of the Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego

His research and teaching focus on the convergence of a wide variety of conversational and institutional interactions, including how family members talk through cancer and the organization of medical interviewing Dr. Beach is an avid cyclist, runner, kayaker, skier, and mountaineer.

He is the author of over 60 articles and book chapters focusing on conversation analytic investigations of ordinary and institutional interactions. His books include A Natural History of Family Cancer: Interactional Resources for Managing Illness (2007), Handbook of Patient-Provider Interactions: Raising and Responding to Concerns about Life, Illness, and Disease (2008), and Conversations about Illness: Family Preoccupations with Bulimia (1996). Dr. Beach is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on a grant funded by the National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Health which examines how cancer patients raise and oncologists respond to uncertainties, fears, and hopes about cancer. Click here to see a feature story on his cancer research.  His work is also currently supported through several philanthropic foundations, and he was Principal Investigator of an American Cancer Society grant investigating family cancer phone calls. His research has been transformed into a theatrical production documenting how family members communicate about and manage cancer. Click here for a link to Dr. Beach's website. [Back to top]

Dr. George N. Dionisopoulos

Photo of Dr. DionisopoulosGeorge N. Dionisopoulos 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.
[Back to top]

Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin

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

She is author of three books including: 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 60 articles and book chapters covering a wide range of topics focusing on narrative and identity in our personal and professional lives. She has done research in in Hawaii, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and most recently in Costa Rica. In 2011, she was awarded NCA's Francine Merritt Award for outstanding contributions to the lives of women in communication.
[Back to top]


Dr. Susan Hellweg

Photo of 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 and currently is on the instructional staff in the spring semesters only.  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.  [Back to top]

Dr. Kathy LaMaster

Photo of 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 the author of over 25 refereed articles and book chapters and has presented over 50 papers on physical education. Her expertise is widely recognized and she is a Fellow in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) Research Consortium. Since May 2005, Dr. LaMaster has served as the Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. In this capacity she represents the Dean of the College as needed and assumes responsibility for the daily administration of this diverse College in the Dean's absence. As associate dean, Kathy is also engaged with faculty, staff and students. She serves as Chair for the University Academic and Resource Planning Committee, and serves on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee. [Back to top]


Dr. Carmen Lee

Photo of Dr. LeeDr. Lee earned her Ph.D. from the  University of California - Santa Barbara in 2007.  After teaching one year at Michigan State University, Dr. Lee joined the School of Communication in the fall of 2008.  She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in intercultural communication, relational communication and empirical reseach methods. Dr. Lee is an active researcher in the area of intercultural and relational communication.

[Back to top]

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 a M.S. in Communication from Illinois State University in 1995 and a M.A. in English Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University in 1997. He has been teaching at SDSU since 2006.

Dr. Lindemann's research examines communicative performances of identity in organizational and mediated contexts, with a specific focus on gender in sport. His teaching interests include organizational communication, ethnography, and performance studies. He currently directs SDSU's basic course, Oral Communication, for which he teaches large lecture courses, develops course curriculum, and trains the School of Communication's Graduate Teaching Associates. While he enjoys reading and writing immensely, he likes to take time to play the guitar, run on the beach with his dog, and indulge in San Diego's many fine wining and dining establishments.

His work has appeared in a variety of outlets, including Text and Performance Quarterly, Journal of Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, and the book Examining Identity in Sports Media. Click here to link to Dr. Lindeman's personal web page.
[Back to top]


Dr. Meghan Moran

Photo of MoranDr. Moran 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. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health communication, persuasion, and quantitative research methods.

Dr. Moran's scholarship has focused on health communication related to disease prevention and anti-smoking campaigns as well as other issues related to persuasion. Her work has appeared in such journals as Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Educational Gerontology, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Communication, and others. [Back to top]

Dr. Perry Pauley

Photo of PauleyDr. Pauley earned his Ph.D. from Arizona State University, and his M.A.and B.A. in Communication from the University of Arizona. Dr. Pauley joined the San Diego State faculty in 2011 after one year as an assistant professor at CSU-Fullerton. He teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in health communication, relational communication, and quantitative research methods.

Dr. Pauley is an active scholar with a research focus in affectionate communication, family communication, and health communication, in particular with respect to stress and alcohol abuse. His work has appeared in scholarly books and in respected journals such as Communication Monographs, Communication Studies, Sex Roles, and Human Communication Research. [Back to top]


Mr. Michael Rapp

Michael received his Masters and Bachelors in Communication from San Diego State University.  He has been teaching as a Lecturer in the School of Communication at SDSU since 2001.

His areas of interest, teaching, and research center on Interviewing, Public Speaking, and Communication Competence.  He has focused on Employment Interviewing and continues to research that area in order to present cutting edge and relevant information from finding job openings, writing cover letters and resumes, applying for careers, professionally presenting yourself in interviews, to negotiation and starting that new career.  He has reviewed thousand of resumes and has taught an Interviewing course nearly 40 times.  Michael also serves as a Consultant/Independent Contractor to various Consulting groups and organizations around San Diego County (Friegbergs.com, Civility Partners, MCRD, etc.). [Back to top]


Mr. Matthew Swanson

Matthew Swanson received his Masters degree in Communication from San Diego State University. He has been teaching as a Lecturer in the School of Communication at SDSU since 2012.

His areas of interest and teaching center on argumentation and debate, and he serves as parliamentary debate coach for the Aztec Forensics Team.

Dr. William B. Snavely

Photo of SnavelyDr. Snavely 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. There 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.

[Back to top]

Dr. Brian H. Spitzberg

Brian H. SpitzbergBrian Spitzberg attained his M.A. in 1980 and BA in 1978 at the University of Texas at Arlington, and earned his Ph.D. in Communication Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California in 1981. He has taught at San Diego State since 1989.

Promoted to Professor in 1995, as of 2010, he holds the title of Senate Distinguished Professor for recognition of teaching excellence. His areas of research include interpersonal communication skills, conflict, jealousy, infidelity, intimate violence, sexual coercion, and stalking. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of methodology, theory, conflict management, relational communication, and the dark side of communication. He is author or co-author of 3 scholarly books and over 100 scholarly articles and chapters, and co-editor of 3 scholarly books on the dark side of communication and relationships. Brian has been honored at the regional and national level, including the 2006: International Association of Relationship Research Book Award, and the 2011 National Communication Kibler Memorial Award, intended to recognize career dedication to excellence and commitment to the profession. [Back to top]