Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin

Headshot of Patricia Geist-Martin

Dr. 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 Storied health and illness: Communicating personal, cultural, and political complexities, co-edited with Jill Yamasaki and Barbara Sharf (2016), 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 is off into the wilderness hiking, running, biking, camping, sailing, kayaking, and exploring with her husband J.C. Their daughter, Makenna, is earning her M.S. in Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida.


  • Health Communication
  • Ethnographic Research Methods
  • Gendering Organizational Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Leadership and Communication

Key Publications:

  • Yamasaki, J., Geist-Martin, P., & Sharf, B. F. (Eds.). (2016). Storied health and illness: Communicating personal, cultural, and political complexities.Long Grove, IL: Waveland.
  • Tracy, S., & Geist-Martin, P. (2013). Organizing ethnography and qualitative approaches. In L. L. Putnam & D. K. Mumby (Eds.), The Sage handbook of organizational communication, 3rd ed. (pp. 245-269).  Newbury Park, CA:  Sage.
  • Sharf, B. F., Geist-Martin, P., Cosgriff-Hernandez, K. K., Moore, J. (2012). Trailblazing healthcare:  Institutionalizing and integrating complementary medicine. Patient Education and Counseling, 89, 434-438.
  • Sharf, B. F., Geist-Martin, P., & Moore, J.  (2012). Communicating healing in a third space:  Real and imagined forms of integrative medicine. In L. Harter, Imagining new normals: A narrative framework for health communication (pp. 125-147). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • Geist-Martin, P., Bollinger, B. J., Wiechert, K. N., Plump, B., & Sharf, B. F. (2015). Challenging integration: Clinicians’ perspectives of communicating collaboration in a center for integrative medicine. Health Communication


  • Outstanding Faculty Award, San Diego State University, 2012, 2010, 1997
  • Francine Merritt Award, National Communication Association, Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women in Communication, 2011
  • Outstanding Mentor in Master’s Education, Master’s Education Section, National Communication Association, 2008
  • Faculty Mentor, California Pre-Doctoral Program, 2008, 2009
  • Distinguished Teacher Award Western States Communication Association, 2016

View the Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin CV

Faculty Main Page