Skip to main content
Department ofCommunication

Laura Ellingson

Laura L. Ellingson

Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor

B.A. in English, University of Vermont, 1991

M.A. in Writing, University of New Hampshire, 1992

M.A. in Communication, Northern Illinois University, 1997

Ph.D. in Communication, University of South Florida, 2001

Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, University of South Florida, 2001

Laura L. Ellingson, Ph.D., is the Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. Narrative, feminist, and pragmatic perspectives guide her research on communication in healthcare delivery and in extended/chosen families. In addition to over 50 journal articles and chapters in edited collections, she is the author of six books, including an ethnographic study of communication in a geriatric oncology program (Communicating in the Clinic, 2005) and two co-authored books (with Dr. Patty Sotirin) on aunts, nieces, and nephews in extended and chosen families (Aunting, 2010) and of aunts’ representation in popular culture (Where the Aunts Are, 2013). Laura enlarges possibilities for methodological innovation through the development of a crystallization framework for qualitative research (Engaging Crystallization in Qualitative Research, 2009), articulation of embodied research strategies (Embodiment in Qualitative Research, 2017), and reimagining of data collection practices as lively data engagement (with Dr. Patty Sotirin; Making Data in Qualitative Research: Engagements, Ethics, and Entanglements, 2020). She teaches courses on qualitative methods, health and sexuality, and gender and communication.


Qualitative Methods (COMM 111)
Communication & Gender (COMM 115)
Gender, Health, & Sexuality (COMM 115G)
Body Politics (COMM 114)
Vocation & Gender (COMM 115V)

In the News

October 29, 2021

Laura Ellingson wrote an opinion piece about the stigma against academic jargon.

May 24, 2019

Laura Ellingson was a guest on NPR’s Defining Moments, discussing her recently published article about the long-term implications of cancer survivorship.