Cristina Gilstrap, Ph.D.

Cristina Gilstrap, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Communication
Director of Speech Communication Center 

(417) 873-6917
Shewmaker 136
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Dr. Gilstrap teaches undergraduate courses in organizational communication, interpersonal communication theory, communication theory, and presentational speaking. Additionally, she teaches graduate courses in organizational communication, entrepreneurial communication, advanced organizational research, and research in nonprofit communication. She is currently the faculty advisor of the Speech Communication Center.

Her scholarly interests involve health communication, communication in nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurial communication issues. Her recent research has focused on the interpersonal and organizational experiences of volunteers, nurses, and families within the hospice context. She has published book chapters, articles in Health Communication, Communication Reports, Communication Monographs, The Forensic, and has presented several papers at the National Communication Association and American Academy on Communication in Healthcare conferences.

B.S., Southwest Missouri State University, 1994
M.A., Speech Communication, Southwest Missouri State University, 1994
Ph.D., Interpersonal/Organizational Communication, Purdue University, 2004

Drury University faculty member since 2003
Associate Professor since 2010

Representative Research and Publications:

Gilstrap, C. M., & White, Z. W. (in press). Interactional communication challenges in end-of-life care: Dialectical tensions and management strategies experienced by home hospice nurses. Health Communication.

Gilstrap, C. M., & White, Z. W. (2013). “Like nothing else I’ve ever experienced”: Examining the metaphors of residential hospice volunteers. In M. Kramer, L. Gossett, & L. Lewis (Eds.), Communication and the volunteer experience: Exploring the organizational dynamics of volunteering in multiple contexts. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Gilstrap, C. A., & Gilstrap, C. M. (2012). Ecopreneurial leaders and transformational leadership. In D. R. Gallagher (Ed.), Environmental leadership: A reference handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

White, Z. W., & Gilstrap, C. M. (2013, November). “Walking on hallowed ground”: A metaphorical analysis of home hospice nurses’ experiences with patients. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Washington, DC.

Gilstrap, C. M., & White, Z. W. (2012, October). Entering into home hospice nursing: Managing uncertainty with communication. Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, Providence, RI.

White, Z. M., & Gilstrap, C. M. (2011, November). An examination of how hospice volunteers voice motives and role to outsiders. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.

White, Z. M., & Gilstrap, C. M. (2010, Fall). Walking through the front door: The top 5 worries of first-time home hospice volunteers. Everyday Compassion: A Publication of Hospice Compassus, 2, pp. 16-18.


  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Drury University
  • Bruce Kendall Award for Excellence in Teaching, Purdue University
  • International Communication Association Outstanding Teaching Award