College of Communication > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Elissa Foster

Elissa Foster

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  • Professor
  • ​PhD (University of South Florida)
  • Communication Studies
  • (312) 362-8954
  • ​​​14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room M2 (First Floor Mezzanine)

Elissa Foster, PhD is a tenured Professor and Faculty Fellow of the DePaul Humanities Center (2022-2024), an award that supported the completion of her first novel. She investigates the relationship between communication and health, especially difficult conversations at the beginning and at the end of life and in clinical environments. She has published over thirty academic articles, a dozen book chapters and one book, Communicating at the End of Life (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007). She is invested in the preservation of the “whole person” in institutional contexts including academia. She believes that narrative inquiry is essential to her calling as a scholar, and that the greatest gift she give to her students is confidence in their ability to make a better world.

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Book Chapters

  • "My eyes cry without me: Illusions of choice and control in the transition to motherhood." In S. Hayden and L. O’Brien Hallstein (Eds.) Contemplating maternity: Discourses of Choice and Control (pp. 139-158). Lanham, MA: Lexington Press.
  • Foster, E. (2016). Communicating through challenging illness. In P. Geist-Martin, B. Sharf, & J. Yamasaki (eds.), Storied health and illness: Communicating personal, cultural, and political complexities (2nd ed.) (pp. 221-246). Waveland Press.
  • DuPré, A., & Foster, E. (2016). Transactional communication. In Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Ferrell, B., Goldsmith, J., Smith, T., Ragan, S., Glajchen, M., & Handzo, G. (Eds.), Textbook of palliative care communication (pp. 14 – 21). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Foster, E., & McGivern, J. (2014). A story we can live with: The role of the sonographer in the diagnosis of fetal demise. In R. Silverman & J. Baglia (Eds.), Communicating pregnancy loss: Narrative as a method for change (pp. 75-87). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Foster, E., & Cohen-Katz, J. (2011). Caring for the family: Teaching systems and cycles in a family medicine residency program. In M. Miller-Day (Ed.) Going through this together: Family communication, connection, and health transitions (pp. 323-348). New York: Peter Lang.



"Better Communication, Better Care" DePaul Distinctions.