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Geri Schmotzer

Contributing Faculty

College of Nursing

Degree Program B.S. Nursing (BSN)

Dr. Schmotzer received her undergraduate degree in dietetics from the University of Akron in 1986, a Masters of Public Health in health promotion with a minor in nutrition from Loma Linda University in 1988 and a Bachelor’s of Nursing Science degree from Pace University in 1992. She first worked as a staff nurse in the medical oncology unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital, then as a medical case manager for oncology patients for a manage care organization. She began her career as a research nurse at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA where she worked in women’s health. In 2001, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals invited Dr. Schmotzer to attend their faculty development program, the first nurse ever to do so. Dr. Schmotzer continued her career as a research nurse at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in reproductive endocrinology. During her tenure there, she became the principal investigator on a study whose primary aim was to determine the frequency of insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in Mexican women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) from Mexico City and PCOS patients of Mexican descent living in California.

In 2004, Dr. Schmotzer received a Master’s of Science degree in nursing from San Diego State University. She accepted a position at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as the program manager for the breast cancer clinical trials program. She was a member of the minority task force, a group whose main goal was to encourage minority participation in clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Schmotzer assisted with the education and career development of the clinical trial coordinators and interns. In 2006, Dr. Schmotzer entered the PhD program at the School of Nursing at UCSF and was awarded the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for 3 years. Her research examined the cervical cancer screening practices of U.S. and Foreign-born Latinas in California. During her tenure at UCSF, she received intramural funding to examine the health status of day laborers in San Francisco. Data from these interviews indicated the stress of seeking work daily put this population at increased risk for disease conditions associated with poor physical and mental health. She was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2009

Dr. Schmotzer has been teaching either at the institutional or university level since 1994. Dr. Schmotzer joined the NMSU faculty as an Assistant Professor in November 2009. She directed her students in developing community health education programs. She served on the cancer committee at Memorial Medical Center and the Bi-National Health Council for Columbus-Luna County-Palomas. Dr. Schmotzer joined Walden University’s School of Nursing in January, 2012. She taught courses in community health nursing and epidemiology. She currently serves on DNP committees as either the Chairperson, Committee Member, or URR in the nursing program.

Dr. Schmotzer returned to California in 2013. She worked as an adjunct professor for the University of San Francisco prior to her appointment as a tenure-track assistant professor at California State University, San Marcos.

Dr. Schmotzer is currently pursuing her interest in cancer control and health disparities in underserved populations and in the second victim nurses experience. She is a member of Sigma Thea Tau and the Western Institute of Nursing Research.

Courses Taught

NURS 8400 - Project Mentoring

NURS 4010 - Population Based Nursing

NURS 8310 - Epidemiology


PhD, University of California, San Francisco - San Francisco, CA United States

MSN, San Diego State University - San Diego, CA United States

MPH, Loma Linda University - Loma Linda, CA United States

BSN, Pace University - Pleasantville, NY

BS, University of Akron - Akron, OH United States

Public Service

Friends of the Fallbrook Library, Board of Directors - Fallbrook, CA United States

Awards / Honors

AACR Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2011


Schmotzer, G. (2012). Barriers and Facilitators to Participation of Minorities in Clinical Trials. Ethnicity & Disease.


Schmotzer, G. L. (2010). Disparities in cervical cancer screening among Latinas in California.