Get To Know New SOE Faculty: Eugene Geist, PhD

September 21, 2022

BATON ROUGE, LA - Eugene Geist, PhD has joined the LSU School of Education faculty as an Associate Professor. Get to know him!

Tell us about your professional journey and your current research interests. What do you hope to accomplish in your first years at LSU? 

I was a History major as an undergraduate and did not really consider working with young children as a career, but I got a job working at a local YMCA with summer day camps and afterschool childcare. I continued with the YMCA working with children after I graduated. So a few years later, I decided to get a Med in Early Childhood Education and loved it so much I just kept going. I got my Ph.D. at UAB in Alabama. During this time, I also taught Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade.  I worked for a few years at Northwestern Oklahoma State University but then moved back to my home state of Ohio where I worked for 24 years at Ohio University.  My research interests are 1) How children learn mathematics at a young age and 2) How music can be used to promote childrens learning and wellbeing. This latter interest is what brought me to LSU. My wife and collaborator, Kamile Geist, was asked to come to LSU and start their Music Therapy program.

You just started working at LSU after many years as a professor at Ohio University. What is your biggest takeaway about the difference?  What do you notice about the difference in school size, culture, and students?  

I would say the size is definitely a big difference between OU and LSU. Also, OU was in a very rural isolated part of Ohio and LSU is an urban campus which changes the character also. However, the biggest difference I see here at LSU is the great diversity of the student body.  My classes are filled with students from many different states, cultural backgrounds, and ethnic groups. Much more than at OU and I love it! The class discussions are very lively as students share their varied experiences.

You are newly relocated to Baton Rouge from Ohio. What has been your biggest surprise, and what has particularly intrigued you about living in this region so far? 

Coming from the north, the heat is what struck me at first, but as we get into Fall, things are much more pleasant. I am also a big foodie and I love the diversity of food in the markets! Small town Ohio limited our choices where food was concerned so I am overwhelmed by the plethora of choices of great food in Baton Rouge.