Nicole Defenbaugh, Ph.D.
Dr. Nicole Defenbaugh earned her Ph.D. in performance of health, autoethnography, and ethnography of communication from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale before joining the faculty in 2007. Her research includes multi-methodological inquiries into the construction of illness identity. Dr. Defenbaugh's current research projects explore IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and the influence of gender discourse in chronic illness through a performative lens. She teaches classes across multiple tracks in the department including Gender, Health Communication, Interviewing, Interpersonal, Intercultural, and Public Speaking.
Prior to joining Bloomsburg University Dr. Defenbaugh taught for four years during her Ph.D. program at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, two years in Minnesota at Winona State University where she directed the forensics (speech) team, and two summer programs for the Junior Statesmen Association (JSA) at Yale University in 2002 and Stanford University in 2003. She has been involved in theatre since 1990 and five years ago began her journey analyzing the construction of illness through performance studies. In 2005 she wrote, co-directed, and performed a one-woman show entitled "It Takes Guts [Colon] Spelling with Dis-ease" about medicalese, alternative healing, and embodied language. She has performed the show—in its entirety or small vignettes—at medical hospitals and universities including Penn Island Symposium at Penn State Hershey Medical School. Her book on the construction of illness identity entitled Dirty Tale: A Narrative Journey of the IBD Body is due to be released in early 2011. She has won several awards for her work including the Ellis-Bochner Autoethnography and Personal Narrative Research Award and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Dissertation Award. She has published in the Journal of Health Communication, International Review of Qualitative Research, Qualitative Inquiry, and the Iowa Journal of Communication and has a forthcoming book chapter on commodity feminism and gender in HPV advertisements.
In addition to her scholarship Dr. Defenbaugh is an active member of the discipline, university, and department. She is a member of multiple NCA divisions as a paper review, committee member, and committee chair and recently finished another two-year term on the executive board for the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language & Gender. Dr. Defenbaugh is on the editorial board for Women & Language and an invited reviewer for Health Communication. Within the department she serves on multiple committees including Curriculum, Search & Screen (co-chair), Graduate Program, and Sabbatical. Since joining the department in 2007 she has advised Lambda Pi Eta (she currently co-advises with Dr. Heineman) and developed the university-wide Speakers Forum. At the university level Dr. Defenbaugh is on the Gender & Women's Studies board, mentor for the ACT 101 program and served on the Faculty & Professional Development Committee. In Fall 2010 she assisted with the Nursing Department's Health Assessment course in developing a Standardized Patient unit. She hopes to continue developing this unit for future nursing classes. In the surrounding committee Dr. Defenbaugh is involved with multiple healthcare systems and is currently a consultant and presenter for Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, PA), Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, PA), and the Well Arts Institute in Portland, OR where she trains medical students, residents, and doctors about the importance of effective provider-patient communication.