Humans tell stories to make sense of birthing and dying and everything in between. Defining Moments Podcast showcases stories about living well in the midst of inescapable illness, suffering, and hardship. Episodes feature an eclectic group of guests who share moments of uncertainty, innovation, and resilience. Host Dr. Lynn Harter draws on twenty years of experience in health contexts to spark conversations that move between personal anecdotes and societal health challenges. Each segment is accompanied by articles published in Health Communication and other online resources. Defining Moments Podcast disrupts the silence that too often surrounds vulnerability, and allows narrators and audiences to imagine new normals.
Legacy Leaving and Memoir Writing: Narrating the Life-Limiting Experience of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
How do you reframe a terminal disease as a life-limiting experience? In this episode of Defining Moments, guest host Dr. Erika Kirby speaks with Dr. Chad McBride and Dr. Kathy Miller on how they’ve been co-narrating Chad’s life in the wake of his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In raw and honest form, Chad reflects on the diagnosis and its impact. Together, Chad and Kathy describe their joint efforts of legacy leaving and memoir writing. Beyond clarifying these narrative endeavors, Chad and Kathy challenge listeners to cherish relationships lost and found. Dr. McBride and Dr. Kirby are Professors in the Department of Communication Studies at Creighton University. Dr. Miller is a retired academician who now writes fiction and nonfiction professionally.
You can read more about Dr. McBride’s ALS experiences in Psychology Today at:
Birthing Practices in the U.S. Across Time
Childbirth is a biological and cultural experience. Birthing practices and women’s experiences of childbirth are shaped by ever-shifting medical practices and societal values and preferences. On this episode of Defining Moments, Dr. Jackie Wolf talks about the intersections between her personal experiences with social birthing and her scholarly work on the history of birthing and breastfeeding practices in the U.S. Dr. Jackie Wolf is Professor in the Department of Social Medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
You can read Dr. Wolf’s article in Health Communication: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1719317
Communicating about Food Allergies: Moving Between Personal Stories and Public Advocacy
Managing food allergies is a communicative process. In this episode, Dr. Jennifer Bute reflects on her family’s personal experiences with food allergies, and how her personal experiences led her to become a public advocate. She discusses her work with Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), the largest private funder of food allergy research in the U.S. Dr. Bute is an Associate Professor of Communication at IUPUI.
You can read Dr. Bute’s work published in Health Communication at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1731779
Chicana Feminism and Border Studies: Reproductive Healthcare at the Mexico-U.S. Border
On this episode of Defining Moments Podcast, Guest Host Dr. Jill Yamasaki talks with Dr. Leandra Hernandez and Dr. Sarah De Los Santos-Upton on how they live out the values of Chicana Feminism in their work as health communication scholars and activists. Leandra and Sarah share reflections on their work on reproductive healthcare at the Mexico-U.S. Border. They challenge listeners to join with Latinx communication scholars and border studies scholars to translate research into practices that can work to change lives. Dr. Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Utah Valley University. Dr. Upton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Dr. Yamasaki is an Associate Professor in the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston.
You can read Drs. Hernandez and Upton’s work published in Health Communication at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1602819
Stares and Prayers: Rethinking Masculinity, Disability, and Spirituality
On this episode of Defining Moments Podcast, Guest Host Dr. Laura Ellingson talks with Dr. Leland Spencer about the vulnerability of storytelling and its emancipatory potential. Spencer challenges systemic barriers that limit opportunities for individuals based on gender and sexual identities, disabilities, and spirituality. The conversation offers a hopeful vision of inclusion and respect in settings that range from coffee shops to college classrooms. Dr. Spencer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies and affiliate faculty in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Miami University. Dr. Ellingson is the Patrick A. Donohoe Professor of Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies at Santa Clara University.
You can read Dr. Spencer’s work published in Health Communication at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1598617
Compassion Fatigue and Resilience in the Trauma-Filled World of Animal Rescue
Every year over 3 million dogs enter rescue shelters in the U.S. alone. Rescue organizations are short on resources and rely heavily on volunteers. On this episode of Defining Moments, Dr. Jill Yamasaki invites listeners into the trauma-filled world of animal rescue. She reflects on her own journey characterized by both compassion fatigue and resilience. Dr. Yamasaki is an Associate Professor in the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston.
You can read her story about compassion fatigue and resilience published in Health Communication at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2018.1545337
A necessity for all to hear
This podcast is a necessity for all to hear. Dr. Lynn Harter, Professor Bethany Johnson and Dr. Margaret Quinlan dive into Professor Johnson and Dr. Quinlan’s new book You’re Doing It Wrong in attempt to investigate the history of expertise in mothering and media. Through examining the common concerns that new mothers have, and analyzing how they have been answered in historical texts, and social media analysis as well as conducting in depth interviews with experts. Johnson and Quinlan have created a unique book, one that is not an advice or a parenting book, but rather a book which helps readers contextualize information they are given. In a society where anyone who has access to a computer and can appear confident with the advice they are giving, it can be hard for caregivers to understand what is helpful or harmful information. Johnson and Quinlan recognize their privilege via their cis gender, racial and socio-economic identity and work to include diverse experiences among those they interviewed, as well as learning how to bypass social media algorithms to access diverse information which allowed them to develop a book that relates to all who read it.
Amazing - Step Into My World
Amazing work by Lynn Harter and her team and guests. Thank you for sharing a viewpoint of my world. So thankful for you being a voice to those who cannot.
Phenomenal and Innovative
Defining moments is innovative and inspiring...moving stories across platforms and contexts.