Broadly speaking, my research is devoted to examining people’s daily lived experience with health, technology, and wellness beyond medical settings. In order to do so, I draw on interdisciplinary theory anchored by rhetoric, which allows me to ask questions about how discourse, health technologies, and practice mutually influence each other in the broader, often commercialized, landscape of health and society. The thread connecting all of my projects is one that centers users and lived experience through consideration of texts/discourse (broadly conceived), practices, and bodies and material objects.

Current projects include:

Employee Wellness Programs (EWPs) and Lived Experience with Food and Wellness

My dissertation project pulls threads of lived experience, health, and gamification together with food and eating habits in order to answer questions about the impact of an employee wellness program (EWP) on people’s lived experience with food and wellness. My findings suggest that while the EWP promotes a model of food as part of holistic wellness practices, it mobilizes a biomedical framework of food as medicine, or diet as a cure for weight-related illness. Further, my findings highlight ways the EWP facilitates and restricts access to wellness, both in economic terms (who can afford it) and in an embodied sense (whose bodies count). Overall, my dissertation research illuminates the ways that institutional discourse and technologies work together to shape ideas about health, bodies, and what it means to enact wellness in different spaces.

Selected Publications, Presentations, and Honors

Stambler, D. (Forthcoming). Eating data: The rhetoric of food, medicine, and technology in employee wellness programs. Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.

Stambler, D. (2020). “Eating right” and user experience with an employee wellness program. Proceedings of the 38th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. https://doi.org/10.1145/3380851.3418622

First Place Winner, Microsoft Student Research Competition, ACM Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC) Conference, for “‘Eating right’ and user experience with an employee wellness program.” (2020).

Stambler, D. (2020). What is “eating right” at work? User experience with an employee wellness program. Proceedings of the IEEE Professional Communication Society Conference. https://doi.org/10.1109/ProComm48883.2020.00025

Hayhoe Fellow Award for Best Graduate Student Paper, IEEE Professional Communication Society Conference, for “What is ‘eating right’ at work? User experience with an employee wellness program.” (2020).

Stambler, D. (2020, September). Creating patients through employment: Colliding identities within employee wellness programs. Paper presented at the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine Symposium: Online.

Dysphonia, Distress, and Perceived Control

This study includes an interdisciplinary team of faculty, research staff, graduate students, and undergraduates from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Writing Studies and the University of Minnesota Medical School. The team has worked together for the last year conducting usability and user experience research on an web-based health intervention module. As part of this work, our team has developed methodological insights that will extend existing conversations in the growing area of patient experience design (PXD).

Selected Publications

Kessler, M. M., Breuch, L. K., Stambler, D., Campeau, K., Riggins, L., Feddema, E., & Doornink, S. & Misono, S. (Forthcoming). User experience in health and medicine: Building methods for patient experience design in multidisciplinary collaborations. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.

Stambler, D., Feddema, E., Riggins, L., Campeau, K., Breuch, L. K., Kessler, M. M., & Misono, S. (Revised and Resubmitted, Under Review). REDCap delivery of a patient-facing online intervention: Usability study. Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Building Digital Literacy through Exploration and Curation of Emerging Technologies

As technical communication (TC) students are users and future designers of digital products, it is imperative to emphasize digital literacy in the TC classroom. In this project, I worked as part of a cross-institutional team of teacher-scholars developing and implementing pedagogical activities and assignments related to the Fabric of Digital Life repository as a means to foster digital literacy in the classroom. In particular, we have found that collaborative work through the use of Fabric creates room for metacognitive development and productive exchange of ideas about digital literacy.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Davis, K., Stambler, D., Veeramoothoo, S., Ranade, N., Hocutt, D., Tham, J., Misak, J., Duin, A., & Pedersen, I. (Accepted). Fostering student digital literacy through the Fabric of Digital Life. Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.

Duin, A. H., Pedersen, I., Caldwell, S., Stambler, D., Tham, J., & Davis, K. (2019). Collaborating internationally to build digital literacy learning through TPC instruction. Proceedings of the 2019 Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication Conference, 131-132.

Duin, A. H., Pedersen, I., Caldwell, S., Stambler, D., Tham, J., & Davis, K. (2019, October). Collaborating internationally to build digital literacy learning through TPC instruction. Project presented at the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication Conference: West Chester, PA.

Stambler, D., Baker, K., Begalka, E., Crockett, K., Elmes, S., Nguyen, K. L., Olson, E., Prue, K., Qamhiyeh, R., Robles-Quito, A., Touch, S., Wood, R., & Zhou, J. (2019). Wearables and carryables for everyday communication: Past, present, and future. Fabric of Digital Life. Retrieved from https://fabricofdigitallife.com/index.php/Browse/objects/facet/collection_facet/id/35

Ethos and the Making of Medical Knowledge: Recipe Practices in Premodern England

In this independent project, I examined recipe writing, curation, and circulation practices in premodern England, illuminating the ways household medical information was developed, collected, shared, and used. Using a content analysis methodology, I coded and analyzed twelve recipe manuscript collections from England dated between 1540 and 1860, together containing 2,931 handwritten medical recipes. Findings from the study have potential insights for how we define technical communication and for understanding how tactical technical communication and expertise operate in non-digital/non-internet spaces.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Stambler, D. (Accepted, Pending Minor Revisions). “An Excelent good Remedi”: Medical recipes as ethos-building tactical technical communication in early modern England. Technical Communication Quarterly.

Stambler, D. (2019, November). Ethos and trust in the making of medical knowledge: Household recipe practices in early modern England. Paper presented at Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference: Harrisonburg, VA.

Microbiome Translations

This collaborative project investigates public discourse about human microbiomes. Using five years of magazine articles from eight top health and fitness magazines, we are studying how the articles make claims about scientific microbiome research, how easily a reader might verify those claims, and how the translations of science to a popular audience might lead to perpetuation of health misinformation. Started in mid-2020, our research group aims to have an article manuscript completed during 2021.