Newport Beach, California
Dr. Sparks serves as Founding Dean and Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences in the School of Communication at Chapman University. Dr. Sparks previously served as Department Chair and Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Sparks has also served as Full Member of the Chao Family/NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining Chapman in 2006, Dr. Sparks occupied faculty positions at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is an internationally renowned teacher-scholar whose published work spans more than 150 research articles and book chapters and 12 books in the areas of health risk communication and aging and is cited as top ten most prolific authors in Health Communication. Dr. Sparks was competitively selected as an International Research Fellow at Vriet Universitiet Amsterdam; Cancer Communication Research Fellow for the National Cancer Institute and External Scientific Reviewer for NIH; Consultant for U. S. House of Representatives; Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI, and Consultant on various research grants; Editor, Guest Editor, and Reviewer of numerous academic journals and editorial boards. Her innovative research has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and TED. In terms of service to the community, Dr. Sparks serves as Trustee on the Orange County Board of Education, elected in 2018 to promote and advocate for quality public school choice options in K12 Orange County school districts. In 2019, Dr. Sparks made a bid to run for United States House of Representatives (CA-45) campaigning in a crowded field of 7 candidates, and unfortunately was defeated in the 2020 primary election. Dr. Sparks continues to be engaged in her local Orange County community with her involvement on several boards including: Board of Directors for the Laguna Playhouse; Susan G. Komen Foundation of Orange County; and Fairmont Schools (K12).