» Dr. Lisa Sparks
Professor, Foster and Mary McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences; Chair, Department of Communication Studies; Founding Director, Health and Strategic Communication Program

Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Health and Strategic Communication
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Health Sciences
Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of Communication Studies
School of Pharmacy
Dr. Lisa Sparks
Office Location:
Doti Hall 202A
Office Hours:
Fall 2014: Tue./Thu. 1-4 p.m. and by appointment
Phone:
(714) 997-6703
Email:
Education
University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Arts
University of Oklahoma, Master of Arts
University of Oklahoma, Ph.D. in Communications
Biography

Lisa Sparks (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1998) is Foster and Mary McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University in Orange, California where she serves as Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Sparks also serves as Full Member of the Chao Family/NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Irvine in the School of Medicine, Division of Population Sciences; and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health. 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.

Dr. Sparks is a highly regarded teacher-scholar whose published work spans more than 100 research articles and scholarly book chapters, and is the author and editor of more than ten books in the areas of communication, health, and aging with a distinct focus on intersections of provider-patient interaction and family decision-making as related to cancer communication science. Dr. Sparks has served as Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI on a number of research grants including the ASCO-Komen Improving Cancer Care Grant, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure (2011-2012): An intervention trial of text messaging to improve patient adherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy (with PI Neugut; Co-PI’s Hershman); California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Grant Award: Statewide Stigma and Discrimination Reduction: Partnering with Media and the Entertainment Industry (2011-2014); and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Grant Award: Hablamos juntos: Improving patient-provider communication for Latinos. In 2012, Dr. Sparks was cited as top ten prolific authors (tied for 7th) in Health Communication, 2012; (see Kim, J.N., Park, S.C., Yoo, S.W., & Shen, H. (2012). Mapping health communication scholarship: Breadth, depth, and agenda of published research in Health Communication. Health Communication, 25, 487-503.

Dr. Sparks’ research goal is to understand and create evidence based health messages that effectively change health behavior resulting in better health outcomes by applying social science theory and methods to the continuum of cancer care surrounding issues of health promotion, disease prevention, survivorship, and health disparities. Dr. Sparks’ research and teaching interests in intergroup (intergenerational, intercultural) communication and aging approaches merge with her research in health, risk, and crisis communication domains including provider-patient interaction, family caregiving, health information and decision-making, patient-centered communication, breaking bad news, health literacy, health organizations, interpersonal based public health campaigns, communicating about crises, and communicating relevant messages with vulnerable populations when information is uncertain during periods of health risk.

In addition, Dr. Sparks has served as a scientific consultant and advisor to the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, Educational Testing Service, Southwest Oncology Group, American Association of Cancer Research, Entertainment Industries Council and the United States House of Representatives at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She is a Founding Senior Scientific Research Fellow for the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), Burbank, CA/Reston, VA and a National Scientific Advisor for the Entertainment and Media Communication Institute, Center for Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention in partnership with the Sun Safety Alliance. Dr. Sparks is a former Cancer Communication Research Fellow for the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD and has served as an External Scientific Reviewer for NIH. Dr. Sparks’ recent books include Patient-Provider Interaction: A Global Health Communication Perspective  (Polity Press, 2010 with M. Villagran), Health Communication in the 21st Century (Blackwell, 2008 with K. B. Wright and H. D. O’Hair) 2nd edition (2013), Handbook of Communication and Cancer Care (Hampton Press, 2007 with H. D. O’Hair and G. L. Kreps), Cancer, Communication and Aging (Hampton Press, 2008 with H. D. O’Hair and G. L. Kreps), La Comunicación en el Cancer: Comunicación y apoyo emocional en el laberinto del cancer (Aresta, 2009 with M. Villagran). Dr. Sparks has served as Editor of Communication Research Reports; Guest Editor of Patient Education and Counseling, Health Communication and Communication Education and serves on several editorial boards including Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Communication Quarterly.

Dr. Sparks’ achievements, leadership qualities, and strong commitment to advance the intersections of Communication, Health, Aging and Cancer Communication Sciences are significant as evidenced by: a) the number of publications (over 100) most of which are peer-reviewed; b) the obtainment and consistent effort to obtain competitive peer-reviewed research grants and contracts; c) the recognition of her scientific stature; d) her collaborations with the top national and international scientists in communication and related scientific fields such as public health, medicine, and gerontology; e) her teaching and mentoring of numerous undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty; and f) her demonstrated leadership and administrative roles as Head/Director of the Health and Strategic Communication Graduate Program at Chapman University, Editor of Communication Research Reports, Guest Editor of Health Communication, Patient Education and Counseling, and Communication Education as well as her editorial service for a number of peer-reviewed journals and continued service on several executive boards and associations.

Check out Dr. Sparks’ invited TED talks on Health Risk Messages and Decision-Making at 2011 TEDxOrangeCoast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4JNyyuonko and "Why Health Communication Can Change (SAVE) Your Life" at 2013 TEDxChapmanU: http://youtu.be/1plLYlt9zPM.

List of Books

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Sparks, L., & Miller-Day, M. (2014). Methodological approaches to eliminating health disparities. In B. Whaley (Ed.) Research Methods in Health Communication: Principles and Application (pp. 318-336). New York and Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis.
Robertson, B., Sparks, L., & Gordon, A. (2014). Health care reform: Value differences between liberal and conservative candidates and voters. "AlieNation: The Divide and Conquer Election of 2012." Peter Lang.
Sparks, L., Hefner, V., & Rogeness, A. H. (in press/2014). The state of cancer care communication across the lifespan: The role of resilience, hope, and decision-making. T. Socha and G. Beck (Eds.) Communicating Hope and Resilience across the Lifespan. New York & Berlin, Peter Lang.
Bevan, J., Cummings, M., Engert, M., & Sparks, L. (in press/2014). The state of serial argument research: Taking a step back, and a look forward. In J. Samp (Ed.) Communicating Interpersonal Conflict in Close Relationships: Contexts, Challenges and Opportunities. New York and Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis/Routledge.
Bevan, J. L., Gomez, R., & Sparks, L. (2014). Disclosures about important life events on Facebook: Relationships with stress and quality of life. Computers in Human Behavior, 39, 246-253.
Burgers, C., Beukeboom, C., Sparks, L., & Diepeveen, V. (in press/2014). How (not) to inform patients about drug use: Use and effects of negations in patient information leaflets. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. DOI: 10.1002/pds.3679
Kee, K., Sparks, L., Struppa, D.C., Manucci, M., & Damiano, A. (2014). Innovation diffusion, social media, and the simplicial model of social aggregation: Computational simulation of cluster traversers for community health interventions. Health Communication.
Hefner, V., Dickson, F., Sparks, L., Badin, R., Gauss, J.B., Henderson, L.K.A., Hicks, A., Sidhom, D.A., Stewart, C.R., & Whitington, S.B (2014). You’re there for me but you don’t understand me: Effects of social support, sociocultural pressures, and feeling understood on women’s perceived body image. Journal of Health Psychology.
Sparks, L., Kee, K., & Struppa, D. C. (2014). Social aggregates in health contexts. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 4, (pp 1272-1274). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sparks, L. & Bevan, J. L. (2014). Distance caregiving. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 4, (pp 365-367). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sparks, L. (2014). Social identity and health: An intergroup approach. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 4, (pp 1287-1290). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Sparks, L. (2014). Family caregiving. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 4, (pp 488-490). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kreps, G. L., & Sparks, L. (in press/2014). Cancer communication. In G. A. Colditz & J. G. Golson (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society (2nd) (pp. xx-xx). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kreps, G. L., & Sparks, L. (in press/2014). National Cancer Institute. In G. A. Colditz & J. G. Golson (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society (2nd) (pp. xx-xx). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
2014, Teaching Professionals the Art of Health Communication http://www.latimes.com/brandpublishing/businessplus/chapmanu/la-ss-health-communication-20140402-dto,0,542181.story#axzz2yt04ivgF
2014, Creating a Healthy Dialogue Between Doctor and Patient http://www.latimes.com/brandpublishing/businessplus/chapmanu/la-ss-lisa-sparks-20140402-dto,0,2272893.story#ixzz2yt0TEq1Y
Bevan, J. L., Sparks, L., Ernst, J., Francies, J., & Santora, N. (2013). Information sources in relation to information quality, information-seeking, and uncertainty in the context of healthcare reform. In R. Ahmed & B. R. Bates (Eds.), Health Communication and Mass Media: Applying Research to Public Health Policy and Practice (pp. 19-34). Farnham, UK: Gower Publishers.
Sparks, L. (2013). Health communication and caregiving research, policy, and practice. Caregiving across the professions: A multi-disciplinary, coordinated perspective (pp. 131-175). Springer.
Wright, K. B., Sparks, L., & O’Hair, H. D. (2013). Health communication in the 21st century (2nd). Oxford, England: Blackwell.
Kreps, G. L., Kim, P., Sparks, L., Neuhauser, L, Daugherty, C. G., Canzona, M. R., Kim, W., & Jun, J. (2013). Introducing the Global Advocacy Leadership Academy (GALA): Training health advocates around the world to champion the needs of health care consumers. In G. L. Kreps, & P. Dini, (Eds.), Global health 2012: The first international conference on global health challenges (pp. 97-100). Wilmington, DE: International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA).
Kreps, G.L., Kim, P., Sparks, L., Neuhauser, L., Daugherty, C.G., Canzona, M.R., Kim, W., & Jun, J. (2013). Promoting Effective Health Advocacy to Promote Global Health: The Case of the Global Advocacy Leadership Academy (GALA). International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences, 5(1 & 2), 66-78.
Kee, K., Mannucci, M., Sparks, L., & Struppa, D. C., (2013). Social groups, social media, and higher dimensional social structures: A simplicial model of social aggregation for computational communication research. Communication Quarterly, 61(1), 35-58. DOI: 10.1080/01463373.2012.719566
Bevan, J., & Sparks, L. (2013). The relationship between accurate and benevolently biased serial argument perceptions and individual negative health perceptions. Communication Research, (1-25). DOI: 10.1177/0093650212438391
2013, Preventing gun violence: More than a legal issue, it’s become a public health concern. Orange County Register, Chapman University Section (p.2) (April 30, 2013), Orange County, CA.
2013, "Why Health Communication Can Change (SAVE) Your Life" TEDxChapmanU: http://youtu.be/1plLYlt9zPM
Burgers, C., Buekeboom, C. J., & Sparks, L. (2012). How the doc should (not) talk: When negations influence psychosocial outcomes of doctor-patient interactions. Patient Education and Counseling, 89(2), 267-273 doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.08.008.
Rakovski, C., Sparks, L., Robinson, J. D., Kee, K., Bevan, J., & Agne, R. (2012). A regression-based study using jackknife replicates of HINTS III data: Predictors of the efficacy of health information seeking. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 5(3), 163-170.
Bevan, J., Vreeburg, S. K., Verdugo, S., & Sparks, L. (2012). Interpersonal conflict and health perception in long-distance caregiving relationships. Journal of Health Communication 1-15. DOI:10.1080/10810730.2011.650829.
Sparks, L., Bevan, J. & Rogers, K. (2012). An intergroup communication approach to understanding the function of compliance, outgroup typicality, and honest explanations in distant caregiving relationships from an intergroup approach: Validation of a health care communication scale. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 5, 12-22.
Kreps, G., Kim, P., & Sparks, L. (2012). Developing advocacy organizations to support the needs of people confronting cancer: The cancer advocacy leadership academy. Asia Pacific Journal of Communication.
Mirkiani Thompson, N., Bevan, J., & Sparks, L. (2011). Healthcare reform information-seeking: Relationships with uncertainty, undertainty discrepancy, and health self-efficacy. Journal of Communication in Health Care, 5, 56-66.
Bevan, J., Jupin, A., & Sparks, L. (2011). Information quality, uncertainty, and quality of care in long distance caregiving. Communication Research Reports, 28(2), 190-195. DOI: 10.1080/08824096.2011.566105
Bevan, J., & Sparks, L. (2011). Communication in the context of long-distance family caregiving. An integrated review and practical applications. Patient Education and Counseling, 85, 26-30.
Bevan, J., Rogers, K., Andrews, N., & Sparks, L. (2011). Topic avoidance and negative health perceptions in the distant caregiving context. Journal of Family Communication, 12(4), 300-314.
2011, “Health Risk Messages and Decision-Making” TEDxOrangeCoast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4JNyyuonko
Sparks, L., & Villagran, M. (2010). Patient and provider interaction: A global health communication perspective. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press.
Villagran, M. M., & Sparks, L. (2010). Social identity and health contexts. In H. Giles, S. Reid, & J. Harwood (Eds.), The dynamics of intergroup communication (pp. 235-248). New York & Berlin: Peter Lang.
Sparks, L. & Brougham, R. R. (2010). Health Literacy and older adults: Understanding motivational, cognitive, and emotional barriers. In R.R. Brougham (Ed.), New Directions in Aging Research: Health and Cognition. New York: NOVA Science Publishers.
Villagran, M. M., Weathers, M. Keefe, B., & Sparks, L. (2010). Medical providers as global warming and climate change health educators: A health literacy approach. Communication Education, 59(3), 312-327.
Kreps, G. L., Sparks, L. & Villagran, M. (Eds.) (2010). Communication education and health promotion. [Special Issue]. Communication Education, 59(3).
Kreps, G. L., Sparks, L. & Villagran, M. (Eds.) (2010). Editor’s introduction: Communication education and health promotion. Communication Education, 59(3), 215-219.
Joseph, R. M., Sparks, L., & Robinson, J. D. (2010). Diabetes, foot health education and amputation prevention. Health Communication, 25(6), 607-608.
Sparks, L., & Villagran, M. (2009). Talking Cancer. www.editorialaresta.com
Wanzer, M., Sparks, L., & Frymier, A. B. (2009). Humorous communication within the lives of older adults: The relationships among humor, coping efficacy, age, and life satisfaction. Health Communication, 24, 1-9.
Wright, K. B., Sparks, L., & O’Hair, H. D. (2008). Health communication in the 21st century. Oxford, England: Blackwell.
Sparks, L., & Villagran, M. (2008). La Comunicación en el Cancer: Comunicación y apoyo emocional en el laberinto del cancer. [English translation: Communication and emotional support in the cancer maze.] Madrid, Spain: Aresta.
Sparks, L. (2008). Family decision-making. In W. Donsbach (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 4, (pp. 1729-1733). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rowan, K. E., Kreps, G. L., Botan, C. H., Sparks, L., Samoilenko, S., & Bailey, C. (2008). Responding to terrorism: Risk communication, crisis communication, and the CAUSE model. In H. D. O’Hair, R. L. Heath, K. J. Ayotte, and G. R. Ledlow (Eds.), Terrorism: Communication and rhetorical perspectives. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
O’Hair, H. D., & Sparks, L. (2008). Relational agency during life-threatening illnesses. In K. B. Wright & S. D. Moore (Eds.), Applied health communication (pp. 271-289). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Pecchioni, L., Krieger, J. C., Sparks, L., Pitts, M., & Ota, H. (2008). Investigating cancer and ageing from a cultural perspective. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 239-257). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Sparks, L., O’Hair, H. D. & Kreps, G. L. (2008). Conceptualizing cancer communication and aging: New directions for research. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 1-14). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Sparks, L., & Harwood, J. (2008). Cancer, aging, and social identity: Development of an integrated model of social identity theory and health communication. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 77-95). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Sparks, L., & Turner, M. M. (2008). Cognitive and emotional processing of cancer messages and information seeking with older adults. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 17-45). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Egbert, N., Sparks, L., Kreps, G. L., & du Pré, A. (2008). Finding meaning in the journey: Methods of spiritual coping for aging cancer patients. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 277-292). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Harzold, B., & Sparks, L. (2008). When the parent has cancer: A life span developmental approach to adult child perceptions of communication competency, humor orientation, and relational satisfaction in the older adult parent-adult child relationship. In L. Sparks, H. D. O’Hair, & G. L. Kreps, (Eds.), Cancer communication and aging (pp. 215-235). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Sparks, L., O’Hair, H. D., & Kreps, G. L. (Eds.) (2008). Cancer, communication and aging. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Brougham, R.R., Sparks, L., & John, R., Ruby, C., & Goodman, E. (2008). Future time perspective, smoking behavior, and age. Gerontologist, 48, 14-15.
Kreps, G.L., Neuhauser, L., Sparks, L., & Villagran, M. (Eds.) (2008). Translational community-based health communication interventions to promote cancer prevention and control for vulnerable audiences [Special Issue] Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 315-350.
Kreps, G.L., Neuhauser, L., Sparks, L., Villagran, M. (2008). The power of community-based health communication interventions to promote cancer prevention and control for at-risk populations. Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 315-318.
Kreps, G. L., & Sparks, L. (2008). Meeting the health literacy needs of vulnerable populations. Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 328-332.
Sparks, L., & Nussbaum, J. F. (2008). Health literacy and cancer communication with older adults. Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 345-350.
Collins, D., Villagran, M. M., & Sparks, L. (2008). Crossing borders, crossing cultures: Barriers to cancer prevention and treatment along the U.S./Mexico border. Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 333-339.