Lisa Sparks, Ph.D.


​​District 5 (2018-2022)

Serving Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Joaquin Hills, San Juan Capistrano, portions of Lake Forest and portions of Costa Mesa.

Biographical Information

Lisa Sparks, Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma, 1998). 

Founding Dean and McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences School of Communication
​Chapman University
One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866 
​​chapm​​an.edu 

Dr. Sparks serves as Founding Dean and Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences in the School of Communication with joint appointments in the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and School of Pharmacy at Chapman University and previously served as Department Chair and Director of Graduate Studies. She recently participated in Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) program in the Harvard Graduate School of Education to obtain post graduate leadership training certifications. 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; and has served in the following roles: 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. Dr. Sparks has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, ABC 7 News, KCAL 9 News, National Public Radio, Your World with Neil Cavuto-Fox News, Epoch Times-California Insider Show, and TED. 

In 2020, Dr. Sparks was awarded the Club for Growth Foundation Fellowship. Washington, D. C. The Club for Growth Foundation announced its inaugural Class of 2020 for its new Fellowship Program, which equips civic leaders to effectively explain the relationship between a free society, economic liberty, and limited government. Dr. Sparks serves her community 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. 

Dr. Sparks’ achievements, leadership qualities, and strong commitment to advance the intersections of health communication and aging in the cancer care context and making a positive impact in her community are significant as evidenced by: a) the number of publications (over 150) most of which are peer-reviewed, and 12 books; b) the obtainment and 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 undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty; and f) her demonstrated leadership, administrative, editorial, community service roles, and media appearances. 


Check out Dr. Sparks’ invited TED talks: 


Check out articles and clips featured in the media: