Dr. Johnny V. Sparks is an associate professor of advertising and the associate department chair in the Department of Journalism. Sparks' research agenda focuses on the influence of strategic communication's content and structure on human emotion and cognition. He has published eight peer-reviewed research articles, which have appeared in leading communication journals including Communication Monographs and Communication Research, as well as six peer-reviewed abstracts in the journal Psychophysiology. He has additionally published a book chapter and presented 20 conference papers, including two top-papers in the International Communication Association's Information Systems division. His leadership and efforts in assessment were recognized with the CMU Provost's Assessment Incentive Award in 2012-13.
Since arriving at CMU in Fall 2012, Sparks has taught JRN 360: Principles of Advertising, JRN 466: Advertising Campaigns, JRN 365: Advertising Media, and JRN 397A: Sex, Violence, & the Media. Sparks currently advises CMU's American Advertising Federation student chapter in the National Student Advertising Competition.
Sparks previously served on the faculty at Texas Tech University and the University of Alabama (UA). At UA in 2009, the College of Communication and Information Science's Board of Visitors recognized Sparks with a Teaching Excellence Award. Additionally, the UA graduate school selected Sparks as a finalist in The Last Lecture Series (2009).
Sparks earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Indiana University in 2006. At IU, Sparks worked as a research fellow with the Kinsey Institute and as a research assistant with the Institute for Communication Research.