Short Bio

Professor Glenn G. Sparks

Professor – Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue

     I hold a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Communication.  I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983.  In 1986, I came to Purdue and currently hold an appointment as a Full Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. I served for 12-years as the Associate Head. I teach courses on the theory and effects of mass media, children and television, and research methods. My publications focus on the effects of media and my undergraduate text (Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview) is in its 4th edition with Cengage Press. I am also a new coauthor on the upcoming 9th edition of Em Griffin’s text in communication theory (A First Look at Communication Theory, McGraw-Hill). I’ve been quoted by AP Press, NBC-TV, CNN, CBS-TV, NPR, Newsweek, Time, and a host of major national and international newspapers and been blessed with the chance to lecture in Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, and Ethiopia. I’m a collaborator with Dr. Will Miller on Refrigerator Rights: Our Crucial Need for Close Connection (Willow Press) and I have a particular interest in how electronic media are changing the cultural landscape, affecting interpersonal relationships, and having an impact on our overall health and quality of life.  In my spare time, I practice playing the theremin and I’ve posted (foolishly perhaps) several musical numbers on YouTube. I’ve also published a personal memoir, Rolling in Dough: Lessons I Learned in a Doughnut Shop (White River Press), that chronicles my family’s 20-year saga in running a popular franchise doughnut business. I have three grown children (David, 34, Erin, 31, and Jordan, 27), who all have earned or are earning graduate degrees.  My wife, Cheri (a Purdue Ph.D. in Social Psychology and a practicing Developmental Therapist with First Steps of Indiana} and I live in Lafayette.  Visit my web-page at

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