Johnelle Sparks, Ph.D.

Title Associate Professor and Department Chair

Phone Number 210-458-3141


Room MNT 2.270

Department Demography;


My research interests largely focus on disparities or inequalities inherent in several population processes. A disparities-based theoretical framework guides all of my research, and the use of a diverse set of theories borrowing from a critical perspective to examine potential disparities based on race/ethnicity, income, place, and rural-urban residence has evolved within my different areas of scholarship. Substantively, I have examined disparities in three topical domains: (1) maternal and child health; (2) mortality and morbidity; and (3) early childhood and higher education.

Research Interests

Health Disparities; Maternal and Child Health; Biomarkers and Premature Aging; Segregation and Health Breastfeeding Duration and Initiation; Spatial Inequality; Latinos in Higher Education


Ph.D. 2006 Rural Sociology and Demography, The Pennsylvania State University

M.A. 2003 Sociology, University of Arkansas

M.A. 2003 Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia

B.A. 2001 Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas