Dr. Elicka Peterson Sparks

Dr. Sparks received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is the author of the books, The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime and Intimate Partner Violence: Effective Procedure, Response and Policy (with co-author Kit Gruelle). Her research has appeared in criminological journals such as Theoretical CriminologyHomicide StudiesPunishment & SocietyThe Criminal Justice Law Review, and The Journal of Criminal Justice Education. She has also consulted for numerous news media outlets, and on several documentaries, including PBS’s Blind Spot: Murder by Women and HBO’s Private Violence. In addition, Dr. Peterson Sparks is the Honors Program Director in the Department of Government and Justice Studies, and has been inducted into the Arts & Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

Research Interests:

Victimology; the criminogenic impact of religion; domestic violence; and homicide

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate Courses:

Theories of Crime; Advanced Theory; Victimology

Recent Honors, Thesis, and MPA Capstone Supervision Topics:

  • Development of Prison Gangs
  • Women and the Law
  • Motive in Homicide Cases

Current Research Projects:

  • Female-perpetrated homicide
  • Internet prostitution in rural areas
  • religion and violence
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of Government and Justice Studies

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6169

Office address
352L Anne Belk Hall