Narketta Sparkman-Key, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives & Global Affairs
James Madison University
Dr. Sparkman-Key, better known as Dr. Key, has been drawn to helping others in innumerable capacities. This passion led her to pursuing her B.A. in Sociology, M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Ph.D. in Human Services. Her undeniable commitment to education is evidenced by over a decade of experience in academia. Dr. Key has effortlessly advanced in her professional pursuits and is now a full tenured professor in Learning Technology and Leadership Education and the Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Global Affairs at James Madison University (JMU). Her compelling aspiration to strategically promote diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; intentionally create inclusive cultures; and advocate for marginalized populations is evident in all she does at James Madison University. Her portfolio includes the Center for Global Engagement and Title IX Adjudication. Prior to her arrival at JMU, Dr. Key was a tenured Associate Professor of Counseling and Human Services and Academic Affairs Director of Faculty Diversity and Retention at Old Dominion University. Under her leadership, she leveraged existing resources and created new partnerships focused on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty. She also developed various initiatives for supporting underserved populations and ensuring an inclusive culture across departments. It is apparent that her passion for incessantly promoting an inclusive environment and working to support marginalized populations, as well as prioritizing anti-racist practices, shines in all that she does. Research is also a significant part of Dr. Key’s identity, focusing on addressing barriers to inclusive cultures; defining the professional identity of human services practitioners; and delineating practice with vulnerable populations. She incessantly believes in empowering and helping vulnerable populations, evidenced through her research, international work with pregnant teens, and efforts to support at-risk families. Throughout her professional journey, she has been afforded boundless opportunities to travel the world, develop and lead study aboard programs, and speak to diverse populations in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Canada, and Ireland. Dr. Key has had a very successful journey thus far, receiving countless awards and recognitions for her commendable work. Dr. Key will, without a doubt, continue to strive to make a difference in all that she does.