SPARKS CONTINUES TO FLY LONG AFTER GRADUATION
Jewell Sparks ’92 is a woman with many and varied interests. A pre-med double major in fine arts and cellular biology while at Haverford, Sparks has always held an appreciation for both the arts and sciences. “There has never been a time in my life when I haven’t been involved with both,” she says. It comes as no surprise then that she has found a way to incorporate both fields in her professional life. After spending several years in Japan working as a biologist, Sparks spent two years in New York City at a start up radiology conglomerate before moving to San Francisco in 1997 where she has lived for the past decade while working for Proctor and Gamble Healthcare. San Francisco is also the home of Sparks' own production and event servicing company, Sparkie Brown Productions (SBP), a venture she began four years ago as a way to satisfy her passion for the arts.
A multifaceted company whose services also include VIP hosting, SBP coordinates and promotes events for high profile clients in the Bay Area, though Sparks intends to globalize the operation. SBP is responsible for organizing the launches of magazines and openings of various new venues as well as working to encourage the burgeoning film industry within the city. In addition, Sparkie Brown Productions provides services for non profit organizations as a way to help strengthen the presence of arts in the area. Her company is committed to supporting the arts. “They are an incredibly important component of our society and one of my goals within SB is to help bridge the gap between the arts and the community."
Still, her commitment to healthcare is something she strongly emphasizes. “It has always been my first concern and I will be involved with it for the rest of my life.” Sparks originally envisioned herself as a cardiologist. However, during her four year stint in Japan following graduation, she realized that she didn’t necessarily have to practice medicine in order to touch people’s lives in the way she initially believed. She found great satisfaction in research and technology. “I believe it allows me to help more people,” she says. Here, Sparks fondly recalls Haverford faculty members Judith Owen and Jennifer Punt, whom she met in a lab during her senior year rotation at the University of Pennsylvania, as women who helped pave her path in life.
Sparks credits Haverford as an inspiring force across several aspects of her life. Having come from a small private high school in Kansas, she admits being both shocked and grateful for the vast mix of cultures she experienced while at Haverford. “I learned to get along with all different types of people. I’ve always been someone that can bring people together and I think Haverford’s environment really helped bring that out by exposing me to such a diverse group of people.” This natural ability to create a sense of community wherever she is has been the backing force of Sparkie Brown, an inspiration in her work with healthcare, and a skill she uses in her everyday life. “Life is all about connecting people, and I try to remember that in everything I do.”
—Kira Loretto '09