Dr. Cynthia (Paris) Burkhead

Cynthia (Paris) Burkhead Cynthia (Paris) Burkhead, Raytown High School, Class of 1975

Dr. Cynthia (Paris) Burkhead graduated from Raytown High in 1975. She received her Associate of Arts in English in 1993, Bachelor of Arts in English in 1994, Master of Arts in English and American Literature in 1997, and her Ph.D. in English from Middle Tennessee State University in 2010.

Dr. Burkhead believes rebooting her life at the age of 32 is her greatest accomplishment. It was at that point that she decided to re-envision her future, starting college as a single mother of two toddlers.In the past 25 years, Dr. Burkhead has published two monographs and two collected 

In the past 25 years, Dr. Burkhead has published two monographs and two collected essays, earned her Ph.D., and is currently the English Department Chair of the largest academic department at the University of North Alabama. Her specialized experiences include serving as the Assistant Editor in 1996 for Sou‘wester Magazine and the Poetry Editor in 1997.  She was the Faculty Editor for Muse Literary Magazine in 2000. She is the author of Dreams in American Television Narratives: from Dallas to Buffy and Student Companion to John Steinbeck.  She is co-editor of Joss Whedon: Conversations and Grace Under Pressure: Uncovering Grey’s Anatomy.

She is the author of Dreams in American Television Narratives: from Dallas to Buffy and Student Companion to John Steinbeck. She is co-editor of Joss Whedon: Conversations and Grace Under Pressure: Uncovering Grey’s Anatomy.

Dr. Burkhead is the recipient of three University of North Alabama Service Awards.  In 2008, she was awarded the Academic Affairs Award for Outstanding Service followed by the University Outstanding Service Award in 2009.  She was the winner of No’Ala Magazine’s Renaissance Award for Education in 2010 and the W.T. McElheny Award for Service to the Student Government Association in 2013.

She was the President of Shoals for Humanity from 2012-2013 and the Vice-President/President Elect for Whedon Studies Association from 2014-2016.  Dr. Burkhead is a member of the Popular Culture Association and the Popular Culture of the South.  She is a published author and has presented numerous times across the United States and London.