2013 Research Fellows

L to R: Lindsey Peterson, Kristina Hood, Kate McClellan, Rebecca Schewe, Nathan Rosenberg, Yasmiyn Irizarry, Colleen McKee, Rahel Mathews, and Nell Valentine

Dr. Lindsey Peterson

Dr. Lindsey Peterson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at MSU. She received her doctorate degree from Ohio State University. Her research interests include political sociology, stratification, foreign aid, health and gender. Her work has been published in the Journal of Conflict ResolutionSocial Forces and the International Journal of Sociology. Dr. Peterson has received research fellowships and grants from the Robert G. Kennedy Center for Philanthropy, Ohio State University’s Mershon Center for International Security and a Human Rights Research Grant from the Department of Sociology.

Dr. Kristina Hood

Dr. Kristina Hood earned her master’s degree in criminal justice, sociology and psychology and her doctorate in social psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Hood’s active research program focuses on preventive health behaviors and promoting positive health outcomes among people of color and underserved populations. More specifically, she studies attitude change and persuasion, psychosocial determinants of health behavior, health disparities, HIV prevention and sexual health promotion. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and published in the Journal of the National Medical Association and the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Dr. Kate McClellan

Dr. Kate McClellan received a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2010 and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at MSU. Her dissertation focused on the visual culture of marketplaces in Damascus, Syria. During her postgraduate work at the Division of Environment, Culture and Conservation at Chicago’s Field Museum, she conducted ethnographic fieldwork on climate change, environmental conservation and African American farming communities in the greater Chicago region. Dr. McClellan has been the recipient of the Rackham Humanities Research Fellowship as well as a Fulbright Islamic Civilization Grant.

Dr. Rebecca Schewe

Dr. Rebecca Schewe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology who specializes in rural and agricultural sociology. Dr. Schewe has extensive research experience studying rural communities and agricultural production, including research on rural community sustainability, environmental regulations, the international organic industry, how farmers make environmental and production decisions and climate change knowledge and mitigation strategies. Dr. Schewe has been the recipient of a Robert Caldwell Distinguished Graduate Fellowship and a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. She is currently a Co-Project Director on a $3 million USDA NIFA grant focused on reducing antibiotic use and improving milk quality on dairy farms.

Mr. Nathan Rosenberg

Mr. Nathan Rosenberg received his bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in 2005 and his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2012. He currently serves as the Mississippi Delta Fellow, a joint position with Harvard Law School and the Social Science Research Center. Mr. Rosenberg co-founded the Harvard Food Law Society and served as its first president. As a student attorney, he worked on a variety of issues relating to food systems, including school food procurement, food safety regulations and the relationship between property law and land loss among farmers in rural communities. His work currently focuses on public health and economic development in the Mississippi Delta with an emphasis on food and agriculture.

Dr. Yasmiyn Irizarry

Dr. Yasmiyn Irizarry obtained her doctorate in sociology from Indiana University and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at MSU. Dr. Irizarry spearheads the National Center for Education Statistics Secure Data Laboratory at the SSRC. Her research interests lie in the areas of sociology of education, race and ethnic relations and immigration. Her work has been funded by the Ford Foundation and the American Educational Research Association and published in Social Science Quarterly and the Archives of Sexual Behavior. In addition, she has received awards from the North Central Sociological Association and the Association of Black Sociologists, as well as honorable mentions from the National Science Foundation.

Ms. Colleen McKee

Ms. Colleen McKee began her association with SSRC as graduate student in 2008. Upon completion of her master’s degree in sociology, Ms. McKee became a research associate in 2009 and currently holds the position of Project Coordinator. She is an integral member of the Family & Children Research Unit, working on several grants and contracts pertaining to children’s health and well-being. The Robert Wood Johnson, Kellogg and Annie E. Casey Foundations have funded these grants and contracts. Ms. McKee currently serves as Research Coordinator for Mississippi KIDS COUNT and Principle Investigator for the Project Fit America Evaluation, which is sponsored by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

Ms. Rahel Mathews

Ms. Rahel Mathews, an epidemiologist and public health advocate, received her master’s degree in public health from Tulane University’s Department of International Health and Development and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She has researched a wide range of topics, including child health and child labor practices in India, HIV among women and children in Africa, diabetes among Asian immigrants to the United States and preterm births among minority teenage mothers. Most recently, Ms. Mathews has become an advocate for improving children’s oral health and preventing the rise of HIV in Mississippi. She currently provides evaluation services for two programs at the Mississippi Department of Health: the Office of STD/HIV and the Office of Oral Health.

Ms. Nell Valentine is a graduate of Mississippi State University and holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Since 2002, she has coordinated the Mississippi Youth Tobacco Survey, which provides the state with data needed to design, implement and evaluate comprehensive tobacco control programs. Nell is also Project Coordinator for the Mississippi Tobacco Data Unit and works with the Pathfinders program examining freshman retention at MSU. Ms. Valentine’s research has been published in numerous fact sheets and policy papers, as well as the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association, informing program and policy decisions about health risk behaviors, chronic disease and tobacco legislation in Mississippi.