April 2021 Chronicles

Published by Emile Creel on


Applications are being accepted for the position of SSRC director, and the review process is ongoing. Find the application at https://bit.ly/SSRCdirectorapp.

Awards & Recognition

Dr. Holli Seitz was recognized with an Honors Faculty medallion at the Shackouls Honors College annual awards ceremony on April 24.

Dr. Holli Seitz, director of The Message Laboratory, received the 2021 Excellence in Research award from the MSU Department of Communication.

Georgiana Swan, an undergraduate research assistant, was named one of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration’s Outstanding Students of the Year.

New Projects

Project ECHO for Childcare Providers launched with twenty-seven people gathering for the first Zoom session. SSRC project members are Dr. Heather Hanna, Lisa Long, Dr. Sheena Gardner, Tiara Love, and Michelle Cleveland. Through a collaborative partnership between the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning and the SSRC, with support from a specialized team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC), the program follows the model of a larger series of Pediatric ECHOs offered by UMC Children’s of Mississippi in 2020 and 2021. Project ECHO is a global model used in healthcare to reduce health disparities in remote and under-served areas. This project is funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Response (GEER) program to improve the quality of care and education offered to very young children.
The entire group is made up of childcare providers, project team members, and specialists in child psychology, pediatric medicine, speech pathology, social work, and early childhood care and education. The project will respond to the impact of COVID-19-related social-emotional trauma by increasing childcare provider knowledge about social-emotional health and behavioral management techniques through seven monthly technical assistance sessions.

Dr. Gina Rico Mendez (SSRC) will serve as P.I. with Dr. Sheena Gardner (SSRC), Dr. Daniel Petrolia (Dpt. of Agricultural Economics), and Dr. Terezie Tolar-Peterson (Dpt. of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion) as Co-PIs on the project “Research and Learning from School Meal Projects in Africa”. An interdisciplinary team will conduct evidence-based research and learning activities to address critical questions about implementation of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. This project will address research questions in three areas (partnerships, economics of school meals, and educational outcomes of school meals) of interest for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in six African countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Rwanda, Senega, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania). Other MSU scientists include Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (SSRC), Dr. Will Davis (Dpt. of Agricultural Economics), and Ph.D. Candidate, Anna Grace Tribble. The project is funded by the USDA–Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS).

In the News

Dr. Colleen Sinclair’s talk at Simpson College was covered in an article in the Des Moines, Iowa, Business Record. Read the story at https://bit.ly/3uvEfLm. 

Dr. Robert McMillen was featured in the UMMC Cancer Control, Epidemiology & Disparities Research newsletter. Read the newsletter at https://bit.ly/3dWxzQR.


Tobi Lasisi, a graduate research assistant, is featured in this month’s spotlight story. Read about Tobi’s work at ssrc.msstate.edu/tobi-spotlight/.

Presentations & Conference Participation

Poole, C. & Anreddy, S. (2021, April). Mapping Mississippi’s Early Childhood Resources. Presented at Mississippi Programs of Hope Second Quarter Advisory Council Meeting.

Dr. Colleen Sinclair gave an invited talk to the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College. Dr. Sinclair’s lecture covered “How to Avoid Becoming a Misinformation Super Spreader.”

Publications & Reports

LeardMann, C. A., McMaster, H. S., Warner, S., Esquivel, A. P., Porter, B., Powell, T. M., Tu, X. M., Lee, W. W., Rull, R. P., & Hoge, C. W. (April, 2021). Comparison of posttraumatic stress disorder checklist instruments From Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition vs Fifth Edition in a large cohort of US military service members and veterans.  JAMA Network Open, 4(4), e218072. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.8072