November 2021 Chronicles

Published by Emile Creel on

New Projects

Lisa Long will serve as P.I. on the Early Childhood Leadership & Professional Advancement Institute project in partnership with the North Mississippi Education Consortium and the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at the University of Mississippi. The project will support the development and implementation of a system that promotes the growth of leaders in early care and education, and educational opportunities for early childhood professionals, by conducting research on early childhood education components and policy, designing training materials for early childhood stakeholders, and leading Project ECHO for Childcare Providers.


The SSRC was recently a part of a sixth-grade science experiment. Students at Partnership Middle School recently completed a physics unit where they explored Newton’s Laws of Motion. To culminate the unit, students worked in pairs to construct an apparatus that could protect an egg dropped from the 2nd-floor lobby at Partnership Middle School. Egg Drop winners from each class then visited the Social Science Research Center to test their apparatus from a higher elevation. Leading the student learning were Partnership science educators Charles Emplaincourt, Taylor Buchanan, Chris Rego, and Andrew Pylate along with Pamela Everitt, SOCSD Science Lead.

In the News

Heather Martin and the Mississippi Thrive! project were featured in the Bezos Family Foundation’s publication Chalkbeat. Read the story at .

Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program

Chuck Dawkins and Billy Brister of MASEP Operations attended the Mississippi Justice Court Clerks conference in Oxford, MS, November 17-18.


Tockie V. Hemphill, a project manager, has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. She will pursue research in Functional Foods and study under the tutelage of Dr. Wen-Hsing Cheng in Molecular Nutrition, Aging and Age-Related Disorders, and Obesity and Metabolism. Hemphill will continue her work at the SSRC with Mississippi Thrive, the GEER Project, as well as with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Programs.

Presentations & Conference Participation

Dr. Heather Hanna, Laure Bell, and Bradley Long attended and helped facilitate the State of the State on November 4, 2021. This event was hosted virtually by the Mississippi Forum for the Future, an early learning initiative convened by the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance, The Child Health & Development Project: Mississippi Thrive! and the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi. These three organizations serve as the extended backbone of the initiative and discussed how they are using a structured approach to break down silos and achieve meaningful, results-oriented collaboration across early-childhood sectors.

Dr. Connie Baird-Thomas, Dr. Heather Hanna, Dr. Gina Rico Mendez, Tockie Hemphill, Bradley Long, & Callie Poole attended the Mississippi State Department of Health Early Intervention Program Stakeholder Meeting on November 16, 2021. This meeting included an informational update of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) and opportunities for input on the new 5-Year SSIP.

Seitz, H., Gardner, A., & Pylate, L. (2021, November). Formative research to inform college health communication campaigns about COVID-19 prevention behaviors. Interactive research presentation/poster presented at the National Communication Association 107th Annual Convention, Seattle, WA.

Robertson, A., Dennis, M., Pankow, J., and Gardner, S. (2021, November). Recidivism Impact of Implementation Interventions to Improve Substance Use Service Delivery for Justice-Involved Youth. Presented at the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, IL.

Publications & Reports

Brenner, D., Price Azano, A., & Downey, J. (2021). Helping New Teachers Stay and Thrive in Rural Schools. Kappan Vol. 103, No. 4, pp. 14-18.,

King, E.M., Baird Thomas, C., Robertson, A., Smith, M., & Buys, D.R. (2012) Improving the function of a high obesity program: Findings from community-engaged Mississippi Delta focus groups. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (10:4).

Seitz, H. H. & Grady, J. (2021). Measuring veterinary client preferences for autonomy and information when making medical decisions for their pets. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Advance online publication.