December 2021/January 2022 Chronicles

Published by Emile Creel on

New Projects

Dr. Angela Roberston and Dr. Sheena Gardner will serve as Principal Investigator and co-Principal Investigator, respectively, on “Research on Juvenile Court Intake Practices and Reoffending.” The goals of this research are to examine how juvenile justice practice regarding risk assessment, court intake processing, and case handling affect juvenile reoffending and to pilot test and evaluate the impact of new intake practices on reoffending. The project is funded by the National Institute of Justice. Read more at

Dr. Angela Robertson will serve as Principal Investigator for the “Evaluation of the Second Chance Act Re-Entry Program for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental health Disorders” grant. The project will work with the Department of Mental Health, Mississippi Department of Corrections, and the community mental health provider to collect data and provide evaluations throughout. The project is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the United States Department of Justice.

Dr. Connie Baird-Thomas will serve as Principal Investigator for “Outreach and Planning for Children’s Foundation of Mississippi.” This project will assist the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi in planning and outreach to community partners to identify primary challenges facing Mississippi’s children and then determine what is feasible to improve child well-being.

Awards & Appointments

Emile Creel and Bethany Deuel were awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Starkville-MSU chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for the 2021 Annual Report. Read the report at

Tockie V. Hemphill was appointed as Board Secretary with the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi (DCM). Founded in 2016, the DCM promotes lifestyle, culture, and environment change so that Mississippians become healthier.  For more information, visit the Coalition’s website at Ms. Hemphill is also contributing to DCM as a blog writer. See

In the News

Dr. Angela Robertson and Dr. Sheena Gardner’s new NIJ project was featured on the MSU news pageRead the story at

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi released a new brief on research activities that was highlighted on the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish’s website. Read the story at

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi took part in a virtual side event during the Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue. The event was highlighted on the MSU news page and by the Starkville Daily News. Read from the links below.

On the Horizon

In February, Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale will serve as a judge at the 19th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium, which will be held on February 26, 2022, at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Robert McMillen will be a keynote speaker at the EnrichMS Virtual Vaping Summit on February 24, 2022. Register for the event at

In March, Drs. Mary Read-Wahidi and Kathleen Ragsdale will co-lead a free workshop panel as part of the Virtual Workshop, Integrating Gender throughout the Project Life Cycle of Innovation Labs. Read-Wahidi and Ragsdale will present on their work with the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish. The workshop’s development is supported by the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab Community of Practice. You can register for the free workshop at:

Deleveaux, Jamiko and Cossman, Ronald E. “When the Students Don’t Get Counted: College Town 2020 Census.” February 2, 2022.  Applied Demography Conference (virtual meeting).

Cossman, Ronald E. February 10-11, 2022. “Undercounts in College Towns: Causes and Implications.” Mississippi Data Center annual meeting, Oxford, MS.

Cossman, Ronald E., and Deleveaux, Jamiko. “Where COVID-19 Contributed to Undercounts in College-Dominated Towns in the 2020 Census.” February 27, 2022. American Association of Geographers (virtual meeting).

Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory

Professional Challenges Facing Public School Teachers in Mississippi

On behalf of Mississippi First, the Survey Research Laboratory administered a web-based survey to 6,496 public-school teachers throughout the state of Mississippi. The purpose of this survey was to gain a better understanding of how to retain experienced public-school teachers and recruit new members to the profession. Results from this survey will drive policy recommendations for combating Mississippi’s critical teacher shortage. Preliminary findings from this project are available at the following URL:


Ania Issac and Makayla Smith have joined the SSRC as ADI-ORED Undergraduate Research Scholars for Spring 2022. They are being mentored by Drs. Mary Read-Wahidi and Kathleen Ragsdale and GRA Robert Kolbila of the SSRC Gender Impacts Lab. Issac and Smith are members of the inaugural launch of a new pilot initiative of the Office for Research and Economic Development (ORED) and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI). The ADI-ORED Undergraduate Research Scholar program is designed to engage undergraduate students in meaningful research experiences in centers through Mississippi State University. Originally from Illinois, Issac is a junior majoring in Psychology. Originally from Georgia, Smith is a junior majoring in Sociology.

Khristen J. Wilson joined the SSRC as a research associate in the Policy Research and Systems Change Lab this January. In the PRASC, her work focuses on social determinants of health and risk/protective factors that impact children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Presentations & Conference Participation

Long, L. and Long, B. (2022, January). Brain Building: Supporting Early Childhood Development. Presented virtually to the Mississippi Migrant Education Services Center.

Publications & Reports

Cleveland, M., Hanna, H. (2021). Adverse Childhood Experiences in Mississippi: Recommendations for a Brighter Future. Journal of the MS State Medical Association, 62(11/12), 279-283. Available at:

Hemphill, T.V. (2021, November). Establishing a Case for Funding Project ECHO through Policy Research [Brief]. Mississippi Thrive. Publication developed to present to Mississippi Legislatures to consider fund allocation for Early Child Care, Mental Health and Education.

Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Marinda, P., Pincus, L., Torell, E. & Kolbila, R. (Accepted). Adapting the WEAI to explore gender equity among fishers, processors, and sellers/traders at Zambia’s Lake Bangweulu. World Development. 

Ragsdale, K., & Read-Wahidi, M.R. & Torell, E. (2022, January). Post-Harvest Fish Loss Assessment for Small-Scale Fisheries (PHFLA): An Open-Access Customizable Tool. USAID, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish. Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 9 pp.

Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Zhou, Q.M., Clark, K., Asigbee, M., Tamimie, C. & Goldsmith, P. (Accepted). Can low-cost soybean input bundles assist smallscale women farmers out of subsistence livelihood traps? Evidence from Northern Ghana. Food Security.

Read-Wahidi, M.R., & Ragsdale, K. (2021, December). GRADA-FIL Results at a Glance: Fish Innovation Lab Gender-Responsive Research Activities. USAID, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish. Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 2 pp.                                                                     

Roberts, M.; Tolar-Peterson, T.; Reynolds, A.; Wall, C.; Reeder, N.; Rico Mendez, G. (2022). The Effects of Nutritional Interventions on the Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 14(3), 532.