SSRC Intern, Laura Ingouf presents research at spring symposium.

New Projects

Dr. Sheena Gardner will serve as P.I. for the Rankin County Youth Court’s juvenile drug treatment court enhancement grant. Dr. Gardner will be responsible for monitoring the project’s adherence to best practice standards, evaluate the effectiveness of the project, track participant outcomes and trends, and fidelity to evidence-based treatment models.

Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Summit 

The Child Health and Development Project: Mississippi Thrive! sponsored day one of the Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Summit at the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi on April 25th. The conference presented pediatricians and pediatric healthcare professionals, psychologists, social workers, teachers and community leaders with a program centered around the promotion of early childhood health and development. Guest speakers included: Dr. Laura Jana, Media Spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Author; Ms. Jeana Ross, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education; Dr. Julie Sweetland, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, FrameWorks Institute; and Ms. Marissa Kaiser, Program Officer, Bezos Family Foundation. The program also featured panel discussions and updates on the Mississippi Thrive! project and state-wide survey of parents of young children.  Mississippi Thrive! and Mississippi KIDS COUNT projects had booths to distribute materials to conference attendees. ​

Awards & Recognitions 

Rachel Booth, Fulbright.

Ciarra Smith, an undergraduate research assistant at the Social Science Research Center, was recently awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.  This award will help fund her doctoral studies.  Ciarra will be attending Northwestern University in Fall 2019, where she will pursue a PhD in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.  She is currently a senior biochemistry major at MSU and a recipient of the MSU Provost Scholarship.

Ismail Yigit, Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) of the Year Award – Doctoral Level – Received from Graduate Student Association and The Graduate School of Mississippi State University.

Marion T. Loftin Fund – Travel Award – Present a paper at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) 2019 Annual meeting and participate American Sociological Association 2019 Annual meeting, New York City, NY.

Andrew Tatch was one of twenty individuals selected from a competitive admission process to attend a short workshop ‘Exploring and Analyzing Monitoring the Future Data: A Primer’ hosted by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. The Monitoring the Future Project is a long-term epidemiologic and etiologic study of substance use among the nation’s youth and adults and also includes questions on subjects such as attitudes toward government, social institutions, race relations, changing gender roles, educational aspirations, occupational aims, and marital plans. The three-day workshop will introduce participants to public and restricted use cross sectional datasets and restricted use longitudinal panel data.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale served as an abstract reviewer for three programs for the 147th American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia on November 2-6, 2019. The three APHA programs include:

–     International Health Program

–     Maternal and Child Health Program

–     Public Health Education and Health Promotion Program

Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi served as an abstract reviewer for a program for the 147th American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia on November 2-6, 2019. The APHA program was the International Health Program


The Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP) conducted its second training session for Motivational Interviewing in Winona, Ms. on April 13th. The training was conducted by Dr. Blythe McCance and the assistant trainers were Dr. Raymond Richmond (Jackson class), Kim Martin (Greenville class), and Marsha Jones (Southaven class). Those in attendance were:

  • Shawn Word-Starkville and Columbus
  • Gloria Hamilton-Starkville
  • Kathy Jones-Grenada and Greenwood
  • Ricky Downs-Grenada
  • Cathy Roberts-Greenwood and Greenville
  • Bob Rowe-Cleveland
  • Wyatt Waddell-Philadelphia
  • Doug Stewart-Vicksburg
  • George Serio-Olive Branch
  • Ken Valentine-Tupelo A& B
  • Chuck Dawkins-Northern Field Staff Specialist

On The Horizon 

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale, Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi, Dr. Gina Rico Mendez, and Mawuli Asigbee MSc – the Agriculture Program Manager of with Catholic Relief Services/Ghana –are giving a webinar on May 2 hosted by the USAID Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) 2.0. More than 225 people from 39 countries registered for the webinar – which is a deliverable for the Gender Impacts team co-led by Dr. Ragsdale and Dr. Read-Wahidi. The webinar is titled, “Why Gender and Land Matter in Rural Ghana and the World: The Importance of Closing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Development.” Presentation details include:

  • Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Rico Méndez, G., Asigbee, M. (2019). Why Gender and Land Matter in Rural Ghana and the World: The Importance of Closing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Development. Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) 2.0 May 2, 10am CDT/3pm GMT, 2019.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (PI) will travel to Zambia in June to conduct “Assessing Facilitators and Barriers to Aquaculture and Fish Consumption in Zambia (Fish4Zambia),” which was awarded by the Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab (M. Lawrence, PI) through support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Fish4Zambia is a 12-month project that aims to increase the quality and quantity of fish benefitting nutrition and food security in Zambia, especially for women and children who are in the first critical 1,000 days of life.

Publications & Reports

Tatch, A.,Yigit, I. H., Brown, D., & Robertson, A. A. (2019). “Examining the Role of Race and Gender as Moderators of the Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Hazardous Alcohol Consumption among DUI Offenders” Forthcoming, Sociological Spectrum.

Presentations, Panels & Conferences

Dedeaux, F. & Seitz, H. (2019, April). Anti-vaccine persuasion strategies on YouTube: A comparison of HPV and MMR vaccine videos. Mississippi State University Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mississippi State, MS.

Guttmann, K. DeMauro, S., Seitz, H., & Flibotte, J. (2019, April). Moral distress in a level IV NICU. Poster presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies, Baltimore, MD.

Guttmann, K., DeMauro, S., Flibotte, J., & Seitz, H. (2019, April). A content analysis of parental perspectives on diagnosis and prognosis of NICU graduates with cerebral palsy. Oral presentation given at the Pediatric Academic Societies, Baltimore, MD.

McMillen, R., Gorzkowski, J., Wilson, K., Tanski, S., Klein, J. D., & Winickoff, J. P. (2019). Who uses pod-based e-cigarettes? Adult smokers trying to quit or nonsmoking young adults?Poster presented at the 2019 Pediatric Academic Societies Conference, Baltimore, MD.

McMillen R. (2019, April 26). Invited Speaker at the 2019 Mississippi Thrive! Child Health and Development Summit, Vaping Update.

Walker, B. H., & Brown, D. C. (2019, April). The Shifting Importance of Physical and Mental Health on Self Evaluations of Health across the Life Course. Paper presented at the meeting of the Population Association of America, Austin, TX.

Yigit, I. H. (2019, April). “Emotional Burden of Social Intolerance” Presented at the Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Yigit, I. H. (2019, August) “Does Social Tolerance matter for Well-being?” Paper will be presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) 2019 Annual Meeting, New York City, NY.

SSRC Intern, Laura Ingouf, received first place in the Social Sciences category at the MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium held on April 16, 2019. Ingouf’s poster was based on results from three annual large-scale surveys that the SSRC Gender Impacts Lab has implemented in rural Ghana as part of the USAID-funded Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab. Ingouf presented on results from the Household Hunger Scale across three separate ‘hunger periods’ for farming families and across four regional districts in Ghana’s Northern Region. Presentation details include:

  • Ingouf L, Ragsdale K, Read-Wahidi MR. (2019). Using the Household Hunger Scale to Explore ‘Hunger Periods’ among Farming Families in Rural Ghana: Results from Three Large-Scale Annual Surveys. Poster Presentation. 2019 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mississippi State University, April 16, 2019.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi traveled to the Mississippi Delta with SSRC GRA Kelly Lower and Anthropology Masters candidate Malavika Jinka to meet with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Teen Health Mississippi during April 17-18, 2018 for the Focus4Teens initiative. On this trip, the team also conducted Focus4Teens interviews with teen and parents to explore how teens in the Delta access health care.

SSRC Chronicles: April 2019
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