New Projects

Dr. Sheena Gardner will serve as Principle Investigator for an evaluation of the Fannie Lou Hamer’s America project. This project involves the creation of a documentary film and K-12 curriculum about the Mississippi sharecropper-turned-civil-rights-activist Fannie Lou Hamer using original audio and video footage recorded throughout her political and activist career. Ms. Sierra Nelson will also serve on the project. This project is funded by the Fannie Lou Hamer’s America Team.

Dr. Ronald E. Cossman’s HPV Vaccination Promotion Program was renewed for the fifth year by National AHEC and the CDC. The year-long project promotes awareness of the cancer-preventing vaccination among healthcare professionals in the state of Mississippi. Dr. Cossman has also partnered with the Southeast Louisiana AHEC to target underserved populations in southwest Mississippi.

Dr. David May will serve as Principal Investigator for a year-long project supporting Army warfighters by leading a multidisciplinary team in developing additional tools to assist the military in gathering open source intelligence. The project is a collaboration with Babel Street and the University of Alabama. Serving as Co-Principal Investigators are Dr. Mike Potter from Political Science and Public Administration, Dr. Barton Moffatt from Philosophy and Religion, Dr. Raymond Barranco from Sociology, and Dr. Allen Parrish, Associate Vice President for Research. The project is funded by the Department of Defense.

Drs. Heather Hanna and Linda Southward will serve as Co-Directors for Mississippi KIDS COUNT 2019. The project will produce a fact book on the status of Mississippi’s children in one or more of the following areas: education, economic well-being, safety, or health; provide updates on Mississippi data indicators that can be accessed via the Mississippi KIDS COUNT website and the national KIDS COUNT Data Center, and increase the number of Mississippi-based partnerships with Mississippi KIDS COUNT. This project is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

30 Second Abstracts

Our new series, 30 Second Abstracts, is going to focus on quick breakdowns of new and interesting research coming out of the Social Science Research Center.

To access the paper, click here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-018-0095-3.

Visitors

The SSRC hosted a visit by Dr. Jeff Kosseff, assistant professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy, on January 11th. In attendance were Dr. Art Cosby, Dr. Allen Parrish, and representatives of multiple departments including: Arts and Sciences, Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science and Public Administration, Sociology, Philosophy and Religion, and the Social Science Research Center.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

MASEP

On December 8, 2018, Dr. Blythe McCance met with six members of the MASEP facilitator staff in Flowood, Ms. for the purpose of training these six people to be assistant trainers in Motivational Interviewing. The six individuals were Marsha Jones (Southaven and Horn Lake), Kim Martin (Greenville and Cleveland), Dr. Raymond Richmond (Jackson and Florence), Dr. Pat Brawley (Magnolia), Jennifer Kibodeaux (Hattiesburg and Columbia), and Beth Fenech (Pascagoula A & B).

All MASEP facilitators will undergo Motivational Interviewing training in calendar year 2019. The first training session will be held February 9th in Biloxi.

Awards & Recognitions

Ciarra Smith, an undergraduate research assistant at the Social Science Research Center, has earned early admissions to the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience PhD Program for Fall 2019. Ciarra is a senior biochemistry major and a recipient of the prestigious MSU Provost Scholarship.

Dr. Holli Seitz, director of the Message Laboratory, has been certified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Dr. Colleen Sinclair was nominated for Most Admired Scholar by this year’s Diversity Awards graduate student recipient. Each of the awardees is allowed to pick a scholar that they admire from the 7,500 members of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), and invite them to attend the Diversity Committee Reception at the SPSP Conference.

Personnel

The Message Laboratory, directed by Dr. Holli Seitz, welcomes two new undergraduate research assistants, Flora Dedeaux and Ben Mackin.

  • Flora Dedeaux is a freshman recipient of the MSU Presidential Scholarship. She is currently majoring in Communication, with concentrations in Broadcast and Public Relations. She is involved in Freshman Forum as a counselor for the Donald Zacharias Leadership Conference, the Oktibbeha County Humane Society Student Chapter, and No Lost Generation, a group which advocates for and informs the public about Syrian refugees in the United States. Her research interests include communication and the media.
  • Ben Mackin is a fourth-year recipient of the MSU Provost Scholarship. He is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Journalism. He is interested in issues surrounding race and social justice. Ben was heavily involved in the Student Association his first three years of university, first as a member of cabinet and then as the Director of Policy. In his free time, Ben also writes general assignments for the Columbus Dispatch.

On The Horizon

Dr. Gina Rico Mendez will give two oral presentations at the World Bank 20th Land and Poverty Conference, which will be held March 25-29 in Washington, DC. Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi are co-authors on both presentations. The first presentation is based on results from the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) team’s “Gender Equity and Land Tenure Focus Group Discussions: Phase II” conducted in 2018 among smallholder soybean farmers in Ghana’s Northern Region. SIL is managed by the University of Illinois through support from USAID (Award No. AID-OAA-L-14-00001; P. Goldsmith, PI) and provides support to SGER at Mississippi State University (Grant No. 2013-04026-07; K. Ragsdale, PI). The second presentation is based on preliminary results of the SGER team’s work on the USAID Bureau of Food Security-funded project, “Harnessing the Potential for Rural Youth-Inclusive Agri-Food Systems Livelihoods: A Landscape Analysis.”

  • Rico Méndez, G., Ragsdale, K., Lower, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R. (2019). Customary Land Tenure Systems and Gendered Land Rights in Ghana’s Northern Region: Results from Phase II Gender Equity and Land Tenure Focus Groups. Accepted Oral Presentation. World Bank 20th Land & Poverty Conference, Washington, DC, March 25-29, 2019.
  • Rico Méndez, G., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Ragsdale, K. (2019). Harnessing the Potential for Rural Youth-Inclusive Agri-Food Systems Livelihoods: A Landscape Analysis. Accepted Oral Presentation. World Bank 20th Land & Poverty Conference, Washington, DC, March 25-29, 2019.

SSRC GRA Kelly Lower will present an oral presentation at the 79th Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, which will be held March 19-23 in Portland, OR. Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi are co-authors on the presentation, which is based on results from the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) team’s “Gender Equity and Land Tenure Focus Group Discussions: Phase II” conducted in 2018 among smallholder soybean farmers in Ghana’s Northern Region:

  • Lower, K., Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Rico Méndez, G., Yarbrough, T., Asigbee, M., Atiim, P., Kolbila, R. Exploring Gender and Women’s Land Tenure: Focus Groups with Men and Women Farmers in Ghana’s Northern Region. Accepted Oral Presentation. 79th Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, March 19-23, 2019.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi have developed and submitted three abstracts for oral presentation at the 147th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, which will be held November 2-6 in Philadelphia, PA:

  • Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Asigbee, M., Atiim, P., Kolbila, R., Lower, K., Tamimie, C., Goldsmith, P. (2019). Exploring Household-Level Hunger among Smallholder Farmers in Rural Ghana across Three Large-Scale Surveys: Household Hunger Scale Results. Submitted Oral Presentation. 147th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 2-6, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Ragsdale K, Read-Wahidi MR, Lower K, Crenshaw H, French W, Coleman M, Williams P, Tevendale H, Brittain A, Koumans E. (2019). Identifying Barriers and Bridges to Teens’ Access to Youth-Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in the Mississippi Delta. Submitted Oral Presentation. 2019 APHA Annual Meeting, November 2-6, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Read-Wahidi MR, Ragsdale K, Lower K, Crenshaw H, French W, Coleman M, Williams P, Tevendale H, Brittain A, Koumans E. (2019). Mississippi Delta Parents Discuss ‘Time Alone’ and Other Aspects of Youth-Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. Submitted Oral Presentation. 2019 APHA Annual Meeting, November 2-6, Philadelphia, PA.

Publications & Reports

Bowser, D., Henry, B. F., Wasserman, G. A., Knight, D., Gardner, S., Krupka, K., Grossi, B., Cawood, M., Wiley, T. and Robertson, A. (2018). “Comparison of the Overlap between Juvenile Justice Case Processing and Screening & Referral to Behavioral Health Services.” Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services. 5(1): 96-125.

McClelland, E., Valentine, N., Gorzkowski, J., Winter, A., & McMillen, R. (in press). JUUL Awareness, Trial, and Continued Use among Undergraduate Students in Mississippi. Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association.

McMillen, R., Winickoff, J. P., Gottlieb, M., Tanski, S., Wilson, K., & Klein, J. D. (in press). Public Support for Smoke-Free Section 8 Public Housing. Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Schapira, M. M., Hubbard, R., Seitz, H. H., Conant, E., Schnall, M., Cappella, J. N., Harrington, T., Inge, C., Armstrong, K. (2019). The impact of a breast cancer screening decision aid on initiation of screening among younger women: Report of a randomized trial. MDM Policy & Practice. doi: 10.1177/2381468318812889.

Stubbs-Richardson, M., Cosby, A. K., Bergene, K. D., & Cosby, A. G. (December 2018). Searching for Safety: Crime Prevention in the Era of Google. Crime Science, 7(21). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-018-0095-3.

Stubbs-Richardson, M. (February 1, 2019). Has the power of the Internet been a factor in crime reduction? BMC Blog: Biomedcentral.com. Web link: http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-society/2019/02/01/power-internet-factor-crime-reduction/.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi developed a technical report in December 2018 submitted to the USAID-funded Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab. The report highlighted the preliminary results of the WEAI+ Wave II (Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index + Soy Cultivation Modules), which was implemented in Ghana’s Northern Region in August-September, 2018 (N=983):

  • Read-Wahidi, M.R., Ragsdale, K., Lower, K., & Yarbrough, T. (2018, December 21). WEAI+ Wave II Preliminary Results: Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index & Smallholder Soybean Farmers in Ghana. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 30 pages. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.10206.08009. https://bit.ly/2RKeyrm.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi developed a technical report in January 2019 submitted to Teen Health Mississippi and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their Year 3 Evaluation work on the Focus4Teens-YR3 Evaluation (K. Ragsdale, PI; M. Read-Wahidi, Co-PI) project, which is funded by the CDC through Teen Health Mississippi:

  • Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Lower, K., Yarbrough, T. (2019, January 31). Focus4Teens Evaluation: Results from the YR3 Parent Focus Group Discussions and YR3 Parent Surveys. Teen Health Mississippi and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 35 pages.

Presentations, Panels & Conferences

Hanna, H., Green, J., Buffington, A., Woo, L. (2019, January). Mississippi YOU COUNT! Collaboration Community Meetings. Held in Tunica, Port Gibson, and Jackson, MS.

Ragsdale, K., & Read-Wahidi, M.R. INVITED SPEAKER. (2018). Why Gender Equity Matters for Soybean Farmers in Rural Ghana: Closing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Research for Development. Fifth Annual Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab Researcher Retreat. Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, December 13, 2018.

Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi and SSRC GRA Kelly Lower traveled to Clarksdale MS in January to participate in a meeting with members of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of Teen Health Mississippi. They discussed several aspects of the Focus4Teens Evaluation YR4 project (K. Ragsdale, PI; M. Read-Wahidi, Co-PI), including protocol and recruitment issues related to “Understanding Facilitators and Challenges to Referral and Linkage for Sexual and Reproductive Health: In-Depth Interviews.” Read-Wahidi and Ragsdale were invited by the CDC to lead the development of three sets of in-depth interviews that the Focus4Teen Evaluation team in Mississippi and grantees in Savannah, GA, and Durham, NC, will be implementing in March-April at each site that will target teens and their parents/caregivers.

SSRC Chronicles: December 2018/January 2019