A new semester is upon us and our scientists are back at work. This month we have a few new publications, as well as new projects, an award from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, and two upcoming events.

The Seminar on Digital Data and Security will be in Split, Croatia from June 12-16. It is being hosted by Mississippi State University, George Mason University, the University of Split, and the University of Zagreb. This is a very valuable learning opportunity and a chance to experience a cultural exchange in the beautiful city of Split, Croatia.

We hope you’ll take just a few minutes to read the latest news and updates from the SSRC. I encourage you to share these monthly updates with others who may be interested in our work. If you are not connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter, make sure to follow the links below to stay up-to-date on all of the latest updates from us.

Thank you for your time and continued support of the work at the SSRC. We look forward to another great year.

Arthur G. Cosby, Ph.D.
Giles Distinguished Professor & Director
Social Science Research Center


There are only 2 months left to reserve your spot at the Seminar on Digital Data and Security in Split, Croatia! The 4-day seminar will focus on big data and security-related research questions as they are studied in social sciences, policy and communication studies. Please contact Gina Mendez for any questions or to register at gina.mendez@ssrc.msstate.edu. You can also learn more by visiting the SSRC page.

The second Mississippi DUI Forum will be held on July 13-14, 2017 in Jackson, MS. The forum, which is sponsored by the Social Science Research Center, seeks to improve the DUI process for all parties involved while generating a comprehensive report for interested parties and the Mississippi legislature. For more information, contact Bill Henderson at bill.henderson@ssrc.msstate.edu.

New Projects

Dr. Linda Southward will serve as Principal Investigator for Mississippi KIDS COUNT 2017. The project will produce a factbook on the status of Mississippi’s children in one of the following areas: education, economic well-being, safety of health; provide updates on Mississippi data indicators that can be accessed via the Mississippi KIDS COUNT website and the national KIDS COUNT Data and increase the number of Mississippi-based partnerships with Mississippi KIDS COUNT. The project is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Dr. Angela Robertson will serve as Principal Investigator for the Evaluation of the Second Chance Act Re-Entry Program for Adults with Co-occuring Substance Abuse and Mental health Disorders Competitive 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.


Marisa Laudadio joins the Messaging Laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant. She will be working with Dr. Holli Seitz on the qualitative analysis of large datasets of comments related to mammography and will also pursue independent research related to her interests in communication and policy. Marisa is a member of the Shackouls Honors College and is double-majoring in communication and political science.

Awards & Recognitions

Mr. Alan Burns received a PRism Award from the Starkville/MSU Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) for the submission of the 2016 Annual Report.

Survey Lab

In collaboration with Mississippi First, a non-profit organization specializing in education policy research and advocacy, the Survey Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University developed a survey to measure the general public’s opinions and understanding of charter schools. The dual-frame (landline & cellphone), random-digit-dial, telephone-based survey included a representative sample of 500 adults residing in the state of Mississippi.

Publications & Reports

Mississippi KIDS COUNT project team. (2017, January). 2017 Mississippi Legislative Countdown Calendar. This was distributed to all members of the Mississippi legislator on the first day of the 2017 session. Available here.

McMillen R., O’Connor, K., Groner, J., Tanski, S., Park, E., Klein, J. D. (in press). Changes and Factors Associated with Tobacco Counseling: Results from the AAP: Results from the AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows. Academic Pediatrics. 10.1016/j.acap.2017.01.002. http://www.academicpedsjnl.net/article/S1876-2859(17)30004-9/abstract

Stubbs-Richardson, M., Sinclair, H. C., Goldberg, M., Ellithorpe, C., & Amadi, S. (2017). Reaching out versus lashing out: Examining gender differences in experiences with and responses to bullying in high school. Forthcoming in American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Presentations, Panels & Conferences

Between January 5 and 6, 2017 Dr. Gina Rico Méndez led the workshop “Social Media Analytics: Open Source Tools for the Classroom” at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. The workshop was developed for Faculty of the Department of International Relations and Political Science. Dr. Rico Méndez was invited under the NOVUS program, an initiative at Tec. de Monterrey to introduce new technologies and innovative approaches in education. Faculty of International Relations and Political Science were granted funding to include innovations in education in the course “Citizenship and Democracy”.

SSRC Chronicles: January 2017