New Projects

Anne Buffington will serve as Principal Investigator for a policy grant sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to address the suspension gap in Mississippi public schools. Components include increasing awareness among stakeholders about suspension rates and the racial disparities resulting from imposed sanctions; conducting a web-based survey of teachers and administrators regarding suspension polices in their own districts; and partnering with local school board members from across the state to explore opportunities for addressing student discipline procedures in a more equitable and efficient manner. The policy grant marks the fourth consecutive year that Mississippi KIDS COUNT has been awarded the supplemental policy grant.

David Parrish will serve as the Principal Investigator for the Distracted Driving Survey in Mississippi. The survey is a follow-up to a 2010 survey on the behaviors, attitudes, and opinions of Mississippi adult motorists with respect to the use of cell phones while driving. This survey will seek to reassess Mississippi adult’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to distracted driving in today’s more connected culture. This project is funded by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy.

Dr. Robert McMillen will serve as the Site Principal Investigator for year 7 of the Mississippi State University site for the Richmond Center Administrative Core. This project is funded by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Center. ​

Dr. Robert McMillen will serve as Principal Investigator of the “Surveillance and Evaluation Services for the Mississippi Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program” July 2017 – June 2018. The project will seek to develop and implement a system of surveillance and evaluation for programs and services administered by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Office of Tobacco Control (OTC). Mrs. Nell Valentine will serve as Co-PI on the project. This project is funded by the MSDH.

Dr. Sheena Gardner will serve as PI on year 3 of the MSQII-2 Evaluation Project. MSQII-2 is a Quality Improvement Initiative of the Mississippi State Department of Health, Office of Preventive Health, Chronic Disease Bureau designed to help participating organizations improve patient outcomes in Hypertension, Diabetes, and Coronary Artery Disease.


The MASEP annual training for facilitators was held July 21-22 in Gulfport. It was attended by 74 MASEP facilitators as well as MASEP Operations and Research staff. The facilitators received training from the MSU Office of the Comptroller and Treasurer in security issues with accepting credit cards. Training was also given concerning the new revisions to the MASEP curriculum and the use of receipt printers.

Publications & Reports

Seitz, H. H., Schapira, M. M., Gibson, L., Skubisz, C., Mello, S., Armstrong, K., & Cappella, J. N. (in press). Explaining the effects of a decision intervention on mammography intentions: The roles of worry, fear, and perceived susceptibility to breast cancer. Psychology & Health.

Torok, M., Winickoff, J.P., McMillen, R., Klein, J., & Wilson, K. (in press).  Prevalence and location of tobacco smoke exposure outside the home in adults and children in the United States. Journal of Community Health.

Wilson, K., Torok, M., McMillen, R., Klein, J., Levy, D., & Winickoff, J.P. (in press).  Tobacco Smoke Incursions and Resident Satisfaction in Multiunit Housing with Children. Public Health Reports.

Presentations, Panels, & Conferences

Dr. Sandra Guzman attended the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) International Meeting, July 16-19 in Spokane Washington. She participated in the Hydrology group committee and was elected as the 2019 representative for the NRES07-Nomenclature committee.

Guzman, S., Cossman, R., and Ingram, R. “Social Indicators: An Innovative Metric to Monitor Nutrient Reduction Strategies.” Paper presented at the 2017 Arkansas Water Resources Center Annual Water Conference, Fayetteville Town Center, Fayetteville, AR. July 25-26, 2017.

McMillen, R. Product Preferences Among Light and Regular Adolescent E-cigarette Users: Results from the PATH Study. American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium Summer Meeting at the AAP Headquarters, Elk Grove Village, IL. July 7, 2017.

Rico Méndez, G. P. Big Data and Social Media: Big Questions for Democracy. Presented at the Delta Regional Forum: Population Health, Development, and Entrepreneurial Problem Solving, Clarksdale, MS. July, 2017.

Stubbs-Richardson, M. Digital Activism on Twitter: The Case of Hurricane Sandy. Presented at the Delta Directions Forum: Population, Development, and Entrepreneurial Problem Solving in Clarksdale, MS.

The Myrlie Williams Evers Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities (UMMC/MSU) in collaboration with HBCU Pride (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) hosted “A Disparities Paradox?: Food Insecurity & Obesity Among Vulnerable Populations” conference July 17-18, in Jackson, MS. The conference focused on the paradox between obesity and poverty and food access in Mississippi. Keynote speakers included Dr. Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, Mississippi State University and Dr. Angela Odoms-Young, University of Illinois at Chicago. Panel sessions addressed Critical Considerations on Obesity and Food Insecurity in Rural Environments, the Food environments in Rural Mississippi and Community Based Solutions to Reducing Obesity and Food Insecurity. Support for the Conference was provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lund and Blood Institute.

SSRC Chronicles: July 2017
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