New Projects

Drs. Sandra Guzmán and Gina Rico Méndez will serve as Co-P.I.s on the project “Study Abroad for Spanish Language and Exchange for Precision Agriculture”. Mississippi State University (MSU) in partnership with SENA-Regional Magdalena in Colombia, will develop a bilateral exchange to implement MSU’s first faculty-led, credit-bearing study abroad program in Colombia that advances the field of Precision Agriculture comparing two distinct agricultural environments (Mississippi soybeans and Magdalena bananas). The project is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA -100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Grant.

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld will serve as P.I. and Dr. Gina Rico Méndez will serve as a Co-PI on the project “Accessing Government Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers”. This project aims to examine socially disadvantaged farmers’ perspectives and experiences when negotiating the process of applying for USDA NRCS program funding. The project is funded by the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University.

Anne Buffington will serve as Principal Investigator for year 4 of the Empowering Mentors to Promote Women’s Retention (EMPOWR). For this project, researchers at the SSRC will partner with faculty and staff from Hinds Community College (Jackson campus) and Meridian Community College to continue the tested and sustainable student retention program for non-traditional female students attending those schools. The project is sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi.

The Mississippi Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (TRIALS) Research Center has recently been awarded Year 5 funding by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Angela Robertson will continue to serve as Director of this 5-year study.  The goal of this collaborative project is to provide insights into the current state of HIV and substance use prevention and treatment service delivery within the juvenile justice system, improve delivery of Evidence-Based Practices addressing prevention and treatment services targeting substance use and HIV risk behaviors in community-based juvenile justice settings, and advance implementation science.

Visitors

Marshall Fisher, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner, visited the SSRC to meet with researchers on potential future collaborations on June 20th. Also in attendance were Mandy Davis, Chief of Staff, and Shannon Jones, Executive Counsel.

Awards & Recognitions

Dr. Linda Southward was featured in multiple news articles:

The EMPOWR Project was featured in the Meridian Star:

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale was recognized by MSU for her service on the Challenge of Change commission, which was established by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU).  Dr. Ragsdale contributed to the technical report entitled, Challenge of Change, which is available for download here. The MSU Newsroom article featuring Dr. Mark Keenum is available here.

Personnel

Ms. Katelyn Swiderski joined the research team of Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi as a Summer Intern on June 1, 2017.  Swiderski is working with Drs. Ragsdale and Read-Wahidi on their Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research (SGER) program for the USAID-funded Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) and on their Evaluation project for the CDC-funded Focus4Teens Initiative.

Survey Lab

On behalf of the Stennis Center for Public Service, the Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory is collecting data for a national survey titled, “Civilian Attitudes toward the Military.” Results from this telephone-based survey will help researchers better understand the nexus between the general public and those who serve or have served in the military. Respondents include a representative sample of 1,000 adults residing in the US. The survey administration is being directed by Dr. John F. Edwards, MAFES Research Scientist and Associate Research Professor at the Social Science Research Center.

The Survey Research Laboratory is also collecting data for the 2017 Mississippi Health Insurance Coverage and Affordable Care Act Survey. This survey is a follow-up from a 2014 survey that assesses attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors of Mississippians regarding their perspectives and experiences with health insurance coverage options, health programs, and health services. Respondents include a representative sample of 1,000 adults residing in the state of Mississippi. The principle investigators overseeing this research are Dr. Linda Southward, Director of the Family and Children Research Unit at the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) and Mr. Ben Walker, SSRC Research Associate. The survey administration is being directed by Dr. John F. Edwards, MAFES Research Scientist and Associate Research Professor at the SSRC.

On The Horizon

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi have been invited to present at the USAID-supported 2017 TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting (KSDC17), which will be held on July 19-20, 2017 in Washington DC. The Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program is the USAID/Food for Peace-funded learning mechanism to generate and share development food assistance programming. The Food Security and Nutrition (FSN)Network is an open community of development practitioners working to strengthen global food security and nutrition. Drs. Ragsdale and Read-Wahidi will present results from their USAID Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) Gender Responsive Agricultural Development Assessment (GRADA Wave I).

Publications & Reports

Dr. Ragsdale, Dr. Read-Wahidi, and Audrey Reid co-authored a technical report for SIL and USAID entitled, the Gender Responsive Agricultural Development Assessment (GRADA): 2016 Results from the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab Implementing Partners. The 28-page report will be made available online following the end of the embargo period.

Kim, L.Y., McGrath-Morrow, S., McMillen, R., & Collaco, J.M. (2017). Smoking patterns and perspectives of families of infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.

Drouin, O., McMillen, R., Klein, J.D., & Winickoff, J.P. (in press). E-cigarette advice to patients from physicians and dentists in the U.S. American Journal of Health PromotionOnline version

Presentations, Panels, & Conferences

Morse, D. T., & Robertson, A. A. (2017). Psychometric properties of the Short Inventory of Problems (SIP) with adjudicated DUI intervention participants. Psychology of addictive behaviors, 31(1), 110.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale attended the MSU – FAO Joint Blue Growth Roundtable Discussion on aquaculture challenges related to childhood nutrition, livelihoods, trade, and economic sustainability gender equity impacts, sustainable feed production, coastal fisheries, aquatic biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance, and food supply chains. Hosted by FAO, the meeting was held June 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and was led by MSU’s Dr. Mark Lawrence of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM). Other attendees are affiliated MSU’s International Institute, Social Science Research Center, and Department of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health Promotion, and with FAO, Texas A&M University, University of Florida, University of Rhode Island, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale gave an invited presentation at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Joint Meeting of the Feed the Future Innovation Labs: Soybean Innovation Lab, Nutrition Innovation Lab, and Post-Harvest Loss Innovation Lab. Hosted by USAID, the meeting was held June 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and was designed to showcase to USAID, stakeholders and partner organizations work conducted by the USAID-funded Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL)Nutrition Innovation Lab (NIL) and Post-Harvest Lost Innovation Lab (PHLIL).  Dr. Ragsdale contributed to discussions on the various research programs underway and linkages between SIL’s work and the U.S. Government’s new Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS).  She also presented on the Wave I results of an internal survey, the Gender Responsive Agricultural Development Assessment (GRADA).  As part of their work for SIL’s Socioeconomic and Gender Equity Research program, Dr. Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi developed and administered the GRADA to gauge how SIL researchers and other SIL implementing partners around the globe consider gender equity in their SIL-related activities. Drs. Ragsdale and Read-Wahidi anticipate implementing the GRADA Wave II in 2018 in order to compare results with the GRADA Wave I.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale attended the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Grantee Meeting, which was held June 14-15, 2017 in Savannah, GA. The CDC-DRH TPP meeting was designed to explore and share successes, challenges, lessons learned, and next steps for promoting coordinated systems to identify, refer and link youth to evidence-based and teen-friendly contraceptive and reproductive health services. Dr. Ragsdale is part of the team that represented the CDC-funded Focus4Teens Initiative, which is being conducted in the Mississippi Delta. Meeting attendees are affiliated with the MSU Social Science Research Center as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cicatelli Associates, Inc. (CAI), Focus4Teens, Georgia Association for Primary Health Care, Mississippi First, SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens), and Teen Health Mississippi.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and colleagues from the SSRC, CDC, CAI (Cicatelli Associates, Inc), andFocus4Teens submitted six abstracts for presentation at the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, which will be held in Atlanta on November 4-8, 2017. Five abstracts have been accepted for presentation and one abstract has been wait-listed. The abstracts include research from Dr. Ragsdale’s USDA-funded and MAFES-funded eBaby4u.com projects, USAID-funded Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) project, and the CDC-funded Focus4Teens Initiative. All six abstracts include contributions by MSU graduate students Amanda Gochanour and/or Audrey Reid. The abstracts include:

  • Gochanour A, Ragsdale K, Seitz HH, Reid A, Harper SK. (2017). Infant Feeding Styles and Use of Online Infant Health Resources among Minority Teen/Young Mothers: eBaby4u Survey Results. Accepted Oral Presentation. 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.
  • Middleton D, Ragsdale K, Tetteh AS, Burse N, Cox C, Read-Wahidi MR, Feher E, Miller S, Coleman M, Crenshaw H, Reid A, Mueller T, Tevendale H. (2017). Through Their Eyes: Process Mapping with Teens and Healthcare Staff as a Promising Approach to Enhancing Youth-Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Care. Accepted Oral Presentation. 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.
  • Ragsdale K, Read-Wahidi MR, Reid A, Feher E, Miller S, Burse N, Coleman M, Middleton D, Mueller T, Tevendale H. (2017). MS First and CDC Focus4Teens Initiative: YR1 Youth Focus Groups Reveal Entry Points to Reduce Teen Pregnancy in the Mississippi Delta. Accepted Oral Presentation. 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.
  • Ragsdale K, Read-Wahidi MR, Wei T, Gochanour A, Reid A. (2017). Occasional, Moderate, and Severe Hunger among Small-scale Men and Women Farmers in Rural Ghana: Exploring Food Insecurity Congruence among Husband-Wife Dyads Using the Household Hunger Scale. Accepted Oral Presentation. 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.
  • Read-Wahidi MR, Ragsdale K, Middleton D, Gochanour A, Reid A, Feher E, Miller S, Coleman M, Burse N, Mueller T, Tevendale H. (2017). Do Parents Feel Comfortable Talking to their Children about Sexual and Reproductive Health? Perspectives from Parents in the Mississippi Delta. Accepted Poster Presentation. 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.
  • Reid A, Ragsdale K, Read-Wahidi MR, Feher E, Miller S, Coleman M, Burse N, Middleton D, Mueller T, Tevendale H. (2017). Using In-depth Interviews to Explore Multi-level Factors Associated with Teen Pregnancy in the Mississippi Delta: Unique Insights from Social/Behavioral Support Providers Serving Local Youth. Wait-Listed Oral Presentation (Pending August 25). 2017 APHA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, Atlanta, GA.

Rico Méndez, G. (2017, July). The Hunger Frames: The Role of Global Institutions framing the Narrative of Food Security (A Big Data Policy Analysis). Presented at Seminar on Big Data and Security (Online presentation), Split, Croatia (July 12-16)

Rico Méndez, G. (2017, July). Workshop: Big Data and Social Media: The role of data analytics. Presented at Seminar on Big Data and Security (Online presentation), Split, Croatia (July 12-16)

SSRC Chronicles: June 2017
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