New Projects

Dr. Cindy Bethel will serve as Principal Investigator of ” AF Human-Machine Teaming.” Future combat teams operating in adversarial environments will utilize trusted autonomous systems to achieve mission objectives, such as identifying, classifying, locating, and suppressing threats while ensuring the safety and survival of team members. In a multi-objective, multi-agent, human-machine planning problem, understanding and explaining how agent actions impact goal attainment and how actions are interdependent between agents will assist command personnel to effectively plan, execute, and evaluate missions in complex environments, and support uptake of trusted autonomous systems in defense teams. This project is funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Dr. Robert McMillen will serve as Principal Investigator of the “Surveillance and Evaluation Services for the Mississippi Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program” July 2021 – June 2022. 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. Mary Read-Wahidi will serve as Principal Investigator of the “Teen Health Mississippi ME Evaluation.” The program is a free, innovative, youth-led experience that addresses the mental and health needs of rural, minority teens. ME utilizes storytelling and colorful illustrations to connect youth with vetted, high-quality information and curated content about healthy relationships. Identity, consent, depression, anxiety, and much more! Dr. Read-Wahidi, along with Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and assistants, will collaborate with Teen Health Mississippi to develop and adapt evaluation measures and to collect and analyze evaluation data. The evaluation team will create an evaluation protocol with the MSU Institutional Review Board, collect and analyze the evaluation data, prepare and submit required reporting documentation to THMS, which will be used to disseminate results to a broader audience.

Awards & Recognitions

Ronald E. Cossman, Ph.D. was invited by Springer Publishing to be a reviewer for the book manuscript Population Health: An Introduction. The book defines and delineates the new concept of Population Health and situates it within the health research field. The book was authored by SSRC Research Fellow, Richard K. Thomas, Ph.D.

The Mississippi Tobacco Data team’s work was included in the newest CDC Office on Smoking and Health’s Best Practices User Guide. Find the guide at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best-practices-partnerships/index.html.

An article authored by Emily McClelland was cited in the Truth Initiative’s newsletter. Read the newsletter at https://truthinitiative.org/sites/default/files/media/files/2021/04/Truth_E-Cigarette%20Factsheet_PATTERNS_final.pdf.

SSRC Abroad

Dr. Ty Abernathy, associate research professor and Research Fellow, led a three-week study abroad trip during Maymester to Seville, Spain (May 8th-May 29th).  The cross-listed and split-level educational psychology and psychology special topics course entitled “International and National Explorative Travel Program in Education Psychology and Psychology” focused on the history and development of psychology in Spain and included 13 undergraduate and graduate students representing various majors across campus. The group visited and toured the major attractions in Seville including the Real Alcázar (Moorish Royal Palace), Cathedral de Santa Maria de la Sede and La Giralda (largest Gothic cathedral in the world and bell tower), Barrio Santa Cruz (historic quarter and neighborhood), Las Setas (largest wooden structure in the world), Parque Maria Luisa and Plaza de España (both constructed for the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair of 1929), Italica Roman Ruins (mosaics and one of the largest amphitheaters in the Roman Empire), and kayaking the Guadalquivir River (historic waterway of commerce and exploration). In addition, the group enjoyed day trips to Córdoba, Málaga, and Cádiz—major cities of tourism in the Andalusia region of Spain. These students were the first group from Mississippi State University to travel internationally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For pictures and more information visit the group’s Facebook page: Mississippi State – Psychology in Europe facebook.com/groups/194914711116890/.

Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program

Chuck Dawkins and Billy Brister participated in a training session for Municipal Court judges in Biloxi on June 10-11. This training was sponsored by the Mississippi Judicial College.

Chuck Dawkins and Billy Brister attended the Mississippi Police Chiefs conference held in Biloxi on June 16-18.

MASEP held its annual training for its facilitators on July 23-24 via ZOOM. There were approximately 40 facilitators participating in the meeting. On Friday Ms. Christianne Williams of the MS Dept. of Corrections presented a class on Mental Health First Aid which was followed by a seminar on suicide prevention presented by Dr. Mary Nelson Robertson from MSU Extension. On Saturday Dr. Angela Robertson presented information on her research in MASEP. Dr. Blythe McCance also presented a Motivational Interviewing refresher class MASEP Operational updates were presented by Billy Brister. Jennifer Alberson, Melinda Hardin, Lacey Breen, Jean Mann, Dr.Blythe McCance, Chuck Dawkins, Kathleen Gresham, and Charlie Schloemer helped prepare for this meeting. This meeting was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

Personnel

Dr. Ben Porter, assistant research professor, is featured in this month’s spotlight story. Read about his work at https://bit.ly/3xrC8ZK.

Presentations & Conference Participation

Brown, A., & Seitz, H. H(2021, May). Changing the minds of climate change deniers: Effects of message theme and source. Paper presented at the International Communication Association 71st Annual Conference (virtual conference).

Cleveland, M. (2021, July). Social Emotional Support of Young Children During Challenging Times. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Hemphill, T. (2021, July). Serve and Return: How to Build Young Children’s Brains by Using Serve and Return Interactions. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Long, B. (2021, June). Serve and Return: How to Build Young Children’s Brains. Presented at the 2021 High Quality Director’s Child Care Institute on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! project.

Long, B. (2021, July). Social Emotional Support of Young Children During Challenging Times. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Long, B. (2021, July). Serve and Return: How to Build Young Children’s Brains Using Serve and Return Interactions. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Long, B. & Long, L. (2021, June). Social-Emotional Support of Young Children During Challenging Times. Presented at the 2021 High Quality Director’s Child Care Institute on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! project.

Long, L. (2021, July). Serve and Return: How to Build Young Children’s Brains by Using Serve and Return Interactions. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Long, L. (2021, July). Social Emotional Support of Young Children During Challenging Times. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Long, L. & Love, T. (2021, June). Brain Building: Supporting Early Childhood Development and the Brain Architecture Game. Presented at the 2021 High Quality Director’s Child Care Institute on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! project.

Love, T. (2021, July) Serve and Return: How to Build Young Children’s Brains by Using Serve and Return Interactions. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Martin, H. (2021, June). Vroom® . Presented at the 2021 High Quality Director’s Child Care Institute on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! project.

Martin, H. (2021, July) Promoting Child Health & Development with Vroom and Mind in the Making. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

McMillen R. (2021). The Social Climate of Tobacco Control: Child Care Doctor Counseling. UMMC Cancer Center & Research Institute. 27 May 2021.

Poole, C. (2021, June). Oh, Behave! Creating a Behavior Support Toolbox. Presented at the 2021 High Quality Director’s Child Care Institute on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! project.

Poole, C. (2021, July). Oh Behave! Helping Families Create a Behavior Support Toolbox. Presented at the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Conference on behalf of the Child Health and Development: Mississippi Thrive! Project.

Swanson, D. & Cossman, R. E. (2021, July).  The Effect of the Differential Privacy Disclosure Avoidance System Proposed by the Census Bureau on 2020 Census Products:  Four Case Studies of Census Blocks in Mississippi. Presented at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences annual meeting, Biloxi, MS. The presentation demonstrates how “differential privacy”, or masking of Census 2020 data will negatively impact policy such as redistricting, school district boundaries, and the provision of emergency services. Drs. Swanson and Cossman are SSRC Research Fellows.

Stouffer, C., Anreddy, S., Gardner, S. (2021, July 27). How to navigate and report Statewide Youth program information using the Tobacco Reporting and Progress System (TRAPS), data portal. Office of Tobacco Control New Directors Training. Virtual training session (1-hour).

Stouffer, C., Anreddy, S., Gardner, S. (2021, July 29). How to navigate and report Statewide Coalition program information using the Tobacco Reporting and Progress System (TRAPS), data portal. Office of Tobacco Control New Directors Training. Virtual training session (3-hour).

Publications & Reports

Cleveland, M., Hanna, H., Walker, C., & Buttross, S. (In review). Adverse childhood experiences in Mississippi: Recommendations for a brighter future. Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association.

Stubbs-Richardson, M. Sinclair, H. C., Porter, B., & Utley, J. When does rejection trigger aggression?: A test of the Multimotive model. Personality and Social Psychology, Special Issue: Advances in Youth Bullying Research. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660973/full.

SSRC Chronicles: June/July 2021
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