Journal Articles

McMillen R, Klein JD, Wilson K, Winickoff JP, Tanski S. (in press). E-Cigarette Use and Future Cigarette Initiation Among Never Smokers and Relapse Among Former Smokers in the PATH Study. Public Health Reports.

Other Publications

Hanna, H. (2019, June). Will children in your state get the support they need? It depends on the 2020 census. The Conversation, online publication

Hanna, H. (2019). KIDS COUNT 2019 Annual Fact Book Release. Press interviews: Mississippi Public Broadcasting Mississippi Edition June 14; WCBI June 20; Mississippi Today June 17.

Conference Presentations

Smith, C. & Seitz, H. (2019, May). Correcting Misinformation about Neuroscience through Facebook’s “Related Articles” Feature.  Oral presentation given at the International Communication Association 69thAnnual Conference, Washington, DC (Presented by H. Seitz).

Stouffer, Colleen (2019, June, 19). Presented a three-hour training on TRAPS 101 (Tobacco Reporting and Surveillance) for the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition’s Fiscal Agents. Held at the Mississippi Department of Health, Ridgeland, MS in the computer atrium. Funded by the Tobacco Surveillance project.

Stouffer, Colleen (2019, June, 20). Collaborated training on TRAPS (Tobacco Reporting and Surveillance) for FY20 Scope of Work to the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition’s Fiscal Agents. Held at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Jackson, MS. Funded by the Tobacco Surveillance project.

Guttmann, K., DeMauro, S., Flibotte, J., & Seitz, H. (2019, May).  Success of goals-of-care conversations in the NICU: A work-in-progress. Presentation given at the “Difficult Conversations in Healthcare” Preconference, International Communication Association 69thAnnual Conference, Washington, DC.

Robertson, M. N., Williams, D., Seitz, H., Downey, L., Hardman, A., Stone, A., Steen, J., Buys, D., (2019, May). Physicians or media: Who gives patients opioid-related information? Poster presented at the National Rural Health Association Annual Rural Health Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Robertson, M. N., Downey, L. H., Hardman, A. M., Seitz, H. H., Steen, J., & Buys, D. R. (2019, May). Promoting prescription opioid misuse prevention strategies in rural America: Findings from focus groups. Presentation given at the National Health Outreach Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

Bergene, K. D. (2019, June). “Innovative Data Sources for Crime and Public Policy.” Presented at Civil Discourse and High Threats: Croatia Overcoming Socio-Political Challenges, Split, Croatia. (Presentation derived from the Publication: Stubbs-Richardson, M. S., Cosby, A. K., Bergene, K. D.,& Cosby, A. G. (2018). Searching for safety: crime prevention in the era of Google. Crime Science, 7(1), 21.)

Bergene, K. D.(2019, June). “The Current State of Cybersecurity in American Public Administration: Vulnerabilities, Policies, and Perspectives.” Presented at Civil Discourse and High Threats: Croatia Overcoming Socio-Political Challenges, Split, Croatia.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidiwere Invited Presenters at the USAID & Horticulture Innovation Lab-sponsored Gender and the Innovation Labs Workshop, which was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 6, 2019. Presentation details include:

Ragsdale, K., & Read-Wahidi, M.R. (2019). Can a Low-Cost Soybean Intervention Improve the Gender Gap in Productivity? Evidence from Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana. Gender and the Innovation Labs Workshop, USAID & Horticulture Innovation Lab, Washington, DC, June 6, 2019.


As part of the PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast (PROMISE 2.0) Initiative, led by Dr. David Buys, Dr. Holli Seitz recently conducted Mental Health First Aid trainings for MSU Extension Agents and MSU Student Affairs personnel.

Dr. Brian Shoup of the Civic Life Lab was selected to participate in the inaugural Institute for Civically Engaged Research (ICER), sponsored by the American Political Science Association and held at Tufts University in Boston, MA, from June 17 to June 20. ICER is a new program in political science aimed at making social science research more civically relevant, accessible to public audiences, and valuable to external funders.

Dr. Brian Shoup of the Civic Life Lab attended the Frontiers of Democracy conference, a gathering of academics and practitioners of democratic deliberation and civic life. The conference took place in Boston, MA, from June 20 to June 22. At the conference, Dr. Shoup presented the work of the Civic Life Lab and the Rebuilding Main Street game project to potential collaborators and funders.

Dr. Colleen Sinclair attended the two-week workshop on the Holocaust with 24 scholars from around the world at the Olga Lenyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights. This was a competitive application for a two-week training in New York City.

Dr. Holli Seitz recently attended the American Evaluation Association Summer Evaluation Institute to receive additional training in evaluation.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (seated)

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (seated) during one of four back-to-back Invited Table Top Presentations at the USAID & Horticulture Innovation Lab-sponsored Gender and the Innovation Labs Workshop. They presented on the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab Soybean Success Kit-related results from their research in rural Ghana.

Dr. Melanie Loehwing of the Civic Life Lab attended a competitively selected workshop on publicly engaged scholarship hosted by the Rhetoric Society of America in Washington, DC, from June 6 to June 8. During the workshop, Dr. Loehwing met with scholars conducting publicly engaged research on rhetoric and civic life, as well as program officers from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Humanities Alliance.

Mississippi Tobacco Data hosted a booth in the Expo for the Annual Conference of the Mississippi Municipal League in Biloxi, MS. 24-25 June, 2019. The purpose was to share research on local tobacco control organizations.

The Civic Life Lab facilitated a session on “Increasing Inclusion through Civility” for the Mississippi State University Student Affairs Staff Development Symposium on June 5 at the Bost Extension Center. The session shared the research currently being conducted by the CLL to approximately 120 MSU student affairs professionals.


Dr. Holli Seitz, Director of The Message Laboratory, was recently certified as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor by the National Council for Behavioral Health.


Aubrey Parrish has joined the Message Laboratory, a communication research lab under the direction of Dr. Holli Seitz, as a summer undergraduate research assistant.  Aubrey is a student at Florida State University and will graduate in December with degrees in Information, Communication, and Technology and Music.  Aubrey’s academic interests include social media platforms, marketing, and designing websites and mobile applications.


On behalf of the Tobacco Control Unit at the Social Science Research Center, the Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory is conducting a survey of public opinions and attitudes toward smoke-free casinos. The dual-frame (landline & cellphone), random-digit-dial, telephone-based survey includes a representative sample of 900 adults residing in the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties). The primary investigator for this research is Dr. Robert McMillen, Associate Director of the Tobacco Control Unit and Professor of Psychology. The survey administration is being directed by Dr. John F. Edwards, MAFES Research Scientist and Associate Research Professor at the Social Science Research Center.

On The Horizon

SSRC Intern, Laura Ingouf

Kelly Lower – an Applied Anthropology Masters candidate and SSRC GRA for Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi – has been competitively selected to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, where she will serve as a Community Health Support Agent for two years. Lower’s strong record of international field work on the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab and state-level health-related research on the CDC-funded Focus4Teens project, her French-speaking abilities, her experience as a presenter and/or co-author on numerous graduate symposiums and conferences, and her excellent AMEC training as an applied anthropologist will provide her with a potent set of skills and experiences that will be excellent resources during her Peace Corps experience in Senegal.

SSRC GRA, Kelly Lower

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and SSRC Intern Laura Ingouf will travel to Zambia for two weeks in mid-July to conduct Fish4Zambia: Assessing Facilitators and Barriers to Aquaculture and Fish Consumption in Zambia (K. Ragsdale, PI, Lauren Pincus, PI). The research is funded by the Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab (M. Lawrence, PI) through support from USAID. Fish4Zambia is a 12-month project that aims to increase the quality and quantity of fish benefitting poor households in Zambia, with a particular focus on enhancing nutrition and food security among pregnant and lactating women and infants and children under the age of 2 years.

Students – School/Work Affiliated Events

SSRC Intern, Laura Ingouf, was awarded a Summer Research Stipend I and a Summer Research Stipend II that total $4,000. Laura will use these funds to 1) spend two weeks in Zambia to assist with data collection for the project, Fish4Zambia: Assessing Facilitators and Barriers to Aquaculture and Fish Consumption in Zambia, and 2) assist with data analyses after returning to MSU. Fish4Zambia is led by Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (US PI), Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (US Co-PI), and Dr. Elin Torell (US Co-PI), Dr. Steve Cole (Host Country PI), and Dr. Pamela Marinda (Host Country Co-PI). Fish4Zambia is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab, which is housed at Mississippi State University under the directorship of Dr. Mark Lawrence. Laura will be participating in her first Research for Development (R4D) project as a valued student member of the Fish4Zambia team. Dr. Ragsdale and Dr. Read-Wahidi are deeply appreciative of assistance from the Shackouls Honors College and Dr. Don Shaffer (Mentor, Presidential Scholars) and Dr. Tommy Anderson (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) with supporting Laura as an MSU Presidential Scholar and as an SSRC Undergraduate Intern.

SSRC Abroad 

Dr. Ty Abernathy, Associate Research Professor and Research Fellow, led a second study abroad trip during Maymester to Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic – the first traditional group study abroad program in the MSU College of Education. The cross-listed and split-level educational psychology and psychology special topics course was entitled “An Exploration of the European Foundations in Psychology, Psychiatry, and Mental Health” and included 25 undergraduate and graduate students representing various majors across campus. The group visited and toured the major attractions in both cities including the Vienna City Center, Vienna City Hall (Rathaus), University of Vienna, Sigmund Freund Museum, Viktor Frankl museum, Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, Old Town Square, Kampa District, Prague Castle, Museum of the Senses, and Charles Bridge on the Vltava River. During the group’s visit to the University of Vienna, they unexpectedly met Travis Williams and his family, a MSU alumni who works at the U.S. Embassy, because he was wearing a State cap (far right in the picture).

For pictures and more information visit the group’s Facebook page – Mississippi State: Vienna/Prague Trip Summer 2019


Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi and SSRC GRA Kelly Lower traveled to the Mississippi Delta during May 15-16, 2019 for the Focus4Teens initiative. On this trip, the team met with Teen Health Mississippi and conducted Focus4Teens interviews with teen and parents to explore how teens in the Delta access health care.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale was an Invited Attendee at the USAID – WorldFish Knowledge Sharing Session held at USAID Headquarters in Washington, DC, on May 30, 2019. The Knowledge Sharing Session was entitled, Fish in the Future Global Research and Development Agendas: Feeding Billions, Nourishing Nations. Keynote speakers included Dr. Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist, USAID Bureau of Food Security; Dr. Shivaun Leonard, USAID Aquaculture Advisor; Dr. Mark Lawrence, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish, Director; Dr. Gareth Johnstone, WorldFish Director General; Dr. Michael Phillips, WorldFish Director of Research; and Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, WorldFish Research Program Leader.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidiwere invited for an on-camera interview with David Garraway, Director of Mississippi State’s University Television Center, about their work on Fish4Zambia: Assessing Facilitators and Barriers to Aquaculture and Fish Consumption in Zambia (K. Ragsdale, PI, Lauren Pincus, PI). Christopher Misun, Senior Producer of Creative Services with the University Television Centerserved as the camera-person. Fish4Zambiais funded by the Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab (M. Lawrence, PI) through support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Drs. Ragsdale and Read-Wahididiscussed how they will triangulate research results from their fieldwork at Lake Bangweulu to better inform outcomes and interventions to increase food security and nutrition for members of poor households.  Drs. Ragsdale and Read-Wahidi have collaborated with their colleagues at WorldFish, University of Zambia, and University of Rhode Island to adapt the Women’s Empowerment in Fisheries Index (WEFI) survey for Fish4Zambia and to create four (4) novel research tools to inform Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews with men, women, and youth involved in the fish sector and experts in the Department of Fisheries Officers, Department of Health Officers, and at NGOs in Zambia.

SSRC Chronicles: May & June 2019