Tree without leaves outside of SSRC building.


Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi’s work with Fish for Zambia was shared in the USAID’s Agrilinks newsletter. To read the story, click here.

Dr. Heather Hanna has been asked by Committee Chairman, Sen. Giles Ward, to chair the Education Subcommittee of the Census 2020 Mississippi Complete Count Committee. As chair, she will convene and inform 25 state education leaders from universities, community colleges, K-12, child care, and non-profits.

As part of the Fall Loftin Awards, Sarah Rogers received funding to support dissertation data collection and analysis.


On November 8th, SSRC researchers welcomed visitors from the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences regarding possible collaborations. Dr. Brian Britt, Ms. Kelsey Bruce, Dr. Jameson Hayes, and Dr. Ethan Stokes met with Dr. Art Cosby, Dr. John Edwards, Dr. Melanie Loehwing, and Dr. Holli Seitz. The visitors toured The Message Laboratory, Civic Life Laboratory, and Survey Research Laboratory during their time at the Center.

New Projects

Dr. Connie Baird-Thomas will serve as Principal Investigator of the Mississippi Data Project, Phase 2. This project is a three-year initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The overall goal of the project is to advance a program of research that assembles and analyzes data from different sources to encourage data-driven decision-making and promote the use of best practice models in developing policies and programming for children and families in Mississippi. General data components focus on indicators that reflect the priorities of the Kellogg Foundation: thriving children, working families, and equitable communities via a racial equity and community engagement lens.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale will serve as Principal Investigator for year 7 of the USAID Soy project. The research goal is to empower women and youth with gender-responsive and youth inclusive trainings, tools, and resources for the development of viable and sustainable programs that continue to enhance soybean productivity and contribute to improved household income and nutrition. Dr. Mary-Read Wahidi will serve as co-principal. The project is sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the US Agency on International Development.


Read our latest Spotlight story on Dr. Wes James, a Research Fellow and former Postdoctoral Fellow at the SSRC. He is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Memphis. Visit for the full story!.

On the Horizon

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (PI) and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi (Co-PI) have partnered with Dr. Kerry Clark (PI) of the University of Missouri on the USAID- and Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab-supported, Women’s Thresher Project Evaluation: Benefits and Challenges of Women-Led Thresher Micro-Enterprises in Ghana. The project’s goal is to better understand factors that contribute to sustainable women-led thresher micro-enterprises among low-literate smallholder women farmers. Robert Kolbila, SSRC Graduate Research Assistant and Department of Sociology PhD student, will serve as the Field Team Leader on the project, which will be conducted in Ghana’s Upper West Region in December in villages located near the municipality of Wa. The fieldwork team will conduct In-Depth Interviews with women farmers who lead thresher groups and with thresher operators. They will also conduct Focus Group Discussions with members of women-led thresher groups.


Elkington, K. S., Robertson, A. A., Knight, D. K., Gardner, S. K., Funk, R., Dennis, M., Oser, C. B., & DiClemente, R. J.. (Forthcoming). “HIV/STI service delivery within juvenile community supervision agencies: A National survey of practices and approaches to moving high risk youth through the HIV care cascade.” AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

Ragsdale, K., Marinda, P., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Pincus, L., Torell, E., Kolbila, R., Mulilo, T., Sakapaji, R., Tembo, M., & Ingouf, L. (2019, November 18). Fish4Zambia Report: Gender Disaggregated WEFI Results: Research in Zambia’s Lake Bangweulu Region among Fishers, Processors and Traders. USAID, Feed the Future Fish Innovation Lab for Fish, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 41 pp.

Ragsdale, K., Read-Wahidi, M.R., Rico Méndez, G., & Lower, K. (2019). The State of Soybean in Africa Series: Why Gender and Land Matter – Examples from Rural Ghana. FarmDoc Daily (9):204, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read-Wahidi M, Ragsdale K. (2019, November 26). GRADA-SIL: Gender Responsive Agricultural Development Assessment, 2019 Results from Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab Implementing Partners. USAID, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University. 38 pp.

Presentations, Panels & Conferences

Brown, D., Pellegrine, S., Walker, B. Southward, L., & Buttross, S. (2019, November). Predictors of Early Childhood Developmental Screening and Surveillance in Mississippi and the United States. Poster presented at the 2019 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Callie Poole represented the Mississippi Thrive! Child Health & Development Project, along with Gigi Holder from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, at an exhibitor booth at the Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative annual conference in Jackson, MS.

Gjika, A. & Stubbs-Richardson, M. (2019, November). Digital feminist activism and narratives of gender-based violence in the #MeToo movement. Presented at the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco, CA.

Loehwing, M. (2019, November). Amazon’s CamperForce: Selling housing insecurity as a retirement lifestyle. Presented at the National Communication Association Convention, Baltimore, MD.

Long, B. & Long, L. (2019, November) Become a Brain Builder: Understanding the importance of supporting early development. Presented to the Mississippi Migrant Education Service Center Staff at Mississippi State University. Also in attendance of this training was Bryan Lieb Ombudsman who is a Private School/Migrant Coordinator with the Mississippi Department of Education.

Long, L. & Martin, H.. (2019, November) Mississippi Thrive! Presented to the Jackson Campaign for Grade-Level Reading at the United Way of the Capital Area office, Jackson, MS.

Robertson, M. N., Seitz, H. H., Downey, L. H., Hardman, A., Steen, J., Williams, D., Stone, A., & Buys, D. (2019, November). Increasing uptake of prescription drug take-back boxes: Eliciting preferences and applying the theory of planned behavior to predict use. Poster presented at the 2019 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Robertson, M. N., Hardman, A., Downey, L., Seitz, H., Stone, A., Williams, D., Steen, J., Buys, D. (2019, November). Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict intention to talk about opioids with family members. Paper presented at the 2019 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Fort Worth, TX.

Seitz, H. H., Robertson, M. N., Steen, J., Downey, L., Hardman, A., Stone, A., & Buys, D. (2019, November). A formative research approach to developing prescription opioid misuse prevention messages. Presentation given at the National Communication Association 105th Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Holli Seitz co-facilitated a breakout session for “Tips and Tricks to Effectively Convey a Scientific Message,” a science communication workshop taught by Dr. Jason Organ and sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development.

SSRC Chronicles: November 2019
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