Orange fall leaves on the trees in front of the SSRC building

Awards & Recognition

Dr. Colleen Sinclair was asked by the Federation of American Scientists to submit questions to Senator Roger Wicker’s office to be used in the Congressional Hearing on Misinformation that occurred on October 28.

New Projects

Dr. Ben Porter will serve as Principal Investigator on the “Highway Analytics Year 2 Project.” This project will provide analytic and data management support for the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety for answering questions and preparing reports. The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety is sponsoring this project.

Dr. Holli Seitz, who directs The Message Laboratory, has received funding from the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development Undergraduate Research Program Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. This project, “Advancing Undergraduate Research in Applied Communication Science” will fund undergraduate research in health and science communication.

In the News

Dr. Robert McMillen’s work with the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition was featured in Nevada Today and Carson Now. Find the stories at and

Dr. Colleen Sinclair wrote a story for The Conversation. Read Shopping Online to Stay Safe During the Pandemic? Here are 10 Tips for Avoiding Scams online at

Dr. Colleen Sinclair and Dr. Megan Stubbs-Richardson authored a story for Domestic Violence Awareness Month on the MSU news page that was shared by Mississippi Free PressThe Clarion-Ledger, and the Meridan Star. Read the story here


Leaders of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety visited the SSRC on October 6th to discuss current and potential partnerships.


Tockie Hemphill has joined the SSRC as a project manager. Hemphill will work primarily on the Child Health Development project and the Kellogg project. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rust College and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Mississippi State University, and she has experience in veteran services, disability services, career services, counseling services, research, advocacy, and public health.

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi were invitee attendees at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish External Advisory Board Meeting. The two-hour event – which was held on October 21 – was led by Dr. Mark Lawrence (FIL Director, Mississippi State University) and Dr. Elin Torell (FIL Deputy Director, University of Rhode Island). The FIL External Advisory Board members include Dr. Bryan McCoy (Director, FirstWave Group; CEO, Yalelo), Dr. Michael Phillips (Director, CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems; Director of Aquaculture and Fisheries, WorldFish), Dr. Melba Reantaso (Aquaculture Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Dr. Rohana Subasinghe (Director, FutureFish), and Dr. Karen Veverica (Former Director, Auburn University E.W. Shell Fisheries Research Center).

Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laborartory 

The Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory conducted a survey of Mississippi professionals working in multiple occupational sectors that involve the care of or advocacy for children. This survey was commissioned by Dr. Linda Southward on behalf of the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi and included measures of professionals’ opinions about child-focused services and interventions around the state. The instrument was designed in coordination between the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Via a multi-modal web and phone distribution, the survey garnered 439 responses from a non-probability sampling frame with wide geographic distribution across Mississippi. Findings from this survey will be used to inform policy briefs, future interventions, and the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi’s report: “A Blueprint for Mississippi’s Children.”

On the Horizon

Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Mary Read-Wahidi are developing the AgDev Toolkit Series. Their first online training course for our AgDev Toolkit Series is a four-module course, GRADA (Gender Responsive Agricultural Development), for the USAID-supported Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL). During the four modules of the online course, Ragsdale and Read-Wahidi will walk learners through 1) their 10-domain adapted version of the Gender Mainstreaming Framework (GMF), 2) real-world examples that illustrate the GMF’s 10 domains, and 3) the process of developing their own GRADA tailored to their project or organization, drawing on the GMF.


Cash, R. A., Walker, B. H., Sarver, D. E. (2020, October). ADHD and obesity: Understanding health behaviors that modify risk. Paper presented at the meeting of the Mississippi Psychological Association.

Seitz, H. (2020, October). “Correcting Scientific Misinformation,” Departmental seminar series, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University.

Publications & Reports

Swanson, David, and Cossman, Ronald E. “Estimating the Underlying Infant Mortality Rates for Small  Populations, Even Those Reporting Zero Infant Deaths: A Case Study of 42 Counties in Mississippi.” Mississippi Academy of Sciences. Vol.65, No. 2, pp: 183-197.

SSRC Chronicles: October 2020
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