Ph.D., Sociology, Mississippi State University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, East Carolina University
Associate Director and Research Professor, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University
Coordinator of Research and Development for the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP), Mississippi State University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University
Since 1994, Dr. Robertson has been conducting multi-site and longitudinal research on behavioral health issues among substance abusing and offender populations. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has funded research on the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV risk behaviors among juvenile detainees, mental health treatment and social service needs of incarcerated youth, conditions of confinement in Mississippi juvenile detention facilities, and behavioral interventions to reduce drug use and HIV risk behaviors among juvenile offenders. Dr. Robertson collaborates with state juvenile justice agencies to collect, analyze, and report information on juvenile crime and the processing of youth by the juvenile justice system. Her analyses and reports have been instrumental in assisting in monitoring compliance with federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention mandates. Currently, she serves on the Advisory Committee to the Juvenile Detention and Alternatives Task Force, which was created by the Mississippi Legislature in 2012 to develop statewide standards for juvenile detention facilities and to propose alternatives to incarceration for juvenile offenders who do not pose a threat to public safety. Dr. Robertson is also involved in a NIDA-funded collaborative research program with five other universities designed to implement evidence-based substance abuse and HIV prevention and treatment programs for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
For the past five years, Dr. Robertson’s research has targeted substance abusing adults and adult offenders. She has conducted studies of individuals convicted of impaired driving (DUI) and clients in substance abuse treatment programs. Her work in these areas focuses on gender differences in risk behavior, acceptability of rapid HIV testing, and the development and evaluation of behavioral interventions to reduce DUI recidivism, to increase HIV testing among at risk populations, and to decrease health compromising behaviors.
Before coming to Mississippi State University, Dr. Robertson worked in community mental health and substance abuse treatment for 16 years. She developed and directed the ARK, the first state funded residential substance abuse treatment program for adolescents in Mississippi.