SSRC Chronicles: May 2012
Those working with The Evaluation for HIV/STD Planning Project, led by Ms. Rahel Mathews, MPH, have finished four reports for the Mississippi Department of Health, Division of STD/HIV. The project team has completed the analyses for the qualitative and quantitative sections of a MSDH statewide community needs assessment. The implementation, analysis and report on school principals’ perspectives on the abstinence plus curriculum has been completed. A report on school nurses’ and school principals’ perspectives on STD testing for students was also completed. These reports will guide the health department in their strategic plan.
Ms. Colleen McKee will serve as Principal Investigator for the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation’s project to evaluate the Project Fit America (PFA) program in Mississippi schools. The Foundation has provided funding for the PFA program in 188 elementary and middle schools in Mississippi. The purpose of the research is to assess the impact of a program intervention, specifically the impact of providing innovative fitness equipment and accompanying curriculum on the health andwell-being of school age children in participating schools. The project will provide the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation with information regarding the effectiveness of the PFA program on health outcomes, as well as the costs-benefits of this program.
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale will serve as Principal Investigator on the Mississippi School Health Equity Project. Funded in part by the Washington, D.C.-based organization, Advocates for Youth, the project will establish a year-round, youth-friendly health clinic at Lanier High School that focuses on the sexual health of teens, and will also be developing a “best practices” learning community for school nurses and other school-based health care providers. Other P.I.s on the project include Ms. Carol Penick (Women’s Fund of Mississippi), Ms. Jamie Bardwell (Women’s Fund of Mississippi), Dr. Kate Fouquier (UMC School of Nursing), Aaron Shirley, M.D. (Jackson Medical Mall) and Dr. Kina Johnson (Mississippi State Department of Health).
Survey Research Lab
The J.W. Landrum Observational Survey Laboratory (OSL) is conducting the annual Mississippi Seat Belt and Motorcycle Helmet Survey around the National “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) Campaign. Also, the OSL is currently conducting child passenger safety surveys in 40 Mississippi municipalities. Mississippi is below the national average of 85 percent in seat belt use rates. Each year media efforts and enforcement activities are focused around the CIOT Memorial Day period in an attempt to encourage vehicle occupants who do not “buckle up” to alter their behavior. This OSL project is funded by the Mississippi Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to evaluate the occupant protection status of Mississippi motorists as mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Mr. David Parrish is the Principal Investigator for the project.
Awards & Recognitions
Ms. Melanie Morse, Graduate Research Assistant, received the APA Student Travel Award to present her research at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Orlando, Fla., in August.
Mr. Stewart Hornor, an Undergraduate Research Assistant who has worked in the Observational Survey Laboratory for over a year, has been accepted to the Cecil Humphrey School of Law at the University of Memphis. Mr. Hornor graduated Cum Laude in political science in the spring.
Mr. Geoff Jakins, an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Observational Survey Laboratory and recent MSU graduate in electrical engineering, accepted a job offer from Singing River Electric Company in Ocean Springs, Miss.
Dr. Angela Robertson completed the 2011/2012 Faculty Leadership Program sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development. The Leadership Program’s objectives are to provide faculty with the tools and training needed to be a successful academic administrator. This includes the opportunity to get the know the senior leadership team at MSU, speak with colleagues across campus about faculty and staff leadership issues, develop a network of peers across campus and initiate the development of a personal career development plan. The program selects candidates from those who have been nominated by their department head or director.
Mr. Lee McCluskey successfully proposed his master’s thesis: Investigating the Threat Avoidant Model of Pathological Anxiety, on May 3. In addition to research conducted at the SSRC as a Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Angela Robertson, Mr. McCluskey is currently completing a 300-hour practicum with Student Counseling Services. As part of his practicum, he is co-facilitating therapeutic groups using dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness based relapse prevention for substance abuse.
Mr. Will Rackley joined the Social Science Research Center as an Undergraduate Research Assistant working with the Public Safety Data Laboratory. He will be assisting in coordinating efforts related to the lab’s personnel management system for the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
Mr. Evan Howlett joined the SSRC as a Graduate Research Assistant working with the Public Safety Data Laboratory. He will be assisting in developing the lab’s new website domain’s interactive data component for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
Ms. Ellen Davis joined the SSRC as an Undergraduate Assistant. She will collaborate with Dr. Arthur G. Cosby in the production of the monthly SSRC Chronicles. She will also be assisting Ms. Jodie Shappley. Ms. Davis is a junior, currently pursuing bachelor’s degrees in both political science and economics.
Ms. Janie Kennedy and Mr. Cameron Higdon joined the SSRC as Undergraduate Research Assistants in the J. W. Landrum Observational Survey Laboratory. Among many duties, the assistants’ primary responsibilities will include the construction of large datasets from field-gathered motor-vehicle occupant protection surveys in Mississippi.
Ms. Amanda Howell, a graduate student, joined the SSRC to work on the Evaluation for HIV/STD Planning Project with Ms. Rahel Mathews, MPH.
Mr. Hung Chak Ho (Derrick Ho) joined the SSRC as a Graduate Research Assistant working with Dr. Angela Robertson on MASEP research and development. He will also work with Dr. Guangqing Chi on developability indices development. Mr. Ho received his master’s degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University and his bachelor’s degree in geosciences (GIS concentration) from Tennessee Technological University. He has been accepted to the doctoral program in the Department of Sociology at MSU. Mr. Ho previously worked in the Department of Geosciences as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. His expertise centers on issues relating to social statistics, spatial demography and human-environmental interaction. Mr. Ho has served as a reviewer of theSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology scientific journal and he is one of the editorial board members of the American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences. He was a member of the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society and the Gamma Theta Upsilon Honor Society. He is currently a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Association of American Geographers.
Mr. La’Mont Sutton, a master’s candidate at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, will collaborate on Project CHANGE: Community Transformation Grant (Dr. Robert McMillen, P.I.; Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale, Co-P.I.). Mr. Sutton will assist Dr. Ragsdale with secondary data analyses of the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and CDC Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data to identify risk factors and health disparities based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, etc. associated with high-risk behaviors and teen pregnancy. The CDC and My Brother’s Keeper, Inc will fund the project.
On The Horizon
Mr. David Parrish, Senior Research Associate, and Ms. Twyla Jennings of the Mississippi Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will present a session on Rural Traffic Safety at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Region II Conference in Charleston, W.Va., June 11.
Ms. Monica Rosas, Research Associate, has been selected to present at the 11th Annual Conference Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) – Latinos in the Heartland in Columbia, Mo., June 13-15. Ms. Rosas will be presenting “Mexican Immigration and the Emergence of Mexican Food in the U.S. Written Culture.”
Dr. Angela Robertson and Ms. Sheena Gardner will present a poster, entitled “MASEP: 40 Years of DUI Research and Program Development,” at the Lifesavers 30th National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities in Orlando, Fla., June 14-16.
Dr. Angela Robertson, P.I., and Dr. Laura Myers, Co-P.I., submitted a proposal to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Planning’s Office of Justice Programs in response to their Program Evaluation RFP. The proposed “Mississippi Justice Assistance Program (JAG) Recovery Program Evaluation” funding would cover a 12-month period beginning July 1.
Drs. Ronald Cossman, Jeralynn Cossman, Wesley James and Gerald Shoultz had a paper accepted for conference presentation in July, hosted by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The paper is titled “The Association Between Migration and Mortality at the U.S. County Level – Are Health Rates Stable When Populations Are Not?” The special two-day conference is titled “Innovative Perspectives on Population Mobility: Mobility, Immobility and Well-Being.”
Ms. Melanie Morse, a Graduate Research Assistant, is to present her work, entitled “Interventions Affecting Successful Secondary Transition of Adolescents with Visual Impairments: A Systematic Literature Review,” at the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired International Conference in Bellevue, Wash., in July.
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale is collaborating with Dr. Alexander Rödlach (Creighton University) on a panel entitled, “Cross-cutting Borders between Community and Health: Health Disparities and Community Health across Diverse Vulnerable Populations.” They will submit the panel for consideration at an Invited Session at the 2012 American Anthropological Association Conference to be held November 14-18, in San Francisco, Calif.
Ms. Melanie Morse, a Graduate Research Assistant, is to present her research at the 46th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Her work, “Can a Simple Manipulation of Social Desirability Change Late Adolescents’ Attitudes Towards Substance Use by Peers?” will be presented at the conference, which is to be held November 15-18, in National Harbor, Md.
Dr. Angela Robertson, P.I., and Dr. Laura Myers, Co-P.I., submitted a letter of intent to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s Request for Proposals (RFP-II). The proposed research assesses “The Impact of Oil Spills and Response Efforts on Public Health and Community Well-Being.”
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (Co-P.I.) is collaborating with MSU colleagues from the Department of Food Science, Nutrition & Health Promotion on an NIH grant proposal entitled “Jackson Heart Study Participants’ Dietary and Physical Activity Behaviors that Attenuate or Exacerbate Obesity and Diabetes” (Dr. Diane Tidwell, P.I.).
Mr. Lee McCluskey will be participating in a course in structural equation modeling (SEM) offered by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kenneth Bollen, a Henry Rudolph Imerwahr Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is teaching the course. Dr. Bollen is recognized as an expert in the field of SEM and has been named one of the World’s Most Cited Authors in the Social Sciences by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (P.I.) and Lisa Long (Co-P.I.) submitted a USDA RIDGE Center proposal to the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) on May 5. The project is entitled “Rural EIF Study: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Early Infant Feeding Practices among Rural & Low-Income Primiparous Young Mothers.” The study aims to explore determinants of early infant feeding practices (e.g., household food security, cultural norms) among African-American and other rural low-income primiparous teen/young mothers.
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale (P.I.) and Dr. Laura Walton (Co-P.I.) submitted a USDA NIFA proposal on May 15. The project is entitled “Enhancing Early Infant Feeding (EIF) Practices among Low-Income First-Time Teen/Young Mothers through New/Social Media (eBaby Project).” The study aims to convert existing and new extension Just in Time Parenting (JITP) content into culturally relevant parenting videos for culturally/ethnically diverse low-income teen/young mothers in the rural South.
Publications & Reports
Brauner-Otto, S. R. Forthcoming. School quality, the spread of new ideas and fertility limitation. Rural Sociology.
Chen, X., & Chi, G. Forthcoming. Beauty, money and talent distribution: A local-level panel data analysis. Population Research and Policy Review.
Chi, G., & Marcouiller, D.W. Forthcoming. Recreational homes and migration to remote amenity-rich areas. Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy.
McCluskey, D. L. (2012). A review of evidence-based practices with juvenile offenders. Mississippi State University, Social Science Research Center. Submitted to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Planning.
McKinney, C., & Morse, M. (2012). Assessment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Tools and Recommendations. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0027324
McMillen, R., Maduka, J., & Winickoff, J. P. (2012). Use of emerging tobacco products in the United States. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. doi:10.1155/2012/989474.
Neaves, T. T. (2012). Taking the Leap for ASPA: National Leadership and SkyJump Las VegasTM. PA Times, 35(2): 18.
Neaves, T. T., Cosby, A. C., Mann, S. C., & Shappley, J. R. (2012). “Executive report for enhancing the Coastal IQ Survey: Measuring knowledge and attitudes of Gulf Coast residents.” Mississippi State University, Social Science Research Center.
Robertson, A. A., St. Lawrence, J. S., & McCluskey, D. L. Forthcoming. HIV/STI risk behavior of drug court participants. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.
Walton, L. R., Seitz. H., & Ragsdale, K. (2012). Strategic use of YouTube during a national public health crisis: The CDC’s response to the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic.Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 1:25-37. Available online here.
Presentations, Panels & Conferences
Dr. Laura Myers, Research Professor, and Ms. Ashley Loftin, Research Associate I, attended the Tallahatchie Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in Charleston, Miss., May 2. Ms. Loftin presented work at LEPC.
Dr. Robert McMillen, Coordinator of the Tobacco Control Unit, was invited to speak at the Mississippi Comprehensive Cancer Control Conference on May 10. His presentation was entitled “Economic Impacts of Going Smoke-Free.” Dr. McMillen also served as an invited panelist on the conference’s Health Policy Panel.
Dr. Ginger Cross (SSRC), Dr. Chiquita Briley (MSU Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion) and Ms. Donna Loden (HealthWorks! North Mississippi) attended the National Institute of Health’s annual conference for Science Education Projects in Bethesda, Md., May 13-16.
Ms. Tonya T. Neaves, project coordinator, attended the Public Administration Theory Network (PAT-Net), serving as chair of its “Historical and Fictional Images of Public Administration” panel on South Padre Island May 17-20. Founded in 1978, PAT-Net is an international network of professionals concerned with the advancement of public administration theory. For more information visit the organization’s website at www.patheory.org.
Ms. Ashley Loftin, Research Associate I, attended the Mid-South Warning Project with National Weather Service office personnel out of Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn. and Jackson, Miss. The meeting was to discuss opportunities of future weather projects for the participating states. The meeting was held in Columbus, Miss., May 23-24.
Dr. Laura Myers, Research Professor, and Ms. Ashley Loftin, Research Associate I, facilitated a train derailment tabletop exercise for Stone County, Miss., May 29.
Chi, G., & Boydstun, J. (2012). Gasoline price changes and residential relocation: Evidence from the American Housing Survey, 1995-2009. Poster presented at the annual meeting of Population Association of America, San Francisco, Calif.
English, T., Peterson, D., Webb, C. A., McCluskey, D. L., Hakenworth, T., Kempker, S., Pittman, Z., Keeley, J. W., Henslee, A. M., & Irons, J. (2012). Trying to eliminate ceiling and floor effects on teacher evaluation surveys. Poster presented at the 24th Southeastern Conference on The Teaching of Psychology, Atlanta, Ga.
Fratesi, C. A., Williams, R. D., Hunt, B. P., Slinkard, S. B., Ragsdale, K., Briley, C. A., Tidwell, D., & Burney, L. (2012). Community mapping and assessment of obesity prevention resources. Poster presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Society, San Antonio, Texas.
McCluskey, D. L., Clark, M. E., Howell, A., & English, T. (2012). Substance use and experiential avoidance: Implications for treatment and recovery. Poster presented at The Mississippi School for Addiction Professionals, Hattiesburg, Miss.
McCluskey, D. L., Webb, C. A., Peterson, D., English, T., Hakenworth, T., Kempker, S., Pittman, Z., Henslee, A. M., Irons, J., & Keeley, J. W. (2012). Using the teacher behavior checklist to test the halo effect. Poster presented at the 24th Southeastern Conference on The Teaching of Psychology, Atlanta, Ga.
Myers, L. B. (2012). Regional Emergency Planning Support for Emergency Management. Presented to Shelby County Alabama Amateur Radio Club, Birmingham, Ala.
June 4, 2012