A publication from the PPAD doctoral students

September 30th, 2015 by ppad

Ms. Laura McDavitt (PhD), Ms. Florence Black (PhD), and Mr. Michael Grant (PhD), and professor Jae-Young Ko have published a paper on teen birth in Mississippi. They presented their research on a comparative study of teen birth trend in Southern Urban Communities in the United States for the NAAAS International Research Forum, held at Mississippi College, Clinton, MS, from April 27- May 1, 2014.  Their presentation is now published for the 2014 NAAAS Special Events Monograph (Mcdavitt_2015_teen birth in southern urban communities). Congratulations!!!! 

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Dr robonson

Dr. Chester Robinson, an associate professor at Jackson State University, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.  The Committee serves as an independent advisory body to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sylvia M. Burwell. Robinson says “it’s an honor to serve on the advisory committee” and he looks forward to working with the Committee Chairman, Ronnie Musgrove, former Governor of Mississippi.  The appointment begins immediately and ends April, 2019.  The Committee produces reports on key rural health issues and makes recommendations on possible solutions.  Robinson will be one of 16 experts representing a geographic mix across the country.  The committee includes individuals knowledgeable in the delivery, financing, research, and administration of rural health services.  Robinson’s research and professional experience focus on older Americans, health disparities, Medicare, end-of-life care decision making, and public policy formulation.  He teaches health policy courses in JSU’s Public Policy and Administration Program. For further information about the Advisory Committee go to: Congratulations, Professor Robinson!!!!!

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ko_3The 12th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research was held at Marriott Hotel, Jackson, MS, from September 13 to 16, 2015.  Professor Jae-Young Ko participated in the event and presented his research on utilization of natural ecosystem service (Presentation topic:  An Exploratory Study of Reducing Water Pollution-related Environmental Damages and Human Health Risks Using Assimilation Function of Wetlands in the State of Mississippi).  Currently State of Mississippi has shown difficulties in complying with the regulation of wastewater treatment (NPDES) under the Clean Water Act.  For example, in 2009, about  fifty-four  minor and major volations were reported per 100 wastewater teatment plants in the State.  With professor John W. Day at LSU, he proposed utilizing assimilation function of natural wetlands as a component of wastewater treamtent system in improving compliance record, because the natural energy-based  wetlands method can reduce the capital and annual O&M costs, while providing the same services of conventional civil engineering based-methods.  He demonstrated the feasiblity of the new approach, using cases available in neighboring state, Louisiana, and explored potential benefits of the new approach for the State of Mississippi. He also suggested a list of strategies for adopting the new idea in State (Poster: Ko_poster_envt risk symposium).  His reserach records on wetlands utilization and other research accomplishments are available at Google Scholar.

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Publications from Graduate Students

September 18th, 2015 by ppad

Two papers, which were prepared by graduate students and a faculty member, are accepted for Online Journal of Rural and Urban Research.


Mr. Alan Branson (PhD; left in picture), Ms. LaTonya Curley (PhD; middle in picture),Ms. Jennifer Hicks-McGowan (PhD;not shown), Mr. Christopher Roby (PhD; right in picture), and professor Jae-Young Ko worked together to analyze payday landing patterns, focusing on socio-economic characteristics of the users, and their motives , using a questionnaire-based survey for the Metro-Jackson area in 2014 (title of the paper: An assessment of payday lending practices in the Metro-Jackson area, Mississippi, and potential policy responses). They found that the users did not want to use the service again, if possible. Also, the terms of the lending services are found to be not easily understood by the  customers (Branson_Abstract). Their paper is scheduled to be published for the Fall 2015 issue of Online Journal of Rural and Urban Research, which is a peer-reviewed journal, published by the JSU Mississippi Urban Research Center.

Brown_ryan_1 Another paper, done by Mr. Ryan Brown (MPA, class of 2015) and professor Jae-Young Ko, will be published for the same issue of the journal (title of the paper: A correlation analysis of poverty with race, eduction, and economic well-being in Mississippi, and policy alternatives). They examined the county level relationships among poverty, race, economic well-being, and eductional attaintment in the state of Mississippi, and proposed increasing minimum wages, increased funding for public education, and a state-based Earned Income Tax Credit as policy alternatives (Brown_Abstract).

Congratulations to the graduate students!!!!!!

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billingsley recognition_3Professor Billingsley, the MPPA (MPA) program director, has an interview with the PA Times Managine lately.  She is also the President of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) for 2015-2016.

During the interview, she explained how American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) has been instrumental for her career development, and she proposed her vision for the COMPA. 

In addition, she presented her idea on social equity as a value for public administrators to pursue.

The full interview is available at the PA Times Magazine, Summer 2015         BillingsleyCOMPAspotlight.

Congratulations, Professor Billingsley.   


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The Dept of Public Policy & Administration has moved in the JSU downtown campus.  It is now located at the 3rd floor of the JSU building at 101 W. Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39201.

The building is just across from the Jackson Convention Center, and next to the Federal Building.

Classes will be offered at the new building, starting in the Fall 2015.


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An Internship Story of Prisca Patrick

June 13th, 2015 by ppad



At the age of fifteen months, Prisca Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV Ependymoma, a brain tumor accompanied by multiple tumors around her spine.  Doctors did not give her parents much hope for her survival, tell them that if she did survive she would have an IQ no higher than 70.  Despite the devastating prognosis, Ms. Patrick is currently excelling in the Public Policy and Administration Program at Jackson State University.

Being diagnosed with Stage IV Ependymoma at such a young age, Ms. Patrick does not remember her initial treatments.  She does, however, know the difficulties and hardships that she has had to overcome and adapt to because of the side effects and late effects due to the surgeries and chemotherapy. While Ms. Patrick has spent many days and nights in the hospital since her l diagnosis over 24 years ago, the most impactful avenue for treatments that she remembers and holds dear to her heart are the numerous non-profit organizations that have provided so many resources and smiles. The most impactful organizations within the cancer community are Camp Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s program for children with cancer, and Magic Moments, who provides non-medical wishes for chronically ill children. Patrick started as a camper at Camp Smile-A-Mile in 1993 and is a part of the Young Adult Cancer Survivor’s Group within the organization. Magic Moments granted her wish to go to Disneyland, providing all costs and luxury for her family and herself. Because of the generosity of both organizations, and several others, Prisca’s heart to help others in the same manner is very evident.

patrick1Ms. Patrick applied to several non-profit organizations for a summer internship, as a requirement for the MPPA Program and received multiple offers from well-known non-profit organizations.  Because of her experiences, she accepted the offer to work for Make-A-Wish® America as the Chapter Support Finance and Accounting Intern at the national office in Phoenix, Arizona. This program offers several opportunities such as professional development, practical experience, and networking opportunities.  The most beneficial and impactful aspect for working for such an amazing organization is the work that she will be doing will put a smile on a child’s face who is battling a life-threatening medical condition.  While Ms. Patrick did not receive a wish from this organization, she directly relate to the mission of the organization, which is to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.”

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dept websiteThe JSU Spring 2015 Graduate Commencement  was held  at      the Lee E. Williams Atheletics and Assembley Center,  the JSU main campus, on May 1,  2015.  

One PhD  student and seven MPPA students received their degrees  during  the ceremony  from the Public Policy and Administration (PPAD) program (People    shown in pic: Professor  Billingsley, Ms. Tanya Reed, Ms.Daisy Carter and Ms.  Linda Barnette).  

The students who received their degrees are as follows:


Dr. Annie R. Baker


Mr. Jeremy D. Armstrong, Ms. Britiani D. Johnson, Ms. Linda W. Barnette, Ms. Daisy D. Carter, Ms. Tanya M. Reed, Mr. Clarence Byrd, III, and Mr. James C. Thompson.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!!!

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Distinguished Visiting Professor Sylvester Murray (in left picture) and six PPAD    students attended the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Conference, held in Tampa, FL, from April 22 – 26, 2015. Their trip was a great success. Our student panel was very well received. Kafond Wilder, Ashley Caples, Alonzo Hutchins and Prisca Patrick  each gave a well prepared power point presentation that Dr. Billingsley reviewed in advance. Michael Spann gave a   poster  presentation. The proof of being well received:  the audience engaged all of the students in extended question and answer sessions. Prisca Patrick received a $5,000 scholarship for an essay she wrote on health care. Antron McKay received a $2,500 scholarship for an essay he wrote on community involvement. And Mike Spann received a $1,000 scholarship for a poster he did on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The PPAD  faculty members and students are very proud of all of them, and appreciate professort Murray's efforts to make it happen!


Public Policy Students

(pic in left: a main event in the ballroom; pic in right: Attending students:  Alonzo Hutchins, Ashley Caples, Kafond Wilder, Prisca Patrick,Antron Mckay,and Mike Spann)

image1_finPrisca picture_fin

(pic in left: with Mayor Tony Yarber of City of Jackson, MS; pic in right: Ms. Prisca Patrick with the award)







(pics showing presenting students from left: Alonzo Hutchins, Ashley Caples, Prisca Patrick, and Kafond Wilder)   

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The JSU Public Policy Student Symposium – Spring 2015 was held on April 23, 2015.  The semi-annual event is prepared as a way for students to increase their independent research skills and to enhance their skills of public communications in a professional setting, and to improve their writing skills.  Sixteen students (8 doctoral, and 8 master) joined the event. Their diverse research topics cover homelessness issue in Jackson, MS, to the brownfield redevelopment.  

The students who presented their researches for the event are as follows:













Ms. Ashlee Theodore (PhD; 1st left on top in picture; title: Assessing the environmental benefits of brownfield redevelopment in Jackson, Mississippi), Ms. Almesha Campbell (PhD; 2nd left on top; title: A correlation study betweeen poverty and access to drinking water sources: a case study of Sub-Sahara Africa), Ms. LaTonya Curley (PhD: 3rd left on top; title: Promoting active transportation as a tool for decreasing obesity), Ms. Sheryl Bacon (PhD: 4th left on top;  title: Transportation as a social determinant of health in the State of Mississippi), Ms. Christine Allen (PhD: 1st left on second row; title: Impact of veterans' perception of therapist empathy on continuation in treatment: Research proposal), Mr. Christopher Roby (PhD; 2nd left on second row; title: Effectiveness analysis of the popular opinion leader intervention on reducing HIV rates in the Jackson MSA), Mr. Alan Branson (PhD; 3rd left on second row; title: Determinants of payday lending locations in Mississippi), and Ms. Denita Jones (PhD; 4th left on second row; title: Citizen engagement: a case study of the West Jackson master plan development).












Mr. Ryan Brown (MPPA;1st left on third row; title: Poverty, race, and economic development in Mississippi), Ms. Katherine Smith (MPPA;2nd left on third row; title: Debate over foster parenents' adoption rights in Southern states), Ms. Christina Spann (MPPA; 3rd left on third row; title: Tiny house movement: A solution to homelessness in Jackson, MS), Mr. Michael Bolden (MPPA; 4th left on third row; title: Childhood poverty in Mississippi), Mr. James Thompson (MPPA; 1st left on fourth row; title: Miscanthus in Mississippi: The potential and limiting factors for biomass industry in the Magnolia State), Mr. Cedric Coates (MPPA; 2nd left on fourth row; title: Trends of funding aging infrastructure in Jackson: Is the one percent tax increase enough?), Ms. Helenrine Seymour (MPPA; 3rd left on fourth row; title: Impacts of wildlife refuge in the community), and Mr. Aden Brown (MPPA; 4th left on fourth row; title: Education in Mississippi: A study of student reading achivements).

The symposium has recognized the top three presentations for PhD, and MPPA categories, respectively:


1st Place: Mr. Alan Branson (Alan Branson_payday lending location)

2nd Place: Mr. Christopher Roby (Christopher Roby_HIV intervention)

3rd Place: Ms. Christine Allen (Christine Allen_veteran treatment)


1st Place: Mr. Ryan Brown (Ryan Brown_poverty race economics)

2nd Place: Ms. Christina Spann (Christina Spann_TinyHouseMovementppt)

3rd Place: Mr. Cedric Coates (Cedric Coates_infrustructure jackson).

We appreciate your hard works embedded in your outstanding presentations, and Congratulations to the winners!!

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