IMG_0495_1Healthy Community Development Policy Forum was held at the Mississippi E-Center on Nov. 17, 2015.   Professors Andre HInes, and Jae-Young Ko served the event as session panelists. The forum was designed to develop policy agendas of health community development for City of Jackson.  Local experts from Children's Defense Fund, Mississippi Center for Justice, Bike Walk Mississippi, Mississippi Housing Partnership, and City of Jackson introduced their ideas, based on their experiences and expertise on their fields for healthy community. Based on their reports, selected students from JSU depts. of Political Science, and Urban and Regional Planning developed policy agendas.  Professors Andre HInes, and Jae-Young Ko joined another group of panelists   who gave comments on the policy agendas.  The event was moderated by professor Joan Wesley at Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, and Dr. Sam Mozee at Mississippi Urban Resear Center. The event was hosted by the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative-Jackson, City of Jackson, and Instute of Government at JSU. During the event, PPAD students  (Ms. Sheryl Bacon (PhD) Ms. Sequica James (PhD), Ms. Prisca Patrick (MPPA), and Dr. Udensi Udensi (PhD )) also reported their onoing research on community development. 

The picture (from left to right) shows Professor Hines, Professor Ko, Mr. Melvin Priester, Jr., (Jackson City Council, Ward 2), and Ms. Silbrina Wright (Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors).    



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patrickMs. Prisca Patrick, a MPPA (MPA) student, played an active role during the 2015 Mississippi Ride for Kids, on October 25th. Ride for Kids is a nation-wide series of motorcycle events, orgaized by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors by providing fundings for medical research and family support. Ms. Prisca Patrick played an important role in reaching the donation of $32,000 during the event. Her efforts were recognized by the National Associate Director Jerry Harvey, and the group leader National Ride For Kids Assistant Jackie Cooke.  In addition. the PPAD faculty member, Dr. Stokes, and her students also participated in the event, representing the Jackson State University. 



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A PPAD student at the White House

October 22nd, 2015 by ppad

a8415a7790ecf8026c3cb496d0c92dc2673b6a3b-standardMrs. Sonya Greenleaf, a MPPA (MPA) student, attended an event held at the White House, DC, on September 16, 2015.  The event was organized as a way to celebrate Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). The invited participants from across the country exchanged success stories and challenges in building healther communities.  During the White House event, First Lady, Mrs. Obama welcomed the delegates, including Mrs. Sonya Greenleaf.  The event was organized by the National League of Cities (NLC), which has been working on creating healthier communities for healthy kids. Mrs. Greenleaf is currently City Clerk at Town of Vaiden, MS.  She is in charge of human resources, record preservation, and tax collection. 


(Photo credit:

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The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation declared Ms. Prisca Patrick (MPPA) as a Star Spotlight with their organization on October 9, 2015. She has been volunteering for an event that will take place on Oct. 25, called Ride for Kids MS ( ). She has been also raising funds and collecting volunteers for the event  She would love for the students to get involved. She would really LOVE donations too, with a $500 fundraising goal. She is selling home-made mini original cinnamon rolls for $13 and just collecting donations. Please feel free to share!  

They also posted the spotlight on their Facebook page ( ).   

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IMG_0121PPAD students presented their research on public health for the 15th Annual Conference on Eliminating Health Disparities, held at the Jackson Convention Center, Jackson, MS, from October 8 to 9, 2015. Dr. Udensi Udensi (PhD; left in picture), and Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax (PhD; right in picture), and Professor Jae-Young Ko made a poster presentation on a compartive epidemiology study of HIV infection in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. (Udensi__EPI_2015_Poster_final). Also, Dr. Udensi made another oral presentation on the research.  The research found that the major obstacles in the fight against HIV/AIDS in most of the countries are stigma and discrimination which discourage access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services. If the affordable health care act is well implemented, probably more uninsured and underinsured American will have more access to antiretroviral treatments.


DSC_0159_finMs. Ashley Caples (MPPA) and Professor Jae-Young Ko made another presentation for the conference (title: Attaining the unattainable: Accessing barriers of the ununsured and underserved population for quality health care in Mississippi) .  They found that If Mississippi could improve its health system performance or accessibilities to that of the best performing state, economic savings would be $67 million in a year. It is essential that the state build a health insurance exchange that benefits the underserved populations as well.  The recommendations of  this study are to introduce modest fees, maintain greater subsidies for poorer communities and for lower levels of health care, and carefully evaluate how fees affect the decisions of individuals about whether and where to seek medical care.  

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A publication from the PPAD doctoral students

September 30th, 2015 by ppad

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Mr. Michael Grant (PhD; in picture)Ms. Laura McDavitt (PhD), Ms. Florence Black (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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