2021 COMPA conference

February 8th, 2021 by webserv

The COMPA conference (Conference of Minority Public Administrators) has been the major conference for the PPAD over the years.

The 2021 COMPA conference (Conference of Minority Public Administrators) will be held in a virtual format from Feb.25 – Feb.28, 2o21.


As a component of the conference event, Dr. Frances PO. Liddell has organized a policy debate section.

Now. Dr. Liddell is looking for PPAD students who will join the debate event, held on Feb.28, 1 pm – 4 pm.

If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Dr. Diddell,


We look forward to active participation among the PPAD students.


Posted in Uncategorized

Ms. Lawren Long had defended her doctoral dissertation on July 16, 2020. Her dissertation (topic: Evaluating the Impacts of the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2020 (HHFKA) on Childhood Obesity) has analyzed the impacts of the federal registration on K-12 students’ obesity trends across the nation, employing the pre-post interrupted time series analysis.  Her analysis has found that the federal legislation has improved the quality of school breakfast and lunch programs, and expanded the number of participating schools in providing nutritional foods to the students.  However, the rates of obesity showed mixed results.  Professor Johnny Gilleylen served as the dissertation advisor and the committee chair of her dissertation. Professors Ester Stokes, Jae-Young Ko, and Talya Thomas (JSU Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning), and Dr. Brenda Campbell Jenkins (JSU School of Public Health) were the committee members.  It took four yours for her defense since she joined the doctoral program in the fall of 2016.  Truly she has devoted herself to the doctoral work over the years.  Congratulations, Dr. Long!!!!!

Today’s dissertation defense was held in an online format, following the JSU guideline.





Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. Jae-Young Ko, PPAD Associate Professor and six students presented their research at the Annual Conference of Mississippi Political Science Association at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi on February 9th and 10th, 2018.  Dr. Ko served as President of the Association for the 2017-2018 term.

Mr. John Proctor (doctoral student) attended two roundtable sessions. Ms. Symone Bounds (doctoral student) presented her research on training on the reduction of inconsistencies in the State of Mississippi small purchase program. Ms. Wendy Mahoney (doctoral student) discussed the teen dating violence in Mississippi. Ms. Adrieme Walker (doctoral student) talked about impacts of women legislators on public policy of women issues in Arizona and Mississippi. Ms. Denita Jones (doctoral student) gave her research on mental health aftercare for juvenile offenders. Ms. Shelia Malone (master student) shared her research on health disparities in the rural Mississippi. Additionally, Jae-Young Ko talked about his funded project on impacts of USDA's policy on minority farmers in Mississippi.

(From left to right in the top row: Mr. John Proctor, Ms. Symone Bounds, Ms. Wendy Mahoney. From left to right in the second row:  Ms. Adrieme Walker, Ms. Denita Jones, and Ms. Shelia Malone)


Posted in Uncategorized

The Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA), 47th Annual Conference were held in Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 12-14, 2018.

PPAD professors and student attended the 2018 COMPA conference.  The left picture (from left to right) shows Dr. Kristi Roberts-Lewis, who received her doctoral degree from our dept (PPAD), and she is currently VP of the COMPA, and a professor at Point University, West Point, GA; Professor Gloria Billingsley at PPAD ; Professor Sy Murray, who was at PPAD from 2013 to 2016; Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax, a doctoral student at PPAD; and Professor Frances Liddell at PPAD.

Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax, Phd Student, gave a presentation from her dissertation proposal, titled 'the Effectiveness of the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Initiative: A Case Study of the S.H.A.P.E. Diversion Intervention in Public Schools in Memphis Tennessee' (right pic). Professor Billingsley served as a session moderator, and attended meetings of steering committee.

The JSU PPAD has been one of top leading programs for the COMPA and in the area of minority public administrators. For example, Professor Sy Murray, Professor Curtina Moreland-Young, Professor Frances Liddell, and Professor Gloria Billingsley served the COMPA as presidents. All of them were and are the PPAD faculty members.

If you want to know more about the 2018 COMPA, please click the following weblink, http://www.compaspanet.com/conference.html


Posted in Uncategorized

Jackson State University’s (JSU) Department of Public Policy and Administration (PPAD) received a $171,600 grant to determine the level of effectiveness of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Act (Section 2501; 2014) to remedy historical barriers to the success of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Dr. Johnny B. Gilleylen Sr. serves as the project’s principal investigator with Drs. Gloria Billingsley, Jae-Young Ko, Ester Stokes, and Talya Thomas serve as co-principal investigators (Co-PIs).  Each of the Co-PIs will lead the investigation of their assigned state.  The study also employs two full-time graduate assistants.

The USDA grant was awarded through the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFR) Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University to conduct a comprehensive study and report on the challenges and issues that specifically impact minority and female farmers and ranchers.  The award was initially focused on Mississippi but was expanded by the Policy Research Center to include four additional states.  The program evaluation seeks to determine the impact, if any, that the USDA 2501 policy and programs might have had on minority and female framers and ranchers in the five selected states since its implementation.

According to Dr. Gilleylen, the project serves as an opportunity for us to substantively contribute to the discussion of policy impacting two of our key mission-identified constituencies–minorities and women.  It is also a great opportunity for the units of the College of Public Service (CPS) to collaborate.  Dr. Ricardo Brown, Dean of the CPS states “This is a wonderful opportunity to have JSU faculty lend their collective expertise to assess, evaluate, and propose solutions to the USDA that will reduce and/or eliminate barriers limiting the success of minority and women farmers.”



Posted in Uncategorized

With great sadness, the Department of Public Policy & Administration reports the passing of Ms. Shermika McGraw, a student of Jackson State University’s Master of Public Policy & Administration (MPPA) program.  Ms. McGraw was a victim of a tragic car accident last week in the City of Jackson, MS.

Ms. McGraw graduated from Jackson State University in the Spring of 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  Shermika served as a field representative of the United States Department of Agriculture – Atlanta Region before entering the MPPA program in the 2013 Spring semester.  She volunteered in 2015 for a year of public service in South Africa and in 2016, she served another year in Tanzania teaching English, after becoming internationally certified.  She returned to campus this Summer and was completing her departmental internship requirement with the Mississippi Public Service Commission.  Shermika will be invited to be inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the international honor society for public administrators.  She was scheduled for Fall 2017 graduation.

The Homegoing Celebration for Ms. McGraw will be held at 11:00 AM at Hill of Zion Baptist Church, 1079 Annie Fortner Rd., Bolton, MS on Saturday, October 13, 2017.

Please keep Ms. McGraw and her family in your prayers

Posted in Uncategorized

Internship Application Deadlines

April 24th, 2017 by webserv

Due Dates:  Summer 2017 due May 1, 2017; Fall 2017 due July 1, 2017; and Spring 2018 due October 12, 2017.

Internship Applications must be typed and submitted to Dr. Ester W. Stokes on or before the due dates.  If applications are not submitted by the above dates, the students may be responsible for their own internship.

Any questions or concerns about internship placement, please contact Dr. Ester W. Stokes at 601-979-8787 or by email at:  ester.w.stokes@jsums.edu.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Posted in Uncategorized

Alan Branson

March 7th, 2017 by webserv

Alan Branson successfully defended his dissertation on ‘Determinants of payday lending and bank branch locations in Mississippi.’  Dr. Jae-Young Ko served as the committee chair. Branson came to Jackson State University in Fall 2011 determined to earn a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. On February 28, 2017, this purpose came into focus when he effectively presented his research. He holds a MBA degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Currently, he is the Chief Operating Officer at the HOPE Credit Union, an entity of Hope Enterprise Corporation where he has been employed since 1994.

We salute Mr. Branson for his accomplishment.

Posted in Uncategorized

cockerhamThe Department of Public Policy and Administration (PPAD) hosted the 2017 Annual Conference of the Mississippi Political Science Association (MSPSA) at the Jackson State University Downtown Campus, 101 West Capitol St. on February 10th and 11th, 2017.  Attending the event were political scientists, faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students from Belhaven University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi Valley State University, Morehouse College, Talladega College, Texas Tech University, University of Mississippi, and University of Southern University.  The theme of the Conference was “Politics, Policy and Diversity.”  The featured speakers for the conference were former US Secretary of Agriculture, Alphonso Michael (Mike) Espy and the Honorable Angela Cockerham of the Mississippi House of Representatives.


Secretary Espy was appointed USDA Secretary by President Bill Clinton in 1993.  Prior to serving as Secretary, Mr. Espy served for seven years as a member of the US House of Representatives, becoming the first African-American member of that bespy2ody from the State of Mississippi, since the Reconstruction-era.  He also served the State of Mississippi as an Assistant Attorney General and as Director of the Mississippi Office of Consumer Protection. In 1980, he was appointed as an Assistant Secretary of State and served as Director of the Office of Public Lands.  Secretary Espy provided a spirited presentation and discussion of the role of the US Electoral College process in our democratic system of government and the future of the national Democratic Party.

ladyThe Honorable Angela Cockerham is an attorney and represents House District 96 in the Mississippi House of Representatives which includes Adams, Amite, Pike and Wilkinson counties.  Elected to the House in 2006, she is a member of 11 state legislative committees, and serves as Chairman of the Energy Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Management Committee.  Representative Cockerham has been the primary sponsor of over 477 bills.  A graduate of Jackson State University, Tufts University, and Loyola University, Ms. Cockerham teaches law at the Mississippi College School of Law.  Representative Cockerham provided conference participants detailed information and discussion of major policy issues on the current legislative agenda of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

The two-day event was organized by Dr. Jae-Young Ko, a PPAD Associate Professor and the 2016-2017 Vice-Prekosident of MSPSA. Dr. Ko was elected as the organization’s president for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  Jackson State University, the College of Public Service, and the Department of Public Policy and Administration provided the conference site and sponsored the day-one luncheon and evening reception. Dr. Anna S. Blumenthal of Morehouse College and outgoing President of the Mississippi Political Science Association said, “This was the best Mississippi Political Science Association conference ever.” Mr. Alan Branson, PPAD doctoral student said, “Congratulations on the conference’s success.  The increased opportunities for students to hear and present their research are wonderful.”  According to Dr. Johnny B. Gilleylen Sr., PPAD Chairman, “Hosting the conference was a wonderful opportunity for our faculty and students to collaborate across academic disciplines and institutions outside of the University.  The College of Public Service’s academic units, PPAD and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, collaborated with the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Political Science to extend the University into our external communities, and fulfill important components of our missions.”  Dr. Ricardo A. Brown, Dean of the College of Public Service stated, “In light of the recent historic Presidential Election, it was fortunate that JSU had the opportunity to host this annual meeting among a diverse group of faculty and students from colleges and universities that comprise the MSPSA.  Congratulations to Drs. Ko and Gilleylen for their work in hosting this important conference.”

With the conference theme, “Politics, Policy and Diversity,” panel discussions and presentations included:

  • Obama-Trump: The Peaceful Transfer of Power/US Presidential Elections
  • Public Policy Issues for Community Development in Mississippi
  • Democracy and the 2016 US Presidential Election
  • Diversity and the Intersection of Public Policy
  • Southern Politics in Transition
  • Liberty, Equality and Race
  • Are We Entering into the Era of Post-Factual Politics?
  • Issues in Rural Communities
  • The President as a Political Leader in Agenda Setting
  • Contemporary Political Agendas
  • Politics and Humanities in War

PPAD doctoral student, Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax, was the winner of conference’s “Student Research Paper of the Year.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Purpose Accomplished, Homeward Bound

December 19th, 2016 by webserv

anan-121416ananfamilygraduationAnan M. Abu Hummour dreamed as a little girl of coming to America to get a degree.  On August 10, 2012 she arrived in Jackson, Mississippi to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration at Jackson State University.  This program was chosen “because I saw a real potential in this degree to prepare me with the knowledge, skills, and experience that I needed to achieve my goals.” As one objective came true, another one was placed on hold when she left husband, Mohammad and a new born son, Owen in Jordan.  It was “incredible painful” for her to resume studying in another country away from her family. The desire to make life better for those she loves drove Anan to pursue her aspirations of studying abroad.  A year later Mohammad joined her at JSU majoring in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program.  The two of them faced financial, social, and personal challenges; however they refused to allow trials to kill their ambitions. They weathered the storms of life through people who inspired them to keep moving forward. A “wonderful student/professor relationship” between them and the Dr. Johnny Gilleylen developed. He served as Anan’s dissertation chair.

Two years ago, Mohammad and Anan gave birth to their second child, Eden.  Eden became the youngest student in the department.  She attended many classes and departmental events. On December 9, 2016 Eden witnessed her daddy receiving his MPPA degree and her mother being hooded for her Ph.D. degree during the Fall Commencement Exercise.  Through all the difficult times Anan faced, she maintained academic excellence.  She received numerous awards including being inducted into three academic honor societies:  Chi Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Chi, and Pi Alpha Alpha.

Mahammad, Anan, and Eden are excited to be going home to Jordan where Owen awaits their arrival.

Posted in Uncategorized