Student Happenings!

Students Take First Prize at 2015 Rural Sociology Society Meetings (Madison, WI)

Elliot Meador, Anne Cafer, and Darren Chapman received 1st place in the poster competition at the 2016 Rural Sociology Society Annual meeting for their research poster entitled "Healthful or Harmful? The Impact of Food and Nutrition Program Use on Self-Rated Health Among Missouri Pantry Clients." Their poster was also voted "Fan Favorite."






Rural Sociology Student Receives Lee E. May, Jr Study Grant

Gregory Morrow, PhD student, received  the Lee E.  May Study Grant, from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Council of Seminary Presidents to support his travel to the Southern Baptist archives to gather background information for his dissertation research on Ukrainian Baptist churches.  This grant is very competitive. For more information click here


Rural Sociology Graduate Student Association with Division of Applied Social Sciences and College of Engineering bring speaker to Mizzou campus!

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Khanjan Mehta is the founding director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social  Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program and Assistant Professor of Engineering Design at Penn State. The HESE program challenges students and faculty from across campus to break down disciplinary barriers and truly collaborate to develop technology-based, socially embedded solutions to address compelling problems facing resource-constrained communities in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Sierra Leone and other countries.


Students Represent at 2014 Rural Sociology Society Annual Meeting–July 31-Aug 3 (New Orleans, LA)


Contributors of Frequent Pantry Use: A Survey of Missouri Food Pantry Clientele" –Anne Cafer (PhD student) and Michelle Kaiser

"Feminist Approaches to Sustainable Development" --Amanda Carr (masters student)

"Social Helping Networks in Forest Resource Dependent versus 
Agricultural Dependent Regions in Russia
"--Gary Glass (PhD student) and Dr. David OBrien (faculty)

"An Analytic Literature Review of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Sub Sahara Africa"--Fridah Mubichi (PhD student)

"Local Food Systems and Fairness: Stories from the Midwest"--Mary Saulters (masters student), Dr. Mary Hendrickson (faculty), Fabbio Chaddad, Rachel Hangley

"Why Local Food Makes You Happy: The Penetration of The Local Food Narrative in the Midwest"--Dr. Mary Hendrickson (faculty),Randy Cantrell, Jessica Scott, Dr. Thomas Johnson (faculty), Mary Saulters (masters student)

"A Socio-Cultural Perspective on Agricultural Development within a Sub-Saharan African Context: Paradigm Shifts and Engagement"--Anne Cafer (PhD student), Fridah Mubichi (PhD student), Kara Riggs, Leah Sandler


"Buyin’ Food and the Travelin’ Blues: Understanding How Commute Distance Impacts One’s Propensity for Eating Fast-food, Shopping Locally, and Supporting Local Farmer’s Markets"--Elliot Meador (PhD student), Dr. Mary Grigsby (faculty), Amanda Sims (PhD student), Hambrick Jackson

"Let them Eat Kale: Reception of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in the U.K. and U.S."--Elizabeth Bent

"Trends in Sub-Saharan Maternal Health: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals"--Amanda Carr 

**Received 1st in graduate student poster competition!!!**

"Filling the Professional Development Gap: A Look at Institutional and Grassroots Responses to Graduate Student Needs"--Anne Cafer and Elizabeth Bent 

**Received 2nd in graduate student poster competition!!!**


Rural Sociology Student Collaborates with Kickstart International

Jenifer Pilz-Coulibaly (MA student), in collaboration with Kickstart International, developed a promotional video to help her former Peace Corps host country of Mali. Kickstart International promotes poverty alleviation in developing nations through income generating activities, such as agricultural intensification through the use of inexpensive irrigation systems. Check out the video here.


Rural Sociology Student Receives U.S. Borlaug Award in Global Food Security

Anne Cafer (PhD student) has been selected to receive an award from the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program. This award will fund her dissertation research   on agricultural technologies, extension, and nutrition in Ethiopian farming communities.  The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in conjunction with the Feed the Future Initiative.


Health Equity in Missouri--Rural Sociology Student to Help Facilitate Minority Health Awareness Seminar

Marilynn King (Masters student) will be working with other Missouri Health Equity Collaborative (MOHEC) partners to provide a venue for health education and health awarness for Missourians. The seminar will focus on issues specific to minorities, particularly when navigating the healthcare system. MOHEC is a project led by the MU Center for Health Policy in collaboration with the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Read Marilynn's blog! Marilynn also presented some of her work at the Missouri Public Health Association Conference, "Think Global-Act Local," September 25, 2013


Students Present at 2013 Rural Futures Conference—November 3-5 (Lincoln, NE)

"Women and Health in Rural Uganda: Understanding How Collective Action Impacts Health Perspectives"--Andrew Fritz (Masters student) and Elliot Meador (PhD Student)

**Poster received honorable mention! Fritz_Meador_Rural_Futures_Poster**


"Beyond Boundaries in Regional Economic Development: Honoring the Cultural Boundaries of Hutterite Colonies and Karen People During 'Stronger Economies Together' Work in the James River Valley Region of South Dakota"--Kenneth Sherin (former PhD Student), South Dakota State University Extension


CAFNR Students Selected to Attend 2013 World Food Prize—October 15-18 (Des Moines, IA)

Leah Sandler (Masters student, Division of Plant Sciences), Kara Riggs (PhD student, Division of Plant Sciences), Fridah Mubichi (PhD student, Rural Sociology), and Anne Cafer (PhD student, Rural Sociology) were selected by CAFNR's International Programs Office to attend the week long World Food Prize held annually in Des Moines, IA. Conference attendees had the opportunity to visit with world political leaders and activists as well as attend presentations and panels on food security, climate change, and agricultural development in Africa.


Student and Faculty Present Paper at 2013 Rural Sociology Society Annual Meeting–August 6-9 (New York, NY)

A Meta-analysis of the Social Science literature on women and gender equality in Armenia 1991-2013" –Gary Glass, Jr. (Masters student) and Dr. Mary Grigsby

Abstract-This meta-analysis of the scholarly literature in the social sciences from 1991 -2013 provides a detailed look at the coverage on the status of women in post-soviet Armenia identifying the key themes on gender inequality found in the literature . Our aim is to provide a summary of what the literature reports as the challenges that face women in post-soviet Armenia.  The literature indicates that traditional gender roles and cultural beliefs along with legislation and policy change that is needed, contribute to women continuing to struggle for equality with their male counterparts. Also noted as important are war, a natural disaster, reaction to soviet era gender policies and a trade embargo that have contributed to the slow economic development of the independent republic which has perpetuated the struggle for women’s equality.


Student Presents Poster at 2013 Community Development Society Annual Meeting–July 21-24 (Charleston, SC)

Poster Entitled: “Assessing Missouri’s Regional Population Over the Last 110 Years: Mapping Census Data to Better Understand Change” –Elliot Meador (PhD student)



Student to Teach Topics Course on the Hunger Games Trilogy

Jordan Dawdy (PhD student) to teach course RS 3304, Topics (Sociology of the Hunger Games)

This course will investigate subjects such as societal control, social norms,
standards, and pressures, oppression and marginalization, and the strength and
resilience that humans are capable of displaying in the face of all this. The
Hunger Games trilogy offers us a way to discuss these topics and allows us to
reconcile these unbalances


2013 Edition of Missouri Hunger Atlas Now Available

Full story here


Rural Sociology Students and Faculty Participate in PARA (Partners of the Americas) Vila Nova Library Project

Rural Sociology graduate student Jenifer Pilz-Coulibaly and faculty member Steve Jenetta work with local organization to promote change.

Read Jenifer's Blog



Rural Sociology Student and Faculty Develop Report on Urban Agriculture

"Urban Agriculture--Best Practices and Possibilities" --Dr. Mary Hendrickson and Mark Porth (Master's student) (pdf)

This report provides an overview of urban agriculture and local food system resources and practices across the United States and parts of Canada, with a primary emphasis on providing resources that can encourage and support urban agriculture in Missouri’s metropolitan areas. We analyzed information from a survey of Urban Sustainability Directors Network members who belong to either the national network or the Heartland Sustainability Network. We provide examples of emerging practices that are working well for cities and collate a number of resources that exist for cities and their urban agriculture practitioners and advocates.


Students Present at 2012 Rural Sociology Society Annual Meeting–July 26-29 (Chicago, IL)

"Urban Agriculture--Best Practices and Possibilities" --Dr. Mary Hendrickson and Mark Porth (Master's student)

            **Poster Received Honorable Mention! Porth_Hendrickson**


"An Exploration into Mother's Attitudes, Beliefs and Coping Mechanisms Pertaining to Healthy/Unhealthy Food in the Context of Feeding Their Families" --Paper presentation by Mandy Sims (PhD Student)

Abstract--The purpose of this research was to understand and describe how mothers provision healthy food for their families and what methods did they use to avoid risk. It aimed to analyze how mothers make meaning of their food consumption practices which are embedded in a system of modern industrialized agriculture. Healthy food is highlighted in this study due to the mainstreaming of natural and/or organic foods in the nation marketplace. The research is based on a qualitative study conducted with 14 mothers. In-depth interviews were conducted to investigate the attitudes and beliefs mothers had about healthy foods and risky foods, and to also explore how mothers made meaning of the provisioning practices required of them to feed their children healthy, risk-free food. Additionally, the topic of food borne illness was explored to determine if the mothers conceive of this as a risk and what actions they may take to avoid this danger present in food. Overall findings display that mothers’ risk perceptions are concerned with food produced in the industrial sector and many have turned to locally produced food to mitigate these perceived risks in the quest to protect their families and feed them healthy food.


"Food Affordability and Fiscal Inequality: Addressing the Hunger Gap in Rural Missouri"--Paper presentation by Anne Cafer (PhD Student) and Michelle Kaiser (Ohio State University)

Abstract--This paper explores the relationship between food affordability and the special characteristics specific to rural and urban counties.  It examines the extent to which Missouri county public food programs are helping their residents cope with food insecurity.  Food insecurity impacts households, as well as communities, on an economic, social, and physical level.  The inherent differences between rural and urban areas require different, more targeted approaches that are economically and culturally appropriate. Additionally, the clear relationship between poverty and food insecurity hint at deeper structural issues that must be addressed before communities can begin to address the complexities of food insecurity.


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