Gender Impacts Lab Undergraduate Research Assistants & Interns

Laura Ingouf

While serving as an undergraduate research assistant on the Fish4Zambia project in 2019, Laura Ingouf prepares for a women’s focus group on an island in Lake Bangweulu, Zambia. 
Photo: K. Ragsdale, Mississippi State University.

Laura Ingouf(2018–2019             
BA,Double Major – Applied Anthropology & History
Mississippi State University, Department of Anthropology & Middle Eastern Cultures

Laura Ingouf is an MSU undergraduate, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in anthropology and history, has a passion for linguistics and noted the challenges related to conducting research across language barriers. Ingouf’s training and travel were funded by two MSU undergraduate research fellowships.

Ingouf in 2019  received a $4,000 stipend to join the Fish for Zambia team in the summer to assist with data analyses at MSU. “I’m excited about the work I will be doing in Zambia and at MSU this summer because it will provide me with experience conducting my first anthropological field-based research,” said Ingouf. “This will give me the opportunity for hands-on learning that will prepare me for future fieldwork.”

“Although Laura only began work with us as an SSRC intern in February, she is the kind of student that hits the ground running and operates at a level far above what one would expect from an undergraduate,” said Ragsdale. “One of the benefits she will bring to the project is producing blogs over the two weeks of fieldwork that will be enlightening to wide audiences about the importance of research for development to address global food security and engage youth in generating livelihoods to help sustain themselves and their families.” 

Ingouf travelled with the team to Zambia for two weeks in June 2019 to assist with training workshops and with implementing surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. Upon returning, she worked the remainder of the summer at the SSRC assisting with data analyses to help the PIs and co-PIs with reaching project goals. Ingouf stated her interest in the Fish Innovation Lab project stemmed from its focus on international development and food security and how these are influenced by cultural and social norms.

“I think the work of listening to the people affected so that we can tailor our efforts to benefit them is extremely important, and I’m glad to participate in that effort by helping to conduct focus groups and interviews in Zambia,” she added.

Robert K. Sakapaji

University of Zambia student Robert K. Sakapaji conducts a survey with a mother from a fishing village on Lake Bangweulu. Photo: Pamela Marinda, University of Zambia.


Robert Sakapaji is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics at the University of Zambia and works with the Gender Impacts Team in Zambia. Sakapaji shares his experience working with the Gender Impacts Lab with the team, “The first experience in the field was so amazing…The families in the camps were so welcoming and eager to respond to our questionnaire. Our team managed to interview 17 adults for the WEFI and conducted two focus group discussions (one with men and one with women) in the fishing camp.” Sakapaji has since leveraged his experience on the Fish4Zambia team into an internship at WorldFish Zambia.

Taylor Yarbrough

Taylor Yarbrough and Enumerator Team Leader, Karandey Alidu Amidu, prior to the SUN II survey implementation in a village located in Chereponi District in Ghana’s Northern Region in 2018. Photo: K. Ragsdale, Mississippi State University.

Taylor Yarbrough (2018) 
BS, Public Health Education
Mississippi University for Women, Department of Health & Kinesiology


Taylor Yarbrough served the Gender Impacts Lab as an Intern with Drs. Kathleen Ragsdale and Mary Read-Wahidi in 2018. She was a member of the US-based research team that traveled to Ghana in 2018 to conduct Wave II of the Soybean Uptake and Network Survey (SUNS II) for the Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab. Taylor also assisted with evaluation research for the Focus4Teens Initiative, a teen pregnancy prevention project conducted in the Mississippi Delta. Funded by the CDC and Teen Health Mississippi (THMS), this initiative focused on access to youth-friendly and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health care among at-risk minority youth.

Mississippi State University

Social Science Research Center

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Starkville, MS 39759


Gender Impacts Lab