Kathleen Ragsdale (center) with Enumerators Training Workshop in Tamale, Ghana. Other team leaders include Gina Rico Méndez (kneeling) and Robert Kolbila (kneeling). Photo: CRS/Ghana
As a Masters student, I became hooked on international field work during an epidemiological head lice study among the Guna Yalaindigenos of the San Blas Islands of Panama. When I began my PhD, I intended to be an ethnographic film maker, and planned to work with women war refugees. But early in my PhD program, I received funding to study how gender and power dynamics impacted HIV prevention among brothel-based sex workers in the Caribbean. This research changed my career path and ignited my passion for research on how gender equity and other sociocultural factors impact health and related outcomes, particularly for vulnerable women and youth. As an applied medical anthropologist, I am committed to multimethods research and the use of public health and social theories to provide evidence for policy, development, and social impacts. For more than 15 years, my international and domestic research on health and related disparities has focused on community based and culturally tailored evaluation and interventions for health and development promotion. My research areas include sexual risk behavior, gender disparities, food insecurity, nutrition education for infant health, eHealth interventions, and program evaluation among minority and vulnerable populations. My funders include the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA), UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and numerous foundations and university-level grantors. In addition to studies conducted in Mississippi and the US, my geographic experience includes Belize, Botswana, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mozambique, Panama, and the US Virgin Islands.
Mississippi State University
Social Science Research Center
1 Research Blvd #102A
Starkville, MS 39759