USM Professor Studying HIV Stigma, MSU Fulbright Scholar and Delta State Paleontology Grant | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

USM Professor Studying HIV Stigma, MSU Fulbright Scholar and Delta State Paleontology Grant

In her research, Susan Hrostowski found a lack of understanding or knowledge about HIV among Mississippians and state legislators and negative attitudes against people with HIV, a release from USM says. Photo courtesy USM

In her research, Susan Hrostowski found a lack of understanding or knowledge about HIV among Mississippians and state legislators and negative attitudes against people with HIV, a release from USM says. Photo courtesy USM

The Southern AIDS Coalition recently gave Susan Hrostowski, a faculty member in the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Social Work, a $25,000 grant to fund an awareness education project to combat the stigmatization of people in Mississippi who live with HIV and to encourage people to get tested or seek care.

Hrostowski applied for the one-year Southerners Promoting Awareness, Resources & Knowledge, or SPARK, grant after researching and publishing articles on the rate of new HIV infections in Mississippi. In her research, she found a lack of understanding or knowledge about HIV among Mississippians and state legislators and negative attitudes against people with HIV, a release from USM says.

As part of the project, Hrostowski will work with students in USM's Master of Social Work program to interview people with HIV about their experiences with people who are uninformed and unsympathetic about them and their condition, the release says. The team will also interview staff at medical clinics about the issues they see and individuals who are staging evidence-based interventions to educate people and improve attitudes toward people with HIV.

Hrostowski's team will create educational programming and presentations from their findings for use in social work classes. In addition, they will work with the Mississippi Department of Health to design programming for staff and patients in medical clinics throughout the state. Hrostowski also plans to seek additional funding for a longer-term initiative in 2020, the release says.

For more information on the USM School of Social Work, visit https://www.usm.edu/social-work/index.php.

MSU Professor Receives Fulbright Scholarship for Aquaculture Research

Peter Allen, an associate professor in Mississippi State University's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, recently received a Fulbright grant to research aquaculture—the farming of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other aquatic organisms—in Chile. The Fulbright program is a national cultural exchange fellowship that works to improve intercultural relations and diplomacy.

Allen will travel with his wife and two daughters to Chile and spend the next six months there conducting research at the Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones in the city of Coquimbo. His research focuses on the effects of hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in water, on a type of fish called corvina, a release from MSU says. The corvina is a common food fish, and Allen's research will also seek ways to improve farming of the fish under low-oxygen conditions.

In August 2019, Allen, who has been a member of the MSU faculty for 10 years, will also begin teaching aquaculture classes at Universidad Catolica del Norte, a university in Antofagasta, Chile, that houses CEAZA facilities.

For more on the Fulbright program, visit https://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

Delta State University Biologists Receive Paleontology Grant

The Paleontological Society, an international nonprofit that promotes paleontology—which includes the study of fossils—recently gave Delta State University biologists Nina Baghai-Riding and Robert Kagumba an outreach and education grant for a series of free workshops and field trips that the two will conduct for K-12 students in the Mississippi Delta region.

The one-day field trips will take place throughout the fall 2019 semester and will focus on vertebrates, invertebrates and plant fossils found within a 150-mile radius of the Delta State campus. Baghai-Riding and Kagumba will take students on trips to locations such as the Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora, the Mississippi Museum of Natural History in Jackson and the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, Tenn. The two will hold a one-day paleontological workshop at Delta State University on Nov. 2.

Baghai-Riding and Kagumba will also collaborate with research paleontologists associated with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the University of Memphis, as well as members of the Memphis Archaeological and Geological Society and biological education and environmental science students from DSU.

At press time, the program had openings for 25 sixth- through 12th-grade Mississippi Delta students and five K-12 science teachers. The deadline to reserve a space is Aug. 20. For more information, email Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu or call 662-846-4240.

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