You are here

Team Members

Principal Investigator:


Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale 
Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale is an Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at Mississippi State University. Dr. Ragsdale is an applied medical anthropologist with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology. Before joining Mississippi State University Dr. Ragsdale completed National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellowships in Milwaukee and New York City. Dr. Ragsdale’s research addresses health disparities among minority and vulnerable populations in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Ragsdale is the Principal Investigator of the Soybean Innovation Lab’s gender research. Her research utilizes a soy-adapted version of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) among over 600 households in Ghana to understand issues of gender equity and the role of women within sustainable soybean systems.

Associate Investigator: 

Dr. Mary Read Wahidi 
Mississippi State University 

Dr. Mary Rebecca Read-Wahidi is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Visiting Scholar in the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at at Mississippi State University. Dr. Read-Wahidi received her Ph.D. in Biocultural Medical Anthropology from the University of Alabama in December 2014. Dr. Read-Wahidi’s research focuses on how culture shapes our daily lives and our health through such things as diet, work, social structures, and family life. She has conducted research among Mexican immigrants in Mississippi and most recently in Kuwait. Dr. Read-Wahidi recently joined the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) project as a Post-Doctoral Researcher on Dr. Ragsdale’s team implementing the soy-adapted Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) in Ghana.