Persistent Poverty in the South Project

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leslie hossfeld

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld
Bowen Hall 201

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at Mississippi State University. She is trained in Rural Sociology from North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Hossfeld has extensive experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring and has made two presentation to the United States Congress and one to the North Carolina Legislature on job loss and rural economic decline. Dr. Hossfeld has served as Co-Chair of the American Sociological Association Task Force on Public Sociology, Vice President of Sociologists for Women in Society, President of the Southern Sociological Society, and was appointed to the USDA Rural Growth and Opportunity Strikeforce. Dr. Hossfeld created and is director of The Mississippi Food Insecurity Project (MFIP) (, which examines food access and food insecurity in Mississippi.


Dr. Jill Waity
Bear Hall 223

Jill Waity is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Waity's research focuses on food insecurity and spatial inequality. She has presented her work at the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Southern Sociological Society and the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Conference. She has received funding for her research from Indiana University, where she earned her Ph.D., the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the Southern Rural Development Center.

Dr. E. Brooke KellyDr. E. Brooke Kelly
Samson 212

E. Brooke Kelly is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she has worked with students and community partners on numerous community-based research projects addressing poverty and food insecurity. Since her training at Michigan State University, her research has maintained a focus on social inequalities, work, and family, with a more recent focus on food insecurity. Dr. Kelly has served as chair of the Poverty, Class, and Inequalities Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and as chair of the Southern Sociological Society's committee on Sociological Practice. Dr. Kelly has also served as a fellow and research affiliate of the Rural Policy Research Institute's Rural Poverty Center, which supported her research on rural low-income mothers' efforts to attain and maintain paid employment.