MSU symposium explores collaborations and research to improve opportunities and life for people with disabilities

Contact: Aspen Harris

Symposium promotional flyerSTARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Office of Research and Economic Development is hosting a disability-related symposium on April 16 featuring keynote speeches from National Science Foundation program directors Christopher Atchison and Pradeep Fulay, as well as Anjali Forber-Pratt, director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.

Focused on “Improving Opportunities and Quality of Life For People with Disabilities through Collaboration, Research and Outreach,” the symposium is open to the public and will take place 12:30-5 p.m. in Colvard Student Union Ballrooms S and U. Guests must register at In addition to bringing in external experts, the event will highlight several ways MSU researchers are advancing work related to disability.

The event—highlighting existing and new initiatives—features three panels of guests from federal and state organizations, MSU’s Mississippi Institute on Disabilities and university faculty. Notable symposium panelists include Dan Edney, Mississippi State Department of Health state health officer; Lynn Hosemann, state disability advocate and co-founder of the Hosemann Family Autism Foundation; Chris Howard, Mississippi Rehabilitation Services executive director; and Ray Morgigno, Mississippi superintendent of education.

Kasee Stratton-Gadke, executive director of MSU’s MIoD and associate professor of school psychology, said she is excited for the event to unite a wide range of experts with the goal of improving the lives of people with disabilities.

“It’s a chance to highlight the incredible work happening across our university and what needs to be done next for our state. I can’t wait to see the positive impact from this day and the cross collaboration that will result,” said Stratton-Gadke, who also is an event panelist.

For more on MSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development, visit

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