Dr. Meredeth Rowe mentors award-winning student researcher in Caregiving Lab
University of South Florida College of Nursing Professor and Endowed Chair, Meredeth Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, a leading nurse scientist in dementia and Alzheimer’s research, mentors College of Public Health undergraduate student Milora Morley on two different research projects on the effects of dementia on caregivers and biomarkers for heart disease, and missing incidents in children with autism. On April 17, 2013, Morley received the Undergraduate Excellence in Research Award during the USF Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium at the USF Marshall Student Center.
Morley, who has been mentored by Dr. Rowe during her National Institute of Health (NIH) Diversity Supplement R01 project, received the award for her study on “Missing Incidents in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CwASD).” The study, led by USF Nursing Post-Doctoral Scholar, Laura Smith, ARNP, PhD, explored factors that precipitate missing incidents in children with ASD, and aimed to discover antecedents, descriptions and consequences of these missing incidents.
According to Dr. Rowe, Morley and her research helps the USF Nursing caregiver lab team understand more about autism and the epigenetics of stress. Morley’s award-winning project was completed in the College’s caregiving lab.
“Training new young researchers is a critical linchpin in devising these solutions and I am very pleased to work with undergraduate students with the brightest minds and clever intellects that USF attracts,” Dr. Rowe said. “Hopefully undergraduate nursing students will become interested in these opportunities as well. Congratulations to Ms. Morley as she has overcome amazing challenges and odds to chart her path with incredible potential to succeed.”
USF College of Public Health Student, Milora Morley
To continue to be under Dr. Rowe’s mentorship, Morley said she accepted an admissions offer to begin her master’s degree at the USF College of Public Health in the Epidemiology program after she graduates. She expects to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in summer 2013.
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t find another mentor who is so interested in seeing me succeed as well as confident in my abilities,” said Morley. “What I am capable of learning from her is not guaranteed to be found elsewhere.”
Dr. Rowe is nationally known for her work with people with cognitive impairment including Alzheimer’s disease or autism, and their caregivers. Her work about the caregiving challenges has led to the development of the CareAlert™ monitoring system, which can be used to manage nighttime activity, reducing injuries and giving the caregiver peace of mind. Law enforcement agencies across the United States guide their searches for lost persons with Alzheimer’s disease based on her research in this area.
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“Dr. Rowe has been very essential to my professional growth and helping me developing interest in research,” Morley said. “It’s amazing that I have known her for almost a year and have already learned so much. I am confident that I will be able to learn three times as much within the next couple of years.”