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Ryan Appoints Meredith Rowe to Faculty

Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean James Ryan announced that Meredith Rowe, Ed.M.’99, Ed.D.’03, will join the faculty this summer as an associate professor of education. Rowe is a researcher in the field of development psychology with a focus on language and literacy interventions.

“Meredith Rowe’s innovative research program holds remarkable promise, particularly for the design of practical language and literacy interventions. For example, her study linking the frequency of parental gestures in communication to the size of a child’s vocabulary helps explain socioeconomic disparities in language growth and has laid the foundation for further work with low-income families that could improve language and education outcomes,” Ryan said. “What’s more, students and colleagues at the University of Maryland give Meredith’s teaching and mentorship rave reviews, making her return to HGSE a great opportunity for this community on all fronts.”

Rowe comes to HGSE from the University of Maryland where she worked as an assistant professor of human development in the college of education, leading a research program on understanding the role of parents and family factors in children’s early language and literacy development.

She is particularly interested in understanding how variations in children’s early communicative environments contribute to language development and in applying this knowledge to the development of intervention strategies for low-income families. Her research focuses on young children’s literacy and vocabulary development, particularly as it is influenced by communication between children and their caregivers.
Previously, she spent six years as a postdoctoral fellow/scholar in the Departments of Sociology and Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Rowe earned both a master’s and a doctoral degree in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“I am really excited to be coming back to the Ed School. It is hard to believe I graduated more than 10 years ago. On a recent visit I was struck by how much things have changed, yet how much also seems the same,” Rowe says. “I have such fond memories of my time as a graduate student and I am so thankful for the incredible training I received from faculty. I am really looking forward to becoming part of the HGSE community again, this time as a faculty member. I imagine it might feel a little strange a first, coming back in a different role, but I welcome the new challenge and opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new colleagues and students as well.”

Rowe will teach a doctoral course on research in human development, and another course on child-rearing, language and Culture.

To learn more about her gesture study, read the new issue of Ed. this September: gse.havard.edu/ed.