Picayune native assumes prestigious position at UNCG
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016
On August 1, Picayune native Dr. Pamela Johnson Rowsey will assume her new position Professor and Chair of the Department of Adult Health Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Rowsey, whose parents died when she was 2-years-old, was raised by her aunt Onetia Gaddis, who died about 12 years ago.
She is a 1972 graduate of Picayune Memorial High School. After high school, Rowsey attended Pearl River Community College where she earned an associate degree in science. She received her bachelor of science from Mississippi University for Women; masters of science from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned her PhD in exercise science from the University of Michigan in 1995.
“My nursing practice was in neurology and spinal cord injuries,” Rowsey said. “After getting my masters, I decided to go into academia. My first teaching position was at the nursing school at Alcorn State University.”
Since 1996, Rowsey taught pathophysiology, physiology, nursing theory and nursing research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches courses for degrees from BSN to PhD.
Rowsey will continue to teach in her new position, a PhD level health disparities course. She will also be working with and mentoring faculty members, she said.
Rowsey will also continue her research efforts, which focus on stress and it’s ability to create an inflammatory environment and the benefits of exercise.
As she reflects on her vast and rewarding career, Rowsey recounted the moment the teachers at Picayune Memorial High School changed her life.
“Mr. Buckley was my counselor and I talked to him after I failed my first chemistry test,” she said. “I told him I wanted to quit his class. He looked at me and said ‘you just don’t want to study.’ He told me to go study and apply myself. It was one of the best things that could have happened to me.”
Rowsey also said PMHS science teacher Norma Hamil was also an inspiration. She also took Hamil’s anatomy and physiology class at PRCC.
“My great science foundation started at PMHS,” Rowsey said. “I wouldn’t be where I am had I not had that strong science background.”