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Malene Abell
Headline: Life's Changing Directions

Art directors in advertising firms try to change people's lives by changing their minds, but that wasn't enough for Malene Abell.

Intrigued by the prospect of helping people with brain injuries, she wanted to become a clinical neuropsychologist, despite the daunting prospect of starting a new college career from scratch. Bolstered by support from IUPUI faculty member Drew Appleby of the Purdue School of Science, Malene left advertising behind.

Like a duck to water, she took to her new path, eventually finding herself studying the early recovery phase of patients with brain injuries, thanks to an undergraduate research fellowship with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI). Malene's research project for her senior thesis has won awards, been presented at the Mayo Clinic and to the neurosurgical team at Methodist Hospital, and will take her to conferences in Toronto and Miami this fall. More importantly, it has helped RHI improve patient care through more focused screenings of patients and their medication schedules.