Native American Research Scientist
Professor of Environmental Toxicology
Arizona State University
Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado
Karen Kay Medville currently serves as assistant research specialist in the Department of Life Sciences at Arizona State University West. She is a Cherokee Indian who grew up in a rural mining community with significant economic and educational disadvantages. Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado opened the door for her, and she has progressed through her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is now finishing work on her PhD in environmental toxicology. Medville lectures on science, culture, environmental issues and her journey as a Native American scientist to Native American students and other groups throughout the country to encourage students—especially young women—to pursue science as a career. A Public Broadcasting System documentary segment about Medville’s research on lead poisoning and her work with Native American children and communities aired nationally in 1996.