Superfund Research Program

January 2024

Kathy Vandiver
The educational models that Vandiver created as a teacher have helped her translate environmental health science to many communities and age groups. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Vandiver)

Prior to joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2005 as a community engagement and education specialist, Kathleen Vandiver, Ph.D., taught middle school science for 16 years. During that time in the classroom, she relished devising experiments and hands-on activities to help her students recognize and experience key scientific concepts.

Vandiver’s MIT work currently includes leading community engagement efforts for the MIT Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center. In that role, she is involved with the Wilmington, Massachusetts, community to address concerns related to exposure to N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a potentially cancer-causing chemical.

In addition, Vandiver’s peers have long taken note of her dedication to educating children. Vandiver hopes to introduce more environmental health education tools into as many classrooms as possible, and to provide teachers with online support for their use.

Read more in her NIEHS Grantee Highlight.