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Linton, Marigold

Marigold
Linton, PhD
Year Inducted: 
2004
Marigold Linton
Highlights: 
  • 2003: Featured in book Dream It, Do It, Inspiring Stories of Dreams Come True by Sharon Cook and Graciela Sholander
  • First California reservation Indian ever to leave a reservation and attend a university
  • University of Kansas American Indian Outreach Director
  • Worked with Arizona tribes to improve math and science education as Director of American Indian programs at Arizona State University
  • Research specialty is area of very long-term memory
Biography: 

Marigold Linton, University of Kansas American Indian Outreach Director, was the very first California reservation Indian ever to leave a reservation and attend a university.  As the only American Indian on her college campus, she was not expected to succeed, but did so splendidly and now works diligently to help other American Indians also achieve a college education.

Ms. Linton was featured in the 2003 book by Sharon Cook and Graciela Sholander entitled Dream It, Do It, Inspiring Stories of Dreams Come True.  The other 36 people highlighted in the book include such famous figures as Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Gloria Estefan, Yo-Yo Ma, Maya Angelou, Barbara Walters, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, so her inclusion in the book was humbling but even more impressive when surrounded by these individuals.  Her story is described in the chapter on “Courage”, one of the ten characteristics fundamental to realizing a dream according to the authors of the book, and is based on her courage to conquer her fear of failure.  She grew up in poverty on the Morongo Indian reservation in Southern California in the 1940s, and as no one from her reservation had ever attended college and there were no other American Indians from reservations at the University of California at Riverside, she had no one to guide her regarding anything that would be foreign to the reservation, such as getting on busses or attending classes.  Linton remembers that she was so scared of failure her first semester of college, she ran outside of the classroom in tears anytime she was asked to speak.  Although she studied relentlessly, the idea of failure was so engrained into her that she actually approached the Registrar’s office after her first semester because she thought the all As report card she received must belong to a different student.

Dr. Linton did conquer her fear of failure, and earned not only her BA from Riverside, but also a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.  She went on to teach psychology at San Diego State University and the University of Utah.  Her specialty is the research area of very long-term memory, fitting for someone who grew up in a rich heritage such as an Indian reservation.

Dr. Linton joined the University of Kansas administration in 1998.  Prior to KU, she directed the American Indian programs at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ and worked with Arizona tribes to improve math and science education.  In her post at the University as American Indian Outreach Director, she collaborates with faculty and students at KU and Haskell University in Lawrence to administer more than $12 million in National Institutes of Health grants for American Indians to pursue biomedical science careers.  Along with her other official duties, Dr. Linton continues to encourage young Indian artists by purchasing their work and does her own work in photography and writing about relatives.  She is a pioneering role model for the American Indian community and, as the 2003 book suggests, for all those of us who also dare to achieve our dreams.


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