Three Penn State faculty awarded 2012 Guggenheim Fellowships

April 16, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three Penn State faculty members from the College of the Liberal Arts have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for 2012: Lori D. Ginzberg, professor of history and women’s studies; Nina G. Jablonski, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology; and David A. Rosenbaum, Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

The three are among a diverse group of 181 artists, scientists and scholars selected this year from nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada. According to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, fellows are chosen on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise. This year's fellows represent 54 disciplines from 77 different academic institutions. For the full list, visit online.

"Guggenheim Fellowships are hallmarks of a great university," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "These awards reflect the exceptional scholarship that distinguishes the College of the Liberal Arts, and they continue to strengthen the University's reputation as a world-class research institution."

Lori Ginzberg is a historian of 19th-century American women with a particular interest in the intersections between intellectual and social history. Her research has focused on the ways that ideologies about gender obscure the material and ideological realities of class, how women of different groups express political identities, and the ways that commonsense notions of American life shape, contain and control radical ideas. With her Guggenheim Fellowship, she will tackle questions raised by her experience as a joint appointment in history and women’s studies, asking why the grand American narrative and the idea of historical narrative itself have remained so apparently impervious to the feminist challenge of the last thirty years.

Ginzberg received a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a doctorate from Yale University. She joined the Penn State faculty in 1987.

Nina Jablonski is a biological anthropologist and paleobiologist who conducts research on the evolution of adaptations to the environment in humans and their close primate relatives. For two decades she has studied the evolution of human skin and skin color. Her research includes detailed studies of the mechanisms whereby natural selection brought about changes in skin pigmentation, and how cultural evolution has contributed to successful adaptive compromises for people inhabiting the extremes of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) conditions on earth. Jablonski also conducts research on primate evolution, especially of Old World higher primates, by studying the fossil record.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, Jablonski will begin a collaborative, longitudinal study of vitamin D production in people of different skin colors under natural UVR conditions. This project will be conducted in South Africa, a country with seasonally variable UVR conditions and inhabitants of a wide range of skin tones.

Jablonski received a bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington. She joined the Penn State faculty in 2006.

David Rosenbaum is a cognitive psychologist whose main research focuses on human perception and performance. He has helped to connect cognitive psychology and motor control. He is interested in the cognitive substrates of skilled performance, especially those underlying human motor control and perceptual-motor integration. His research focuses on the planning and control of manual performance (mainly reaching and grasping objects), using computer modeling and recording of behavior. He also works on rhythm and timing, temporal coordination of cognitive and perceptual-motor activities, and how people organize their external environments. As a Guggenheim Fellow he will focus on proto-movements in cognition and action.

Rosenbaum received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a doctoral degree from Stanford University. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1994.

United States Sen. Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts. Past fellows include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners and prominent achievers such as Langston Hughes, James Watson, Paul Samuelson, Isamu Noguchi and Martha Graham.


Last Updated April 17, 2012