Four Liberal Arts faculty honored for prominent research, teaching

August 08, 2011

The College of the Liberal Arts announced new honors bestowed on four Liberal Arts faculty. Nina Jablonski has been named distinguished professor of anthropology; Emily Grosholz, liberal arts research professor of philosophy, African-American studies, and English; Laura Knoppers, liberal arts research professor of English; and Nancy Landale, liberal arts research professor of sociology and demography.

Dean Susan Welch said, "The many scholarly achievements of these faculty have raised the quality and the visibility of their departments and the college. They have continued the longstanding tradition of great scholars and teachers in the College of the Liberal Arts."

Nina Jablonski is an acknowledged leader in primate and human evolution, especially on adaptations to changing environments through time. Her research involves paleontological fieldwork in sites in Asia and Africa, analyses of fossil remains, as well as theoretical studies exploring several hidden aspects of human evolution not preserved in the fossil record. She has published some 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals or volumes, and has edited some 18 books. Her book, "Skin: A Natural History," was recognized with the W.W. Howells Award of the American Anthropological Association for best book in biological anthropology for 2007.

Jablonski is the second Penn State faculty member to be elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest scientific society in America. She also was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the California Academy of Sciences, and received an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Emily Grosholz has been recognized nationally and internationally for her accomplishments in a wide range of fields: the philosophy of science and mathematics, poetry, and creative writing. In philosophy, her monograph "Representation and Productive Ambiguity in Mathematics and the Sciences" (Oxford University Press, 2007) has been praised as “stunning in its scope.” In addition, she is author of co-author of two other monographs and editor or co-editor of three collections on Simone de Beauvoir, W.E.B. Du Bois, and mathematical knowledge. Her recent work on space and time led to her invitation to join Penn State’s Center for Fundamental Theory in the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos. In poetry and creative writing, Grosholz is author of four books and editor of a collection of poems on the poetry of Maxine Kumin.

Laura Knoppers is widely heralded as one of the world’s foremost experts on the literature and culture of the English Civil War and the work of British writer John Milton. She is author of three monographs that constitute a ground-breaking contribution to the broad field of Renaissance studies including, most recently, "Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton’s Eve" (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Knoppers currently serves as editor of the top journal in the field of Milton studies and heads an international team of scholars assembling a new Oxford Handbook of Literature of the English Revolution. From 2001 to 2005, she served as Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and secured a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge grant to support faculty scholarly projects.

Nancy Landale conducts prominent research in family demography, immigrant assimilation, the Hispanic population, and children’s health. She is currently working on projects that focus on the educational and health outcomes of Mexican children of immigrants and on academic achievement among children of legal immigrants. Landale is author or co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed articles published in the refereed journals of high impact in sociology and demography. Her work has been regularly funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for more than 20 years. Landale's publications are among the most widely cited in her field, with more than 700 citations. Her prolific research program has been an important contributor to the top ten rankings that the National Research Council awarded to both the Department of Sociology and the Demography Program. In addition, she serves on the Board on Children, Youth and Families of National Academy of Science and Institute of Medicine.



Last Updated January 09, 2015