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Nina G. Jablonski '75 Inducted Into the Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania

October 30, 2023
Nina G. Jablonski '75

Nina G. Jablonski '75, Evan Pugh Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, was recently inducted into the Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania.

Jablonski and this year's nine other inductees were recognized by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro at a luncheon in Harrisburg. Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy was among the attendees. 

“I cannot imagine an educator-scholar in Pennsylvania more deserving of recognition as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania,” wrote Cassidy in her nomination letter for Jablonski. “Traveling across the globe, the nation, and the state as a senior scholar at the Commonwealth's flagship university and as a graduate of one of its most distinguished liberal arts colleges, Dr. Jablonski has had a major impact on public and academic understanding of an issue critical to understanding human evolution and human identity.”

Jablonski is an anthropologist whose most significant contributions have rested on her research on the evolution of human skin pigmentation that accounts for why dark skin evolved under conditions of high ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in the tropics. In contrast, lighter skin was favored under conditions of lower UVR nearer the poles. Jablonski has written extensively on the fallacy of skin-color-based human races and the pervasive damage done to human societies through the persistence of race concepts. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Jablonski received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 2010 for contributing to the worldwide fight against racism.

She received her bachelor's in biology at Bryn Mawr and a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Washington.

Bryn Mawr ranks third in the number of undergraduates inducted into the Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, trailing only the much larger University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University. 



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