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Kent State’s Owen Lovejoy Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Posted Apr. 23, 2014

C. Owen Lovejoy, Distinguished Professor of Human Evolutionary Studies at Kent State University, has a long list of achievements and accolades for his contributions to science and to the university. He is adding another prestigious honor to his record.

Photo of Owen LovejoyLovejoy was announced today as a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its 2014 class. Some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts have been elected members of the academy. Notable members include John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aaron Copland, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Georgia O’Keeffe, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Mary Leakey and Nelson Mandela. One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also a leading center for independent policy research.

“I’m stunned and had no idea that this would ever happen,” Lovejoy said upon receiving word that he is becoming a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “I’m kind of overwhelmed. In retrospect, there’s no question that being at Kent State had a lot to do with it. The support we’ve received for our research and graduate programs over the years have been integral to just about every success we’ve had.

“When I say I was stunned, I truly mean it,” Lovejoy added. “I never dreamed I’d be elected to something along with Al Pacino and John Irving!”

A resident of Kent, Ohio, Lovejoy has taught at Kent State for more than 40 years. He is an internationally recognized biological anthropologist who specializes in the study of human origins and recently was elected Chair of Anthropology for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He was elected to the NAS, one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States, in 2007 and serves as an editorial board member for its prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Lovejoy is a widely published author, with nearly 150 articles about human evolution, forensics, demography, biomechanics and evolutionary theory. He holds the honor of being one of the Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI) “Most Highly Cited” authors in the general social sciences.

Lovejoy will be inducted with the new class at a ceremony on Oct. 11 at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. The list of the new members is located at

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. For more information about the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Anthropology program, visit

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Photo Caption:
C. Owen Lovejoy, Ph.D., stands next to the reconstructed skeleton of “Lucy,” a near-complete fossil of a human ancestor that walked upright 3.2 million years ago. Lovejoy is being welcomed as a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contacts:

Jim Maxwell,, 330-672-8028
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595