Author Topic: Ahna Skop, Professor  (Read 51144 times)

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Ahna Skop, Professor
« on: January 20, 2023, 06:34:17 pm »
I was contacted, through an anonymous email, by people that wanted to post Ahna Skop to NAFPS for help with genealogy but were unable to open an account due to NAFPS-related technical issues. I agreed to help with genealogy and posting to NAFPS after doing my own research which revealed inconsistencies in Ahna Skop's claims.


Ahna Skop is a Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW-Madison). She is also an affiliate faculty member in the UW-Madison Arts Institute and in Life Sciences Communication. Ahna Skop primarily claims to be Eastern Band of Cherokee (EBCI).

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Ahna Skop, Affiliate Faculty – Life Sciences Communication, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
University of Wisconsin – Madison


Ahna, who is part Eastern Band Cherokee, is also passionate about increasing the numbers of underrepresented students in STE(A)M fields. On the UW-Madison campus and in her department, she has established several very successful recruitment and retention programs, and served two consecutive terms as the Chair of Equity and Diversity in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). In 2016, she was awarded the very first of two, Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence Award for her outreach and inclusive teaching efforts. She has served as a board member for SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) and was recently elected to the ASCB (American Association for Cell Biologists) Minority Affairs Committee where she has broadened her impact on underrepresented students in science nationally.[/i]

Direct Link: https://lsc.wisc.edu/facstaff/skop-ahna/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20230117210143/https://lsc.wisc.edu/facstaff/skop-ahna/

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4/1/2020: IB InBusiness - "Ahna Skop, Class of 2008" IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020 – By Site Staff

As someone who is Eastern Band Cherokee, Ukrainian, and Lebanese, and the first in my family to obtain a Ph.D., I’m also passionate about increasing the numbers of underrepresented students in STEAM fields.

On the UW–Madison campus and in my department, I’ve established several very successful recruitment and retention programs, and in 2015, I established stemdiversity.wisc.edu with support from the Sloan Foundation. In 2016, I was awarded the very first of two Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence Awards for my outreach and inclusive teaching efforts. I have served as a board member for SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science), where I’ve broadened my impact on underrepresented students in science nationally. I currently serves as an advisor to the chief diversity officer at the NIH (Dr. Hannah Valantine), on the ASCB Minority Affairs Committee, and am a diversity consultant to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

Direct Link: https://www.ibmadison.com/ahna-skop-class-of-2008/
Archive Link:https://web.archive.org/web/20230118005911/https://www.ibmadison.com/ahna-skop-class-of-2008/


Ahna Skop was honored with the UW–Madison Outstanding Women of Color Award during the 2019-2020 academic year.

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UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color Award (2019-2020 Cohort)

“Every year we have a growing number of nominees who are incredibly talented, accomplished and dedicated to both the university and the community. We’re celebrating just a few of the many women of color who have exceptional passion for innovations in teaching, recruiting and supporting students and staff on our campus, as well commitment to improving the quality of life in our larger community through service, oversight and personal involvement,” said Patrick J. Sims, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion. “This year we received more than 50 nominations for this opportunity to salute their exemplary contribution to campus and community. That means there is still an incredible number of candidates who need to know we value your tenacity, strength and wisdom.”

As a Native American female faculty member in a STEM department, Ahna Skop is an innovative advocate and activist pushing UW–Madison to improve its support networks so that all students become more engaged and comfortable on campus. Her innovative integration of scientific research and storytelling builds knowledge and communities.  She pursues research interests relating genetics and fine arts with funding from the National Science Foundation, encourages students to become engaged through mentoring in her laboratory, hosts dinners and social activities in her home, and has cultivated a new generation of student leaders who are giving back in much the same way.

Under her guidance, the genetics department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences now has a diversity committee tasked with assessing diversity and climate issues in that affect recruitment, training, retention and overall quality of experience within the department.  Working with undergraduate student collaborators, Skop led the development of the STEM Diversity Network to encourage inclusion, diversity and equity.  She serves as a mentor, on several campus committees and advisory boards, is a diversity liaison promoting campus-wide equity and diversity, and has been awarded a Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence Award.  Her contributions to advancing science and early-career scientists have been nationally recognized.


Direct Link: https://diversity.wisc.edu/2020/01/uw-madison-to-hold-12th-annual-reception-honoring-outstanding-women-of-color-2/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20230000000000*/https://diversity.wisc.edu/2020/01/uw-madison-to-hold-12th-annual-reception-honoring-outstanding-women-of-color-2/


Most “women of color” know they're women of color prior to their late teens/early 20s which conflicts with what Skop said in this article from 2008 about her “definite links” to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

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Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
“Emerging Scholars: The Class of 2008” – By Diverse Staff


Developing research skills early in life led Skop to explore the veracity of an old generational myth — having American Indian blood in the family tree. During her undergrad years she researched and put together a genetic lineage with definite links to the Eastern Cherokee tribe of North Carolina. As one of only a few American Indian assistant professors in the country working at a top 50 research institution, Skop is committed to reaching out to young Native students.

Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20220927235223/https://www.diverseeducation.com/faculty-staff/article/15086489/emerging-scholars-the-class-of-2008
Direct Link: https://www.diverseeducation.com/faculty-staff/article/15086489/emerging-scholars-the-class-of-2008


It is unusual for someone to jump from “an old generational myth” of Native American ancestry to being referred to as “one of only a few American Indian assistant professors in the country working at a top 50 research institution..” because you researched your family and believe you found “definite links to the Eastern Cherokee tribe of North Carolina.” What are those “definite links” Skop found? Was Skop's research accurate?

At this point in time, I haven’t been to confirm the "genetic lineage with definite links to the Eastern Cherokee tribe of North Carolina" that Ahna Skop (Skop) claims to have found while researching her family history during the years 1990-1994. I did find Skop's public family tree on ancestry.com which contains significant errors. Here are just a few:

- Skop linked a 1903 Choctaw Freedmen Land Allotment record for 8-year-old Josephine Prince to her grandmother, Josephine Smith, who wasn’t even born until 1927. Skop's grandmother didn’t become Josephine Prince until the late 1940s through marriage.

- Skop uploaded the death certificate of her great grandmother, Marinda Mae Smith, to ancestry.com on 6/2/2021. She commented “Race: Mulato” in the notes field which is incorrect. Skop's great grandmother’s race is recorded as “white” on the death certificate which is consistent with every United States Federal Census I was able to find for Marinda Mae Smith.

- Skop's great-great-grandparents’ names were written as “William Thomas Smith (colored) (choctaw)” and “Mary Esther (mulatto) Hinkle” by Skop in her family tree. I found that William T. Smith and Mary (Hinkle) Smith were recorded as “white” on every United Stated Federal Census and on their death records. I didn't find anything indicating they were colored, mulatto, or Choctaw. Skop did upload a Choctaw Roll Enrollment Card for a William T. Smith on 6/2/2021. That William T. Smith was married to a Choctaw woman and recorded as being an “intermarried white” who lived in Blue County, Indian Territory. The William T. Smith that was Skop's great-great-grandfather lived in Kentucky his entire life and was married to a white woman, Mary Hinkle.

- Skop has Jenny Wiley listed as a direct lineal ancestor in her family tree. According to Wikipedia, Jenny Wiley “was a pioneer woman who was taken captive by Native Americans in 1789.” Strangely, on 5/5/2012, Skop uploaded the Eastern Band of Cherokee flag as Jenny Wiley’s profile photo in her ancestry.com family tree. I haven’t been able to find any story about Jenny Wiley that has her (or any of her children) as Cherokee.

Below are links to Ahna Skop’s public profile and public family tree on ancestry.com. The profile says that Skop was last active today. I have screenshots and documentation of everything I have referenced in the event the tree is edited or made private.

Ancestry Profile Link:https://www.ancestry.com/profile/019f4310-0002-0000-0000-000000000000?compareToTestId=349E1ADE-C53E-441C-9E8F-D8948BC3DB2A
Ancestry Family Tree Link:https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/24664030?cfpid=1549466968&dtid=100

I’m not the only one that couldn’t find Cherokee or Native American ancestry in Ahna Skop's family tree. On 9/26/2013, Ahna Skop's sister made a public post on Facebook about helping her son with a family history project for school. A screenshot is attached, and I’ve transcribed the relevant portions below. The conversation was between Ahna’s sister, Ahna’s aunt, and Ahna Skop. I have redacted the screenshot and will not be referring to the sister or aunt by their first or last names in this post.


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9/26/2013: Facebook Post (Attached)

Ahna’s Sister: Who knew helping my son with his “family history project” would give me the better lesson on things that I never knew about my family’s heritage. One fun fact: we’re related to legendary pioneer woman Jenny Wiley.

Ahna’s Aunt: Ahna’s Sister; did you not know that? I thought you did as Ahna did all kinds of research on it. I think I have the book on her somewhere if you want it?

Ahna’s Sister: Hey Ahna’s Aunt, I did know that we were connected to her in some way, but didn’t really know the whole story. So horrible. That was the first time I actually read her story. Wondering how the whole “Cherokee” heritage worked its way into our knowledge, but none-the-less interesting. Another fun fact: we’re actually more Irish and English than anything else. Cool!

Ahna’s Aunt: And Greek on your grandpa side. Greek and French and English

Ahna’s Sister: Yeah I saw that. What I didn’t know was that it was most unlikely that Jane Wiley was half Cherokee according to these tales. So even if dna sampling came back with % being native american in our lineage it most likely did not come from this source. For years we were told that we are “part” Cherokee” but according to Ahna’s findings Grandma is less than 2% if stories are correct. So Really…we’re more Irish/English from Grandma’s side than anything else. Something I found really interesting.

Ahna Skop: Were Lebanese and Syrian and French English from grandpa

Ahna’s Aunt: What about the Greek part? I thought there was some Greek your grandfathers mom. Thats what he always said. And the English and French were his dad.

Ahna Skop: Nope the genetic test and birth places say Lebanese and Syrian in grandpas mother side.

Ahna’s Aunt: Well, his dad did go to the University in Lebanon, so that makes sense. Correct?

Ahna’s Aunt:University of Beirut I think?

Ahna Skop: American Univ of Beirut


Despite participating in that exchange on Facebook in 2013, Ahna Skop has continued to claim that she is EBCI/Native American. I have many questions about what “definite links to the Eastern Band of Cherokee” she found sometime between 1990-1994. She has incorrectly linked Choctaw and Choctaw Freedmen records to her family on ancestry.com. The people that contacted me about Ahna Skop provided a screenshot of her Twitter profile from 10/22/2022 in which she lists herself as “Cherokee/Creek” while her Twitter profile currently says “EB Cherokee.” The 10/22/2022 screenshot is attached and here is a link to her current Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/foodskop.

I’ll be posting genealogy and additional information over the next few days. I hope that anyone with additional information will contribute to this thread.

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2023, 07:07:44 pm »
Ahna Skop was the subject of controversy in 2020 when she argued that making jokes about worms was the tip of the iceberg when it came to making jokes about marginalized identities.

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8/2/2020: The Daily Beast, Worm Joke Causes Science Twitter Flame War Over Accusations of Sexism and Racism – By Ashley Elbein

By far the most prolific poster in this vein was Ahna Skop, associate professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previous recipient of a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion-based award in 2018. Dr. Skop—who did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Beast—argued extensively that making jokes about worms was merely the tip of the iceberg when it came to making jokes about marginalized identities, or an example of a ‘bystander effect’, a psychological theory arguing that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim in a crowd. (For is it not said: First they came for the worm people, and I said nothing, as I was not a worm person?)

In the resulting threads, Dr. Skop—who identifies as “part Eastern Band Cherokee” and “disabled with EDS”—and others consistently failed to publicly respond to Black scientists like herpetologist Chelsea Connor, who tried to point out that this was a ridiculous conflation.  In a private communication Connor shared with The Daily Beast, Skop doubled down, arguing that as she had previously been harmed by entrenched sexism, her concerns regarding the worm joke were justified.

By July 21, wormageddon had transcended petty concerns about crassness or biases in research subject, and was now squirming across much thornier territory: i.e, the tendency of white and white-presenting academics to ignore structural oppression in favor of their personal feelings, and to refuse to authentically amplify the voices of marginalized people. While the dynamic is a familiar one, Connor told The Daily Beast, this example was a new low. “Never before had someone compared me and countless others to a worm…[or made] claims that worm researchers were discriminated against in a comparable or equal way to BIPOC, women and people with disabilities.”

In falsely equating the real oppression of people belonging to marginalized groups to a Twitter joke about a roundworm, Wormageddon 2020 offers a clear example of how white and white-passing women misuse the language of diversity, equality and inclusion, with little accountability and self-awareness, and without any interest in the hurt that such frivolous invocations cause the people they’re theoretically defending. Someone who took the struggles that marginalized people face in academia seriously, after all, would not invoke them to win a Twitter argument about whether a worm joke is rude. “That comparison should never have been the knee-jerk reaction for them,” Connor said. “And then the response [to criticism] should have been better... The harm done stays with us and they get to log out and forget that this ever happened and let it ‘blow over’ meanwhile we have to work to fix what they did.”

Direct Link: https://www.thedailybeast.com/worm-joke-causes-science-twitter-flame-war-over-accusations-of-sexism-and-racism
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20230117201147/https://www.thedailybeast.com/worm-joke-causes-science-twitter-flame-war-over-accusations-of-sexism-and-racism


Someone on Reddit noticed the unusual way that Ahna Skop determined she was Native American after seeing a post about Wormageddon 2020.

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Posted to r/internetdrama - By "sirborksalot" - 2 years ago

so Ahna Skop, who seems to have started the whole "mocking my worm model is white supremacy" thread, describes herself in her twitter bio as "indigenous"... because, wait for it:

"During her undergrad years she researched and put together a genetic lineage with definite links to the Eastern Cherokee tribe of North Carolina."

Direct Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/internetdrama/comments/hvzld3/editorinchief_of_a_biology_journal_says_a/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20230118175247/https://www.reddit.com/r/internetdrama/comments/hvzld3/editorinchief_of_a_biology_journal_says_a/

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2023, 08:20:44 pm »
In 2018, Ahna Skop wrote about how taking, Kenny, a South African exchange student to prom in 1989 was "the beginning of a journey to advocate for others." In the story, Skop talks about hearing other students make racist comments when they arrived at prom. She acknowledges that Kenny heard the comments but she could see his joy at the prospect of dancing and freedom. Skop goes on to say she "was quite certain his experience at prom that night was very different from mine." I'm not sure how others might interpret those words, but I get the distinct impression that Skop feels like her experience was more difficult than Kenny's.

She concludes by remarking on how "taking a South African boy to prom made me different, our family different, and it changed me. It fueled the beginning of a journey to advocate for others." It is notable that Skop appears to be considered white by the other students. If Skop was a "woman of color" would she have needed to take a black man to prom to reach a "turning point in [her] understanding of race and being black in America." If she was a "woman of color" would taking a black man to prom be "an experience that helped [her] clearly see how race, gender, and identity impacted our daily lives"?


Note: The slur “n_ _ _ _ _-lover” was written in full by Ahna Skop in the original article. I have chosen not to quote it as it appears in the original article at the links included below.

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11/1/2018: The American Society for Cell Biology, Molecular Biology of the Cell
“The entrance: how life experience shaped my passion for diversity and Inclusion”


In 1989, while other high school classmates were curling and teasing their hair up big, I was getting ready to make an entrance. An entrance I assumed would be perfectly fine, given that my date was a very tall South African exchange student. Kenny, who attended another high school across the river from me in Cincinnati, came to the United States before the end of apartheid. Kenny and I had met at a foreign exchange student picnic earlier that fall. I attended every year and had met students from Germany, Egypt, England, Tunisia, France, Finland, and South Africa. It was particularly important to my parents that we get to know these students, learn about their country, and try their food.

I had asked Kenny whether he’d like to go to my junior prom. He said yes and was excited about going with me given it was a new experience. Given how white my town was at the time, I thought taking Kenny could be an issue, but truly I was too young and naive to realize it would be problematic.

When Kenny and I walked in the door to my prom, it was a turning point in my understanding of race and being black in America. It changed the way I saw the world. It was an experience that helped me clearly see how race, gender, and identity impacted our daily lives.

The moment we walked in the door, it was if the needle on the record player screeched off the record on a turntable. As we made our way through the crowd of classmates, someone muttered “n_ _ _ _ _-lover” at me; another I overhead say, “why did Ahna bring a black man to our prom?” Nothing was said directly to Kenny, but I knew he must have heard them. I turned to look at him and smiled as I could see his joy at the prospect of dancing and the freedom, he said, “to mix.” I am quite certain his experience at prom that night was very different from mine.

The following Monday, my mother was contacted by the Board of Education. They called to thank her for allowing her daughter take a black man to prom. She was perplexed why they were saying this, and said, "Why are you thanking me?” Taking a South African boy to prom made me different, our family different, and it changed me. It fueled the beginning of a journey to advocate for others.

Direct Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6249843/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20221217195457/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6249843


Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2023, 08:57:15 pm »
The people that originally contacted me about genealogy for Ahna Skop reached out to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to confirm whether Ahna Skop, her mother, maternal grandmother, great-grandmother, or great-great-grandfather are connected to EBCI. EBCI's responses are below. As the email exchange was forwarded to me, I am not able to 100% verify its authenticity. I believe it to be legitimate though. This is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' website https://ebci.com/ which contains contact information for anyone that would like to independently verify. I will be posting genealogy over the next few days.

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From: cornsoupcoll <EMAIL REMOVED>
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2023 1:44 PM
To: Shoshoni Medina <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: Baker Roll Search

Hello,

Thank you for quickly getting back to me, I appreciate you! and sorry this is a duplicate email, your email address server was blocking a reply from the proton e-mail service.

I would like to verify if these people appear on the Baker Rolls for EBCI. I did some personal research and I wanted to check with the enrollment department:

William T. Smith:
B: 27 Mar 1872 - Kentucky, USA (possible year of birth 1870-1875*)
D: 17 Feb 1961 - Pike County, Kentucky, USA

Marinda Mae Blakenship OR Mae Smith OR Marinda Mae Blankenship OR Mae Blankenship
B: 24 Jun 1904 - Kentucky, USA (1900-1905* possible years)
D: 8 Jun 1940 – Adams County, Ohio, USA

Thank you for all your help!



On Friday, January 20, 2023, Shoshoni Medina <EMAIL REMOVED> wrote:

Unfortunately, none of the names you provided were found on our database. I also tried to look them up by birthdates but none of those are in the database either.

Shoshoni Medina
Enrollment Clerk
DIRECT PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL REMOVED



From: cornsoupcoll <EMAIL REMOVED>
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2023 2:34 PM
To: Shoshoni Medina <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: Re: Baker Roll Search

Thank you so much for checking and confirming! If its not too much trouble, can you also please make sure these individuals also do/do not appear on the roll/enrollment?

-Ahna Skop (DOB REMOVED)
-Kathleen Prince Skop (DOB REMOVED)
-Josephine Smith/Josephine Raymond/Josephine Prince (10/3/1927)

These will be the last set of names we have to check, just to cover all bases.

Thank you again



From: Shoshoni Medina <EMAIL REMOVED>
Date: Friday, January 20, 2023
Subject: Baker Roll Search
To: cornsoupcoll <EMAIL REMOVED>

None of those names or birthdates either ma’am.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1413
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2023, 02:44:27 pm »
Dr. Skop … argued extensively that making jokes about worms was merely the tip of the iceberg when it came to making jokes about marginalized identities, or an example of a ‘bystander effect’, a psychological theory arguing that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim in a crowd. (For is it not said: First they came for the worm people, and I said nothing, as I was not a worm person?)

My boldings and italics. The first one is well known in the U.S., and explained (with links) here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

The second one is well known here in Europe, and even in the U.S., as can be seen here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2023, 04:17:30 pm »
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1/8/2008: Science Magazine "Following the Image" - By Anne Sasso

“President George W. Bush struck up a conversation with Skop--who is part Cherokee and was recognized for her innovative research and her mentoring of Native-American students--when he noticed a sticker of the Bushes' dog, Barney, on Skop's blouse. "I was being a goofy person. I put the sticker on, and the other faculty thought I was crazy," she says. "It turned out it was the only way to get him to talk to us."

Skop has built a career attending to details that other people pass over, whether it's cellular detritus, Barney stickers, or shy high school students. Focusing on the overlooked, she has found, can lead to important scientific discoveries, ignite conversations, and inspire outsiders to see the beauty in science.”


“Once back in Madison, Skop let educators at the local Indian reservations know that she was willing to host student visits to her lab. A steady stream of high school students has flowed through ever since. "I'm not this nerd who sits in a lab all day," she says. "I'm friendly. I make videos of embryos dividing, and we're understanding how nature works. It's easy to grasp. The kids start to relax and ask questions. And by the end of the day, they're totally excited."

Direct Link: https://www.science.org/content/article/following-image
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20230118012052/https://www.science.org/content/article/following-image?cookieSet=1

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2023, 04:47:45 pm »
The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) chose Ahna Skop as the inaugural recipient of the ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity in 2018. While award eligibility doesn't appear to be contingent on a nominee being a person of color, it is notable that the four subsequent award winners would likely all be considered people of color. Ahna Skop is referred to as being "part Native American" and "Eastern Band Cherokee" in press releases related to the award.

ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity
https://www.ascb.org/award/new-ascb-prize-for-excellence-in-inclusivity/


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10/4/2018: ASCB - "Ahna Skop Chosen Inaugural Recipient of ASCB Prize in Inclusivity" - By Mary Spiro

Ahna R. Skop, professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW-Madison), has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity. Skop will receive a cash award of $5,000 that she can use to advance inclusion activities at her institution. She will be featured in a video at the 2018 ASCB|EMBO Meeting Keynote Address. In addition, Skop will contribute an essay to the Society’s basic research journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Skop was nominated by John Doebley, professor and chair of the Genetics department at UW-Madison. In his letter, Doebley wrote that, along with being recognized for her work in genetics and cell biology, “Ahna is also a highly visible advocate and role model for underrepresented students who might otherwise overlook our program in Genetics, as well as other STEM disciplines, here at UW-Madison.”

Doebley noted that Skop has been a leading figure at the national level for underrepresented STEM students, giving a keynote talk at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) annual conference and serving as a chapter advisor for both SACNAS and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society on the UW-Madison campus. She previously served on the SACNAS National Nominations Committee and is currently on the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee. She has also been a member of the Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Structure/Function and Dynamics Study Section, a Cell Biology Integrated Review Group at the National Institutes of Health.

In these many roles, and being part Native American and also low-income, Skop understands well the challenges and difficulties facing underrepresented students and women, and she is committed to doing all she can to help students succeed. Skop is Eastern Band Cherokee, Lebanese, and Ukrainian, and her ever-growing family is a genetic melting pot of America, including Mexican, Chinese, and Haitian backgrounds. Her passion for STEM diversity is driven by her family and love of culture, food, and travel.

Award committee chair George Langford added, “Skop exemplifies the very best qualities that the ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity seeks to recognize. She is an accomplished scientist with a strong track record in research, has made a lasting impact on her institution and the broader scientific community by advocating for and creating an inclusive environment.” Langford, a long-time ASCB member and professor and dean emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, went on to say that Skop “cultivates inclusivity in her research laboratory, in the classroom where she practices active learning pedagogy, and throughout the UW-Madison campus. As one of her nominators stated, ‘Ahna participates in nearly every institutional minority recruiting and retention event.’ Her boundless energy, personal commitment, and advocacy for social justice made her the unanimous choice to be the inaugural recipient of the ASCB Prize.”

Direct Link: https://www.ascb.org/member-news/ahna-skop-chosen-inaugural-recipient-ascb-prize-inclusivity/
Archive Link:https://web.archive.org/web/20211104061336/https://www.ascb.org/member-news/ahna-skop-chosen-inaugural-recipient-ascb-prize-inclusivity/

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2023, 04:34:11 am »
This post contains links to YouTube content in which Ahna Skop makes claims of Native American ancestry. The majority of the YouTube videos contain the same general lecture/presentation with minor variations.

Potentially of note: In the content I was able to locate on YouTube, Ahna Skop switched from using "Eastern Band of Cherokee" in 2017 to "Cherokee" in 2018 and then back to "Eastern Band of Cherokee" from 2019 to the most recent content in 2021. Did something occur in 2018/2019 to prompt the change?


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10/27/2017: YouTube "Too Creative for Science Dr Ahna Skop IMSD at UMass Boston"

5:15 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Eastern Band Cherokee & Lebanese” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

5:31 – Ahna Skop says “My mom is Eastern Band Cherokee and Lebanese.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgV3a35t1-g

Quote
11/16/2017: YouTube "Ahna Skop - Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium, The Science of Science Communication III (SSCIII): Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity"

1:05 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Eastern Band Cherokee & Lebanese” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olNmFxX45Ts


Quote
2/8/2018: YouTube "LSC Colloquium: Ahna Skop “The Art of Science Communication: Stories from the Classroom”

1:25 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Cherokee & Lebanese” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqmzaE8FlU


Quote
2/23/2018: YouTube "Weebly.com — Ahna Skop"

0:32 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Cherokee & Lebanese” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

0:45 – Ahna Skop says "I come from a very diverse background. My dad is Ukrainian and I’m Cherokee and Lebanese, as well. So, diversity is really important to who I am..”

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3IPwgM1mdE


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5/31/2018: YouTube "Genetic Reflections" Art Installation, Angela Johnson & Ahna Skop

1:07 – Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Cherokee & Lebanese” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5MkDMG-9o


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April 10, 2019: YouTube "BIG IDEAS @ScienceStowers featuring Ahna Skop, PhD"

3:22 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Lebanese & Eastern Band Cherokee” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

3:40 - Ahna Skop says "My mother is Lebanese and Eastern Band Cherokee. So mixed - very mixed - family from different parts of the world."

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn1WGlDDlkw


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6/20/2019: YouTube "Ahna Skop - 2018 ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity"

3:30 - Ahna Skop says "My family is quite diverse. Um. You know - my family is Ukrainian and Lebanese and Native American. I'm Dyslexic. I'm also low-income. I also have a genetic disease."

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFe86WQA2zk


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4/16/2021: YouTube "2021 Norma Slepecky Ceremony and Lecture"

17:39 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Lebanese & Eastern Band Cherokee” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

17:48 – Referring to family tree graphic, Ahna Skop says “That’s my mother -uh- who is on this call. Um. [She] is a ceramist and an art educator and she's Lebanese and Eastern Band Cherokee.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWAGgqsK1Ps


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4/17/2021: YouTube "SAi Seminar - Too creative for science? - Dr. Ahna R. Skop"

4:04 - Ahna Skop shows family tree graphic which reads “Lebanese & Eastern Band Cherokee” under a picture of Skop’s mother.

4:30 - Ahna Skop says "My mom is of Lebanese descent and also Eastern Band Cherokee - my grandmother was."

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JROonrFNZxk

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2023, 01:50:03 am »
Usually we see imposters in academia in English and literature, sometimes language teaching. It's her part in diversity programs or advocacy that gets undercut by her posing. I only see one article on diversity in her publishing or research.
https://skoplab.weebly.com/publications.html
https://genetics.wisc.edu/staff/skop-ahna/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahna_Skop

While there's some signs that at the beginning she was unsure about her ancestry, she can't claim that for years and over many public posts and appearances. It's not credible a geneticist, a profession where you have to be precise, could accidentally keep making theese mistakes. What seems right to me is that she admit the falsehood. Stepping away from diversity work? I don't know. Is there any sign she fabricated claims of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry?

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2023, 03:07:12 am »
I haven't looked at the other branches of Ahna Skop's family tree, educatedindian. Your question has made me curious though. I will take a look. It is certainly upsetting to look at the poor quality of research contained in her public ancestry.com family tree and then see how far that incorrect work has spread into other ancestry.com users' family trees. 

Beyond falsely representing herself in diversity programs and advocacy, I believe Ahna Skop has taken opportunities and funding from minority and disadvantaged students through her false claims. See below.

Below are links to different versions of Ahna Skop's CV, preserved by the Wayback Machine, as it has been changed and updated over the years on her website. I've listed four fellowships/awards that I was able to easily ascertain were intended for minority recipients. Strangely, the largest of the fellowships, Advanced Opportunity Fellowship for Graduate Studies, was removed on the 8/28/2017 version of Ahna Skop's CV. While I am unable to say how much Ahna Skop received from 1994-1996, I was able to locate the award letter for 2021 recipients at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In 2021, the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship for Graduate Students appears to cover all tuition, a stipend, and even a welcome payment for personal use. The Advanced Opportunity Fellowship "is provided by the State of Wisconsin and intended to provide financial support for minority and disadvantaged graduate students allowing them to focus attention on their graduate studies and to complete their degrees in a timely fashion." As someone who pays taxes in the State of Wisconsin, I'd be interested to know if any in-state applicants (minority OR disadvantaged) applied for and didn't receive the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship for Graduate Students from 1994-1996.


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Ahna Skop CV Links
File Date: 8/3/2009
Internet Archive Date: 4/1/2011
https://web.archive.org/web/20110401004328/skoplab.weebly.com/uploads/8/6/5/7/865764/skopcv8-3-2009.pdf

File Date: 2011
Internet Archive Date: 1/30/2011
https://web.archive.org/web/20120130212141/http://skoplab.weebly.com/uploads/8/6/5/7/865764/skopcv2011.pdf

File Date: April 2012
Internet Archive Date: 7/14/2012
https://web.archive.org/web/20120714051437/http://skoplab.weebly.com/uploads/8/6/5/7/865764/skopcvapril2012.pdf

File Date: 8/28/2017
Internet Archive Date: 3/8/2019
https://web.archive.org/web/20190308112256/http://skoplab.weebly.com/uploads/8/6/5/7/865764/skopcv8-28-2017.pdf

Quote
Some of the Fellowships/Awards intended for minorities accepted by Ahna Skop...

Advanced Opportunity Fellowship for Graduate Studies (Minority Award Fellowship) (1994-1996)
Direct Link: https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/page.php?id=108211
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20210419072106/https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/page.php?id=108211
Offer Letter 2021: https://kb.wisconsin.edu/images/group86/26477/LS_AOFOfferLetter.docx

Carl Storm Underrepresented Fellowship Awardee, Gordon Research Conference, Motile & Contractile Systems 2009
Direct Link: https://www.grc.org/carl-storm-underrepresented-minority-fellowship-information/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20180223031239/https://www.grc.org/carl-storm-underrepresented-minority-fellowship-information/

ASCB Minority Poster Award, Honorable Mention, 1996
Direct Link: https://www.ascb.org/committees/minorities-affairs-committee-poster-awards/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20220305162445/https://www.ascb.org/web/20220305162445/https://www.ascb.org/committees/minorities-affairs-committee-poster-awards/

ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) Minority Travel Award Recipient, 1996, 1999
Direct Link: https://www.ascb.org/grants-awards/travel-grants/
Archive Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20220602180022/https://www.ascb.org/web/20220602180022/https://www.ascb.org/grants-awards/travel-grants/

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2023, 12:44:04 am »
Genealogy

*Asterisked ancestors represent those that Ahna Skop claims have Native American ancestry

Parents
Kathleen M Prince*
B:DOB REMOVED-New York, USA
D: Living
Michael Skop
B: 14 Jun 1932 - Ohio, USA
D: 31 May 2009 - Fort Thomas, Campbell, Kentucky, USA

Maternal Grandparents
Josephine Smith*
B: 3 Oct 1927 - West Virginia, USA
D: 19 Sep 2015 - Escondido, San Diego, California, USA
William Augustine Prince
B: 25 Dec 1915 - New York, USA
D: 30 Apr 1997 - Escondido, San Diego, California, USA

Great Grandparents
Marinda Mae Smith*
B: 24 Jun 1904 - Kentucky, USA
D: 8 Jun 1940 – Adams County, Ohio, USA

Great-Great Grandparents
Mary E Hinkle
B: 16 May 1878 - Kentucky, USA
D: 3 Mar 1918 - Pike County, Kentucky, USA
William T Smith
B:27 Mar 1872 - Kentucky, USA
D: 17 Feb 1961 - Pike County, Kentucky, USA



Kathleen M Prince
B: DOB REMOVED - New York, USA
D: Living

1950 United States Federal Census
Name   Kathleen Prince
Age   3
Birth Date   1947
Gender   Female
Race   White
Birth Place   New York

Marital Status   Never Married (Single)
Relation to Head of House   Daughter
Residence Date   1950
Home in 1950   Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Household members
William Prince   33
Josephine Prince   24
Kathleen Prince   3

Joyce E Prince   2



Josephine Smith
B: 3 Oct 1927 - West Virginia, USA
D: 19 Sep 2015 - Escondido, San Diego, California, USA

Obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/sandiegouniontribune/name/josephine-prince-obituary?id=16630760

1950 United States Federal Census
Name   Josephine Prince
Age   24
Birth Date   1926
Gender   Female
Race   White
Birth Place   West Virginia

Marital Status   Married
Relation to Head of House   Wife
Residence Date   1950
Home in 1950   Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Occupation Category   Keeping House
Household members
William Prince   33
Josephine Prince   24
Kathleen Prince     3

Joyce E Prince   2

1940 United States Federal Census
Name   Josephine Blankenship
Age   11
Estimated Birth Year   1929
Gender   Female
Race   White
Birthplace   West Virginia

Marital Status   Single
Relation to Head of House   Daughter
Home in 1940   Oliver, Adams, Ohio
Inferred Residence in 1935   Adams, Ohio
Residence in 1935   Adams, Ohio
Household members
Mae Blankenship  35
Carl Smith   35
Marie Blankenship   18
Josephine Blankenship   11
Ruth Smith   10

1930 United States Federal Census
Name   Josephine Smith
Birth Year   1929
Gender   Female
Race   White
Age in 1930   1
Birthplace   West Virginia
Marital Status   Single
Relation to Head of House   Cousin
Home in 1930   Williamson, Mingo, West Virginia, USA
Attended School   No
Father's Birthplace   Indiana
Mother's Birthplace   Kentucky

Household members
Mae Smith   24
Otis Ball   23
Emma Ball   20
Josephine Smith  1

Ahna Skop's maternal grandmother was Josephine Smith. I have been unable to identify Josephine Smith’s father from publicly available records. Josephine and her older sister, Marie, predominantly went by their mother’s maiden name, Smith. Ahna has the father listed as Frank J Raymond (born in Indiana) in her ancestry.com tree. Frank J Raymond was not Native American. The mother of Josephine Smith, Marinda Mae Smith, died tragically when Josephine was 11 years old. It is clear from Ahna Skop's statements and family tree that she claims Native American ancestry through the maternal line of her grandmother, Josephine Smith.

On 1/15/2023, Ahna uploaded Josephine Smith Prince’s death certificate. The death certificate lists her father’s first name as “unknown” and his last name as “Raymond.” The death certificate also lists Josephine Smith’s race as “Caucasian, Cherokee”. It is important to understand that the information on death certificates is only as accurate as the informant’s knowledge. The informant was Josephine Smith’s second husband, Donald Seivert. From Ahna Skop's aunt's comments in the Facebook post, it is clear that Ahna Skop's "genealogy" research had an impact on the family. Did it influence the information provided for the death certificate? There is also no way of verifying the  document since it was uploaded by Ahna Skop.

You don't just become "Cherokee" overnight. There would be more records. I will show that Josephine Smith's family were recorded as white back to 1870.

Attempted to attach to post: Death certificate uploaded to ancestry.com by Ahna Skop on 1/15/2023.
I have been unable to post with the attachment despite resizing the file due to NAFPS-related site issues. I will keep trying and upload on a separate post.

Article on Death Certificate Accuracy: https://lisalisson.com/5-types-genealogical-info-found-death-certificate/



edit - dob removed for Kathleen M Prince per request by advancedsmite
« Last Edit: January 25, 2023, 05:48:06 pm by Smart Mule »

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2023, 02:05:50 am »
Attachment: Josephine Smith Prince Death Certificate* (with proof it was uploaded to ancestry.com by Ahna Skop on 1/15/2023)

*I am having difficulty uploading attachments to NAFPS. I have resized the image and hope it uploads clearly.

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2023, 02:10:04 am »
Second attempt to upload with a higher resolution image than in previous post...

Attachment: Josephine Smith Prince Death Certificate* (with proof it was uploaded to ancestry.com by Ahna Skop on 1/15/2023)

*I am having difficulty uploading attachments to NAFPS. I have resized the image and hope it uploads clearly.

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2023, 02:25:20 am »
Marinda Mae Smith
B: 24 Jun 1904 - Kentucky, USA
D: 8 Jun 1940 – Adams County, Ohio, USA

Summary
Marinda Mae Smith (also known as Mae Smith) was born on June 24, 1904, in Pike County, Kentucky. Her parents were William T. Smith (1872-1961) and Mary E. Hinkle (1878-1918).

Ahna Skop mistakenly wrote that Marinda Mae Smith's death certificate said she was "mulato". It actually says "white" as does every other record that I was able to locate. Marinda Mae Smith was shot by her husband Thomas Blankenship in 1940 when her daughter, Josephine, was 11 years old. A newspaper article about the shooting references Marinda Mae Smith's sister, Gladys Smith, which was an additional way to verify the connection to the parents, William T. Smith and Mary E. Hinkle.

Newspaper Article: “Mind Blank After Seeing His Wife at Dance with Another Man, Defendant Testifies at West Union Murder Trial” The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 6, 1940 (Attached)

1940 United States Federal Census
Name   Mae Blankenship
Age   35
Estimated Birth Year   1905
Gender   Male*
Race   White
Birthplace   Kentucky
Marital Status   Married
Relation to Head of House   Head
Home in 1940   Oliver, Adams, Ohio
Inferred Residence in 1935   Adams, Ohio
Residence in 1935   Adams, Ohio
Household members
Mae Blankenship   35
Carl Smith   35
Marie Blankenship   18
Josephine Blankenship   11
Ruth Smith   10

1930 United States Federal Census
Name   Mae Smith
Birth Year   1906
Gender   Female
Race   White
Age in 1930   24
Birthplace   Kentucky
Marital Status   Widowed
Relation to Head of House   Cousin
Home in 1930   Williamson, Mingo, West Virginia, USA
Attended School   No
Able to Read and Write   Yes
Father's Birthplace   Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace   Kentucky

Able to Speak English   Yes
Household members
Mae Smith   24
Otis Ball   23
Emma Ball   20
Josephine Smith  1

1910 United States Federal Census
Name   Marinda Smith
Age in 1910   4
Birth Date   1906
Birthplace   Kentucky
Home in 1910   Big Creek, Pike, Kentucky, USA
Race   White
Gender   Female
Relation to Head of House   Daughter
Marital Status   Single
Father's Birthplace   Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace   Kentucky

Household members
William T Smith   38
Mary Smith   33

Joseph M Smith    12
Erastus Smith   10
Maggie M Smith   7
Marinda Smith   4
Homer Smith   2

Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993
Name   Mae Smith
Gender   Female
Age   33
Birth Date   1905
Marriage Date   14 Aug 1938
Marriage Place   Adams, Ohio, USA
Father   William Smith
Mother   Mary Likens*
Spouse   Thomas Blankenship


*Marinda Mae Smith's mother's maiden name was Hinkle. I believe this was written unclearly by the person filling out the register or is a transcription error.

Ohio, U.S., Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2018
Name   Marinda Blankenship
Death Date   8 Jun 1940
Death Place   Adams, USA

Offline Advanced Smite

  • Posts: 186
Re: Ahna Skop, Professor
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2023, 02:34:19 am »
Attachment: Marinda Mae Smith Blankenship Death Certificate - Ahna Skop mistakenly wrote that Marinda Mae Smith's death certificate said she was "mulato". It actually says "white" as does every other record that I was able to locate for Marinda Mae Smith AND her parents. Marinda Mae Smith was shot by her husband Thomas Blankenship in 1940 when her daughter, Josephine, was 11 years old. The attachment shows the death certificate was saved by Ahna Skop on 6/2/2021 with "mulato" incorrectly written multiple times by her in the notes.