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State historical marker to be dedicated in honor of woman from Clifton Forge

R. Arliner Young was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in zoology

Young was born in Clifton Forge.
Young was born in Clifton Forge.

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – A new state historical marker issued highlights the career of Alleghany County native R. Arliner Young.

She was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in zoology when she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1940.

The marker is located in Clifton Forge where Young was born.

Officials say the recognition is important for the entire Commonwealth.

“She went into a field of study not many women pursued, and not very African American women pursued, so she was very important in her own day, but she’s equally important to all of us today,” said Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources.

Young’s career research focused on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on marine animals.