|Skibo named distinguished professor|
|Written by Dana Jordan, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 19 January 2012 14:55|
ISU President Al Bowman has appointed James Skibo as a distinguished professor, an honor given to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence throughout the university.
Skibo is a professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the anthropology program. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and also writes.
“The books and articles that I have written are read by archaeologists around the globe,” Skibo said. “The journal that I edit, ‘Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory,' is the fourth highest rated archaeology journal in the world.”
Several of Skibo’s books, including his most recent, which is coming out later this year, deals with his specialty: pottery.
One of the most significant findings of his work, Skibo explained, was his ability to lay the foundation for understanding the functions of pots — cooking, what was cooked, storage and processing — by the organic residue, attrition and carbon deposit traces left behind.
Skibo has also written books about archaeological theory targeting students and non-archaeologists, which combine learning with the adventure of field work.
Aside from his scholarship and service, Skibo said he especially enjoys getting undergraduate students involved in his research. Hundreds of Skibo’s students have joined him on his archaeological projects to New Mexico and Michigan’s Grand Island.
“[Skibo] consistently involves students in his work and has been tireless in seeking funding to support students in his department,” Greg Simpson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said.
According to an ISU press release, to be considered for the title, one must achieve national recognition for scholarly research, creative production or leadership in creative or scholarly activities.
Candidates also must be clearly identified by students, colleagues or external agencies as an outstanding teacher, or contributed to a significant public service in accord with his or her academic discipline.
“[Skibo’s colleagues] see him as a role model for maintaining the balance of excellence in both teaching and scholarship,” Simpson said.
“Students respect him as knowledgeable and approachable, and see him as a mentor who cares about their academic and personal success.”
Among Skibo’s many great qualities is his equal energy and enthusiasm for discovery and for sharing his knowledge with others, Simpson added.
Skibo enjoys spending time writing and researching, a passion of his, while at the same time teaching graduate and undergraduate students.
“I think it is the best job in the world,” Skibo said.