Longwood University anthropology professor Dr. James Jordan recently received the 2017 Virginia Social Science Scholar of the Year Award.
He was the only recipient of this year’s scholar award from the Virginia Social Science Association (VSSA), which is given annually to up to three people from the various social science disciplines. Other disciplines include business, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, international relations, political science, psychology and sociology.
Jordan was the first anthropologist since 1995, and the first Longwood faculty member since 1982, to receive the award, which this year was presented March 25 at the annual convention. VSSA, founded in 1927 and the oldest association for academics in Virginia, chose its first Scholar of the Year Award recipient in 1981.
Since joining the Longwood faculty in 1978 to start an anthropology program, Jordan has conducted field research at prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in central Virginia and the Potomac River Valley. He also has conducted a study of an English village, studied archaeological collections in Syria and Jordan, and studied free-ranging chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania. Every year since 1995, he has taken Longwood students to England to study prehistoric and medieval archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Bath.
He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including selection as the Virginia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1995. He was chosen one of the 11 most outstanding professors at Virginia public colleges and universities in 1992. The same year, a joint resolution of the Virginia General Assembly recognized him for “outstanding services to the citizens of Virginia and to the discipline of archaeology in teaching and research.”
The archaeology field school, which he started in 1980, was named the Dr. James W. Jordan Archaeology Field School by the Board of Visitors in 2012. Two years later, the board bestowed its highest honor, naming Jordan the Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor of Anthropology. He was named an honorary Longwood alumnus in 2013.
In addition to his Longwood duties, which include serving as chief faculty marshal, he is executive director of the Nature Camp of Virginia, a naturalist for Virginia State Parks and a technical consultant for the TV program Bones.