SBS Outstanding Senior Embraces Hands-on Archaeology Opportunities: Jordan Proffitt, '23

May 3, 2023

Jordan Proffitt

Jordan Proffitt – who is graduating magna cum laude with a major in anthropology and minors in classics and biology – is the recipient of the SBS Outstanding Senior Award for spring 2023. The award is given to a graduating senior from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with a record of outstanding achievement, a history of active citizenship on campus and/or in the community, and a demonstrated capacity for leadership.

“I am deeply honored and so grateful to be chosen for this award, though I know it could not have been an easy decision,” Jordan said. “SBS students have a propensity for excellence and achievement which makes them some of the best the U of A has to offer.”

Anthropology Professor Daniela Triadan wrote that she has known Jordan since the fall of 2021 when he was one of the top students in her ANTH496F/596F Ceramic Practicum.

"I have been teaching at the University of Arizona for 21 years and have rarely met a more mature and focused undergraduate student," Triadan wrote.

Triadan recommended Jordan to Professors Emma Blake and Schon, who direct excavations of the ancient city of Segesta in Sicily. Blake said Jordan spent months prior to the project teaching himself basic Italian online and reading the classical author Thucydides, because the excavation site is mentioned in his works.

"Jordan proved to be an incredible addition to the team in Sicily," Blake wrote. "He has a keen mind and is a quick study."

Jordan also participated in the University of Arizona Archaeological Field School at Orvieto and was a bioarchaeology intern with Arizona State Museum.

Jordan is the president of the University of Arizona Eta Sigma Phi chapter, which promotes contributions to the understanding of classical languages, history, and culture. Eta Sigma Phi hosted this year’s Homerathon, a marathon oral reading of the Odyssey, which included participation by local high school students.

Jordan worked as an intern at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner this spring and has decided to pursue a career in forensic anthropology, which incorporates his archaeological skillset with a mission of identifying the dead and reconnecting them with loved ones. He has been admitted to Mercyhurst University’s graduate program in Forensic Anthropology for fall 2023.

“My time in the College has been one adventure after the next,” Jordan said. “With such abundant support from professors, I've found the College of SBS facilitates exploration, inspires curiosity, and fosters an environment in which the only requirement for success is dedication and hard work.”

"Jordan is an impressive, mature, and self-motivated student who has made the most of his time at UArizona to explore opportunities and excel," wrote Triadan and Blake. "His academic record is outstanding, and his intellectual curiosity and social conscience embody the ethos of SBS."