Skip to main content

Skibo Scholars Scholarship

Skibo Scholars is being established to honor the memory and legacy of Distinguished Professor, Dr. Jim Skibo.

About Dr. Jim Skibo

Jim SkiboJim was a beloved teacher, mentor, and a renowned archaeologist who taught at Illinois State University for 27 years, serving as Department Chair from 2014-2018. As a scholar, Jim specialized in prehistoric pottery, archaeological theory, and the archaeology of the Great Lakes. In addition to advancing methods in the field of archaeology, Jim trained and inspired generations of students in his archaeological field schools, especially at the long-running Grand Island Field School in Michigan. Following his retirement in 2018, he championed archaeology in the public interest as State Archaeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Jim was engaged in projects with Native Nations and the descendants of pre-Civil War Black pioneers in Wisconsin at the time of his death in April 2023.

Jim had a passion for the value of a college education that he shared widely. “Here [in the Liberal Arts] they will learn about the rich depth of our history, the fragility of our planet, the vastness of our cosmos and the complexities of our brains.” Dr. Jim Skibo, The State Journal-Register, Oct. 18, 2015.

Read about Dr. Skibo's work on recovering a 1,200 year old canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin on CNN or wacth him discuss the discovery on PBS Wisconsin. His research can also be found on his ISU webpage.

About Skibo Scholars

The goal of Skibo Scholars is to support underserved first time in college students with an interest in anthropology or sociology by building community, creating a sense of belonging, and empowering them with the skills, tools, and connections to flourish in the pursuit of their dreams at ISU.   

A cohort of six newly admitted students for Fall 2024 will be selected based on their application submission and demonstrated financial need. These students will participate in a community-building experience that will include early move-in, targeted skill-building workshops and community-building exercises, a continued cohort experience throughout the first year, and a one-time $1,000 scholarship to jump start their educational journey at ISU.

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Admitted first time in college student
  • Apply by March 1

Additionally, candidates must meet one of these criteria: 

  • Pell Grant eligible
  • Sociology or Anthropology major  
  • Eligible for Civic Engagement Scholarship 
  • If undeclared, have an interest in Human Development and Services, Humanities and Languages, and Society and Culture career clusters (as defined by Admissions) 

Scholarship Recipients will receive:   

  1. A $1,000 scholarship.
  2. Early move-in to the residence halls on Wednesday, August 14, 2024.
  3. Two days of targeted skill-building workshops and community-building exercises to enhance and support their transition to college life. 
  4. A shared cohort experience in their first semester as part of a specific section of IDS 128 - Thriving in College, Career, and Beyond. 
  5. Regular engagement and activities with SOA faculty, students, and staff during their first year to support their successful transition to Illinois State.

Admitted, first-time-in-college students who meet eligibility criteria will receive an invitation from the Office of Admissions to apply for the Skibo Scholars Scholarship.  If you feel you meet the criteria but have not received an invitation to apply, please contact Admissions