Quincey Urban Student of the Month

Quincey Urban, a sophomore Cormier Honors scholar at Longwood University, was chosen by the Student Government Association as November’s academic student of the month. Urban is double majoring in anthropology and archaeology and communication studies with a concentration in digital media and is in the process of completing extensive research in the field of archaeology.

During the summer of 2021, Urban participated in a four-week program and a later eight-week program through Longwood at two excavation sites in Virginia. Throughout the summer, Urban learned techniques for the field of archaeology. She explained that this program gave her the chance to be chosen as one of three students to conduct research through the Institute of Archeology.

“I specifically chose to look at ceramic smoking pipes,” explained Urban. “I’m studying how and what they basically look like and how those attributes on each pipe match up with pipes that have been found in typical Mississippian culture areas.”

To conduct this research, Urban is examining artifacts collected by the Institute of Archeology over the past 25 years. Notably, she has examined approximately 146 ceramic pipes which were obtained from the excavation site and private collectors spanning from 1998 to 2021. 

“My research will change the way archaeologists look at prehistoric sites in Virginia because it will open the door to the possibility of having another culture impacting the one they are studying,” explains Urban.

The sophomore continued to explain the importance of her research on the ceramic pipes, saying: “The Mississippian cultures were one of the largest settlements in North America before European contact. They had several societies adopt many of their practices throughout Southeastern North America. Having that influence in Virginia has not been proven before, so it would increase the Mississippian culture’s sphere of influence.” 

Urban explained how the collective 12-week program over the summer of 2021prepared her for completing this research. “Longwood is kind of like a unique school of archaeology where we can get fieldwork in undergrad,” said the sophomore. In her experience, many students are not able to complete field work until they are in graduate school, so she expresses gratitude toward Longwood for offering an archaeology program like the Institute of Archeology during her undergraduate studies.

Following her participation in the summer programs and the research this fall, Urban will be serving as a teacher’s assistant in the spring semester to Dr. Brian Bates, professor of anthropology in the department of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice studies. Dr. Bates’s course will revolve around “Mound Builders,” a collective term for Native American villages and a topic which Urban has extensively researched. The Cormier Honors College scholar expressed her excitement for this opportunity as she will be able to participate in a weeklong trip at the end of the class over spring break.

Urban hopes that this research will help her professionally and academically, asserting, “I’ll have more of a specialization in ceramic artifacts rather than just organic ones like bone, shell, metals, or lithics.” 

To learn more about Urban’s work, follow the Student Government Association on Instagram and Twitter @sgalongwood and like their Facebook page at Longwood University Student Government Association. To nominate a peer for academic student of the month, visit their Linktree at https://linktr.ee/SGALONGWOOD

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