Professor of Geology David Malone and Professor of Politics and Government Ali Riaz have been named Distinguished Professors by the Office of the Provost. They will be honored at Illinois State University’s annual Founders Day Convocation on February 15.
David Malone earned his bachelor’s degree at Illinois State in 1988 and returned in 1994 to begin his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography-Geology. He was promoted to associate professor in 2000 and at that time, he was appointed as department chair. In 2006 and 2014, he was promoted to professor and University Professor, respectively. He retired as chair in 2013, and returned to full-time teaching and research.
Malone, a broadly trained structural geologist, has sub-specialties in sedimentary geology, ore deposits, Quaternary geology, and geochronology. His work is strongly field-based with an emphasis on geologic mapping.
During his tenure at Illinois State, Malone has received College and University teaching awards, is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Lecturer, and became a member of the Million Dollar Club in 2008. He has been principal investigator on 62 grants and has received over $5 million in funding. A prolific researcher, he has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, geologic field guides, and geologic maps. He, along with his students, has contributed to more than 120 conference presentations. He has been honored as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA), and most recently, his field camp was awarded the Exxon-Mobil Field Camp Excellence Award by the GSA.
Passionate about teaching, Malone has taught nearly 3,400 students in 11 different classes during his years at Illinois State. He has served as an academic advisor for more than 400 undergraduate geology majors and has mentored 74 of those students in research. He also has chaired the thesis committees of 25 hydrogeology master’s degree students.
Ali Riaz began his career at Illinois State in 2002, becoming a full professor in 2008. He served as chair of the Department of Politics and Government from 2007-2017, and was named University Professor in 2012. Riaz has received numerous awards from the College of Arts and Sciences including outstanding teacher, scholar, researcher, and the Excellence in Teaching award from Pi Sigma Alpha.
A prolific scholar, he has published 17 books in English, 12 in Bengali, and numerous articles and book chapters. Riaz’s commitment to teaching and students is evidenced by his enthusiasm for the classroom. He continued teaching undergraduate courses and graduate courses throughout his 10 years as department chair. These interactions bring renewed enthusiasm and new perspectives to his work. He has mentored numerous students and served on many thesis and dissertation committees.
Riaz is an internationally recognized expert on political Islam, violent extremism, South Asian politics, and Bangladeshi politics with a specific interest in the interaction of politics and religion. He has been invited to lecture on these topics around the world, is frequently quoted in the media, and has testified twice before the U.S. Congress. He has served as an expert and a consultant to a number of national and international organizations and governments including the International Expert Network on Islamism of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany, and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council of the U.S.A.