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Two Politics and Government faculty members were honored at the Illinois State University Founders Day. The Founders Day Convocation, held at  2 p.m. February 15th in the Brown Ballroom, celebrated Illinois State’s heritage and traditions and honored the accomplishments of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.  The ceremony included the presentation of some of the University’s highest awards, as well as additional awards recognizing excellence in teaching, research, service, and commitment to diversity.

Ali Riaz was awarded the University’s most prestigious designation of Distinguished Professor. This honor comes after Riaz was previously named University Professor in 2012. Commenting on his countless achievements and dedication, department Chair, T.Y. Wang, remarked “Dr. Riaz is a world-class scholar who stands atop the field of South Asian studies, a field that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Dr. Riaz’s scholarship has been distinguished by its completeness and thought-provoking questions as evidenced by its application in the scholarly community as well as in the policymaking community of government officials.”

L.J. Zigerell earned the University Research Initiative Award. This award recognizes faculty who, within their first five years at Illinois State, have initiated a promising research agenda early in their academic careers. Zigerell’s research addresses questions of racial and gender bias, which is of obvious importance as Illinois State moves forward addressing its campus climate report. Speaking of Zigerell, Wang remarked “He is also that rare scholar who experiments with new methodologies so that he is always on the cutting edge of research in the discipline.”

Congratulations to both Professors Riaz and Zigerell!