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Get to Know the Faculty: Steven Riley


Let’s get to know the leader of The SOUND of the Natural State Marching Band, Steven Riley. The former Illini drum major might surprise you with his hobby.

Steven Riley

Dr. Steven Riley

Place of birth?
Bradford, Pennsylvania
My wife is Rose Schmidt Riley, who is a music teacher at the Microsociety Elementary in the Jonesboro Public Schools. We have two cats: Hope and Hermione.
Why did you choose A-State?
I chose A-State because of the opportunity to lead THE SOUND OF THE NATURAL STATE MARCHING BAND, to work with a wonderful team of directors and colleagues, and to be in an environment that supports and nurtures students interested in music education.
What makes a good professor?
A good professor is passionate about teaching and is committed to serving their students.
What makes for a good student?
A good student asks questions, is professional with time management and communication, engages in classroom discussion and activities, and is supportive of their peers.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Develop social responsibility, reflective learning, and engage diversity.
What are you working on right now?
My home office
In college, I was known for...
being president of my fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia and being Drum Major of the Marching Illini.
What music is playing in your car?
Classic rock usually
My favorite motion picture is...
Wizard of Oz.
The television series I must TiVo...
The Incredible Dr. Pol.
What is your most prized possession...
my wedding ring.
The last book I read for fun was...
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The best advice I ever received was...
Work will always be waiting for you, go home.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
Be a true beginner at something every year.
What is one thing you always have on you?
My wedding ring.
My hobby is...
playing banjo.
My passion is...
making music and spending time with family.
My favorite thing in my office is...
my drum major Mickey Mouse.
My pro sports team is...
the New England Patriots.
My pet peeve is...
lack of communication and clutter.
My favorite meal is...
steak and mashed potatoes.
The one thing I will not eat is...
A perfect day is...
a day without e-mail.
My spirit cartoon character is...
Arnold from the Magic School Bus.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
A-State, my colleagues and students, and Omar’s!
Cats or dogs?
Dogs, though I do like cats
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
Dinner or supper?
My favorite saying is...
"Seek the best in others, for the good of all."