From Colin Stoneman, external examiner on the BA and MA in Development Studies at Staffordshire University

From Vicky and Justin Frank, daughter-in-law and son of Katherine, Stephen's wife

I should like to add my tribute to Steve Riley, to send condolences to his family and friends, and to celebrate  his life.


I didn't know him well, but as an external examiner at Staffordshire for three years I came to admire his dedication and conscientiousness towards his students, the thoroughness of his work on administrative matters and the quality of his research and other academic work.


He will be greatly missed.


Yours sincerely,

Colin Stoneman

We knew Stephen for about 10 years. We were very happy when Kathy (Justin's mom) and Stephen got married. We didn't get to spend much time with Stephen because of the distance, however the time we had with him was quality time. During those visits we spent time laughing, eating, story-telling, and sight-seeing.


Stephen also shared his academic side with us, explaining his current focus of study and sharing his views on politics and people.


We enjoyed Stephen's company very much. He was a kind, gentle, loving, fun, handsome, and intelligent man who we now miss.


Stephen, we wish you love and peace.



Vicky and Justin Frank. San Diego, CA, USA

From Graham Harrison, a doctoral student and teaching colleague of Steve's, 1993-1996

Remembering Steve - Reflections of a former PhD Student


I had never met Steve before I arrived for an interview at Staffordshire University, in pursuit of a PhD scholarship, but I had read pieces of his work.


A month or so later, I began my PhD and met Steve for the first time as my supervisor. I could not have been luckier! Steve was one of easiest people to like that I have ever met. When discussing my work we would easily drift from one theme to another - imperialism, debt, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, other researchers, and certain 'characters' (Steve's habitual phrase) in governments Western and African.


He had a perfect sense of irony - subtle enough to remain more endearing than mere sarcasm or cynicism but with all the incisiveness that one would expect from a good radical academic. Unlike some of my peers in other universities, I soon found myself looking forward to our meetings and discussions of draft chapters.


Steve was extremely conscientious as a supervisor. He always had time to discuss the progress of my research. He had clearly read up on Mozambique in order to be aware of the 'state of the art'. He provided me with a clear outline of the rights and responsibilities of supervisor and supervisee, although we quickly developed such a degree of mutual trust that this contract-style piece of paper that he had extracted from a book immediately became an archive.


Steve constantly supported my research until the finished product was sent to external supervisors. He gave me suggestions in my hunt of employment, and he encouraged me to publish during the final year of writing up. His undemonstrative selflessness and gentle demeanor influenced my own sense of personal aspiration: if I came out of the process of doctoral research a little more like Steve, I will be


Graham Harrison