UCR, the Magazine of UC Riverside, recently produced one of its periodic puff pieces on creative writing professor, self-declared Islam expert, and soon-to-be television host, Reza Aslan. The author, Vanessa Hua, is a former student and teaching assistant of Aslan's who exhibits no objectivity whatsoever in lauding him as "a social media darling and a pop culture spokesman for Islam." Later, she gushes, "People are always amazed that he works in many different realms, fiction and nonfiction, television, movies and academia."
The adulation continues with a fawning quote from UCR creative writing lecturer Carly Kimmel:
I'm not sure all of his students even realize how famous he is. That's sort of the beauty of Riverside. We are a bit protected from Hollywood here. Perhaps Reza likes that, too. He can just be "a great professor" when he's here and he doesn't have to be a celebrity.