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Published: Thursday, 10/3/2002

BGSU pop-culture prof was a Fulbright scholar

BOWLING GREEN - Carl Bryan Holmberg, 53, a professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University, died Sunday at his home here.

His cause of death is unknown, family members said.

Dr. Holmberg was born in Cleveland. He graduated from Heidelberg College in 1971 and received a master's degree from the University of Chicago. In 1976, he received a doctorate from Ohio University, where he was a teaching associate and research assistant.

He taught speech communication at Pennsylvania State University in Hazleton before becoming an assistant professor of interpersonal and public communication at BGSU in 1982. He received the alumni association's Master Teacher's Award in 1985.

“He loved teaching,” his daughter, Erin, said. “He was very charismatic with his students. He stayed up on youth culture and connected with his students well.”

The university later granted Dr. Holmberg tenure and appointed him a full professor. In 1990, he joined the department of popular culture. His undergraduate and graduate courses covered diverse subjects. Recent classes included Horror Literature, the Popular Culture of Sex, and Japanese Popular Culture.

Dr. Holmberg wrote a textbook called Sexualities and Popular Culture that received praise from many reviewers.

“He was always thinking,” his daughter, Lily, said. “He was so interested in learning new things and exploring new areas of academia.”

During the 1998-1999 academic year, Dr. Holmberg was a Fulbright Senior Visiting Lecturer at The University of The Ryukyus and Okinawa International University on Okinawa, Japan.

He formerly was faculty coordinator for the United Way Campaign Steering Committee. Under his leadership, the university broke existing records for contributions.

Dr. Holmberg was a published poet and composer of piano music.

Surviving are his daughters, Lily and Erin.

A memorial service will be held this month. Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home in Bowling Green handled arrangements.

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