WRAC Mourns the Loss of Professor John Monberg

Writing, Rhetoric, and Cultures and, indeed, our larger Lansing and East Lansing community, are deeply saddened by the loss of Academic Specialist John Monberg, who passed away on April 3, 2023. John was 59 years old.

John Monberg, faculty member smiling in front of bookshelf

John joined WRAC in 2007 and was also a core faculty member in Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities; his wife, Terese, teaches in the Residential College in Arts and Humanities (RCAH) and has made significant contributions to graduate education in our Rhetoric and Writing Program over the years.

John was an expansive thinker and a delightful collaborator. He was deeply committed to smart cities and information infrastructures. His work was significantly community-oriented and community committed. John was an exceptionally attentive and generous colleague. His habit of engaging the intellectual lives of his colleagues was a true gift to us all. John’s generosity was evident in his practice of finding and sharing items of interest with others he knew would find them to be of value.

Just a few of the many organizations, groups, and individuals John worked with include the Lansing Economic Area Partnership; Michigan Department of Transportation; Lansing Creative Placemaking Summit; Lansing Department of Neighborhoods and Civic Engagement; Arts Council of Greater Lansing; East Lansing Neighborhood Partnership Association; Allen Neighborhood Center; East Lansing Technology Innovation Center; and Lansing Makers Network.

If readers would like to spend time with his wonderful work and read more about his projects, in December 2022 he published a chapter titled “Building Urban Publics” in a collection edited by Julian Chambliss and Ellen Moll, Making Sense of Digital Humanities. John’s chapter is available at https://openbooks.lib.msu.edu/makingsensedh/chapter/building-urban-publics/

John’s wife, Terese, and his brothers co-wrote his obituary, and in it they capture John’s wonderful presence and commitments: “An idealist with a youthful spirit, a kind heart, and a rebellious streak, John had a special passion for those who were overlooked or marginalized. He was a proud defender of the humanities and their ability to transform communities, and he built tools derived from a deep desire to make meaningful connections with others.” John’s obituary is available online at https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/nwitimes/name/john-monberg-obituary?id=51630150

The department has donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS; http://www.lls.org) and to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA; http://www.digitalinclusion.org) in remembrance of John.

Please take a moment to hold John in your heart and your mind. He will be missed.