Getting to know Michael Karlberg

Name: Michael Karlberg

Title: Associate Professor, Department of Communication

Hobbies: I enjoy playing acoustic finger-style blues guitar, woodworking (including guitar building) and traveling.

Favorite Book: Hmm … that’s a tough one. … I would say it’s a three-way tie between “The Lorax,” “The Sneetches” and “Yertle the Turtle,” all by Dr. Seuss. I rediscovered them when my kids were young. Who knew Dr. Seuss was such a radical, prophetic and insightful social critic?

Favorite Movie: I don’t have a single favorite, but the range of my favorite films would include films such as “Life is Beautiful,” “The Commitments,” “Schindler’s List,” “Bulworth,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Fargo,” “Gandhi,” “American History X,” “Memento” and “Bebette’s Feast.”

Favorite Quote: “I think it would be a good idea.” -Mahatma Gandhi’s response when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

Favorite Restaurant: Forget the restaurants—my favorite food is my mother’s home cooking, because the love is the most important ingredient.

Favorite Place in Bellingham: My home on Toad Lake on a sunny summer day.

Most Memorable Vacation: Backpacking and riding the rails through India in 2004 for three weeks with my 12-year-old daughter Jessa—and I’m looking forward to a similar adventure one day with my younger daughter, Leah.

Number of years at WWU: I arrived in 1997 from Vancouver, Canada.

Greatest Accomplishment: Surviving in America.

What do you like most about teaching/working at Western? I appreciate my great colleagues in the Department of Communication, as well as those students of mine who are filled with a passion for learning and a commitment to social justice.

What is the most crucial message you would like to instill in your students? Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Currently what are you:

  • Reading: I’m currently reading “Olya’s Story,” by Olya Roohizadegan, which is a stirring first-hand account of the imprisonment, torture and execution of a group of women in Iran in the early 1980s, as a result of their adherence to the Bahá'í Faith, which is a persecuted religion in Iran.
  • Listening to: Eric Bibb and Ruthie Foster, who are performing live at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon on Nov. 5!