Appalachian communication professor dies after battle with cancer



Monica Pombo, associate communication professor, passed away Wednesday after a battle with a cancer, according to Thursday’s news release on

Pombo taught in the communication department at Appalachian State University since 2003, when she started as an assistant professor focusing on mass communication.

Janice Pope, chair of the department of communication, said Pombo would be missed.

“The department of communication lost a cherished faculty member when Monica passed on, but we will not forget her,” Pope said.

“Monica’s spirit of warm intelligence and deep authenticity will be carried forward by her students and those of us who were privileged to know her and work with her. We will miss her presence and celebrate her life.”


Six years after coming to Appalachian, Pombo received tenure. She also served as assistant chair of her department from 2009-11.


Pombo received the Southern State Communication Association’s Outstanding Young Educator Award in 2008.

“Monica was a truly gifted teacher,” Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts Glenda Treadaway said. “She was a sought after professor by students and a friend and colleague to all who knew her. Monica has been a true inspiration and shining light. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the college.”

Before teaching at Appalachian, Pombo received her bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University. She then went on to receive her master’s degree and Ph. D. from Ohio University.

Pombo is survived by her son, Alex, and partner, Heather Thorp.

Story: ANNE BUIE, Managing Editor