A University of San Francisco professor who died from injuries received in an apartment fire in Berkeley early this morning, Tuesday, "will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends," a USF official said in a message to the university community hours after the tragedy.
Andrew Goodwin, 56, died at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center from injuries suffered in a fire reported at 1:38 a.m. at an apartment building at 2431 Oregon St., near Telegraph Avenue, in Berkeley, authorities said. The building's other seven tenants were evacuated safely.
The fire damage was concentrated on the third floor, where Goodwin's unit was heavily engulfed by the flames, according to the Berkeley Fire Department. One of the displaced residents, Yen Kha, told NBC Bay Area that Goodwin liked to burn candles.
Goodwin, a professor of media studies who wrote a "Professor of Pop" faculty blog, authored a 1992 book, Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture, described by its publisher, University of Minnesota Press as the "first comprehensive, integrated analysis of MTV (that) provides new ways to understand television and popular music narratives."
The chair of the media studies department, Bernadette Barker-Plummer, said Goodwin was a co-founder of the department and "was always very concerned about students and making sure they were getting the most of their experience at USF," according to Bay City News Service. "He was very brilliant. He will be missed a lot by faculty, staff and students."
One of his former students, Lindsay Dellas, was quoted by Bay City News recalling "great discussions" in his classes about bands and the evolution of music. "He was a tough professor and he definitely challenged students, but was inspiring and extremely passionate about his area of study," Dellas said.
The following statement was released today by Julia Dowd, Director of the University Ministry at USF:
I am deeply saddened to inform you that Andrew Goodwin, Professor of Media Studies, died early this morning in an apartment fire in Berkeley.
Dr. Goodwin was a respected scholar, esteemed colleague, and dynamic teacher. He was the author of a well-known book on Music Television and cultural theory (Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture, University of Minnesota Press) and published numerous articles on media and cultural theory. His areas of interest included media aesthetics, critical theory, and popular music. He was known for his unique class offerings such as “Special Topics: Led Zeppelin,” a semester-long course using the band to examine cultural trends beyond the music.
Professor Goodwin received his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of Birmingham, England. He served on the Editorial Board of Popular Music and Society, was a Corresponding Editor for Media, Culture & Society and wrote for Tricycle, Inquiring Mind, and theworsthorse.net.
Andrew will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends. During this time of loss, please remember that grief counseling and support services are available to USF students, faculty and staff...
The USF community offers its sincere condolences and prayers to the family, friends, colleagues and students of Dr. Goodwin.
More information will be forthcoming about an on-campus memorial gathering.