Rummler brings knowledge from the newsroom to the classroom

This weeks Campus Character is journalism professor Gary Rummler. Photo by Brittany McGrail / [email protected]

Have you ever had a professor who you loved? Who you just jumped out of that lovely, comfy, warm bed and dashed to that 8 a.m. for?

Do you want to give a shout out to them before the school year comes to an end?

Well, you’re in luck because this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and some students might consider giving a shout out to professor Gary Rummler.

Rummler, an journalism professor at Marquette since the fall of 2002, has been a lifelong journalist and someone who is loved by many students.

He’s back this spring along with “two or three others” following a semester hiatus. He said this was not of his own doing but due to budget cuts.

Rummler began his journalism career during high school where he wrote basketball reports for the local paper. After being one of five winners in a statewide sports writing competition, he knew reporting was his future.

“The competition made me realize that writing was what I was good at and something I enjoyed, so I pursued the career at Brigham Young University,” Rummler said.

While in college, Rummler wrote press releases for the news bureau at BYU.

“The school paper didn’t pay — this did,” Rummler said.

Following his graduation in 1963, Rummler began writing for The Milwaukee Journal. He soon found his niche in urban affairs in Milwaukee and received his master’s degree in urban affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1995 he survived the merge with The Journal Sentinel and continued his reporting career.

Rummler explained the field is vastly changing and job opportunities exist, but are harder to obtain.

“I had it easy back then,” Rummler said. “We didn’t have to compete as much as students do now. I sympathize with you and it’s another reason why I teach.”

Rummler retired from active reporting in January 2002 and is not one to sit around twiddling his thumbs.

Something that occupies a lot of his time is his active role within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There, he is a bishop, and thought teaching would be a good outlet.

In the fall of 2002, Rummler began his role as a part-time professor and taught news writing, persuasive writing and feature writing.

He has captured students’ attention and thankfulness through his life lessons and stories.

“I once had an interview where I didn’t move an inch because I thought this dog was going to kill me,” Rummler said with a chuckle. “The owner put the dog in the closet but it escaped and ran straight towards us. I was so relieved when I left alive.”

Many students have had great experiences with Rummler.

Leah Todd, a junior in the College of Communication, said she enjoyed his feature writing class.

“Gary always emphasized class-based discussion and student critique of writing … his class definitely encouraged me to be fearless in asking for critiques and suggestions,” Todd said in an e-mail.

Rebecca French, a freshman in the College of Communication, is currently taking his news media writing class.

“His experience in news writing and hands-on work in the interviewing field is reassuring to me that I am majoring in the right field, and he truly serves as a positive example of what an news journalist can be,” French said.

Students are not the only ones to love this man — faculty do too.

Gail Perlick, a freelance writer and reporting instructor at Marquette, happily shares a mailbox with Rummler and has nothing but kind words to say.

“He is a kind, wonderful guy,” Perlick said. “I know the kids love him and they come into my class after taking his and are always well prepared.”

Rummler challenges his students to go above and beyond his expectations, wanting to see them succeed.

I push my students and make them write a lot because I want them to improve,” Rummler said. “Even the best writers have editors.”