Ethan Rosuck ’18 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Climatology and a minor in Telecommunications. He now works as a Meteorologist at FOX59/CBS4 in Indianapolis.

Tell us about your Ball State experience.

I’m originally from the Chicago suburbs but chose Ball State for the small class sizes, beautiful campus and up-to-date facilities so I can get my foot in the door and very involved.

The Meteorology/Climatology major is not easy. Lots of math/science prerequisites before you get into the upper-level weather/climate classes. While computers/models do a lot of the big-time math nowadays, the Ball State classes taught me a lot of theory as to “where” that all comes from. The classes were also very hands on and that’s a great learning approach that makes the department and CSH stand out. Having that is a step-up going into a career like this.

I was taught to never be afraid to ask for help. The availability of professors was a big-time bonus, too. I struggled in many aspects (don’t get me started on Thermodynamic Meteorology) but had the best help available. Everyone works differently and the professors adjusted for that. They all want to see their students succeed, especially if it’s in the field they studied. The bigger departments at different schools don’t necessarily have this.

Something many college students can’t say is that they were able to have professors for multiple classes. At Ball State and in that department, that’s exactly what occurred.

I was involved in the Cardinal Weather Service, the Ball State Storm Chase Team, NewsLink Indiana and WCRD 91.3 FM.

Tell us about your current job.

I’m back in the Hoosier State. I work as a Meteorologist at FOX59/CBS4 in Indianapolis.

I primarily do the FOX59 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM shows three days a week. I also do the FOX59 weekend evening shows normally. However, I do a lot of filling in so you often can catch me on both stations.

My job involves weather forecasting, graphics production, and presenting the weather live on air. Sometimes I will shoot video and edit that video for a news or weather story depending on the topic. I also speak to schools about the weather and what I do as a meteorologist in Indiana.

In my on-air forecasts, I strive for accuracy, while telling a story each time I’m presenting the forecast.

Describe your career path.

My gig at FOX59/CBS4 in Indianapolis is my second job in TV. This comes after working for more than four years at WIFR-TV in Rockford, Illinois. I also took a brief break working in local government for the City of Highland Park.

I did not have a job right away after graduation. It took me four months to land my first gig in television. Coincidentally, it was at WIFR-TV and that was the station I completed my summer internship at during the summer of 2017.

I was there for more than four years. At the time, I took a brief break from television and worked as a Communications/Events Coordinator for the City of Highland Park (a northern Chicago suburb).

Then in June 2023, the job at FOX59/CBS4 came into view and it was too good not to pursue.

How have you grown and learned throughout your career?

I stayed longer than I anticipated at WIFR and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the TV world, you start small and move up. For perspective, Rockford is market #138 and Indianapolis is market #25 out of 210 markets. With my experience in Rockford, it allowed the ability for me to move up 113 markets.

At WIFR I was a “jack of all trades.” In addition to presenting/forecasting the weather, I was a general assignment reporter and multimedia journalist, I was a fill-in digital content producer and news producer. I learned those skills at that job and was able to do it.

Once I gained all that experience, I had a solid resume that allowed me to move to Indianapolis. Being from the Chicago area, being close to family is important to me. Often in television, you move around to different parts of the country before making it home. I’ve been lucky that I didn’t have to steer too far from home at either station. Plus, doing weather in the Midwest is fun and challenging. Because, as you know, there are four DEFINED seasons. Those seasons oftentimes overlap because well, it’s the Midwest! It keeps my job challenging and fun.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

My job is different every day. Each meteorologist on the team presents the weather differently but we all have the same message striving for accuracy while also having a little bit of fun. Working in news is also very niche. We have an amazing “work family” and it’s great when we all get to work together.

I get to work with some Indianapolis TV legends. Chief Meteorologist Brian Wilkes and Chief Meteorologist Chris Wright, for example have more than 50 years of experience combined in meteorology/television. When you take in the other members of the Weather Authority team, that number skyrockets further.

I like knowing that I am (hopefully) impacting our team and our viewers. I like knowing that our station is a primary source for weather information for many Hoosiers and their lives. With how important the weather is here, there are days where we have extra pressure to get it right.

The meteorology component of the job is also fascinating because our world/climate continues to change/evolve. Taking those changes into an everyday forecast is rewarding. Plus, I love weather history and statistics. Anytime I can use extra numbers to tell a story, that’s an extra bonus.

Is there a particular class, professor, or opportunity that had a particularly significant impact on you?

I had a professor at Ball State tell me my freshman year that the number one goal of a meteorologist is to “save people’s lives.” I take that to heart each day I walk into work. No matter if the weather is quiet, or severe/winter weather is coming, weather affects everyone each day.

The partnership between the College of Science and Humanities and College of Communication, Information and Media is a great one. It provides the best opportunities for those wanting to get into TV to get involved. The college also has connections with other parts of Ball State and outside companies that set up students for success.

The meteorology professors I had (Dr. David Call, Dr. Petra Zimmermann, Dr. Nathan Hitchens and Dr. Jill Coleman) went above and beyond to prepare me for this job and field. Each one of their classes was very thorough and involved. I had them all the way from 100-level to 400-level classes. The storm chasing class with Dr. Call and Dr. Reuben Allen is easily the most hands-on/involved class. Any meteorology student (or weather enthusiast) should 100% take that class.

Side note, nobody made me memorize/derive more formulas than Dr. Coleman during my undergraduate years! The challenges she and the other professors gave to the students are worth it in the end. It’s the “edge up” that Ball State CSH students have that places those students into rewarding jobs after college.

What advice do you have for current students who want to pursue a similar career? 

  1. Get involved: No matter which area of meteorology you pursue, get involved in the appropriate club or organization. Any hands-on experience is good experience.
  2. Ask questions: As mentioned above, the professors in the department/college are there to help you. Yes, it will be challenging but it’s so much fun at the same time. Asking those questions, going to office hours and more will be beneficial in the end. Plus, getting to know your professors is an extra bonus, too.
  3. Be prepared and make connections: If you’re like me and knew from a very young age what you wanted to do, that’s great. Just be aware that jobs in this field can span from television, working for the government, working for emergency management and more.
  4. Explore opportunities: get an internship to determine what you like or don’t like. Meteorology is a specific field, but you can do so much with a degree and the experience you get from Ball State. Make and keep any connections you have. Never be afraid to reach out to people in the real world!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

For more stories on meteorology and forecasting, visit our blog. For information about the Department of Geography and Meteorology, visit our website.