Senior Instructor Rick Brunson teaches digital, print and broadcast journalism at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media. He also advises the NSCM chapter of the Radio Television Digital News Association. Brunson is an award-winning journalist and journalism educator. In 2022, he and his students were recipients of the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting, one of the highest honors in journalism. He is also a multiple winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Award for his radio reporting.

Brunson joined the UCF faculty in 2003 after working for 20 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers throughout Central Florida, including the Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Sanford Herald, where he started his career as an obituary writer at age 23. Working on the “death beat’’ as a young man taught him the all-important attributes of a professional journalist: accuracy, empathy and respect for the impact your words can have on the lives of people. He transitioned from newspapers to broadcast journalism in 2011, becoming a writer and writing coach at WFTV, Orlando’s ABC News affiliate, for seven years. In 2019, he became a mentor for NPR News’ NextGenRadio, the network’s training and coaching program for aspiring journalists.

A proud Knight and longtime Central Florida resident, Brunson graduated from UCF in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in journalism and then earned a master’s degree in American history from the University of South Florida in 1999. He lives in Orlando with his wife, Ruthe. They are the proud parents of two adult children and have two grandchildren.


  • News reporting
  • Editing
  • Journalism ethics