Alumni Spotlight: Rich Tupica
By Julie Newell
For many alumni, LCC is just a stop to get what they need done in order to transfer to a larger school. For others, the college leaves lasting memories.
One of the latter is 39-year-old Rich Tupica, who studied journalism during his time at LCC and worked for The Lookout. He was the newspaper’s editor in chief during the 2008-09 school year.
Now, Tupica frequently writes stories for The City Pulse and has a regular music column called “Turn It Down.” He also hosts a podcast.
“Me and my buddy, we host a podcast called Inzane Michigan,” Tupica said. “We just like interviewing kind of obscure, overlooked and star music people and albums from Michigan.”
Besides his podcast, Tupica recently finished an oral-history style book called, “There Was a Light” about the band Big Star.
Tupica got his start in journalism at The Lookout, LCC’s student newspaper.
“The funny thing is … I went to LCC because of The Lookout,” Tupica said. “I had been living in Kalamazoo, and the community college there didn’t have a student paper. I already had roots in the Lansing area; I grew up in Perry.
“So, I basically moved back to Lansing, planning on doing two years at LCC and then transferring to MSU for their journalism program.”
Tupica said he spent most of his time at The Lookout office, and tended to focus more on writing stories for The Lookout than his studies.
“I probably should have concentrated more on my grades,” Tupica said. “I was much more concentrated on writing tons of stories.”
Still, Tupica learned a lot about journalism from working at The Lookout.
“A lot of what I learned happened at The Lookout,” Tupica said. “That was where I kind of worked out that muscle of working under deadlines, getting stuff done, and multitasking.”
“It’s kind of like a boot camp … I definitely learned more in working for The Lookout than I did at any of the journalism classes that I ever took.”
Larry Hook, the adviser of The Lookout for the past 16 years,
remembers Tupica as a hard worker who loved writing about music.
“No one ever covered the Lansing music scene for The Lookout like Rich did,” Hook said. “It was obvious he had a passion for both journalism and music.”
According to Tupica, he didn’t finish his degree in journalism right away. Instead he spent time working for different publications and doing jobs in the journalism field. He went back to LCC a couple years ago and finished his associate degree.
“I just basically went back because I thought it was stupid, being so close to at least having an associate (degree),” Tupica said.
Tupica said his decision to pursue journalism started with his love for music.
“I liked writing about music and interviewing bands,” he said. “I just started a blog because I could, this is back in like 2006. I said, ‘Hey, there’s this free and easy way you can do a website,’ and there’s a lot of bands I was listening to that never got interviewed.”
Information about Tupica’s book can be found at https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/There-Was-A-Light/Rich-Tupica/9781682619285