The Student Who Became the Teacher


At MIAT College of Technology our students benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable faculty. Many of the faculty are graduates of the school. Other students have gone on advancing their education, working in the industry and then passing that knowledge and experience on to the next generation. One such MIAT alumnus is Dr. Gail Buccholz Rouscher.

Dr. Rouscher has more than 25 years of aviation experience and has been an instructor at Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation since 2008.

Dr. Rouscher began her aviation career as a member of the U.S. Navy serving as an aircraft engine mechanic, stationed in Rota, Spain and at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan. Following her service in the Navy, Dr. Rouscher attended MIAT for the Airframe and Powerplant program, graduating in 1997. To use her words – “A long time ago.” Her memories of MIAT are of great friends, favorite instructors (Mike Bloomfield, Jim Will, Bill Holifield) and great memories. One thing she doesn’t miss is the bell ringing each hour for breaks. She recalled hosting a get together for her classmates at her home following their final classes in 1997. “We had a great time. I have pictures of us making a human pyramid that day.” And, although she has lost contact, she wishes she could reconnect and reminisce about their experiences at MIAT.


While attending MIAT, she worked as a contractor for American International Airways performing weekend checks/inspections on DC8 and L1011 aircraft. On her last day of class, right before taking her final, she was offered a position with Kal-Aero (now known as Duncan Aviation) in Battle Creek, working on interiors for one year before moving to the structures department and then the avionics department as a structures mechanic installing avionics, entertainment, and communication equipment. During her tenure at Duncan Aviation, she also began exercising her instructor skills by becoming a department and company trainer instructing all departments in structural processes. In 2008, she joined Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation faculty teaching structures and maintenance courses.

Her favorite class to teach? Advanced Structures and Composites because, she says, “it’s fun watching the students experience the newest aviation has to offer.” She says the material aspect of the class and all the different technologies the students are exposed to makes each day something totally new. “Helping the students succeed, whatever it takes, is why I am here.”

In addition to her working with and mentoring students, Dr. Rouscher is involved with Woman in Aviation and The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance.

She strives to impart to her students the importance of education and continued learning. “Aviation is fluid and always changing. It should be exciting, provide a feeling of purpose and enjoyment.”

Gail and her classmates (1997): Steve Letts, Tom Bolash, Joel Garza, Kevin Adamson
Instructors: Mike Bloomfield, Jim Will and Bill Holifield