Susi Elkins is director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. WKAR is home to public radio and television for the Michigan capital region, bringing the best of PBS, PBS Kids, NPR and award-winning original content to more than 500,000 mid-Michigan residents each week. Through expanded broadcast, online, and community engagement, plus new efforts in education, research and NextGen TV, WKAR is developing a national model for the impact public media can have in local communities and beyond.
Under Elkins' leadership, WKAR has solidified its reputation as a community institution through strategic partnerships and collaborations. Securing major support from MSU Federal Credit Union, WKAR has significantly increased its commitment to early childhood education. University partnerships at Michigan State have increased the station's capacity for providing award-winning research-based content, as well as experiential learning opportunities for students.
In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization. Granted the FCC experimental license in June 2018, the test station is designed to explore the potential of NextGen TV to build stronger communities through education, news and information, arts, science and culture.
Elkins currently serves on the board of America's Public Television Stations (APTS), on the PBS Children's Media & Education Station Leadership Committee, and participates on various other community boards. She is frequently invited to speak at executive leadership conferences for women and enjoys mentoring others.
Prior to her appointment in March 2017, Elkins served in a variety of roles at the station, including interim director, television station manager, content and community engagement manager, public television producer and instructional television multi-media producer.
Under her leadership as television station manager, WKAR was named Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Public Television Station of the Year for five consecutive years and has earned numerous regional Emmy Awards and top awards from the MAB and the National Educational Telecommunication Association, among others.
Elkins holds a bachelor's degree in telecommunication and a master's degree in educational technology, both from MSU.