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portrait: Susi Elkins

Susi Elkins

Susi Elkins served as director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University from March 2017 to May 2022.

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 established a strategic plan focused on expanding, diversifying, and engaging audiences. Elkins also played a key role in the launch of the statewide educational channel, Michigan Learning Channel; led the launch of a new WKAR News/Talk FM station for the capital region; and strengthened local news coverage with an emphasis on education and public affairs reporting.

In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization and established WKAR’s NextGen Media Innovation Lab to accelerate development of public service applications, including the launch of a NextGen TV Course, through the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Public Media Learns platform.

During Elkins’ tenure, WKAR has established and fully funded three endowments to support experiential learning opportunities for students, education services, and original content creation, and created WKAR Family, an initiative powered by MSU early childhood education research. Elkins also launched programming initiatives including Curious Crew, Curious About Careers, and WKAR Digital Studios.

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.

Elkins holds a bachelor's degree in telecommunication and a master's degree in educational technology, both from MSU.

updated 5/31/22