Board of Directors
General Manager of WKAR
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, Classical music 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 increased its commitment to early childhood education through the launch of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, WKAR Family original content and the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad research collaborative. Elkins also 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, health and technology reporting. With an increased focus on sustainability, WKAR raised over $36 million during the university’s Capital Campaign and secured an endowment to support 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, WKAR launched the Next Gen Media Innovation Lab, designed to explore new business strategies and 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), the board of Capital Area Community Services, the University Licensee Association Executive Council (ULA), and PBS Children's Media & Education Station Leadership Committee. 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, WKAR has consistently been named Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Public Television Station of the Year and has earned numerous regional Emmy Awards, the MAB Radio Station of the Year award, and top honors from the NAB, AP, 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.