Susan Kirkman Zake is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, where she teaches multimedia storytelling, Web programming for multimedia journalism, reporting public affairs, big data and media ethics.
Before joining the faculty at Kent, Susan was the managing editor for multimedia and special projects at the Akron Beacon Journal, where she began work as a staff photographer in 1986. Over a 20-year career, she worked as an assignment editor, picture editor, graphics editor, assistant metro editor and assistant managing editor.
The recipient of numerous awards for her photojournalist images, the photography, graphics and design staffs under her supervision were recognized locally, nationally and internationally for the quality of their work.
She also shares in three Pulitzer Prize team awards; for coverage of the attempted takeover of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; for A Question of Color, which examined local attitudes toward race; and for coverage of Hurricane Katrina as part of a Knight Ridder editing team working for the Biloxi Sun Herald.