Margot Susca has been a full-time professorial lecturer at American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C. since August 2013. She teaches courses in digital journalism and reporting; code; journalism ethics; children, youth and digital culture; and media writing. In February 2015, Margot began an additional role as Program Director of the School’s Interactive Journalism weekend master’s degree program, which offers intensive multimedia and data training to graduate students interested in journalism regardless of previous professional or educational background.
This semester, duties include teaching three days a week with another day reserved for research and the fifth set aside for service and meeting commitments. Margot serves on two committees including one focused on strengthening multimedia journalism offerings for the School’s majors.
She earned her doctorate – working under the direction of Jennifer Proffitt, Arthur Raney, and Steve McDowell – in Mass Communication from Florida State University in 2012. Her academic work focuses on violent video games and culture, the Army’s use of violent video games for military recruitment, and media law and policy. She has been published in First Amendment Studies and The Global Media Journal with another article co-authored with Dr. Proffitt forthcoming this year in the ICA journal Communication, Culture & Critique. Margot also has presented work in these subjects at conferences in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Margot has worked as a reporter in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida, where the Society of Professional Journalists in 2008 recognized her investigative work on high school graduation rates and the GED. Margot worked for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers from 2003 to 2007, when she left daily newspapers to enter the Ph.D. program at FSU. Margot is a 2002 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she studied the fundamentals of urban journalism, feature writing, and breaking news in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2000, Margot graduated cum laude with a double major in journalism and political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her academic background and newsroom experience still inform her research projects and teaching philosophy. Margot’s students from both Florida and Washington, D.C. work or have continued study at organizations including CNN, Politico, The American University in Paris, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the American Psychological Association.
A Connecticut native, Margot now lives on Capitol Hill with her husband, Michael C. Bender, a political reporter with Bloomberg, and their 4-year-old daughter, Zoe. In her free time, Margot enjoys Bikram yoga and exploring the nation’s capital. Follow her on Twitter @MargotSusca.