Robin Sussingham

Reporter/Host

Robin Sussingham is a reporter/producer and host at WUSF Public Broadcasting.  A native of Lakeland, she frequently reports on events and issues in Polk County.

She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and has an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and online reporting. 

Robin majored in chemistry at Duke, and went to NYU for a Masters Degree in Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting. She's reported on everything from the Olympics to the oil spill, but will jump at a chance to talk about food or books.

Ways to Connect

WUSF’s Robin Sussingham recently hosted “Our Jewish Communion: Religious Identity and Growing Up Jewish in Polk County” at Florida Southern College in Lakeland to discuss what it was like to come of age in a predominantly Christian region. This week on Florida Matters, we bring you highlights of the conversation.

The panel, which was organized by Florida Southern College Professor Catherine Eskin, includes:

Daylina Miller / WUSF

We explore how the 2016 presidential election was affected by social media, fake news and fact checking, and discuss the new face of journalism and its effect on our political system.

Daylina Miller / WUSF

On Florida Matters, we explore how the 2016 presidential election was affected by social media, fake news and fact checking.

In this preview of  the show, WUSF's Carson Cooper talks to Peter Schorsch, the publisher of SaintPetersblog.com and Sunburn; Josh Gillin of Politifact Florida; and USF Communications Professor Kelli Burns.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Getty Images

Florida helped propel Donald Trump to his historic presidential win. 

The I-4 corridor is considered vital to the presidential election -- the swing region in the swing state. Teaming up with NPR member station WMFE in Orlando, we're taking a trip down I-4, with a look at each county and its politics.

Oh, Florida! On the one hand, a white sands, warm winter paradise. On the other hand -- alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes...you get the idea! Author Craig Pittman explores the irony of the Sunshine State in his new book: "Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country."

Associated Press

The upcoming elections are widely viewed as pivotal for the direction of this state, and the country. People are concerned about issues like gun control,  education, or paying for their health care.

On today's show, we're shedding some light on the way that some of these concerns are playing out in Florida.
 

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Right in the middle of the I-4 corridor sits Polk County -- rural and conservative and largely Republican. But changing demographics could mean a close election there for President.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump got an enthusiastic reception when he campaigned in Lakeland recently, and he probably noticed that Polk County -- to coin a phrase --  is really "huge". It's about the size of Delaware, and for the past 20 years, the Republican party has dominated the political scene there.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Public art in the Tampa Bay area is not limited to Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg. Heading east to Lakeland, there's an entire organization dedicated to showcasing local artists and bringing art to nontraditional spaces.  Platform Art,  for the last 12 years, has sponsored everything from public monuments to community gardens.

Marc Haze / WUSF

It might be that big beautiful mural you pass on the way to work. Or the bike rack that looks like a sculpture.  Public art is all around us in Tampa Bay.

When you walk around your community, are you getting a sense of vibrancy and creativity? If so, that may be because you're experiencing "public art."

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott visited the Polk County phosphate manufacturing plant on Tuesday, where a sinkhole has spilled contaminated water into the Florida aquifer. The sinkhole formed under a phosphogypsum stack at Mosaic’s New Wales manufacturing plant south of Lakeland.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

This Florida Matters segment originally aired on June 28, 2016.

A massive fish kill in the Indian River Lagoon in spring has been linked to fertilizer use, and with growing concerns about pesticides and where food comes from, more people are growing their own produce right in their own yard. 

US State Department

Assistant Secretary of State and Department Spokesman John Kirby grew up in St. Petersburg, and graduated from St. Petersburg Catholic High School and the University of South Florida.

He's been an instructor at the Naval Academy, principal spokesman for the U.S. Navy, Pentagon press secretary, and he retired from the Navy last year with the rank of Rear Admiral.

US State Department

Assistant Secretary of State John Kirby is the voice of the State Department, giving the official line on issues ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to climate change. Kirby visited his hometown of St. Petersburg recently, where he sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham for a Florida Matters interview. In this preview, recorded at the USF St. Pete campus,  Kirby talked about the new ties between the U.S. and Cuba:

Cathy Carter / WUSF

Long before Florida was known for Mickey Mouse and Disney World, it was a vacation destination defined by its beaches and other attractions that drew on the state's natural beauty. Spots like Silver Springs and Cypress Gardens -- and a variety of places that put the word "gator" in their names.

On this Florida Matters, we take you on a ride through the Tampa Bay area's  weird and wonderful roadside attractions, with stops in the past and present.

Health News Florida, WLRN and WUSF have launched PriceCheck, a reporting project aimed at bringing clarity to the cost of health care in Florida. On today's Florida Matters, we'll get an update on what the PriceCheck team has learned since its launch, with Health News Florida editor Julio Ochoa, PriceCheck founder Jeanne Pinder, and WLRN reporter Sammy Mack.

Scott Audette / Visit Florida

When people in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, it sent ripples surging across the pond. With about 1.7 million British visitors per year, and hundreds of thousands of British homeowners here, they've had an oversized impact on tourism, real estate and investment. How will the British decision to leave the EU affect Florida's economy?

Scott Audette / Visit Florida

British tourists love to visit Florida!   With about 1.7 million British visitors per year, they’ve had an oversized impact on tourism, real estate and investment. On Florida Matters, we'll discuss how  the British decision to leave the European Union could affect our economy. In this preview of the show, WUSF's Robin Sussingham spoke to Dr. Jerry Parrish, chief economist with the Florida Chamber Foundation, about how tourism could be affected by Brexit.


www.ed.gov / U.S. Department of Education

Schools in Florida have a lot to deal with. A massive new federal education law looms on the horizon. Parents are suing over standardized testing  and the NAACP is suing over vouchers for private school. To help us sort out the issues, we speak to two reporters who are close observers of education in our state.


The Zika virus, which has been linked to the birth defect, microcephaly, is now in Florida. That development has taken concern over the mosquito-borne disease to a new level.

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