Sharon Sussman, a professor of art and coordinator of the New Media Arts (NMA) program at Kapiʻolani Community College, was awarded the 2018 Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions in Vocational Education.
Sussman began her career in California first as a painter, then as a teacher, then jumped into the world of computers when she started her graduate studies in computers in art, design, research and education. This led her to a job at DreamWorks Feature Animation. She then brought her skills in traditional art and digital art, and her passion for teaching to Kapiʻolani CC to design the NMA animation program.
Sussman conceived and developed the prestigious New Arts Lecture Series, bringing top-notch, prominent artists and animators to the college to lecture and teach workshops. The impact of this lecture series cannot be overstated as it has exposed students and the general community to experts and the artistic aspect of the entertainment industry.
Sarah Bremser, Sussman’s department chair said, “Ms. Sussman has provided steady leadership from the start. She is the voice of reason in times of chaos and is a role model for her students. She is constantly pursuing new opportunities for her students and encourages them to think beyond the box. For example, the New Media Arts program continues to explore the possibility of a new AA degree in NMA and in inter-disciplinary certificate for various initiatives that blend art and technology such as STEM and creativity academies. Ms. Sussman is accessible, motivated, hardworking, dedicated and empathic. She is passionate in all that she does and I cannot think of anyone more worthy of this award.”