Stang to Retire After 41 Years | Webster University

Stang to Retire After 41 Years

ST. LOUIS (APRIL 17, 2015)  – Susan Stang began teaching at Webster in 1974, before there was a media department or School of Communications. She was on the faculty committee that proposed the creation of the School of Communications making it independent of the College of Arts & Sciences, and she also helped develop the first SOC handbook. Through program changes, personnel changes, and technology changes, she has been a constant and now after 41 years at Webster University, professor of photography Susan Stang will be retiring from full-time teaching at the end of the academic year.
head shot Susan Stang
Please join the School of Communications faculty and staff in celebrating Susan Stang on her retirement Monday, April 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Faculty Development Lounge, 4th floor, Emerson Library.

“An accomplished photographer with an international reputation, publications and shows in the US and Italy, Susan Stang embodies the Webster School of Communications traditions of the integration of theory and practice, dedication to student success, and always keeping one eye on the horizon,” said Dean Eric Rothenbuhler.

Stang has made significant contributions to the SOC throughout her 41-year tenure. Most recently, she helped in the development of the Master of Arts in new media production. Associate Dean Rick Rockwell and Stang worked together on the new degree. He said, “I’m so sorry to see Susan go.  I know she cares deeply about students and how we can improve their experience here. The good news is that Susan will continue to be one of our adjunct instructors.”  

“I have always been impressed with Susan Stang’s respect for the impact higher education can have on students’ lives. She’s always advocated for her program and for her students in photography,” said Professor Debra Carpenter, former dean of the School of Communications.  “It was my pleasure to watch her create the Kodachrome book with the last rolls of Kodachrome (film) ever processed in the United States as well as to see the effect that her photography trips to Italy had on her students’ potential careers in the field.”Susan Stang with group of students

Professor of Photography Bill Barrett, who has worked closely with Stang for more than 20 years, refers to her as “the history of the photography degree at Webster.”

Since the founding of the School of Communications in 1976, Stang has been instrumental in building the photography program into what it is today. “I believe the school breeds some of the best professionals in the region and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity of experiencing this firsthand,” said Stang. “Webster has given St. Louis its next generation of photographers from when I first came.”

Asked about the differences in photography since she began teaching, Stang said “The discipline itself has changed incredibly, from a film base to a digital medium. It’s also now harder to make a living just doing photography.”

Susan Stang actively exhibits her work and her photographs can be found in more than 20 museums worldwide. In 2014, Stang received awards for photographs in two categories of the Sheldon’s “The City at 250” photo contest, celebrating images of St. Louis during the city’s 250th anniversary celebration. She has earned the Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Media Association Faculty Award.
“Boboli Gardens,” part of the Museo della Storia di Fotografia Fratelli Alinari in Florence, Italy and published in 2007 as "Firenze un incontro/ Encountering Florence"

Her books include Encountering Florence/Firenze un incontro and Kodachrome, End of the Run: Photographs from the Final Batches (co-edited with Bill Barrett). She also published Kodachrome Notes with Chronicle Books. Work from this and other series can be seen on her website 

Stang will be teaching a photography course in the MA in new media production program that begins in fall 2015. Immediately following her retirement, she plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to publish her newest book, reAppearances—a fifty-photograph continual sequence created with a toy digital camera, the JOCO VX5.