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Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio. If his name or voice are familiar, it could be his twenty five years covering the U.S. space program on NPR. Pat’s NASA experience began with the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, and includes 103 missions. Many NPR listeners recall Pat’s commentary during Weekend Edition Saturday on February 1, 2003 when Shuttle Columbia broke apart and burned up during re-entry. His expertise was utilized during three hours of live and unscripted coverage with NPR’s Scott Simon. Pat later wrote two books about NASA, Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program and Trailblazing Mars, both of which have been released as audio books. Pat has also lectured about the future of the space program at Harvard, and writes about international space efforts for "Modern Weekly" magazine in Shanghai, China.
Duggins experience goes beyond NASA. He led the APR news team through the tornadoes of 2011. Along with dawn to dusk rescue and recovery updates, the news crew also provided national and international coverage for the BBC in London, MSNBC, CBC in Canada, and Australia Broadcasting in Sydney and Melbourne. Duggins’ efforts, and that of the APR news team, were recognized with a National Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Radio Television Digital News Association also honored Pat and the team with a national Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence. The Alabama Associated Press also recognized APR as the "Most Outstanding News Organization" in 2011. And, Duggins' news series on the long-term impact of the Gulf oil spill won a national PRNDI award for best series from the Public Radio News Directors' Association, and a regional Murrow.
Pat’s work isn’t limited to radio, with regular appearances on TV. He co-hosted “Your Vote Counts,” a program featuring college-age voters who critiqued the final debate between Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks in the 2011 race for Alabama Governor. Pat also conducts interview/profile segments for "Alabama, Inc." a new University of Alabama TV series on business.
Pat’s has won more than twenty awards for excellence in journalism, including a second Sigma Delta Chi award, a National Headliner Award, and a Suncoast Regional Emmy.