NPR's Debbie Elliott to speak to students, public during visit to Troy University on Wednesday

Posted: Tuesday, 18 April 2017

TROY - National Public Radio national correspondent Debbie Elliott will visit Troy University on Wednesday as a part of TROY Public Radio's ongoing 40th anniversary celebration.

Elliott will present a public lecture at 10 a.m., Wednesday, in the Trojan Center Ballrooms on the Troy Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

During her visit, Elliott will also meet with students from Troy University's Hall School of Journalism, and be honored with an invitation-only reception on the Montgomery Campus Wednesday evening.

"Just like many public radio hosts and reporters, Debbie Elliott is someone that listeners really feel like they know," said Kyle Gassiott, Troy Public Radio operations manager. "Not only is she a world-class journalist who has reported some of the most important stories of the past 20 years, she also has one of the warmest and most recognizable voices on the air. I can't think of anyone better to bring to the station during Troy Public Radio's 40th year than Debbie Elliott, who has been thoughtfully and intelligently telling the story of our region to listeners around the world. Both Troy Public Radio listeners and our student producers are really going to enjoy meeting Debbie and hearing her speak." After a stint on Capitol Hill, Elliott is back covering her native South. Elliott was born in Atlanta, grew up in the Memphis area, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama's College of Communication. She's the former news director of member station WUAL (now Alabama Public Radio).

Elliott covered the BP oil spill, focusing on the human impact of the spill, the complex litigation to determine responsibility for the disaster and how the region is recovering. She launched the series, "The Disappearing Coast," which examines the history and culture of south Louisiana, the state's complicated relationship with the oil and gas industry and the oil spill's lasting impact on a fragile coastline.

Elliott also reported on the new entrepreneurial boom in post-Katrina New Orleans, as well as that city's decades-long struggle with violent crime, and a broken criminal justice system. She's examined the obesity epidemic in Mississippi, and a ground-breaking prisoner meditation program at Alabama's toughest lockup. She's taken NPR listeners on a musical tour of Memphis in a pink Cadillac, and profiled writers and musicians including Aaron Neville, Sandra Boynton, and Trombone Shorty.

During her tenure in Washington, DC, Elliott covered Congress and hosted NPR's All Things Considered on the weekends. In that role she interviewed a variety of luminaries and world leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Since joining NPR in 1995, Elliott has covered the re-opening of civil-rights-era murder cases, the legal battle over displaying the Ten Commandments in courthouses, the Elian Gonzales custody dispute from Miami, and a number of major hurricanes, from Andrew to Katrina. Elliott was stationed in Tallahassee, Florida, for election night in 2000, and was one of the first national reporters on the scene for the contentious presidential election contest that followed.