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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Pat Santos
Assistant Deputy Director of Emergency Management Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Colonel (Retired) Pat Santos began his twenty-five year career in the Louisiana Army National Guard in June 1979, where he served in the Headquarters State Area Command (HQ STARC) while participating in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of New Orleans. In December 1981, Santos was commissioned a Distinguished Military Graduate. After attending his Officer Basic Course, he began his full-time military career as the training officer of the 773rd Maintenance Battalion.

In September 1984, Santos was transferred to the famed 1-141st Field Artillery Battalion and served in various command and staff positions until July 1994, when he returned to HQ STARC. There he served as the State Security Officer, where he developed the first State Partnership Programs with Uzbekistan and Belize. He also served as the State Readiness Officer and the State Operations and Training Officer. In August 1999, Santos was assigned as the State Plans, Operations and Military Support Officer (POMSO). As the POMSO, Santos and his staff developed and refined essential emergency plans and procedures while managing the military response and assistance efforts to numerous state emergencies and special events during this period until his retirement in 2003.

After working a year in the public sector, Colonel (R) Santos accepted an offer from the Adjutant General to return to the State Military Department as the Joint Director of Military Support (JDOMS) in October 2004. His experience played a key role in coordinating the unprecedented military support efforts during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In January 2006, he accepted a position at the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOHSEP) as the Chief of Homeland Security. July 2006, Santos was named Assistant Deputy Director of Emergency Management for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, where he has primary oversight of all the State's emergency management functions.

Colonel (R) Santos is a graduate of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Staff School and the Command and General Staff College. In 1981 he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Master's Degree in Organizational Management in 1997.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation and Achievement Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and numerous State awards including the Louisiana War Cross and Louisiana Commendation and Emergency Service Medals. He currently resides in Prairieville, LA with his wife Gayle and their two sons, Sean and Stephen.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

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