Rebecca Sheir | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Rebecca Sheir

Host, Metro Connection

Sheir joined WAMU in 2009 as a news anchor, host and reporter. She became the host of Metro Connection in August 2010.

Sheir came to the nation's capital by way of Alaska, where she traveled amongst the moose and mountains as the host of AK, the award-winning show on the Alaska Public Radio Network. While in the Last Frontier, she also did reporting for NPR member station KTOO in Juneau.

Sheir's radio stories have won numerous awards – including the Third Coast International Audio Festival Directors' Choice Award – and have aired on public radio venues and programs, including All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, Latino USA, Only a Game, Here & Now, Interfaith Voices, Voice of America, Chicago Public Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio. She has taught her original radio essay/commentary course, "Radio Voices," at the University of Iowa and University of Alaska Anchorage.

Sheir received her BA from Columbia University in New York City, where she also worked in Off-Broadway theater production: first with Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc., then with Naked Angels Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa.


Articles Written by Rebecca Sheir

WAMU 88.5
Steve Lickteig grew up thinking he was the adopted son of Don and Mary Jane Lickteig: farmers in Kansas who already had eight biological children. When Lickteig was 18 years old, his two best friends delivered some stunning news: he was actually the illegitimate son of his oldest sister, and everyone in his life had always known the secret. Lickteig now lives in Washington, D.C., and ...
WAMU 88.5
There's an iconic mural on the corner of 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW that's become a fixture of the U Street Corridor. But sometime this year, G. Byron Peck's 'Black Family Reunion,' which he painted in 1994, will be no more. The mural shows a collage of photographs of a local African-American family, and is just one of Peck's masterpieces around town. But while many sti...
WAMU 88.5
The year 1939 was pivotal for race relations in America. As Georgetown’s history and African-American studies professor, Maurice Jackson, points out, it’s the year Billie Holiday first sang “Strange Fruit,” the haunting tune that shook the jazz world and stoked support for the country’s anti-lynching measures. It’s also the same year the Ertegun brothers organized the Dist...
WAMU 88.5
In a spacious basement dance studio in Loudoun County, a dozen Indian women and girls are learning a rhythmic, barefoot dance called Kathak. The girls range from third to sixth grade, and if you ask them what they like best about the dance, most say it's the way Kathak connects them to Indian history and traditions. "This dance can help me do it at school, or at the other perf...
WAMU 88.5
Mount Pleasant, Anacostia, LeDroit Park... probably not the first names that come to mind when one thinks of the D.C. suburbs. But these three neighborhoods actually comprised the District's earliest 'burbs. They were called "streetcar suburbs," since their development stemmed from streetcar lines. In the case of Mount Pleasant, the streetcar transformed the community from a s...
WAMU 88.5
Adventure Theatre, the longest-running children's theater in the D.C. area, is gearing up to present a world-premiere musical, based on Ezra Jack Keats' classic picture book, The Snowy Day. The Snowy Day tells the story of Peter, a young boy who awakens one morning to the season's first snowfall. And it turns out the story, which Keats wrote in 1962, was revo...
WAMU 88.5
Think about the last time you were cold. As in, teeth-chattering, goosebump-raising, shivering-in-your-boots cold. You were probably outside, and the temperature very well could have been below zero. Washington, D.C.'s lowest recorded temperature is 15 degrees below zero. And in a slightly colder place - such as Alaska -- it's more like 80 below. But if you take that last numb...
WAMU 88.5
Intrigue! Riches! Sex! Some violence! Not the latest movie plot, but a story that lurks in the background of some 100-year-old photographs of The Empress Dowager -- once the most powerful woman in Asia. The mostly black-and-white photos languished for decades in the archives of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Now, they are on display and give a glimpse of Old China at a t...
WAMU 88.5
At the near-empty building known as Laurel Mall, a smattering of retailers is struggling to unload the stock on their shelves. One of those retailers is Audrey Durr-Poole, owner of Gallery Imports, a shop featuring African crafts. "In the month of November I made three sales," she says. "Not one sale on Black Friday. Not one." Durr-Poole says the winter holidays are ty...
WAMU 88.5
Want to hear how someone speaks English with an Amazigh accent? How about Kikongo? Or Mortlockese? George Mason University maintains the world's biggest online database of speech accents. Rebecca Sheir interviews the Speech Accent Archive's founder about where it started, where it's going, and why it can be helpful for everyone from ESL teachers to speech pathologists to actors. ...
WAMU 88.5
What do a wooden gavel, a double-tiered baseball trophy and an 80-year-old restaurant menu have in common? They're among the 4,000 artifacts in the U.S. House of Representatives collection. Rebecca Sheir visits the Capitol to talk with the House's very first curator, who's tasked with tracking down, conserving and preserving the artworks and artifacts that give a human face to the fed...
WAMU 88.5
Rebecca Sheir heads to the Pentagon to talk with Lt. Col. Robert Grunewald, who survived American Airlines Flight 77's crash into the world's largest office building. Grunewald was in an executive meeting when the plane hit his conference room; the two men on either side of him perished. Grunewald shares his story of disaster, heartbreak and, ultimately, hope. [Music: "P...
WAMU 88.5
One of the District's regular food rituals is a celebration of cherries -- or, to be more accurate, cherry blossoms. Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival blooms for several weeks in late March and early April. And to pay tribute to those iconic pink and white blossoms, many restaurants get creative with cherries and cherry blossoms, bringing them straight to your plate, b...
WAMU 88.5
The face of Washington's food culture is constantly changing, but how has it evolved? Rebecca Sheir sits down for lunch at Blair Mansion, a Silver Spring restaurant that's been feeding Washingtonians for more than half a century. Joining her to chat about D.C.'s food history is Sheilah Kaufman, of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C., and Robert Zeender, who's been running Blai...
WAMU 88.5
You can find some of the world's hottest peppers growing behind a hotel in Tyson's Corner, Va. Tom Elder, the head chef at harth, is cultivating his own organic pepper garden, from the Trinidad Scorpion to the Devil's Tongue to the world-renowned ghost chili. These peppers are all pollinated by Elder's very own bees. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to taste the most fiery peppers, and to ...
WAMU 88.5
If you turn on your television this time of year, chances are you'll find at least one channel playing Frank Capra's 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life. Our televisions aren't the only place we can watch the story of George Bailey though. The Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Va. is bringing George's tale to life on the stage in the world-premiere, one-man show, Wonderful Lif...
WAMU 88.5
On the banks of the Potomac River, in Accokeek, Md., lies a site considered sacred by the Native American tribe that was once the region’s most populous and powerful. Gabrielle Tayac, a historian at the National Museum of the American Indian and member of the Piscataway Indian Nation, says Moyaone, Piscataway’s principal village, located in Piscataway Park, dates back at l...
WAMU 88.5
Standardized patients, individuals who are trained to simulate real patients, are commonly used in medical education. They enable medical students to practice and improve their clinical and conversation skills for patient interaction. A program at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences goes a step further with their standardized patients. ...
WAMU 88.5
J. Jordan Bruns first noticed signs that something was wrong with him when he began college at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Despite following a healthy vegetarian diet and running five miles a day, he was gaining an inexplicable amount of weight. "I was fifty pounds heavier than I am now," he recalls, with a "really bulbous face and I had a buffalo hump on the back of ...
WAMU 88.5
Kim Bender, blogger behind The Location, takes Metro Connection's Rebecca Sheir to a storied home on 16th Street NW. The mansion most recently housed The Green Door, a community program that assists people with severe mental illness. But the home once belonged to one of Washington's favorite early-20th-century society belles, who became the first woman to fly in an "aeroplane" over th...