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
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- whose "I Have a Dream" speech is among the most famous in American history -- this week we're diving in to dreams. From sleeping dreams to planning dreams to dreams of Olympic glory on the fencing mat.[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]...
WAMU 88.5
A full-sized replica of the Parthenon...in Foggy Bottom? Rebecca Sheir speaks with historian/author Paul Dickson about some grandiose dreams for D.C. in the early 20th century and the man who might have given Walt Disney a run for his money.[Music: "Daydream Believer" by Lord Sitar from Ultra-Lounge: On the Rocks, Pt. 1]...
WAMU 88.5
As Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches, Rebecca Sheir revisits Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and talks with locals -- including activist/politician/professor Julian Bond -- about how it felt watching the speech live at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.[Music: "March! For Martin Luther King" by John Fahey from The Yellow Princess / "Every Little Bit Hurts" by Joh...
WAMU 88.5
In 2007, Peter Fay -- a recognizable face and voice to many Washingtonians -- became Colleen Fay. Rebecca Sheir talks with Colleen about the transition, and how life has been since she decided to embrace her true self.[Music: "I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor from Mastermix Classic Cuts 22: Disco]...
WAMU 88.5
Cybersecurity researchers say an identity is stolen online every three seconds. Washington, D.C., was recently rated America's 3rd riskiest city for cybercrime. Rebecca Sheir visits Symantec's Security Operations Center in Alexandria, VA, to learn why Washingtonians face such a high risk of victimization... and what they can do protect themselves.[Music: "Smooth Criminal (Nu Gr...
WAMU 88.5
Historians estimate D.C. boasted 2,000 to 3,000 speakeasies during Prohibition, and Rebecca Sheir visits a site that once housed one of the most notorious: the Mayflower Club. She speaks with Garrett Peck, who leads the "Temperance Tour of Washington," and is author of the book, Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't, set to be published this spring.[Music...
WAMU 88.5
We head low down and down low, exploring stuff beneath the ground -- from tunnels in D.C. to archeological digs in Maryland -- and stuff that's top-secret, from posh Prohibition speakeasies to D.C.'s spies and counter-spies....
WAMU 88.5
Washington, D.C., has a rich history of espionage and intrigue, going back to George Washington. Rebecca Sheir visits the International Spy Museum and talks with founding Executive Director Peter Earnest -- a former CIA agent -- who says D.C. has more spies than any other city in the world.[Music: "Theme from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (TV Miniseries)" by Geoffrey Burgon]...
WAMU 88.5
For all D.C.'s aboveground hustle and bustle, much of the city's business is conducted underground. Rebecca Sheir and historian Paul Dickson visit the tunnels beneath the Library of Congress and chat about the role of tunnels in D.C.'s present and past -- from the LOC tunnels, to the network of tunnels/subways beneath the Capitol Building.[Music: "Under My Sensi" by Thievery Co...
WAMU 88.5
For the 18th year, the Smithsonian Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden are presenting their annual orchid exhibition, from Jan. 29 through April 24. Rebecca Sheir walks through the exhibit with two self-professed "orchid nerds": Washington Gardener Magazine's Kathy Jentz and the Smithsonian's Tom Mirenda. She learns about epiphytic orchids, which can hang in the air, so to sp...
WAMU 88.5
Washington D.C. native and international opera star, Marquita Lister, has performed in the world's great opera houses and has sung "Bess" (in "Porgy and Bess") more than 500 times. In 2006, she became gravely ill, and her meteoric rise was interrupted. But she's worked hard to make a remarkable recovery and now is poised for her come-back. Rebecca Sheir speaks with Lister as she prepa...
WAMU 88.5
This week, we're taking you up, up and away! From orchids on trees... to beehives on rooftops... to pollution in the sky... to schmutz in outer space...[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]...
WAMU 88.5
You can't see them with the naked eye, but teeny-tiny particles exist between stars. This interstellar dust is a particular nuisance to astrophysicists, whose observations and measurements can be distorted by these "cosmic grains." An American University professor is one of 200 people in the world studying the topic; Rebecca Sheir visits U.J. Sofia to learn why, though the particles a...
WAMU 88.5
After raising more than $10,000 for the Children's Tumor Foundation in its inaugural, "Snow-My-Goodness" year, the Cupid's Undie Run is back! Rebecca Sheir talks with Tamara Forys, one of the race's organizers, about the 2011 fundraiser: from the many ways Washingtonians have shown their generous support, to how to keep warm when sprinting a mile in your skivvies.[Music: "Run T...
WAMU 88.5
Just in time for President Abraham Lincoln's 202nd birthday, a historical tourist attraction is heading back to Ford's Theatre: the original overcoat the president wore when he was shot. Rebecca Sheir talks with National Park Service Ranger Yana Jaffe about the coat's new "time-share:" it spends half the year in conservation storage, and half the year in the Theatre's lobby for the pu...
WAMU 88.5
We share e-mails sent by our listeners. This week: kudos for a D.C.-born opera star, and the inside scoop on that alleged MARC train happy hour car...[Music: "A Message to You Rudy (Karaoke-Version) As Made Famous By: The Specials" by Charly Karaoke Group from Karaoke World: Here We Go / "I'm Yours (Karaoke Instrumental Track) [In the Style of Jason Mraz]" by ProSound Karaoke B...
WAMU 88.5
Meeting your soul mate can be tough for anyone, but for some people with disabilities, it can be hard just to get out and form new friendships. That's why DateAble, Inc. started up in the D.C. area. Rebecca Sheir talks with one couple who found love using the service: Lynn Watson and her husband, Robert, who now runs DateAble, Inc. from their home in Brandywine, Md.[Music: "Val...
WAMU 88.5
From smoothing out curves, kinks and cuffs... to getting payback and settling scores...[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]...
WAMU 88.5
On Feb. 20, 1839, Congress passed legislation barring the practice of dueling in the District of Columbia. Rebecca Sheir and historian Paul Dickson talk about the popularity of dueling in D.C.'s history, and tell tales of prominent figures who visited the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds to even up various scores -- often on the flimsiest of grounds -- by walking nine paces and firing at c...
WAMU 88.5
Cheryl A. Lofton's family has been nipping and tucking Washington's attire since the 1930s, when her grandfather opened the first African-American-owned tailoring business in downtown D.C. Cheryl moved the family business to a new spot in Shaw, and just opened a shoe-shine shop next door. Rebecca Sheir visits the operation to hear about the family's professional heritage, and how, in ...