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
Fringe features much local flavorAll submissions to Fringe are accepted on a first come, first serve basis, and none of them are censored in any way. Any given festival includes see some pretty off the wall stuff on the stage -- in some cases, a makeshift stage, since many venues are vacant buildings that once housed things like cigar shops and churches.More than 100 d...
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Steven Weinberger, director of George Mason's linguistics program, started the Speech Accent Archive back in 1999. Since then, he and his graduate students have collected nearly 1,500 samples of spoken English from people of roughly 300 different language backgrounds.English speakers worldwide visit the free online database and send recordings of themselves reading a certain 69...
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As the Community Engagement Coordinator at Gallaudet's Visual Language and Visual Learning Center, or VL2, Melissa Malzkuhn often gives presentations to first-year students."I ask them if they think that deaf people see better. And oftentimes the students say, 'Yes,'" Malzkuhn, who is deaf, says through an interpreter. "And so I tell them that science actually says that we don...
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Lorraine Treanor publishes the website, D.C. Theater Scene.com and says you can never underestimate the power of a theater audience."A play is such an ephemeral thing, you know?" says Treanor. "It's not a painting you can go see again, it’s not a movie you can go see again. But really it resides in the memory, and the passion, of the people who receive that."And so she...
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Demand Skyrockets After PreventionWorks! ClosesBut the group, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, or HIPS, is also struggling to keep up with demand. Since the District's main needle exchange program, PreventionWorks!, closed in February, HIPS has been overloaded with requests.Jenna Mell...
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A local monument -- the D.C. War Memorial -- honors the D.C. residents who died in The Great War. But the World War I Memorial Foundation has been lobbying to re-dedicate the structure as a national monument.Rebecca Sheir has a conversation at the monument with Foundation director Edwin Fountain, who says most Washingtonians probably ha...
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Housed in an old Georgian mansion on Western Avenue NW, the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home offers seniors housing and health care, along with activities, such as cooking, field trips and, like so many senior-care facilities, bingo."Everybody always goes, 'Oh God, there's bingo.' But if we tried to take bingo away from the residents, there...
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"It was a southern city, actually had Unionist leanings before the war, and Virginia did not want to secede from the Union. Twice before April 1861, it had voted not to secede. But after the attack on Fort Sumter, in South Carolina in April of 1861, Virginia quickly realized war was inevitable and that it would be the highway to war," Mallamo says.Just a few days after the fall...
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Shaw struggled for decades to recover from the legacy of the 1968 riots. Now, new residents and businesses are being lured to the area by new amenities and the neighborhood's proximity to downtown Washington.Neighborhood's earliest daysShaw is named for Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who led the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first official black units d...
WAMU 88.5
The car may not seem like the most dramatic thing in the world, but as far as Taffety Punk's artistic director, Marcus Kyd, is concerned, pretty much all cars are dramatic. The company, which Marcus helped found in 2004, is presenting "The Car Plays": three one-act plays about people in a car.In addition to drama, the play presents another advantage for the young theater compan...
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The stately, pillared mansion at1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW is actually the third home that has served U.S. presidents throughout the county’s history. But for about a hundred years after it was built, "people were calling it 'the president's mansion,' and 'the executive house'," according to Dr. Clarence Lusane, an associate professor at American University and author of The Bla...
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Steve Spotswood, the playwright of "The Resurrectionist King," offers a bit of context for those unfamiliar with the term "resurrectionist.""[In the 19th century], doctors needed to test out their anatomical theories and actually practice surgery, and it was before there was any access to bodies. People were not donating bodies," Spotswood says.So sometimes people would ...
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Hill became a football star at Gonzaga High School. He wound up at the U.S. Naval Academy, but decided to leave after his plebe year. Immediately, all the big football colleges came calling. Sheir recently met Hill in the Lincoln Theatre's lobby, where he told her about the day Maryland coach Lee Corso offered him a scholarship to play for the Terrapins....
WAMU 88.5
Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday dedicated to the civil rights leader who was born Jan. 15, 1929, and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.In August 1963, King was part of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was organized by several civil rights organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King helped start in...
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Census figures show one-fifth of the D.C. area's population hails from outside the U.S., including: Europe, Africa, Oceania, Latin America and Asia. Rebecca Sheir and Rob Sachs get a taste of Saigon as they visit the Eden Center, an indoor-outdoor mall catering to the region's extensive Vietnamese-American population. Grass jelly and basil seed drink, anyone?[Music: "Every Litt...
WAMU 88.5
While many churches celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates on Jan. 7. Rebecca Sheir talks with members of the D.C. region's sizable Ethiopian community about the meaning of the holiday's feasts, fasts and family time.[Music: "Another Green World" by Brian Eno from Another Green World]...
WAMU 88.5
The internationally-renowned Phillips Collection turns 90 this year. To celebrate, the modern art museum is inviting local celebrity chefs to create cakes, inspired by the Collection. Rebecca Sheir speaks with pastry chef Travis Olson (of Georgetown's 1789 Restaurant) about his plans to recreate a work by the Swiss surrealist Paul Klee.[Music: "Cut the Cake" by Average White Ba...
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]...
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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...