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
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...
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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....
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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]...
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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...
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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]...
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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 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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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]...
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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
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]...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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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]...
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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...