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
Washington, D.C. has one of the nation's highest HIV rates, and many of the newly infected are people using dirty needles to inject drugs. A small number of local nonprofits provide clean needles to drug users, but the main provider, PreventionWorks, closed earlier this year. And now another program is picking up the overflow. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to HIPS (Helping Individual Pro...
WAMU 88.5
Queer theory challenges all sorts of things, especially our ideas about our "natural" identities. American University literature professor Madhavi Menon takes this outside-the-box thinking and applies it to William Shakespeare in her new book, Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Rebecca Sheir talks with Menon about how she feels Shakespeare ca...
WAMU 88.5
Many awards, such as the D.C. region's Helen Hayes Awards, pay tribute to theater professionals for their outstanding work on the stage. But a new award in Washington is applauding a different set of theater people: the audience. The Gary Lee Maker Audience Award is named for one of Washington's most loving theater supporters, who recently died of cancer. Rebecca Sheir meets the very ...
WAMU 88.5
It might be hard to pin down the quintessential "D.C. dish," but award-winning chef Scott Drewno of The Source has his own ideas on cooking "distinctively D.C." cuisine. Rebecca Sheir visits The Source's kitchen to dish with Scott about the D.C. food scene, and to cook up an entree that combines local ingredients with the District's international flair.[Music: "Maximum Consumpt...
WAMU 88.5
Gusty's... Danny's Bakery... Paul Young's... Little Taverns. For longtime Washingtonians, these names conjure up D.C. food memories of yore. Rebecca Sheir visits a standby that's been around more than half a century, Silver Spring's Blair Mansion Restaurant, where she walks down memory lane with Sheilah Kaufman of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C., and Ramon Zeender, whose f...
WAMU 88.5
If you could pour the nation's capital into a glass, what would it taste like? Rebecca Sheir seeks answers to that pressing question with mixologist Adam Bernbach, who concocts a Berbere-grappa cocktail that represents some colorful aspects of life in Washington.[Music: "Punk Covers - Cheers Theme" by Less Than Jake from Covers]...
WAMU 88.5
St. Elizabeths in Southeast D.C. began as the "U.S. Government Hospital for the Insane." These days, it's bringing the Federal and District governments together, as the Federal-controlled West Campus and District-controlled East Campus are slated for significant development over the next decade. Rebecca Sheir visits St. Elizabeths with Rebecca Miller of the D.C. Preservation League, t...
WAMU 88.5
Dominick Cardella has been selling eclectic African and Asian wares for 40 years at the Artifactory, right by the National Archives. But now the longtime Washingtonian is closing shop. Rebecca Sheir talks with Cardella about how he's seen the neighborhood change outside Artifactory's doors.[Music: "Seems Like Old Times" by Guy Lombardo from You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To]...
WAMU 88.5
The Wilson Building (headquarters for the D.C. City Council) and the Capitol Building are practically neighbors. But these two political worlds spin in very different orbits, despite the efforts of city leaders to win more autonomy for the District. Rebecca Sheir visits the Wilson Building with WAMU's Patrick Madden, to discuss the sources of the tension between Congress and the city,...
WAMU 88.5
Today we bring you stories about how we communicate and, sometimes, fail to communicate. From why deaf students learn differently from hearing students, to what it's like inside the District's secret subculture of graffiti. Plus, we'll visit an island where residents speak an unusual dialect of English, and explore our schools' new approaches to talking about the birds and the bees....
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 largest online database of English accents. Rebecca Sheir interviews the Speech Accent Archive's founder about where it started, where it's going (hint: iPhone app!), and why it can help everyone from ESL teachers to actors.[Music: "St...
WAMU 88.5
It's often said deaf people see better than hearing people, but a new study from Gallaudet University proves that's not the case. It turns out deaf people don't develop enhanced vision; they develop enhanced "visual attention" in their periphery. Rebecca Sheir speaks with hearing and deaf people at Gallaudet's Visual Language and Visual Learning Center, to learn more about the pros an...
WAMU 88.5
We share some of the recent messages we've received from our listeners, from a local ecologist applauding a recent story on deer exclosures, to a driver enjoying Virginia's quieter pavement, to a woman trying to kick her fear of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.[Music: "A Message to You Rudy (Karaoke-Version) As Made Famous By: The Specials" by Charly Karaoke Group from Karaoke World:...
WAMU 88.5
In the spirit of Independence Day, we meet some folks who like to raise a little ruckus: From a Civil War-era Radical Republican known as "the dictator of Congress" to a legendary DJ who's been rousing rabble and rhythm in Ocean City for 30 years. Plus, standing up to the world's largest retailer, and the burgeoning battle between the U.S. Park Police and pedicabs.[Music: "Eve...
WAMU 88.5
On July 4, 1861, President Lincoln called Congress into an extraordinary special session. One of the House of Representatives' most powerful members at the time was Thaddeus Stevens: a flamboyant Radical Republican committed to creating equal opportunity for all. Rebecca Sheir visits the House's official historian, Matthew Wasniewski, to learn more about the so-called "Dictator of Con...
WAMU 88.5
The District is in store for another summer of no-holds-barred, independent plays, musicals, dance and other performances, with the sixth annual Capital Fringe Festival. Running from July 7 through July 24, Fringe is the only unjuried, self-producing, open-access festival in the D.C. area, and Rebecca Sheir speaks with the Fest's executive director, Julianne Brienza, to learn how the ...
WAMU 88.5
Arrested for espionage during the Civil War, smitten with a Union officer, Southern belle Antonia Ford's story reads almost like a soap opera. Rebecca Sheir visits the old Ford home in Fairfax, Va., and speaks with historian Susan Inskeep Gray, who says while Ford's status as a spy was never verified, her love was tried and true.[Music: "Always" by Patsy Cline from Definitive C...
WAMU 88.5
You might know about the old streetcar tunnels under Dupont Circle, but nearly a century ago, an entirely different -- and lesser-known -- series of tunnels was discovered on P Street NW. Rebecca Sheir visits the area with D.C. preservation buff Kim Bender, and hears about the mysterious tunnel system, and how this bizarre collection of passageways was the work of a man well versed in...
WAMU 88.5
When so much of our entertainment comes from computer and TV screens, you might not expect an old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar games store to survive. But Kathleen Donahue says people still go ga-ga over old-school puzzles. The Capitol Hill resident recently opened Labyrinth Games and Puzzles, and says while she doesn't quite peddle "puzzle drugs," she does have an increasing number of...
WAMU 88.5
As Washington cruises through the sunny days of summer, we decided to go... to the dark side. This week, we're all about the mysterious and unknown: from hidden tunnels and zombies to the search for Sasquatch. So pull up an armchair -- or a beach chair -- and get ready for some Sherlockian digging into the strange and surreal![Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from...