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
The brand new musical, "If/Then," is having its world premiere at D.C.'s National Theatre, before heading to Broadway next year. Book and lyrics writer Brian Yorkey says it's "about a woman in her late 30s who leaves a loveless marriage out west and moves back to New York City. "The show takes off from her first day in New York City," explains Yorkey. "She makes one o...
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In a leafy corner of northeast Washington, you're able to travel from the Holy Land to Rome, and back again, with just a few steps. "When I do the tours here, I tell the people, 'Now from the Holy Land we are going to go straight to Rome because we're going to see the catacombs!'" says Fernando Pereiro, who's been leading tours at The Franciscan Monastery since August 2011....
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Georgetown officially dates back to 1751, making it more than 30 years older than Washington, D.C., itself. And according to Tim Krepp, author of Ghosts of Georgetown, many would say the neighborhood has accumulated more than its share of ghosts in the past 262 years. The C&O Canal has been thought of as an especially haunted location. "The canal is a fairly import...
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Throughout his 69 years, whether as a pupil, admirer or friend, legendary dancer Maurice Hines has connected with a number of superstars, from Lena Horn, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland to Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis, Jr. One of his most treasured connections was with his younger brother, Gregory Hines, who died of liver cancer 10 years ago, at the age of 5...
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D.C.-based hip-hop artist Darius McCall — a.k.a. Prinz-D — refers to himself as a "lone wolf." Not only is he fiercely independent in work and life, but also as a rapper, he has something that sets him apart from other MCs: Prinz-D is deaf. "[The loss in] my right ear is profound," he explains. "The left ear is severe, which means I can hear a lot better than the right ear...
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With thousands of federal workers on furlough, we all know how the partial government shutdown has been affecting hundreds of thousands of adults. But what about the impact it's having on the region's children? For youngsters enrolled in Bright Horizons, the preschool and early-education program that partners with more than 850 employers worldwide, life has been turned a bit u...
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Ian Adams lives in Indian Head, Md., with his wife, Chani, Ian, their 6 month-old baby girl, Wren, and their first-grade daughter, Alia. Ian works as an electrical engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory, a federal agency. But as of yet, his office has not been affected by the shutdown. "It's a very academic environment," he explains. "So like researchers at a university wo...
WAMU 88.5
At the end of the 19th century, many cities enacted building height limits, due to technological constraints in the construction field, such as lack of sprinkler systems and fireproof materials. Washington, D.C.'s original height limits were based on an urban design principle that scales the height of the building to the width of the street, with a 1:1 ratio. For commercial bu...
WAMU 88.5
While federal government buildings around town are closed, the John A. Wilson Building — home of D.C.’s city government — is going strong. Past federal government shutdowns have led to a cessation of city services, from parks to recreation centers to libraries to trash pickup. That’s because the District is considered a federal agency for budget purposes. The District ...
WAMU 88.5
It's often said "it isn't the years in your life that count, but, rather, the life in your years." And Maryland resident Kathleen Williams fits that sentiment to a T. The native Briton is 101 years old. But honestly, as she sits in the dining room of her Chevy Chase home — her bright eyes flashing, her silver hair elegantly styled — you'd never know she's a centenarian....
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Longtime Washingtonians may remember that once upon a time, you could find some French restaurants in the city, some Italian, maybe some Chinese. Then you had steakhouses like Blackey's, and cafeterias like Sholl's. But fast-forward to the present, and in 2011, the District boasted more than 2,100 eateries, of all culinary stripes. That was nearly a 5 percent increase from ...
WAMU 88.5
Nopa Kitchen and Bar opened in D.C.'s Penn Quarter in May, but just started serving brunch this week. And the menu features a type of treat you don't see much of in the District: the crispy, crusty, chewy, doughy bialy. "It's from Poland: Bialystok," explains Nopa's executive chef Greg McCarty. "It's very similar to a bagel [but] it doesn't have the traditional hole that goes ...
WAMU 88.5
This week, much attention has been focused on the Navy Yard: a D.C. landmark that's been serving the city, nation, and world in various, important capacities since 1799. At its peak, the yard consisted of 188 buildings on 126 acres of land, and employed nearly 25,000 people. Local tour guide, historian, author, and former Naval officer Tim Krepp shares a birthday with...
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Following Monday's shooting at D.C.'s Navy Yard, there are fresh calls for a national discussion about gun control. The discussion was revived after the Newtown shootings last December, in which 20 children and six adults were killed. But in the spring, that discussion was tabled. George Washington University law, history and sociology professor Robert Cottrol has been followi...
WAMU 88.5
Mexico City native Pati Jinich is intimately familiar with the cuisine of Mexico — and the many misconceptions she feels surround it. "Our food isn't always spicy," she says. "Our food doesn't always have a chili in it. And when it does, it's not necessarily a spicy chili. The ancho chili is sweet, the guajillo chili is happy. "And surprisingly for people, Mexican fo...
WAMU 88.5
Latinos make up about 10 percent of Washington, D.C.'s population. And in terms of city leadership, we've had several Latinos serve as deputy mayor. But you won't find any Latinos on either our State Board of Education or City Council. The lack of Latino representation on the latter has been especially vexing to D.C. native Joshua Lopez. "For years people have been say...
WAMU 88.5
In April, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History stumbled upon a most remarkable find. It was a wax-cylinder recording from April 1885, and while the words on it are kind of fuzzy, the speaker is kind of famous: "Hear my voice. Alexander... Graham... Bell." "The one snippet of his voice that we do have has him sounding a bit theatrical," says actor Rick Fouche...
WAMU 88.5
Andy Warhol once said: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." But in Brookeville, Md., you'll meet people who claim that in the past, they were famous for about 15 hours. Outside a stately white house on Market Street, a plaque reads: "In this house, August 26 to 27, 1814, President James Madison and Richard Rush, Attorney General, were she...
WAMU 88.5
As hundreds of students flocked back to Powell Elementary School in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C. this week, principal Janeece Docal greeted them in Spanish and English. As Docal smiled and hugged the children, she noted how different a lot of students were this year. The student body of the dual-language institution is 85 percent Latino and 12 percent Africa...
WAMU 88.5
Once upon a time, in the late 1800s, it was believed you could find a 'mother lode' of gold... in Maryland. Rebecca Sheir visits several now-defunct mines in Montgomery County, Maryland, to learn how, at one time, the area hosted nearly a dozen mines where prospectors hoped to strike it rich....