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
Erlingur Erlingsson, counsellor at the Embassy of Iceland in D.C., claims that "we don't have a strongly developed concept of Icelandic cuisine." Part of that has to do with the island nation's history. The Vikings first settled Iceland in the 9th century, "and they were migrants from Norway," Erlingur explains. "So that's sort of our origin, and a lot of our culture is very N...
WAMU 88.5
New retail and restaurants aren't the only things changing the face of Anacostia. Something else that's bringing new life to the neighborhood are the houses — like the one owned by 81-year-old Eunice Roy. "I love my windows," the lifelong Washingtonian says. "Those are the ones they put in for me — I love it." Roy's new windows came as part of the District's Histor...
WAMU 88.5
The swashbuckling, black-masked defender of the people known as "Zorro" first galloped into the world in 1919, as the brainchild of pulp writer Johnston McCulley. Since then, he has appeared all over the place, like the Disney TV series and the classic Douglas Fairbanks film; he even had his own anime series in the 1990s! But starting this month, people can see the original "c...
WAMU 88.5
When you hear the word "psychic," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Jeanne Dixon? Crystal balls? 1-900 call lines staffed by people who somehow know everything about you? Well, for psychic medium Konstanza Morning Star of Silver Spring, Md., predicting the future is something she's rarely asked to do. Konstanza says most of her clients "want to find out about options ...
WAMU 88.5
Destruction and rebirth are two common themes in the paintings and drawings of Glen Echo Park's resident artist, Jordan Bruns... and for good reason. The 29-year-old survived a rare form of Cushing's disease, and underwent a million-dollar surgery at the National Institutes of Health to remove a tumor lodged behind his eyes. Rebecca Sheir visits Bruns' studio in Glen Echo's Stone Tower, ...
WAMU 88.5
In an era dominated by CVS, Walgreen's and Rite-Aid, it's increasingly rare to find a locally-owned Mom-and-Pop-style pharmacy. But this year marks the 100th anniversary of Morgan's Pharmacy: an independently-owned Georgetown establishment where owner Barry Deutschman says everybody knows your name. Rebecca Sheir swings by to learn more about Morgan's, and hear how the pharmacy business ...
WAMU 88.5
Rebecca Sheir continues her series on Virginia's Holy Cross Abbey, a 62-year-old Trappist monastery whose future hangs in the balance. This time, we explore the monks' new farming partnership with Great Country Farms, their neighbors across the Blue Ridge Mountains. With Holy Cross providing land, and Great Country providing labor and agricultural infrastructure, the hope is the arra...
WAMU 88.5
In the first installment of a two-part series, Rebecca Sheir takes us to Holy Cross Abbey, a Trappist monastery on the Shenandoah River. The abbey grew rapidly after its founding in 1950, and at its height, 60 monks resided in the 18th-century house-turned-cloister. Now, the average age of the 13 remaining monks is 75. No new monks have arrived in seven years, and the abbey's once-thriv...
WAMU 88.5
In 2008, siblings Oliver and Waverly McNeil were diagnosed with mucopolysaccharidosis, or MPS III. The degenerative disease shows up in one of every 24,000 births. Kids with MPS III lack the enzyme that breaks down natural sugars in the body. As father Matt McNeil told us back in May 2012, "It's essentially like a city if the sanitation workers went on strike. There's nothing...
WAMU 88.5
In February 2011, we met Marquita Lister: a D.C.-born opera star who's graced stages around the world. She's sung the role of Bess, in Porgy and Bess, more than 500 times. She's recorded numerous CDs. But in 2006, not long after she turned 42 years old... the curtain nearly fell on all of it. As she told us last year: "I was up for Salome at La Scala. And I noticed that my han...
WAMU 88.5
Move over, Radio City Rockettes. A holiday spectacular-spectacular all its own is now showing at the George Washington Lisner Auditorium, and through sheer cast size alone, this holly-jolly extravaganza has the Rockettes dashing off in a one-horse open sleigh. The Christmas Revels is the annual holiday blowout presented by The Washington Revels, a local group dedicated to perf...
WAMU 88.5
At 8:15 a.m. on a Monday, in the basement of a church in Foggy Bottom, dozens of people, mostly men, gather around the big, brightly lit room. Some sit at tables, polishing off plates of French toast. Others wander around, chatting and joking. And others — half a dozen or so — sit at a table in the corner, waiting to tell their stories. They're members of The Monologue Gro...
WAMU 88.5
Standing on the bustling playground at Horace Mann Elementary School in Northwest D.C.'s Wesley Heights, Leslie Morgan Steiner fondly recalls the many years she spent playing there as a young girl. "One of the things I have to confess I remember most is all the boys I would chase on this playground," says the author of Crazy Love, Mommy Wars and the forthcoming Baby Chase. "I ...
WAMU 88.5
These days, the northeast corner of 14th Street Northwest and Pennsylvania Avenue, you'll find a big Marriott Hotel and a little gift shop selling political knick-knacks. But once upon a time, this area had the grand distinction of being D.C.'s very own "Newspaper Row." Local historian and author Paul Dickson got his start in Washington as a news reporter, and he says Newspape...
WAMU 88.5
Washington, D.C. area residents share a number of things: a special appreciation for a good half-smoke, knowledge of walking on the left/standing on the right, and a love/hate relationship with the Beltway. But do Washingtonians share a particular way of speaking? Is there such thing as a specifically D.C. accent, dialect or language? Researchers at Georgetown Universi...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. native Andrew White may be the most famous jazz musician you've never heard of. A self-titled "swaggering iconoclast," the 70 year old is about to celebrate the 41st anniversary of his one-man company, "Andrew's Music." Over the years, White has published more than 2,800 selections - everything from his recordings, to his 840-page autobiography, to hundreds of transcribed John Coltr...
WAMU 88.5
When Al Welsh was born in Russia in 1881, no on had yet figured out how to fly an airplane. Welsh couldn't have known it then, but after moving to Washington, D.C., he would go on to be a protégée of Wilbur and Orville Wright, and one of the world's first pilots. Emily Friedman uncovers the story of the first Jewish aviator, what compelled him to take flight and how his friendship with...
WAMU 88.5
We'll revisit our profile of Jaylee Mead, a top contributor to the D.C. theater scene, who died in September at the age of 83. Dr. Mead, a retired NASA astronomer, was a patron, board member and dedicated friend of the Washington theater and arts community for more than 25 years. Members of the theater community say her generosity — including a $35 million gift to Arena Stage — h...
WAMU 88.5
James Higden can hardly contain his excitement. He's a resident at Central Union Mission, a shelter and social service agency in Washington, D.C. He's excited because his home is undergoing a reconstruction. "It's almost like waiting for Christmas," he says, "to know that they're going to have all these additional services, they're going to be in an area that's more centrally ...
WAMU 88.5
In this age of political TV ads, robocalls and email blasts, some may be surprised to find good old-fashioned campaign snail-mail arriving in their mailboxes. But Andrew Kennedy, president and founder of the D.C.-based political direct-mail operation Kennedy Communications, says he believes direct mail is here to stay. Though the term he and his colleagues in the industry pref...