Robbie Harris

WVTF/RADIO IQ New River Valley Bureau Chief

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg,  covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia. 

The former news director of  WBEZ/ Chicago Public Radio and WHYY in Philadelphia, she led award-winning news teams and creative projects.  Early in her career, she was the Humanities Reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, and also served as a tape editor on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Robbie worked at New Jersey Public Television and WCAU/CBS TV in Philadelphia while she pursued  her Master's Degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  During college, she was a Page at Saturday Night Live in New York and a reporter and program host for Cross Country Cable Television in Somerville, NJ.  Robbie also worked at the Rutgers College Radio Station, WRSU and was part of the team which founded "Knight Time Television" at the university.

It was 25 years ago this month that the former East Germany and West Germany became one country.  It was something most people thought would never happen: Until it did.  

And a formerly communist country dissolved its government and joined the democracy next door.

This month, a series of lectures, exhibits and East German Films at Virginia Tech will explore one of the most astounding political shifts in history. 

The movie, “Big Stone Gap” opens in 250 theaters across the country today.  And for its writer and director, it’s a very personal project. Adriana Trigiani grew up in that southwestern Virginia town and she was determined to make this film there.

Virginia Tech

The bond between humans and animals runs deep. And now, scientists know more about why and what that means for human health. Virginia Tech brought national experts together to explore the latest findings about that connection. 

It’s lunchtime at the Human Animal Bonding Symposium at the Skelton Center in Blacksburg.  But even as people mill about and the scent of food fills the air, two service dogs in training sit calmly and at attention when their handlers stop to talk with me.

“My name is Alison Proctor and this is Luke.”

Reading is often a solitary experience, but when everyone in town is reading the same book, it becomes a community event.  That’s the idea behind “The Big Read” which kicks off this Saturday.  One book is the focus of exploration, conversation and presentations for six weeks and everyone is invited. 

The book is The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Alyssa Archer is a Radford University Librarian who’s spearheading The Big Read.

It’s a sad fact that we produce enough food in this country to feed everyone in it, yet hunger remains a problem for many. 

Virginia Tech is joining the effort to change that.  It kicks off its “Campus Kitchens” program Wednesday, September 30th.  It’s a carefully orchestrated volunteer effort to save still-fresh food, left over from student dining halls, and get it to people who need it.