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.

Virginia Tech

The water emergency in Flint, Michigan might not have come to light without the work of a team of Virginia Tech researchers.

Toxic levels of lead in the city’s tap water were ignored by officials, until it proved there was a problem. And according to the leader of that team, Flint is just the tip of the iceberg.

Virginia Tech Environmental Engineering Professor Marc Edwards got a call from a distraught mother in Flint Michigan last year.  An EPA employee named Miguel Del Toral had gone out of his way to help her when no one else would listen.

A line in this year’s Virginia state budget calls for the shuttering of two psychiatric hospitals in southwestern Virginia.  But some are calling for them to remain open at a time when recent events have spotlighted the urgent need for more mental health services, not fewer.

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget proposal would provide $1 million to cover the costs of shutting down two psychiatric hospitals in southern Virginia.  The plan raised an outcry at a time when it’s becoming clear that there’s already a lack of sufficient beds for people in psychological crises in the state.

VT MSA, Facebook

As anti- Muslim rhetoric becomes part of the public and political conversation this election season, Muslims in this country feel more vulnerable.  That has Muslim students at Virginia Tech thinking about how to cope with the situation, and… how to improve it.

Current events are shining a spotlight on Muslims in this country.  And that’s both a problem and an opportunity, says Sana Rauf, a junior, studying business information technology at Virginia.

Creative Commons

This holiday season turned many consumers into bargain sleuths, trying to figure out the best deals, the best time to buy.... more decisions to make than ever before. But researchers say, it’s becoming clear that there’s also more to a great deal than price alone. 

Rajesh Bagchi is assistant professor of marketing at Virginia Tech, who studies judgment and decision making by consumers.

With so many cars on the road this holiday season, it’s easy to see why automobiles account for almost half of the country’s fuel consumption.  But what if cars could recover some of that energy for other uses? An engineering professor at Virginia Tech is working on a way to give cars exactly that kind of ‘energy bump.’

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lei Zuo and his team are working on a new kind of shock absorber that would not only enhance a car’s ride, but also create energy just from driving on the road.