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.

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Economics & Economy
12:10 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

VT Students Help Consumers Fight Forced Labor with Informed Purchases

University Honors students, from left, Kwamina Orleans-Pobee, Nicholas Montgomery, and Wes Williams want to make their tool, AboliShop, available for public use for Black Friday shoppers.
Credit Virginia Tech

It’s estimated some thirty million people around the world are forced into slave labor. And while there’s been an international outcry, it was hard to know what labor conditions are behind the products you buy.

Now a team of students at Virginia Tech has come up with an easy way for online shoppers to see how their purchases stack up on the human rights scale, before they buy.  

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Virginia Tech Family Mourns
1:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Professor Craig Brians: A Remembrance

The Blacksburg community lost a bright light recently.  Virginia Tech Political Science Professor died suddenly at his home earlier this month. 

Brians was a witty and energetic teacher who not only kept his students engaged, but also helped public radio listeners better understand the intricacies of electoral politics.  

Brians had been a police officer in California, where he grew up, but after a serious back injury on the job forced him to give up police work, he got a PhD in Political Science and came to Blacksburg to teach at Virginia Tech 15 years ago.

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Draper is for Dreamers
12:54 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Draper Mercantile & Trading Company

Credit Draper Mercantile

As the slogan says, Virginia is for lovers.  
But have you heard the one that goes, “Draper is for Dreamers”?

It often happens that you can be someplace for a long time and sort of not really see it anymore.  It can take newcomers to help re-open your eyes to what’s right in front of you.  Take those abandoned buildings still standing at forgotten crossroads southwestern Virginia; whitewash fading, boarded up windows, beautiful and compelling in their decay. That’s what led Debbie Gardner and her husband Bill to purchase the Draper Mercantile, 5 years ago.

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Concentrating Solar Power
5:07 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Solar Energy for a Rainy Day

Credit Stock Image

The cost of solar panels has dropped so much in recent years that they’re becoming more common everywhere you look. But storing the energy for a rainy day has been a problem. 

Now another form of solar electricity promises to extend the reach of the sun’s energy and help make existing fossil fuel plants more sustainable.

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50 Years Later
4:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

JFK Assassination: Radford University Examines the Evidence

Credit Photo by Victor Hugo King http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_F._Kennedy_motorcade,_Dallas

A moment seared in the memories of people of a certain age is; where they were when they first heard that John F. Kennedy, the president of the United States, had been assassinated.

The shots fired at the president’s motorcade 50 years ago this week  still resonate in the public mind. And so does the belief that the murder was an act of conspiracy.  

A special seminar in Radford University’s Criminal Justice Department has students  examining original evidence from that day with the ‘20-20 hindsight’ of modern forensic techniques.

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