Ongoing Coverage:

Rob Dillard

Correspondent

Rob Dillard is a Des Moines based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio. He joined IPR in 2001 as host of Morning Edition and moved to reporting in 2007.  He has been on special assignment for IPR since early 2011 reporting the ongoing series “Being in Iowa.” It has taken him around the state shining light on small segments of the population, including Muslims, military veterans, Latinos and the physically disabled. The series has won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA).

Rob has extensive experience in radio, newspaper and media relations dating back more than 30 years. He has also taught news writing at Central College in Pella. Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications at the University of Iowa.

Rob’s favorite public radio program is Morning Edition.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Being in Iowa: Hindus

It took Indian artisans three years to carve the figures that cover the Hindu Temple south of Madrid

The Hindu Temple south of Madrid is an eye-catching structure with plaster images of animals and deities carved all over the outside surfaces. It’s where 500 families pray to the God they call Brahman, which they say is found in everything.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Being in Iowa: Atheists

Controversy followed an advertising campaign sponsored by Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers

It’s impossible to put an exact number on how many people in the state describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. Many of them prefer to stay quiet about it. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Rob Dillard asked several Iowans who do not believe in a supernatural power about where they stand in a society that generally thinks religion is a good thing.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Being in Iowa: Sikhs

Sikh men wear their hair unshorn with long beards and turbans

Iowa Public Radio is looking at how different groups of Iowans connect with God. Today, we examine the beliefs held within a 500-year old religion established in the Punjab region of northwest India and northeast Pakistan. In Punjabi it’s pronounced Sikhism (SICK-ism). Over the years, it’s been Anglicized to Sikhism (SEEK-ism). The practitioners at a Temple in West Des Moines pronounced it both ways.

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Being in Iowa: Mormons

Mormons say the Book of Mormon is a companion to the Bible.

With a devout Mormon running for president, pundits have labeled this period “the Mormon moment.” But polls indicate half the American public admits to knowing very little or nothing about the religion. Rob met with some practicing Mormons in Iowa City to understand more about their faith.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Burmese

Myanmar is bordered by China, India and Thailand

Nearly every transplant to Iowa from Southeast Asia who we’ve met this week has been in the state for a number of years. Iowa has a long history of welcoming them. That’s partially why refugees from that corner of the world continue to arrive. The latest are from the country now known as Myanmar. But it’s almost impossible to lump these new arrivals into a single group of refugees.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Integration

In part four of our series “Being Southeast Asian in Iowa.”  we explore what it takes to integrate into a place where the people speak a different language and practice different customs. Is it possible to maintain the traditions from back home and embrace the American way of doing things?

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Being In Iowa: Southeast Asians: Culture

Thousands of Southeast Asians left behind the familiar culture of their homeland for a fresh start in Iowa. Although they’re now living on the opposite side of the world from their birthplace, these immigrants strive to maintain the traditions of their native countries. Correspondent Rob Dillard explains the lengths to which they go to bring a touch of Southeast Asia to the American Midwest.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Boat People

The "boat people" of Vietnam risked everything to escape Communist control

A few years after former Governor Robert Ray found a home in Iowa for the Tai Dam refugees of Laos, he did the same thing for another group who was seeking sanctuary. These were the “boat people”, most of them from Vietnam, who risked everything on the high seas to escape communism.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Being in Iowa: Southeast Asian: Tai Dam

The proposed Tai Village in Des Moines

The number of Southeast Asians in Iowa received a boost almost 40 years ago, when about 1,200 refugees who were fleeing the Communist takeover of Laos and Vietnam were allowed to resettle here. Their saga of escape from war and persecution is part of a bigger story about a compassionate governor and a state’s citizens, who opened their hearts to a batch of new residents.

Education
1:45 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Being Learning Disabled in Iowa: Adults

Today, Iowa Public Radio concludes its week-long series “Being Learning Disabled in Iowa.” Over the past four days, correspondent Rob Dillard has been looking into the difficulties people with specific learning disabilities have while moving through the lower grades, into high school and on to college. Now, Rob tells us about the adjustments these people must continue to make throughout their lifetimes in order to function with a disorder that never completely disappears.

Education
5:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Being Learning Disabled in Iowa: College

Iowa Public Radio is presenting Part Four in its week-long series “Being Learning Disabled in Iowa.” Yesterday we heard about the challenges faced by young students when it first becomes apparent they are having difficulties learning to read and write. Today, reporter Rob Dillard explores the struggles they may encounter in higher education, and the accommodations some colleges are making.

Education
8:23 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Being Learning Disabled in Iowa: Early Intervention

It’s estimated between six and seven percent of Iowa’s K-through-12 students have specific learning disabilities. This minority of kids are often separated from their classmates, and labeled as different. In part three of our series, we look at how this impacts the psyche of these students.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

Education
6:13 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Being Learning Disabled in Iowa: Treatment

A variety of teaching approaches are employed to help people who have trouble reading, writing or comprehending. Some of the pioneering research in the field took place at the University of Iowa.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

Education
7:07 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Being Learning Disabled in Iowa: Diagnosing Learning Disabilities

It’s estimated as many as one in five Americans experience some form of specific learning disability. Identifying who these people are, however, is not a precise science.

It took years before Jefferson-Scranton High School senior Mary Larson and her parents figured out why she couldn’t read. She depended on her father to read her grade school textbooks out loud. By fifth grade, she still showed no signs of grasping the meaning of written words.

“I went to Iowa City hospital and they had a professional test me, I had to do some reading tests, comprehension.”

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Education
5:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa: College

Iowa Public Radio concludes its week-long series “Being Home Schooled in Iowa” today with a look at the transition from home schooling to college. More students on Iowa’s campuses are entering a traditional classroom for the first time after being taught primarily by their parents. How smoothly do they make that move? What do professors see in students who were home schooled? And how do admission offices evaluate applicants who have never been given a letter grade? Reporter Rob Dillard went looking for answers to these questions.

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Education
12:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa: Assistance

All this week, Iowa Public Radio has been bringing you a series of stories about home schooled students. We’ve met several parents who have chosen to take charge of their children’s education for a variety of reasons. Occasionally, they seek help, especially as their kids get older. In today’s story, reporter Rob Dillard tells us that many of them turn to publicly supported Home School Assistance Programs.

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Education
5:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa: Secular Reasons

Today, we continue our week-long series “Being Home Schooled in Iowa.” As we heard in yesterday’s segment, a significant number of parents who decide to home school do so to follow their religious convictions. But Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard has discovered there are many reasons families choose to keep their children out of public and private schools.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

Being Home Schooled in Iowa:Secular
11:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Being Home Schooled in Iowa:Secular

Education
5:30 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa: Religious Reasons

More than a third of families who home school nationwide do it for religious purposes. That’s by far the Number One reason for keeping kids out of public or private schools. These parents say they want to be in charge of building the moral character of their children, and not leave it to teachers or peer groups. Reporter Rob Dillard looks into the significance of faith in home education.

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Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Religious
11:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Religious

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Religious
11:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Religious

Education
5:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Being Homeschooled in Iowa: Homeschooling legislation

Iowa Public Radio returns today to its ongoing series, “Being in Iowa.” This week, reporter Rob Dillard asks what does it mean to be home schooled in the state? He begins our series by examining the law that applies to home schools.

Being in Iowa is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and Alliant Energy.

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Law
11:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Law

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Law
11:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Being Home Schooled in Iowa: Law

River to River
1:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Being Gay in Iowa

All this week we've been hearing what it's like to come out to family and friends, or deal with bullying as part of "Being Gay in Iowa." Host Ben Kieffer talks with four Iowans who share their experiences with these issues and more... from running for political office as an openly gay candidate, to being put in the spotlight as part of the battle over same sex marriage.  Guests include Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools; Sharon Malheiro, Chair of One Iowa; Kate Varnum, plaintiff in Varnum v.

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