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Nebbe, Charity

Published onMar 12, 2021
Nebbe, Charity

Charity Nebbe, 2016

Commissioned by University Museums and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. U2017.101

CHARITY NEBBE (BA ‘97 political science, BA English and BS biology) is a familiar voice for many Iowans as host of Iowa Public Radio’s daily “Talk of Iowa” show.

Getting her start on radio as an Iowa State student, Nebbe has hosted the popular program since returning to Iowa in 2010. She truly loves Iowa’s landscape and culture, using her passion for radio’s intimate voice to help people share and discover their own stories and connect with the past, present and future of the state.

“I grew up on an acreage near Cedar Falls,” said Nebbe, whose family includes many Cyclones. “We worked to turn what had been farmland into prairie and hardwood forest. My mother is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, so our family also worked hard taking care of orphaned and injured wild animals. I loved spending time outside in nature and was never happier than when I was playing in the creek, reading a book in a tree, or walking in the prairie.”

Nebbe said she fell in love with public radio while in high school, and was thrilled to learn that Iowa State at that time operated a public radio station on campus.

“I started working at WOI Radio in the Communications Building in 1994 as a student employee and found myself among incredibly talented and generous radio professionals,” she said. “Doug Brown, Don Forsling, Karen Bryan and Jake Graves influenced me the most. I still think of things they taught me every day.”

After a brief stint in Indiana, Nebbe returned to WOI as a full-time host and producer. She created “Chinwag Theater,” a nationally syndicated public radio show produced and co-hosted with well-known author Daniel Pinkwater in WOI studios. She spent 10 years at Michigan Public Radio in Ann Arbor before returning to Iowa a second time to host the 10 a.m. Talk of Iowa program.

Nebbe also hosts Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Ingredient,” which introduces viewers to Iowa-grown foods and Iowa chefs. The past four years, she has coached a Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa team. Girls on the Run is a character development and running program for girls. Now she is working to bring a similar program for boys to the state called Let Me Run. She is chair of the Let Me Run Eastern Iowa Corridor advisory board.

Nebbe lives on an acreage outside Iowa City with her husband, Rob Parrish (BA ’96 psychology), and their son and daughter. “We love living close to the land we love so much and spending time with our dogs, cats and chickens,” she said.

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Beate Schmittmann: Charity Nebbe represents the true spirit of a liberal arts education and Iowa State’s land-grant mission by inviting Iowans to join her daily in discovering the past, present and future of Iowa’s science and culture.

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