Rachel Otwell

Rachel's reports focus on the arts, community, and diverse culture. She produces NPR Illinois' original program, Illinois Edition. She also hosts The Scene, which airs on Thursdays and features cultural happenings in the central Illinois region.

She's a graduate of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. While working toward that degree she spent a session covering the state legislature for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio with a focus on fracking. Rachel also holds degrees from UIS in Liberal & Integrative Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and African-American Studies. She's tutored Rwandan refugees in Ohio, volunteered at a Kenyan orphanage,  served as an activities assistant at a nursing home, and volunteered at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. 

Rachel started a career in public media in 2011 when she interned for the National Public Radio program Tell Me More with Michel Martin in Washington, DC. Her reports have also appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition, NPR's All Things Considered, NPR's Morning Edition, WorkingNow.org, and 51%.

This year at the Grammys - Chicago native Chance The Rapper took home multiple awards, including one for Best New Artist. But another Chicago based group took home its first win, though the category it took the Grammy for goes a little more under the radar.

A group of nuns in Springfield is participating in a long-term medical study. For those involved, it’s another way to serve others.

Rachel Otwell/Illinois Public Radio

Late last month, a bus carrying about 25 Texan students -- mostly Latino -- rolled into Springfield. The group was on a mission concerning the legacy of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who led many battles during the Mexican American War. Springfield is home to something that was once very close to the Mexican general, and the students say it belongs back in his home country all these decades later.

Late last month a bus carrying about 25 Texan students, mostly Latino, rolled into Springfield. The group was on a mission concerning the legacy of Santa Anna, who led many battles during the Mexican American War. Springfield is home to something that was once very close to the Mexican General, and the students say it belongs back in his home country, all these decades later.

 

Rachel Otwell

"I was shot, my car was stolen, it was not a good night." So says Kathryn Harris while explaining her attempt at being a police officer. She got in a patrol car and pulled over an officer/instructor who went through a couple of challenging scenarios, like the ones police face regularly.

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