Pat Blank

All Things Considered Host

Pat Blank has been with Iowa Public Radio for 27 years. She was hired as a reporter and eventually was chosen to host Morning Edition at the Cedar Falls studios in 1986.  She has been host of All Things Considered since 1995. She is a nationally award-winning reporter who has also worked in commercial radio and television. Pat has served as a part-time instructor at Wartburg College and at the University of Northern Iowa, where she teaches journalism classes.  She is on the Board of Control for UNI’s student run radio station, KULT. She is currently serving a second term on the  Iowa Archives of Broadcasting National Advisory Board. Most recently, Pat was honored by receiving the Jack Shelley Award for Broadcast Excellence, in 2014.

Pat has a bachelor’s degree in radio-television broadcasting from the University of Northern Iowa.

Pat's favorite public radio program is This American Life.

First District Race

Oct 17, 2010

The race for Iowa’s First Congressional District pits a young lawyer from Independence against a two term incumbent from Waterloo. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank has this profile.

Sour Milk

Oct 6, 2010

On paper it looked like a wonderful opportunity…Dutch dairy farmers faced with high priced land, over production and strict regulations could move to the United States. In return, the areas in which they located would see an economic boost and a cultural enrichment. But in reality, the project in at least four states including Iowa has turned sour and no one is sure why. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports.

Joan Becker speaks out

Oct 5, 2010

In June of 2009, Joan Becker’s son Mark shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas. For several weeks this year, the Becker and Thomas families were in the spotlight as Mark went on trial and was convicted of first degree murder. Psychiatrists who testified at the trial diagnosed him with schizophrenia. Once the trial was over, Joan Becker could have disappeared from the public eye, instead she’s speaking out about mental illness. She talks with IPR’s Pat Blank

Tractor Rides

Aug 31, 2010

Organizers of The Farm Progress show underway near Boone are boasting that one the exhibits is Big Bud the World's Largest Tractor. Even so, a growing number of agriculture enthusiasts are content to remember the good old days when tractors could share the road with other vehicles. Iowa Public Radios Pat Blank reports.

Iowa Teacher of the Year

Aug 22, 2010

A teacher from the Des Moines suburb of Waukee was today named Iowa Teacher of the Year. Molly Boyle is currently teaching third grade. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank caught up with her as she left her classroom for the day.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of public meetings to determine if changes are warranted to the way the Missouri River is being used. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with the Public Affairs officer for the Corp's Omaha office, Paul Johnston who says the meetings are part of a first- ever review of the 1944 legislation that created the dams and reservoirs of the Missouri River system...

What once was Lake Delhi in Northeast Iowa today is a muddy creek after floodwater from the Maquoketa River Saturday ate a 30 foot hole in the earthen portion of a dam releasing the water much like pulling the plug on a bathtub. Jeff Conrad has a vacation home on the lake, he tells Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank that he and his family watched as the surge came and went changing the landscape forever.

Love of Iowa

Jul 22, 2010

In the recently released novel "What Cheer", the main character finds love in Iowa. Inspired by his leading man, the author, Zachary Michael Jack is now on a quest to perhaps create his own "happily ever after." Iowa Public Radio's Blank reports

Soaring labor costs in China and a strengthening Chinese currency that makes exports more expensive is being felt in Iowa. Products, especially electronic components are becoming harder to get and in some cases are slowing the progress of building projects. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with Des Moines architect Tim Hickman about how China's economy and the economic climate of other countries factors into the budget of projects here.

Bellevue parade tragedy

Jul 4, 2010

Officials in the eastern Iowa town of Bellevue are trying to sort out the events that led to one person being killed and another two dozen injuries during the annual Fourth of July parade. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank reports (IPR's Dean Borg provided audio).

Fair weather crops

Jun 28, 2010

The effects of severe weather over the weekend continue to be felt today (Tuesday) with wind damage and heavy rain in Northwest Iowa and potential flooding in Central Iowa. Thousands of acres of cropland are underwater in Western Iowa and will not be able to be salvaged, but for farmers in other parts of the state, this week’s sunshine and low humidity is a welcome break. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank talks with Iowa State University extension agronomist Mark Westgate.

Dumont evacuation

Jun 23, 2010

Governor Chet Culver has added Franklin County to a disaster empergency proclamation because of severe weather. The county was added today after powerful storms hit North Iowa with heavy rains and caused flash flooding. Residents of Butler County are also feeling the affects of the severe weather. 60 of the 600 residents of Dumont have been forced from their homes after the river that runs though their town spilled over its banks. Butler County Emergency Services Director Mitch Nordmeyer talks with Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank.


Jun 20, 2010

Nearly three thousand Iowa National Guard soldiers are preparing for a mission to Afghanistan later this summer. The Guard is also deploying members of the media to a training facility in Minnesota to help them understand some of the skills the troops must learn before they leave..Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank was one of those invited and has this report.

Sight for Soldiers

Jun 6, 2010

When nearly three thousand Iowa Army National Guard soldiers deploy to Afghanistan in August, they will be in an environment unlike anything most have experienced. They could encounter dangerous situations in which being able to see well could mean the difference between life and death. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank tells us about a program that allows the soldiers to perform tasks without the burden of contact lenses or glasses.

Dalai Lama visits UNI

May 17, 2010

Three or four Tibetan students typically study at the University of Northern Iowa each year as part of a program involving about a dozen universities.. This week not only are the students on campus, so is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama.. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports.

The Dalai Lama has accepted an invitation from the University of Northern Iowa to visit campus for a day of celebrating education and the pursuit of knowledge. That day is Tuesday May 18th. A planning committee has been hard at work since September of 2008 preparing for the visit. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with UNI's director of public safety Dave Zarfis. He says the number of law enforcement officers needed to handle the event is four times that of a Presidential visit.

The Iowa Army National Guard believes it’s deployment of nearly three thousand soldiers to Afghanistan later this summer will have an impact on nearly every community across the state, so they’re holding a series of town hall meetings to provide information and answer questions…Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank attended last night’s meeting in Waterloo.

In a White House ceremony tomorrow, President Obama will name Iowa teacher Sarah Brown Wessling of Johnston, National Teacher of the Year. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with her by phone from Washington DC.

Agri-Star Rising

Apr 21, 2010

After a long stretch of dark days, Iowa cattle farmers and residents of Postville say they have a reason to be optimistic. That’s because kosher beef production has resumed at Agri-Star Meat and Poultry. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports.

Panther Pride

Mar 16, 2010

For the first time in school history, the University of Northern Iowa men’s and women’s basketball teams are in the N-C-A-A tournament. Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank reports.

Green Iowa Americorps

Mar 15, 2010

A group known as Green Iowa Americorps (Ameri-core), paid with federal grant money, has been busy in Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls for the past 18 months working on flood recovery projects. While similar organizations have left the state, these teens and 20-somethings from all over the country are still here. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank reports this past weekend their focus was on saving energy.