Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Research finds that American adults under the age of 30 are generous with their money, but more discerning than previous generations when it comes to where to give. We'll examine how to use charitable dollars wisely. Our panel includes young professionals from NextGen Rochester, a giving circle that is holding its annual showcase next week to help young workers see what their donations can do. Our guests:

  • Andrew Brady, Co-founder of Conscious Capital
  • Daphne Pariser, president/founder of Humans for Education
  • Devon Reynolds, owner of Brothers and Sisters Unisex Salon
  • Dan Schneiderman, co-chair of Maker Faire Rochester

Heath Phillips is a military sexual assault survivor who travels the country to share his story. He joined the military when he was 17. Phillips was repeatedly sexually assaulted and bullied, only to have his story dismissed by superiors. Eventually, Phillips' discharge was upgraded to honorable, after recognition of what he endured. He's a guest of Nazareth College, which is showing the film The Invisible War. The film documents cases of military sexual assault. Our guests:

  • Heath Phillips, veteran and activist
  • Chad Van Gorder, Veterans Enrollment Coordinator for Nazareth College

A new study by the Pew Research Center shows Americans over the age of 50 are worse than younger people at discerning facts from opinions. The research challenges ideas that younger people who are digitally savvy might be more susceptible to misinformation. In reality, researchers say exposure to television news – which is largely consumed by older people – is part of the issue because it sometimes blends facts and opinions.

This hour, we discuss the results of the study and explore how different types of media influence different generations of Americans. In studio:

  • Zeynep Soysal, assistant professor in philosophy at the University of Rochester
  • Ray Martino, lecturer in the School of Management at Nazareth College, and former partner at Martino Flynn
  • Quinisha Onye, expat
  • Brad Ford, senior equity compensation analyst at Constellation Brands

Starting in February, the Boy Scouts will welcome older girls into the organization and will drop the word “boy” from its namesake program. Cub Scouts began welcoming girls this past summer. So what do those changes mean for the Girl Scouts?

We hosted a discussion on this subject with representatives from the Boy Scouts in August, and now, we sit down with representatives from the Girl Scouts to hear their reactions.

We discuss the changes, what parents need to know, and what’s new with the Girl Scouts. In studio:

  • Alison Wilcox, COO of Girl Scouts of Western New York
  • Luva Alvarez, parent and volunteer in Troop 60972 of Rochester
  • Emma Nelk, Girl Scout ambassador in Troop 60843 of Pittsford

First hour: Girl Scouts discuss the Boy Scouts welcoming girls

Second hour: Exploring why younger adults are better than older adults at discerning fact from opinion

What does it take to run for office? A record number of women ran for office this year, and many were first-time candidates who were part of a grassroots movement.

This hour, our guests help us understand how to enter the political arena and gain campaign experience. They share their own experiences developing a volunteer base, financing a campaign, attracting donations, and networking. It's a preview of a forum tonight at Brue Coffee. In studio:

  • Gary Pudup, former candidate for the 134th Assembly District seat; longtime volunteer, manager, and adviser for local campaigns; and WXXI volunteer
  • Andrew Hollister, former candidate for Rochester City Council and lieutenant governor of New York State

Are there parallels between attacks on the media in the U.S. and in Mexico? How is immigration covered by journalists in the U.S. and journalists in Mexico? We discuss these questions with Javier Garza, a journalist based in northern Mexico. He covers U.S.-Mexico bilateral issues and is an adviser on journalist safety.

He's in Rochester as a guest of RIT, but first, he joins us on Connections. In studio:

  • Javier Garza, journalist based in northern Mexico who is the host of Reporte100, a contributor for El País, and an adviser on journalist safety at the World Association of Newspapers
  • Andrea Hickerson, director of the School of Communication at RIT


First hour: Journalist Javier Garza discusses immigration coverage in the U.S. and Mexico

Second hour: How to run for office

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • Susan B. Anthony's illegal vote, and sexism in the 19th century;
  • Centrism, with Congressman-elect Joe Morelle;
  • The migrant caravan heading to the southern U.S. border, with retired ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne.

Ayman Jarjour is a musician and humanitarian who is using his skills and talents to help refugees in camps around the world. He's in Rochester for a benefit performance on November 10. We sit down with him to discuss what he's learned through his work, and we'll hear from a local refugee who shares her story. In studio: