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

Brighton Town Board member Robin Wilt announced last week that she was dropping out of the race for New York State Assembly due to concerns about alleged racism in Brighton. Wilt says she made the decision to focus her energies on the town after a 14-year-old Brighton High School student posted a video on YouTube that alleged systemic racism in the district. The student, Keniyah Vickers, is the daughter of Wilt’s campaign manager, Wynette Vickers.

Wilt and Vickers join us in studio for the hour.

First hour: Brighton Town Board member Robin Wilt addresses alleged racism in Brighton

Second hour: Discussing the City of Rochester's parking plan

Local leaders in education join us to share their reactions to topics we discussed with New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. In studio:

  • Van White, Rochester City School Board President
  • Adam Urbanski, Rochester Teachers Association President
  • Christopher Albrecht, fourth grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, and New York State’s Teacher of the Year

New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia was in Rochester last week to learn about cultural education opportunities available to students in our area. As part of her visit, she joined us in studio to discuss her role as commissioner and the state of education in Rochester and New York State.

We discuss her decision to hire a distinguished educator for the Rochester City School District, her thoughts on teacher evaluations and standardized testing, how poverty and education intersect, Betsy DeVos, teacher shortages, and more.


First hour: New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia

Second hour: Local education leaders react to Commissioner Elia's interview

We continue our discussions about a possible post-Roe v. Wade world. With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, pro-life advocates say they are feeling closer than ever to a victory with ending abortion. We talked to a few of them in a previous program.

This hour, we’re joined by pro-choice advocates. They share their thoughts on a post-Roe v. Wade world, and what supports they would like to see in place for women that would otherwise have had abortions. In studio:

Dr. Charles Kimball is an author and the chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He’s in Rochester as a guest of Nazareth College for a presentation titled, “When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion.”

He joins us in studio to discuss how in today’s global world, the intersection of religion and politics can have volatile consequences. He discusses those consequences, and what he thinks leaders can do to build a healthy society. In studio:


First hour: Dr. Charles Kimball on the intersection of religion, politics, and violence

Second hour: Pro-choice advocates discuss a possible post-Roe v. Wade world

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:

  • Puerto Rico, and perceptions Americans on the mainland have about Puerto Ricans and their culture;
  • Recycling, and what can and cannot go in your blue box;
  • Food culture in remote communities around the world;
  • How kids view changes in technology.

We have a discussion about how technology changes…with kids! We ask our guests about phone booths, fax machines, answering machines, and other devices that are no longer part of our everyday experience. We ask what those devices are and what they did, how they’ve been replaced, and what our guests think the future of technology looks like.

In studio:

  • Natalia Barone, incoming 7th grader at School of the Arts
  • Brielle "Breezy" Graham, 6th grader who is homeschooled
  • Calina Hernandez, incoming 8th grader at Spry Middle School
  • Ethan Moyer, incoming freshman at Brockport High School
  • Paul Moyer, professor of American history at the College at Brockport