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

The Catholic Church is struggling with more allegations of sexual abuse and a widening scandal. Some Catholic writers have called it a civil war within the church.

So how can the church heal? Will members stay throughout the storm? Our guests weigh in:

  • Timothy Thibodeau, Ph.D., professor of history at Nazareth College
  • Nora Bradbury-Haehl, author, interfaith youth worker, and Catholic writer
  • Nancy Rourke, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and theology at Canisius College, and former director of the College’s Catholic Studies program

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First hour: Is there a civil war within the Catholic church?

Second hour: Why more Americans are choosing wine and spirits over beer

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:

  • One family's experience with institutional racism;
  • How police-community relations can change;
  • How new words are added to the dictionary.

On the heels of primary night, we continue our conversations about New York State politics. Larry Sharpe, the libertarian candidate for governor, is in Rochester for a series of events.

Sharpe has been outspoken on a number of issues, including his pledge to repeal the SAFE Act and to push major reforms in the state education system. He joins us in studio for the hour to answer our questions and yours.

The College at Brockport is rolling out a new program alongside the Brockport Central School District, and it comes with a message: understanding how to teach and live in diverse communities is not limited to urban areas. In the past several years, Brockport has seen incidents involving students or families that featured racist, sexist, or homophobic comments. At both the high school and college level, Brockport leaders want to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities.

The college is working with the public school district to offer a new diversity certification program. This hour, we learn what the program will offer, how it’s structured, and we discuss its goals. Our guests:


First hour: Brockport education leaders launch diversity certification program

Second hour: Gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe

We discuss workforce development in Rochester and the Finger Lakes. A local program has been highlighted by a statewide non-profit for its efforts to help young people gain valuable skills.

We discuss the Green Visions program at Greentopia and the state of workforce development in our area. In studio:

  • Morgan Barry, director of the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • Tiani Jennings, site manager for the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • David Miller, graduate of the Green Visions program at Greentopia
  • John Premo, director of community and business services for RochesterWorks
  • Bob Trouskie, director of field services for the Workforce Development Institute

With the start of the school year, we have a conversation standardized testing. Daniel Koretz is the author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better." He joins us to discuss why he thinks standardized testing has negative impacts on student learning.

Our guests:

  • Daniel Koretz, professor of education at Harvard University who teaches educational measurement, and author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better"
  • Dan Drmacich, coordinator for the Rochester Coalition for Public Education, and retired principal 
  • Eileen Graham, homeschooling parent  
  • Henry Padron, retired teacher in the Rochester City School District 

First hour: Author Daniel Koretz and his book, "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better" 

Second hour: The state of workforce development in Rochester and the Finger Lakes

Local activist Miriam Zinter recently posted a Twitter thread about her family's personal struggle with institutional racism. The thread went viral.

Zinter joins us to share the challenges her father faced in the fields of education, the military, employment, housing, and more. We also discuss how and why recognizing and understanding institutional racism can lead to policy change.