WXXI AM News

Megan Mack

Connections Producer

Megan Mack the producer of Connections with Evan Dawson and Unleashed: The Pet Show. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and The Olympic Zone, and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.

Megan earned her B.S. in Television-Radio-Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her B.A. in Italian Language, Literature, and Culture from the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. She is also a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program.

Ways to Connect

What makes a political ad effective? A recent ad endorsing Democrat David Brill for Congress in Arizona has gone viral. It features a series of testimonials from voters who say Brill’s opponent, Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, won’t work for his constituents. Here’s the catch: those voters are Gosar’s siblings.

The ad has garnered a lot of attention, and is one of several that has sparked conversations about how to engage voters. This hour, our panel weighs in on political ads: what works, what doesn’t, and which ads stand out and why. In studio:

  • Adrian Hale, activist, veteran, and senior manager of workforce development/economic development and education initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Don Riley, vice president of Mark IV Enterprises

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have led to renewed conversations about the #MeToo movement. President Trump recently tweeted his belief that any person who is sexually assaulted will immediately report it to authorities. That led to the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, with women across the country sharing why they chose not to talk to authorities when they were sexually assaulted or raped.

This hour, we hear from local survivors who are sharing their stories. In studio:

  • Ilhan Ali, intersectional feminist, standup comedian, and proud immigrant
  • Rachel Pazda, medical secretary and Navy veteran
  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, CEO for Willow Domestic Violence Center

First hour: Sexual assault survivors discuss #WhyIDidntReport

Second hour: What makes political ads effective?

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:

  • Dress codes and implicit bias;
  • The sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church;
  • The future of classical music;
  • Trends in the beer industry, and the craft beer scene in Rochester.

St. John Fisher College has launched a new major: students can now graduate with a degree in sustainability. The program links the campus to the community in an effort to ignite conversations about sustainability across industries.

We discuss the program, what it means to graduate with a sustainability degree, and how students can apply that knowledge after college. In studio:

  • Michael Boller, Ph.D., associate professor in biology, and director of the sustainability program at St. John Fisher College
  • Patricia Donahue, senior pollution prevention engineer, and manager of the sustainable supply chain program at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute
  • Julia Greene, St. John Fisher College graduate with a degree in psychology and a minor in sustainability
  • Evan Bourtis, senior at St. John Fisher College majoring in biology and media communications and minoring in sustainability

The leader of a local nonprofit says her group is fixing a barrier that stands in the way of meaningful criminal reforms: a data gap.

Measures for Justice President Amy Bach says America’s justice system needs better data to determine if the money spent on the system is effective in reducing crime and improving fairness. Bach joins us to discuss her research.

First hour: How data can help reform America's criminal justice system

Second hour: What does it mean to graduate with a degree in sustainability?

Award-winning author Dubravka Ugresic is in Rochester to discuss her book of essays, American Fictionary. Ugresic fled war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s for Amsterdam, and later, Middletown, Connecticut. It was in America that she says she was assaulted by Western consumerism;  “strong personalities;” and an obsession with exercise, bagels, and public confession. In her book, she describes how she sees America – especially as a woman whose country was destroyed by war.

She’s a guest of Open Letter Books, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this weekend, but first, Ugresic joins us on Connections. In studio:

What is the future of classical music in America?

The Eastman School of Music is hosting three guest scholars this weekend who will help answer that question. They join us in studio for a preview of their presentations about teaching classical music in the digital age and the challenges future music leaders will face. Our guests:

  • Robert Winter, distinguished professor of music at UCLA
  • Robert Freeman, pianist, author, former director of the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jim Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music

First hour: Discussing the future of classical music

Second hour: Author Dubravka Ugresic and her book, American Fictionary

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