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

The Senate's approved Department of Defense budget does not include any Special Immigrant Visas. These are not visas or exemptions for families showing up at the southern border; these are visas for interpreters who helped the United States on foreign battlefields, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Interpreters risk their lives to work with U.S. forces, hoping that the American government will bring their families to the states. That's what has happened for years, but it now appears to be changing.

The president of the Rochester chapter of No One Left Behind says she has lost sleep, thinking about what this means for families who will now be denied a new life in the United States. But many GOP leaders have said that immigration needs restriction at every level. We discuss it with our guests:

  • Ellen Smith, president of the Rochester chapter of No One Left Behind
  • Dr. Jawaid Samedy, interpreter for the U.S. Army
  • Haji Yuldah, cultural advisor for the U.S. Army
  • Araz Majeed, interpreter for the U.S. Army

We explore what insider trading is, how it generally works, and how common it is.

Congressman Chris Collins says he won't pursue reelection after being indicted, but he denies engaging in insider trading. But the FBI files are detailed, and they show what appears to be a classic case of a board member getting inside information and passing it along to family and friends, before that information becomes public.

So who gets hurt in these situation? And why are members of Congress permitted to sit on such boards? Our guests:

Congressman Chris Collins

First hour: What is insider trading?

Second hour: Discussing the impact of funding cuts for Special Immigrant Visas

The Ohio special election for Congress this week was nearly too close to call, and the final margin of votes is almost the same as the vote total for the Green Party candidate. That has prompted some Democrats to push the meme, "GREEN Party stands for Getting Republicans Elected Every November." With the midterms coming, this week's contest has reignited the rancor some Republicans and Democrats feel for so-called third-parties. But those parties are pushing back, saying that they're trying to provide viable alternatives to the two major parties. Our guests are party chairs who will discuss the debate about "spoilers." 

  • Dave Sutliff Atias, co-chair of the Green Party of Monroe County
  • Kevin Wilson, chair of the Monroe County Libertarian Party

What are 3D printed guns? Do they work? Should we be concerned that these types of weapons will bypass security? There's been a lot of talk about 3D printing and firearms. Our guests have background in 3D printing, manufacturing, and law:

  • Denis Cormier, director of RIT's AMPrint Center and a professor of industrial engineering
  • Paul Ciminelli, Second Amendment expert and attorney at Ciminelli & Ciminelli

First Hour: What are 3D printed guns? 

Second Hour: The role of third parties in elections.

The closure of Joe Bean's daily coffeehouse on University Avenue could have once spelled doom for Rochester's high-end coffee scene. Joe Bean was the first of its ilk, opening in 2011. But now there is a thriving coffee scene, whether you call it "third wave" or something else. In this Summer of Food conversation, we examine how cities need leaders to take food genres to the highest level. Whether it's coffee, cocktails, barbecue, or otherwise, quality can spread. And we'll try to create a map of existing third wave coffee options, from Rochester through the Finger Lakes. Our guests:

  • Kathy Turiano, founder of Joe Bean Coffee
  • Rory Van Grol, founder of Ugly Duck Coffee
  • Matthew Gridley, founder of Mellow Mug

Facebook and other platforms have banned Alex Jones and Infowars, most famous for their claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Jones is a huckster who has built an empire on obviously wrong conspiracy theories. But some critics say that social media companies need clear standards before banning; Twitter has decided to let Jones stay. Our guests debate the merits of bans on platforms that have become almost ubiquitous in modern life. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection of social media and the law
  • Mike Johansson, lecturer of communication at RIT

First hour: What happens when platforms ban individuals or organizations

Second hour: Summer of Food - Discussing coffee culture in Rochester

The National Comedy Center had its grand opening last week in Jamestown, and residents hope it will help revitalize the city. We’ll talk with a comedy expert about the impact of the center and the impact of comedy, and we’ll discuss the future of Jamestown.

Our guests: