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

Research shows that when they go out for a drink, Americans – especially millennials – are more likely to order wine or cocktails over beer. Why? Many consumers say wine and spirits taste better, cost less, and are healthier.

The news has the beer industry taking on new strategies to grow and maintain its customer base. Will those strategies work? This hour, we discuss if the decline in beer consumption is a trend, if beer has a marketing problem, and what the future of the alcoholic beverage industry looks like. Our guests:

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:

twitter.com/larrysharpe

First hour: Brockport education leaders launch diversity certification program

Second hour: Gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe

For the first time since 1990, someone other than Joe Morelle will represent the 136th Assembly District, and it will be Jamie Romeo.

The chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee fended off bids by Todd Grady and Jaclyn Richard, and with no Republican challenger in November, she will assume the seat on Jan. 2.

The 136th Assembly District includes Irondequoit, Brighton, and the east side of Rochester.

Supporters cheered on Romeo as soon as the race was called from Murph's Pub in Irondequoit.

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 

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