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

The Children’s Agenda recently released a new report that shows there’s a growing shortage of affordable and available child care services, both locally and nationally. According to the report, Rochester has seen improvements in the availability of child care for children in pre-K, but options for infants and toddlers are increasingly difficult to find. The Children’s Agenda is calling on local, state, and federal partners to invest more in the child care system and in providers.

This hour, we discuss the report and The Children’s Agenda’s priorities. We also hear from providers and from parents who share the challenges they’ve faced finding child care. In studio:

Amy Bach, president and executive director of Measures for Justice, returns to Connections. Bach is a Rochester native whose work is aimed at facilitating fairness in the criminal justice system through data-driven initiatives.

She’ll be giving a public presentation at the Harley School, but first, she joins us to discuss updates with Measures for Justice, legislative action in various states, and her thoughts on bail reform in New York. In studio:

  • Amy Bach, president and executive director of Measures for Justice

https://measuresforjustice.org/about/team/?person=amy-bach

First hour: Discussing updates in criminal justice reform with Amy Bach from Measures for Justice

Second hour: How a shortage of child care services is impacting local families

ANNETTE ELIZABETH ALLEN / NPR

Connections is preempted Wednesday as WXXI News brings you live coverage of the House of Representatives' debate and vote to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. 

Inside Higher Ed reports that more institutions now have chief diversity officers than ever before. But what do those positions entail? How do colleges and universities make decisions about the roles and responsibilities of diversity offices, and how do they measure results when it comes to creating more diverse and inclusive campus communities?

This hour, we’re joined by local chief diversity officers who share how their institutions are providing structural responses to cultural issues. In studio:

  • Cephas Archie, chief diversity officer at the College at Brockport
  • Calvin Gantt, chief diversity officer at Monroe Community College
  • Keith Jenkins, vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion at RIT
  • Diane Ariza, vice president for community and belonging at Nazareth College

We're joined by RIT professor Sarah Burns, who has written a new book called "The Politics of War Powers." She argues that the U.S. Constitution creates an invitation to struggle between the legislative and executive branches of government, but the president has little checks and balances when it comes to how he uses the U.S. military.

She joins us to discuss her research, and how it relates to recent events in Iran. In studio:

  • Sarah Burns, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at RIT, and author of “The Politics of War Powers: The Theory and History of Presidential Unilateralism”

First hour: Author Sarah Burns on her book, "The Politics of War Powers"

Second hour: Exploring the role of chief diversity officers on college and university campuses

The team from “This Old House” is coming to Rochester. The show is celebrating its 40th season with a special event at the Hochstein School Monday night. We talk to host Kevin O’Connor and carpenter Nathan Gilbert about the show’s success, trends in the home improvement industry, and more.

Then, we sit down with local contractors and architects who answer our questions and yours. Our guests:

CITY Newspaper editor David Andreatta’s recent op-ed, “New York’s high-speed rail fail,” has reignited the local debate over high-speed rail in the state.

Last week during his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his proposal to develop a strategy to build high-speed rail in New York. The plan will include a panel of outside experts that will re-examine previous designs for the Empire Corridor. Cuomo has argued that high-speed rail service can transform economies.

In his piece, Andreatta asks if the state can support it. He points to academic studies that show mixed results, and a lack of foot traffic at Rochester’s train station, which can’t support a coffee shop or other retail options. But local urbanists are pushing back, saying the issue is more nuanced and the region has the potential to transform mass transit. Our guests debate the future of high-speed rail in New York. In studio:

Jacob Walsh / CITY Newspaper

First hour: Can New York State support high-speed rail service?

Second hour: The cast of "This Old House" celebrates 40 seasons and discusses home improvement trends

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