Megan Mack

Connections Executive Producer

Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming. 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

How has the role of farmers markets changed due to the coronavirus? The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued safety guidelines for vendors and customers during the pandemic. Many customers say they feel safer buying food at outdoor markets rather than inside grocery stores. 

This hour, we talk with market managers and vendors about how their operations have changed, and how customers are responding. Our guests:

Sports Illustrated's Pete Smith is calling on prominent athletes - and their fans - to hold Barstool Sports and founder Dave Portnoy accountable for racist and misogynistic comments. Portnoy has a history of ugly statements, but argues that he's only trying to be funny. He blames critics for trying to "cancel" him.

Smith writes that this isn't about so-called "cancel culture;" instead, he says it's about drawing a line against racism and sexism at a time when social movements are showing progress. Our guests discuss it:

  • Pete Smith, editor of Sports Illustrated's Browns Digest
  • Chris Thompson, engineer, writer, comedian, and activist
  • Brittany Mollis, freelance writer and co-host of the all-female sports podcast "That's What B Said"

freeimages.com/Jennifer Marr

First hour: Discussing racism and sexism in sports blogging

Second hour: How have farmers markets changed due to the pandemic?

We’re joined by members of the United Christian Leadership Ministry to discuss police reform in America. The ministry was founded in 2010; since then, members have advocated for police accountability and policies regarding body worn cameras. Our guests share their perspectives on Rochester City Council’s recent budget vote as it relates to defunding police, and their priorities and recommendations for police reform both locally and nationally. Our guests:

  • Reverend Lewis Stewart, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry
  • Alex White, co-chair of the United Christian Leadership Ministry Community Justice Advisory Board
  • Kerry Coleman, chair of community police relations of United Christian Leadership Ministry

Monroe County’s daily COVID-19 update for Monday indicated that 17 of the 29 new confirmed cases of the virus are people between the ages of 20 and 30. The data is in line with a national trend in which, according to the New York Times, people in their 20s and 30s “are making up a growing percentage of new coronavirus cases in cities and states where the virus is now surging.” The Times goes on to report that the increases could be due to young people getting together in reopened bars and restaurants and other social settings. Are they disregarding physical distancing guidelines? Is there a lack of guidance?

This hour, our panel of 20-somethings discuss their perspective on the pandemic and how people in their demographic have reacted to it. Our guests:

  • MaKaila Heath, intern with LaLew Public Relations
  • Jace Meyer-Crosby, theatre professional
  • Danielle Oakes, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher
  • Tanner Schmidt, government affairs associate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

First hour: Local 20-somethings on young people's responses to the coronavirus

Second hour: Discussing police reform with members of United Christian Leadership Ministry

Does de-escalation training work? More police departments are engaging in this kind of training, which can help officers defuse volatile situations. It’s also billed as the kind of training that helps officers avoid becoming overheated themselves. So what is de-escalation all about?

Our guest is Brendan King, the CEO and founder of the Crisis Consultant Group. His organization trains companies, individuals, and police departments. He joins us for the hour.

Our guest:

  • Brendan King, the CEO and founder of the Crisis Consultant Group

A number of area colleges and universities have announced they plan to reopen in the fall. Their plans come with modifications to the academic calendar, online courses, and policies that address physical distancing and safety guidelines. Meanwhile, students, faculty, and parents have questions and concerns about what to anticipate.

We talk with the presidents of three local colleges about what they’re expecting for their institutions. Our guests:

St. John Fisher College

First hour: Local college presidents discuss their reopening plans for the fall

Second hour: Does de-escalation training work?

Will capitalism survive the pandemic? We talk with Raj Sisodia, author of "The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscious of Business to Help Save the World."

Sisodia is a founding member of the Conscious Capitalism movement. We talk about his work and his thoughts on the current and future state of capitalism during the pandemic. Our guests:

  • Raj Sisodia, author of "The Healing Organization," and founding member of the Conscious Capitalism movement
  • Andrew Brady, co-founder of the Rochester chapter of Conscious Capitalism, and president and chief evolutionary officer for the XLR8 Team