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

First hour: Discussing the Vatican's responsum regarding same sex unions

Second hour: NPR's coverage of President Biden's news conference

The Center for Dispute Settlement has a new CEO. How will Shira May lead this organization that is designed to handle difficult disputes? The center works with students; teachers; neighbors; companies; and more. In the age of social media outrage, and public shaming, and police/community tensions, what can the center teach us about resolving our conflicts?

Guests include: 

  • Shira May, new CEO for the Center for Dispute Settlement 
  • Lynda Bell, director of training and restorative initiatives for the Center for Dispute Settlement  

We sit down with Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode and Officer Mike Furia. Officer Furia was recently praised for his interaction with a man who said he was homeless, and who officers thought was experiencing a mental health crisis. Furia brought the man to a shelter, just one day before he was shot and killed by an RPD officer.

We talk with him and the chief about responding to calls that involve mental health issues. Our guests: 

  • James VanBrederode, Gates Police Chief 
  • Mike Furia, Gates Police Officer  

First hour: The Gates Police Department on responding to calls that involve mental health issues

Second hour: Center for Dispute Settlement CEO, Shira May 

A photographer in Geneva is documenting how the city has navigated the pandemic. Photographer Jan Regan teamed up with longtime journalist Chris Lavin to tell Geneva's story through photos and essays. Their work is now available in a new book called "#porchportraits."

We talk with them about what they've learned about their city and its residents. Our guests:

  • Jan Regan, photographer, and co-author of "#porchportraits"
  • Chris Lavin, longtime journalist, co-author of "#porchportraits," and executive director of the Boys and Girls Club in Geneva

One year ago, Rochester Police encountered Daniel Prude in the early morning hours. One week later, Prude was dead. His story continues to change Rochester. We talk about the impact of his life, his death, and what is known as Daniel’s Law. Our guests:

  • Samra Brouk, New York State Senator, who introduced Daniel’s Law
  • Harry Bronson, New York State Assemblymember, who introduced Daniel’s Law
  • Serena Viktor, member of the Black Healers Network of Rochester


First hour: Remembering Daniel Prude, and discussing Daniel's Law

Second hour: "#porchportraits:" The story of Geneva through the pandemic

A new initiative aims to help local restaurant owners during the pandemic. CurAte delivers mystery dinners to customers throughout the Rochester area; the meals are made by local restaurants -- many of them minority-owned businesses. CurAte's founders say they want to help restaurants survive the pandemic, and by taking the customer work and deliveries off of their plates, restaurants can focus on making meals.

This hour, we talk about CurAte, the restaurants they've worked with, and the state of the industry during the pandemic. Our guests:

Body Mass Index, or BMI, has been strongly criticized in recent years as a health metric. Now, many states are using BMI to decide whether adults should be eligible for a COVID vaccine.

We examine the history of BMI and put it in context with the experts. Our guests:

  • Steve Cook, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Holly Russell, M.D., medical director for clinical and community-based programs the Center for Community Health & Prevention at UR Medicine, and family medicine physician at Highland Family Medicine
  • Jill Chodak, clinical dietitian with the Center for Community Health & Prevention at UR Medicine

First hour: Discussing BMI

Second hour: How CurAte aims to help local restaurants during the pandemic