Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Our Summer of Food series continues with a discussion about...well, worm poop. Vermiculture is the process of using worms to decompose organic waste. Landfills make up 17 percent of the nation's methane emissions, and companies like Organix Green Industries are using vermiculture to keep organic waste out of landfills and recycle it for a variety of uses. 

Organix Green Industries is partnering with a number of local organizations and municipalities to make vermiculture and composting more mainstream and help communities reduce their food waste. CEO Jacob Fox joins us to talk about the process, the impact, and his thoughts on the future of the industry.

We take Connections on the road to WEOS in Geneva to meet the new president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Dr. Gregory Vincent began his tenure at the Colleges on Monday, and his welcome was more like a homecoming -- he's an HWS alumnus.

Vincent is a former civil rights attorney and a national expert on civil rights, free speech, social justice, and campus culture. He most recently served as the vice president for diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, where he acted as a university spokesman in the case of Fisher V. University of Texas. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the university's use of affirmative action in its admissions process.

We talk to Vincent about his time at HWS as a student and what brought him back to the campus as its president. We also discuss issues in higher education: the importance of diversity at institutions, accessibility of education, and free tuition at public colleges in New York State.


First hour: New HWS president, Gregory Vincent

Second hour: Summer of Food - Vermiculture, composting, and reducing food waste

Rochester City School Board president Van White has written a new children's book. It's called "Heroes," and it's about the everyday heroes in our lives: doctors, firefighters, caregivers. He joins us to talk about why he wrote the book and the importance of diversity and inclusion in literature.

From the Washington Redskins to the Cleveland Indians to so-called “pow-wows” at summer camps, elements of Native American history are being used for commercial gain, and many people don't realize it's offensive toward Native Americans. Is there a knowledge gap when it comes to Native American culture? How are schools teaching Native American history?

Our guests from Ganondagan say most schools need improvement when it comes to their lesson plans about Native American history, but there are a few schools doing admirable work. We talk about what they’d like to see in the classroom, and we hear local success stories. In studio:

  • Peter Jemison, historic site manager for Ganondagan
  • Michael Galban, curator and historian at the Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan
  • Katie McFarland, director of professional development for the Canandaigua City School District


First hour: How Native American history is taught in public schools

Second hour: RCSD Board President Van White and his new children’s book, Heroes

Nazareth College is getting ready to host an international symposium on how religion intersects with women and gender relations. Sex, the role of women, equality… it’s all there. The symposium will offer discussions on a wide range of topics, and we explore them with our guests:

Local nurse Theresa Bowick is known for her work launching Conkey Cruisers, a bicycling and fitness organization. Now, she's opening up about her personal story, which moves from domestic violence, anxiety, and eventually to a quest to lose weight. She’s written a play that will be in the upcoming Fringe Festival, and she’s partnering with a Hollywood actor to raise awareness about domestic violence at the local and national levels.

We talk about the work Bowick and her colleagues are doing, and about how to help victims of domestic violence in our community. Our guests:


First hour: Local nurse shares her story to raise awareness of domestic violence

Second hour: How religion intersects with women and gender relations

If you told your boss you needed a couple days off for health reasons, what would he or she say? If you mentioned you needed time off for mental health reasons, would your boss understand?

A woman in Michigan wrote an out-of-office message indicating that she'd be off for a few days to care for her mental health. The CEO of the company wrote back, thanking her for reminding everyone of the importance of using sick days for mental health. His response went viral. 

Our guests join us to talk about the value of taking mental health days, and how both employees and employers can help combat the stigma. In studio:

  • Kyle Baker, lead configuration analyst at a local engineering facility
  • Kristina Mossgraber, events coordinator and walk manager for NAMI Rochester
  • Britton Lui, vice president of people and development at Dixon Scwabl
  • Krista Berry, HR manager at Common Ground Health