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

Higher education is becoming a major economic driver in many areas, including here in Rochester, where the University of Rochester is now the largest employer (remember when Kodak was?). So what does this mean for economic growth across the country? What roles do higher education institutions play in communities. We discuss this with our guest, Laura Anglin, president of the Independent Commission on Colleges and Universities. 

Divorce rates have declined in Rochester, and if you dig deeper into the stats, you’ll see that men and women are waiting longer to get married. We’ll dig into the stats with Edward McClenathan of Tully Rinckey, PLLC.

Then we talk with Pam Sherman about the next event in the Jewish Book Festival featuring author Gail Sheehy. A former writer for the Democrat & Chronicle, Sheehy has published her memoir, Daring, which goes into her writing career, chronicling the sometimes dangerous situations she face while covering important stories. 

We start the hour talking with WXXI Morning Edition Host Beth Adams, who is also the host of Unleashed: The Pet Show, that airs tomorrow at Noon. We’ll preview the pilot episode and discuss how you can give feedback about the show.

Then we turn our focus to education. The Fairport School District is hosting a forum on education to bring awareness to the changes that have been made in the education curriculum and the effects it has on teachers and students. We’ll dive more into this with two teachers, John Banes from Fairport and Emmy Thevanesan from Spencerport.

Then we tackle the question, “Why Teach?”. That’s the title of a program that Warner School of Education will host on Saturday. Joanne Larson from the Warner School will give us a glimpse of what the program will cover on Saturday.

The job of our guest, Fred Guterl, is to think about all the ways the human race is risking its own future. His book, The Fate of the Species, is a blunt, sometimes horrifying look at our future. From climate change to AI to superbugs to nuclear war, Guterl examines how likely it is that our race will be wiped out. So cheer up! Fred's a University of Rochester graduate who is now the executive editor of Scientific American. He's in town to deliver an address on this subject.

The Oscars of the culinary world are the James Beard Awards, and for the first time, a Rochester chef is nominated in the category of Best Chef Northeast. This is a remarkable achievement; most of the time, Beard winners come from big cities with more recognized dining scenes. We'll talk about the restaurant scene in Rochester, and how our guest, Lento's Art Rogers, helped change the entire approach to presenting food in western New York. 

EstroFest returns for the first time since 2012. The all-female comedy troupe is adding an edge this year: a "truth talk" sketch that might not be as funny, but will aim to address relevant social issues. Does truth work in comedy? What does the Estro team have planned? They're all on the program to tell us:

  • Dresden Engle
  • Andrea Holland
  • Norma Holland
  • Allison Roberts
  • Freyda Schneider

The Community Design Center of Rochester continues its "Reshaping Rochester Series" with a look at "Re-Greening the Living City." But how? They're bringing in Lee Quill to explain. Quill is an architect from Washington, DC who specializes in urban design, master planning, and green space. He was heavily involved in DC's big urban transit-oriented development plan, and is our guest this hour along with Joni Monroe and Roger Brown from tthe center.

Last week, a cardiologist on the show remarked that even though studies show going vegan can help cut childhood obesity, he didn't think that was a realistic option. Is he right? The local vegan society was not pleased with what they heard from the doctor on Connections. This is their rebuttal: it includes a look at nutritional guidelines, as well as new higher end dining options in Rochester. But what about socioeconomics? What about kids in poverty? We'll hit that, too. 

Our guests:

We preview a community forum that will focus on alternatives to incarceration for children. The title is "Schools to Prison," and will build on themes from a book called "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness". Our guests are: Ed Minardo, RIT and Brockport professorElaine Spaull, executive director for The Center For Youth Services

We sit down with Joe Morelle, the majority leader of the State Assembly, and discuss the issues around the Sheldon Silver incidents (including the indictment that came down during the program), who may be the next assembly speaker after he pulled himself out of contention, and the status of the Democratic party in Monroe County.