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

NPR recently released its list of the top 150 music albums by women of all time. Joni Mitchell's Blue topped the list, inspiring the Smith Opera House in Geneva to celebrate with a tribute concert. One of the themes of Blue is women's reaction to the issues of the countercultural 1960s.

We discuss those themes and debate which albums deserved higher billing with our guests:

The debate over Google's decision to fire an engineer has served as a kind of Rorschach Test. James Damore posted a memo criticizing Google's hiring practices based on race and gender. The reaction to Google's decision to fire Damore ranges from outrage -- Damore's supporters say he was only discussing basic differences between genders -- and strong approval.

We discuss the issue from a legal perspective, and from the perspective of modern feminism. Our guests:

  • Justin Cordello, employment law attorney with Cordello Law PLLC
  • Barbara LeSavoy, director of the Women and Gender Studies program at the College at Brockport


First hour: Reactions to the memo about race and gender at Google

Second hour: Themes of Joni Mitchell's Blue album, and the music of female singer-songwriters

What is the future of Catholic education? We’ve seen some schools shift and close, but the evolution of Catholic education shows some resilience. Nazareth Elementary, for example, is moving to the old Sacred Heart School. Interestingly, 70 percent of the students at Nazareth are not Catholic.

Our guests discuss modern challenges and how they’re adapting. In studio:

  • Sr. Margaret Mancuso, principal of Nazareth Elementary
  • Deborah Hanmer, parent of two children in Catholic elementary school
  • Mary Martell, principal of Holy Cross School

We continue our series of interviews with the candidates for Rochester City School Board. We discuss the candidates’ priorities, and we discuss hot issues in the election. In studio:


First hour: Candidates for Rochester City School Board, group two

Second hour: What is the future of Catholic education?

New York's SAFE Act has been hotly debated ever since it passed. Now, Republican Congressman Chris Collins has proposed SAGA, or the Second Amendment Guarantee Act. Collins says he doesn't think local or state governments should be able to supersede federal law when it comes to gun rights. 

We discuss the proposed bill and what's next for New York's SAFE Act. Our guests:

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • The impact of ride-hailing services in Rochester;
  • The Strong's proposed Neighborhood of Play on the old Inner Loop site, and the future of parking garages;
  • The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program;
  • The value of travel and cultural immersion.

The Summer of Food on Connections continues with a look at our food system, from the farmers to our plate.

Our guest is the founder of the Headwater Food Hub, which is working toward a fully sustainable local system. What would that mean? How are they supporting small farms? We find out. In studio:

  • Chris Hartman, founder of Headwater Food Hub

Only five school districts in New York State do not have full day kindergarten. Pittsford remains one of those districts, despite the efforts of teachers and administrators to convince voters. Brighton recently moved to adopt full day kindergarten.

Our guests discuss their views and educating young children:

  • Mike Pero, superintendent of the Pittsford Central School District
  • Kevin McGowan, superintendent of the Brighton Central School District