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

Why do so many of us have a negative perception about the town we grew up in? What could make that change? Studies show that negative self-image is a risk to our health. That extends to our view of our hometown or home region.

So for a moment, let's appreciate the work of Chris Clemens, who created Exploring Upstate in 2014. It's a website that highlights the beautiful, the interesting, the downright good around us. We've asked Chris to share his journey on creating the site and his view of upstate New York, warts and all.

Exploring Upstate

First hour: Exploring Upstate, and perceptions of our region

Second hour: Understanding the work of settlement houses

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:

  • Challenges faced by first-generation college students;
  • The value of mindfulness in medicine; 
  • The documentary, Real Boy, about a transgender teen;
  • This summer's total solar eclipse.

Grass-roots activism is gaining in popularity, particularly since last fall's elections. In Geneva, we meet the Geneva Women's Assembly and Tools for Social Change, which are engaged in a wide range of local and national politics. We're broadcasting live from our WEOS studio in Geneva. Our guests:

  • Hannah Dickinson, member of the Geneva Women's Assembly, and director of the Writing and Enriched Curriculum Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Jeremy Wattles, co-founder of Tools for Social Change, and associate director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark Gearan is retiring. Gearan is the former director of the Peace Corps, and we ask for his thoughts on both the Clintons, and the current political climate in this country. We also discuss the cost of higher education, and how to make it more accessible.

We're broadcasting live from our WEOS studio in Geneva.

First hour: Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark Gearan

Second hour: Grass-roots activism in Geneva

NASA says it's time to "touch the sun." In 2018, the agency will send a spacecraft close to the sun's surface. NASA says the mission could help us understand some of the mysteries involving the star: why its atmosphere is hotter than its surface; what allows it to fling winds out at supersonic speeds; and more.

Our guests walk us through the details and explain what they mean for the future of space research and travel. In studio:

  • Brian Koberlein, senior lecturer of physics at RIT, and blogger for Forbes and One Universe at a Time
  • Roger Dube, research professor and director of the Science Exploration Program at RIT


First hour: NPR's live coverage of the Comey hearing

Second hour: NASA's plan to "touch the sun"

There's a lot going on in the local autism community: The U of R has the brand-new Levine Autism Clinic. On South Avenue, there are plans for the new Golisano Autism Center. And this weekend, national experts will be in town to give talks, run workshops, and help lead a conference on autism. So what does the latest research tell us? Our guests:

  • Suzannah Iadarola, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Chris Hilton, mother, and finance and operations director for AutismUp
  • Terrie Meyn, COO of CP Rochester

This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include — a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.

We loved the recent New York Times interviews with first-generation college students, who carve their own path. This is our chance to hear the experiences of first-generation students in our area: how they made it to college; how they're faring; their biggest challenges. Our guests:

  • James Nguyen, St. John Fisher College class of 2019
  • Kimberly Statt, student at MCC
  • Bernard Rodgers, RIT class of 2017