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


First hour: Should we psychoanalyze people from afar?

Second hour: RABJ's "Rochester Legends"

NASA researchers recently announced that they've discovered the future home of Earthlings, after climate change leaves this planet uninhabitable. Okay, not exactly, but it's a tantalizing discovery: a star system not too far away with seven Earth-like planets.

Should we be looking to the stars for future homes? Could we ever get to this star system in a human lifetime? The RIT Science Exploration students are learning to predict what type of life might appear on exoplanets -- if there's life there at all. Our guests:

  • Brian Koberlein, senior lecturer of physics at RIT
  • Roger Dube, research professor and director of the Science Exploration Program at RIT


First hour: Despite anti-globalization sentiment, study abroad numbers are surging

Second hour: Examining the fascinating discovery of the Trappist-1 exoplanets

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 Persian holiday Nowruz, and the latest travel ban from Donald Trump's administration;
  • The Raise the Age campaign;
  • Teaching the teachers at SUNY Geneseo;
  • The Fast Forward Film Festival;
  • Former WXXI host Bob Smith's life and legacy.

We preview the return of the PBS show, Home Fires, with a discussion about how World War II impacted families and individual communities. We listen to some music from the time, hear about local history, and a World War II veteran shares his story. Our guests:

  • Peter DuPre, World War II veteran
  • Dr. Carolyn Vacca, Monroe County historian and associate professor and chair of the History Department at St. John Fisher College
  • Michael Lasser, host of WXXI’s “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”
  • Danielle Abramson Swartz, WXXI's director of station events and special projects

Former WXXI host Bob Smith passed away Friday morning at the age of 63. Bob was the original host of WXXI’s midday talk show, 1370 Connection, for more than 25 years. 

Every day, Bob led community-driven conversations on everything from education and the environment, to music, dance, arts, and culture. During his career, he interviewed a number of newsmakers and opinion leaders, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rudolph Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, Diane Rehm, Susan Stamberg, Dave Brubeck, and B.B. King.

This hour, we remember Bob's life and work, and reflect on his enduring legacy.

First hour: A tribute to Bob Smith

Second hour: Previewing the return of PBS' Home Fires

The annual Fast Forward Film Festival is coming, bringing an environmental bent to short films. We've had a chance to watch the films, and our guests explain how they use film to explore questions about climate, art, nature, and more. Our guests:

  • Andy Stern, founder of the Fast Forward Film Festival, and co-founder and executive director of The Lost Bird Project
  • Ben Doran, RIT student and  filmmaker of Log.txt
  • Mary Moore, homeschooled senior and filmmaker of The Decay
  • Eleanore Barrera, senior at Our Lady of Mercy High School and filmmaker of The Decay

The White House's latest travel ban was thrown out by a federal judge on Wednesday. But countries on President Trump's list have already floated the idea of "reciprocal bans." What would that mean?

Our guests touch on the recent news, but they also discuss Nowruz -- the Persian New Year. We talk about the cultural meaning of what it is, along with misconceptions. Our guests:

  • Shahin Monshipour, Iranian American anthropologist who teaches sociology and cultural anthropology at RIT
  • Zari Kamarei, director of the Carlson Science & Engineering Library at the University of Rochester
  • Robert Dunbar, visiting instructor in the Department of Religious Studies at St. John Fisher College


First hour: The latest on President Trump's immigration ban; celebrating Persian New Year

Second hour: Fast Forward Film Festival raises awareness of environmental problems