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

When you think about the keys to good health, you probably think of diet and exercise -- but what about sleep? Scientists say getting the recommended amount of sleep is the most effective way to stay healthy. Plus, research shows that a consistent lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing diseases that can lead to early death. So, in a society that often labels sleep as unproductive, how do we create better sleep?

We talk about a range of sleep-related topics with our guests:

  • Dr. Heidi Connolly, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong
  • Beth Hoh, licensed clinical social worker at University of Rochester Medical Center, and member of URMC’s Sleep Disorders Clinic

The New York State budget is due April 1, and one of the hot topics is “Raise the Age” legislation. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that prosecute 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. For five years, the issue has divided parties in the state Senate. Those in favor of raising the age of criminal liability to 18 say youth offenders put in adult prisons are more likely to re-offend, experience mental health issues, and be physically harmed in prison. Opponents say raising the age promotes a culture of leniency regarding juvenile criminals.

We discuss both sides of the issue and the fate of “Raise the Age.” Our guests:


First hour: The "Raise the Age" debate

Second hour: How to get better sleep

Healthy, active, 46 years old: Sue Palmer thought she had a simple 24-hour bug. She wanted to stay in bed. She agreed to go to the hospital, which saved her life: Palmer was suffering from a heart disease known as "the widowmaker." Maybe you saw her story in the Washington Post; it's a reminder that heart disease can afflict anyone, at any age.

Our guests discuss a wide range of issues related to heart disease, research, and prevention. Our guests:

  • Dr. Timothy Malins, chief of medicine at Geneva General Hospital
  • Dr. Eugene Storozynsky, associate professor of cardiology at UR Medicine
  • Madison Hoadley, congenital heart disease survivor
  • Dawn Hoadley, Madison’s mother
  • Jerry Serafine, heart attack survivor and owner of Restaurant 2 Vine

Is there a shortage of teaching jobs or a shortage of teachers? The answer is both, depending on where you look.

A lack of teaching jobs or teachers varies state by state, but, on the national level, there’s a teacher shortfall fueled by a decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs and high attrition rates in schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.9 million job openings in the field by 2024.

But teaching has gotten a bad rap over the last few years. Many students — and teachers — have grown frustrated by tougher training programs, higher student-loan debt, and salaries that haven’t kept up with inflation. Nazareth College is hoping to change that perspective. The college had planned a Careers in Education Conference for area high school students, but it was canceled due to inclement weather. We discuss the issues that would have been addressed at the event, including the future of the teaching profession. Our guests:

  • Jeffrey Crane, superintendent of West Irondequoit Central School District
  • Dr. Lesli Myers, superintendent of Brockport Central School District
  • Laura Streeter, history teacher at Penfield High School, 2015 Nazareth College alumna


First hour: The future of the teaching profession

Second hour: Understanding heart disease, at any age

SUNY Geneseo just completed its fourth annual Teachers Day -- it's essentially a day to teach the teachers. High school and middle school teachers come to campus to get up to speed on the best ways to teach American history and other kinds of history. This year, teachers learned about Native American history, for example.

So are American middle and high schools teaching history effectively? Our guests:

  • Joe Cope, professor of history and director of SUNY Geneseo's Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development
  • Justin Behrend, associate professor and chair of the History Department at SUNY Geneseo
  • Sarah Prinzi, 7th grade American history and AP psychology teacher at Geneseo Central School District

Celebrate City Living is coming back to Rochester, and in our preview, we explore what "city living" means from a wide range of angles. There's home ownership: what's available? How are neighborhoods growing and changing? What does it mean for people who have lived there for decades? There's homeless prevention and poverty.

Our guests explore city living:

First hour: Celebrate City Living

Second hour: Teaching the teachers

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:

  • How the wealthiest Americans use their money, with author Chuck Collins;
  • International Women's Day, and how women of color suffer from unequal treatment in the criminal justice system;
  • The story of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku;
  • The deep emotions behind comedy.