WXXI AM News

Megan Mack

Connections Producer

Megan Mack the producer of Connections with Evan Dawson and Unleashed: The Pet Show. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and The Olympic Zone, and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.

Megan earned her B.S. in Television-Radio-Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her B.A. in Italian Language, Literature, and Culture from the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. She is also a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program.

Ways to Connect

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:

  • Misconceptions about immigrants;
  • Suicide and mental illness;
  • What we should do when artists misbehave.

Matt Savage is not just a musical prodigy who has become an international talent; he's one of the inspiring autism stories on the arts scene.

Savage will play two shows at the opening night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival; then he's heading off on a kind of world tour.

He joins us to discuss his talent, and how to learned to cultivate it, despite growing up without much music in the house in his early childhood. Our guests:

Matt Savage is not just a musical prodigy who has become an international talent; he's one of the inspiring autism stories on the arts scene.

Savage will play two shows at the opening night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival; then he's heading off on a kind of world tour.

He joins us to discuss his talent, and how to learned to cultivate it, despite growing up without much music in the house in his early childhood. Our guests:

We sit down with a panel of conservatives who are concerned about climate change. Our panelists are people who describe themselves as being on the right side of the political spectrum. The stereotype is that progressives care about climate change; conservatives deny it. That's not true of our guests, but that doesn’t mean the solutions are easy, or easily agreed upon.

They share their ideas for what kinds of policies and ideas make sense regarding climate and conservatism. Our guests:

Savagerecords.com

First hour: The importance of bipartisanship in discussing climate change solutions

Second hour: Jazz pianist Matt Savage

It’s a “singing intervention!” Do you want to sing, but feel nervous or dislike the sound of your voice? Did you play and instrument as a child, but haven’t picked it up in years?

Today is Make Music Day, so we spend the hour celebrating music in all its forms, including the human voice. We also discuss the science behind singing, and how it can change your brain. Our guests:

Local activists, members of the faith community, and law enforcement officers are working together to improve police-community relations in the Greater Rochester area. Last weekend, the fourth annual Police Relations Summit covered a range of issues, including police use of force, body cameras, plea bargaining, implicit bias and more.

We sit down with leaders who attended the summit to discuss what they learned and what they hope to accomplish. In studio:

photo courtesy of Teen Empowerment

First hour: Discussing police-community relations

Second hour: Make Music Day sparks a "singing intervention"

The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have sparked concern among mental health advocates, who note that celebrity suicides can have a copycat impact on the general population.

Our guests discuss suicide from a range of angles, including the impact of loss on surviving family. In studio:

  • Bill Perun, suicide attempt survivor, past president of NAMI Rochester, vice president of NAMI NYS, member of the NAMI National Peer Council, and certified Peer Specialist for the New York Office of Mental Health
  • Carrie Andrews, survivor of suicide loss
  • Dr. Joe Vasile, M.D., psychiatrist, and president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association (GRIPA)
  • Megan Clifford, LCSW-R, certified Mental Health First Aid instructor

The Hilton Central School District is considering arming retired law enforcement officers to work security. It's a proposal that has caused debate among parents; some argue that bringing more guns in to schools is inherently unsafe, while others feel that trained former officers are capable of handling firearms in a secure manner.

We discuss the proposal with people on different sides of the issue. Our guests:

  • Casey Kosiorek, superintendent of the Hilton Central School District
  • Dave Inzana, director of safety and security for the Hilton Central School District
  • Stephanie Bedenbaugh, parent and leader with the Rochester chapter of Moms Demand Action
  • Kelly Lincoln, parent, member of Progressive Parents of Hilton, and licensed clinical social worker

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