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

In 2014, Roger Angell wrote a piece for the New Yorker called "This Old Man," where he explored life in his nineties. He wrote about coping with the loss of friends and family, and what it means to be relevant when you retire. He shared experiences talking with friends in their sixties where he felt invisible: “Honored, respected, even loved, but not quite worth listening to anymore. You’ve had your turn, Pops; now it’s ours.”

Our guests discuss how they are staying connected to the community after retirement, and what relevance means to them.

  • Phil Dawson, recent retiree
  • Zenia Brown, part-time receptionist for WXXI Public Broadcasting Council
  • David D’Ettore, part-time security officer for WXXI Public Broadcasting Council, and aspiring writer
  • Nancy Preston Stark, retiree and playwright
  • Deborah White, retiree

A new mentoring conference for high school students across Monroe County aims to help young men address recurring issues that impact their lives as they transition into adulthood. The “Young Men’s Symposium: No Excuses” will help students explore topics like character development, healthy relationships, responsible fatherhood, respecting women, coping with loss, and more. Research shows black male students are over-referred for disciplinary action in schools, and in the criminal justice system, black youth are 18 times more likely than white youth to be sentenced as adults.

Our guests share their experiences as mentors and mentees, how they define “manhood,” and what self-empowerment means to them in today's world. In studio:

  • Cory Johnson, founder of RocCity 48
  • Melvin Cross, pastor at Glory House International
  • Nasmere Johnson, senior at School of the Arts
  • Jose Melendez, eight grade student at Leadership Academy for Young Men 
  • Rashad Smith, public relations freelancer for small businesses and entrepreneurs

First hour: Young Men's Symposium: No Excuses

Second hour: Exploring "senior relevance"

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame is inducting its 2018 class. We talk to three of the inductees — some of the greatest musicians of all time. They discuss their process, their time working with fellow greats in music, and what it means to them to be in the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

In studio:

  • Steve Gadd, drummer of choice of Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Eric Clapton
  • Tony Levin, bassist for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson
  • John Beck, professor emeritus at the Eastman School of Music
  • Tracy Kroft, vice president-elect of the Rochester Music Hall of Fame

W.J.T. Mitchell is a writer and a professor of English and art history at the University of Chicago. He’s in Rochester as a guest of the University of Rochester, discussing his piece, "American Psychosis: Trumpism and the Nightmare of History.”

He joins us to share his perspective on the age of Trump in the context of capitalism and democracy.

First hour: W.J.T. Mitchell on "American Psychosis: Trumpism and the Nightmare of History"

Second hour: Rochester Music Hall of Fame, Class of 2018 

It’s National Poetry Month, and we're joined by local, award-winning local poets who discuss their art, how poetry can give marginalized groups a voice, and about how we teach poetry in schools.

In studio:

First hour: Special rebroadcast- Danielle Bainbridge, host of "The Origin of Everything"

Second hour: How poetry can give marginalized groups a voice

A new documentary called Photo City tells the story of Rochester’s past, present, and future as a hub for photography. It will be screened as part of the One Take Film Fest at The Little Theatre.

The filmmakers are from Ireland, and we talk to one of them about why his team chose Rochester as the subject of the film. We also hear from local photographers and filmmakers who will share their take on Rochester as a photo city. Our guests:

  • John Murphy, co-director, co-writer, and editor of Photo City
  • Arleen Thaler, socially-engaged photojournalist
  • Jack Garner, retired national film critic for Gannett Newspapers
  • Linda Moroney, filmmaker, and director and programmer for the One Take Film Festival

The Parliament of World Religions is coming to Toronto, and Rochester is hosting a pre-Parliament event today. The parliament goes back to 1893, when organizers sought to create an international dialogue about religions and interfaith issues. This year, the theme is about the promise of inclusion.

Our guests discuss it: