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

What happens when we blend politics, journalism, and entertainment? In one sense, we get appearances like Sean Spicer at the Emmys this past weekend. We also see such blending at Geva's Summer Curtain Call, and the White House Correspondents' Dinner in years past.

But the Spicer appearance sparked some backlash amongst those who say it waves away the serious problem of lying for an administration; people who are more vulnerable aren't laughing at Spicer's star turn. So where is the line? Our guests:

The videos have gone viral: people punching Nazis in the streets. The latest involved a man in Seattle, wearing a Swastika armband. He takes a punch so violent that he is knocked unconscious and loses a tooth.

While it might be tempting to laugh or share these videos, even people like Noam Chomsky warn that it's not a good idea to punch anyone -- Nazis included. There are still ideological debates to win, they say. Our guests:

NPR/Dan Steinberg/Invision for the Television Academy

First hour: The debate over punching Nazis

Second hour: What happens when we blend politics, journalism, and entertainment?

What happens when doctors and nurses get overwhelmed? Every day, clinicians provide treatment for patients with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. Being exposed to human suffering and having to face ethical challenges leaves many providers distressed, and sometimes, burned out. A Mayo Clinic study reported that in 2014, more than half of U.S. physicians experience at least one symptom of burnout, leading clinician burnout to be labeled as a public health crisis.

What does this mean for you when you visit the doctor or schedule a surgery? And what are the implications for the healthcare system as a whole? An upcoming presentation at the Rochester Academy of Medicine will explore clinician burnout, and offer strategies to prevent and mitigate it. We preview that presentation and answer your questions with our guests:

City Council in Rochester had a number of new faces running for seats this year, but they didn’t all win the Democratic primary. What happens when you take that jump for the first time and it doesn’t work out? Do you stay involved? Do you run again?

We talk to some of them about their experiences as first-time candidates, and what’s next. Our guests:

  • Mary Lupien
  • Shawn Dunwoody
  • Dorian Hall
  • Tom Hasman

NPR/Sam Edwards/Getty Images/Caiaimage

First hour: What’s next for first-time City Council candidates who didn’t win the primary?

Second hour: The impact of clinician burnout

When college students go abroad, they spend weeks, months, or even a year assimilating into a different culture. So how can they integrate those global experiences into their daily lives when they return home?

That's the focus of an upcoming conference at SUNY Geneseo called ROC Your Global Future. We talk to conference organizers and returning students about how they can apply their international perspectives to our community and their educational goals. In studio:

  • Sam Cardamone, conference organizer and associate director of study abroad and international programs at SUNY Geneseo
  • Heidi Kozireski, senior education abroad counselor and faculty led program coordinator at the University of Rochester Center for Education Abroad
  • Allison Maier, student at SUNY Geneseo who studied abroad in Greece and Ireland
  • Jacqueline Tran, student at the University of Rochester who studied abroad in Morocco

Parents of hundreds of children with special needs in New York State say their kids are not receiving the services they need. A recent report in the Democrat & Chronicle stated that in the 2016-2017 school year "nearly 400 3- and 4-year-olds in Monroe County were not evaluated for developmental delays within 60 days of their referral as required by law, according to local school district records.” The delay in referrals puts children at a developmental disadvantage, and at risk for needing costlier services in the future.

Local providers say the state’s reimbursement process is to blame: providers receive tardy and inadequate funding. Democrat & Chronicle reporter Justin Murphy explored this issue. He joins us in studio, and we’ll hear from local parents about the challenges they face. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Sharon Peck, parent
  • Pat Graff, director of special education at Rochester Childfirst Network
  • Cathy Rasmussen, director of York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute, and associate dean of compliance and clinical affairs at the School of Health and Human Services at Nazareth College
  • Robin Hooper, early education director for the Rochester City School District

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.

FREEIMAGES.COM/ANISSA THOMPSON

First hour: The impact of New York State's special education crisis

Second hour: How students can apply lessons learned from studying abroad

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:

  • If Rochester could be home to Amazon's second headquarters;
  • The Iran nuclear deal, with Ambassador Thomas Pickering; 
  • The Attica prison uprising;
  • Poverty, with actress Andie MacDowell.

Pages