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

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First hour: Understanding ranked choice voting

Second hour: The myth of millennials and career changes

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:

  • Why refugees leave their native countries to pursue better lives in America;
  • What Rochester can learn about urbanism from cities around the world;
  • If centrism in politics is dying;
  • The making of pop hits.

Do you care if the music you listen to has meaning for the person who created it? Are you okay with music by committee? The New York Times recently told the story of one of the biggest pop hits of the summer. It’s a song called "The Middle," and it wasn’t performed by anyone who had anything to do with it. The producers sculpted this song because they thought it would sell, and it has.

Should we care about the origin of the music we hear? Our guests discuss it.

A long-running battle over the environment is over at the southern end of Seneca Lake -- at least that’s how it appears, with the New York DEC deciding against allowing a big gas project in old salt caverns. The storage project would have a been a big one, and there was a lot of grassroots opposition on a number of grounds.

This hour, we examine what the DEC decided and why. It’s not just a question of safety; there’s more to it. We’re talking about community character and why this decision might impact future decisions and how grassroots organizers do their work. Our guests:

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

First hour: Environmentalists react to the DEC's rejection of a gas storage proposal on Seneca Lake

Second hour: Discussing pop hits and the meaning behind songs

Our Summer of Food conversation examines the slow but steady increase of female chefs in American restaurants. The majority of restaurant chefs are men. Why is that?

Our guests are women who work in the industry; they share their experiences, and offer ideas for young women who want to become leaders in restaurants. In studio:

Is centrism dying in politics? The primary victory of Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez has energized Democrats who argue for a slate of significant changes, starting with single-payer health care. Many Americans self-identify as centrists, but what does that mean?

Our guests debate whether centrism has value, or is just a dodge on pursuing one's ideals. 


First hour: Is centrism in politics dying?

Second hour: Summer of Food - Discussing the gender disparity in the culinary scene

Some brands are using CGI in their advertising, and consumers can’t tell that the images are not real humans. Is that ethical? Will CGI define the future of advertising?

We talk to experts about this trend. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection between social media and the law
  • Anne Esse, creative director and change strategist
  • Dan Mulcahy, creative director for Bush Communications
  • Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

About half of the children under the age of five separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border were reunited with their parents by Tuesday’s deadline, but the Trump administration says it was not able to reunite all of the children in that age group by that time.

Local immigrants are reacting to this news and to policies set by the White House. We hear their immigration stories and what being in America means to them. In studio:

  • Akil Al-Jaysh, refugee from Iraq, U.S. citizen, refugee case manager at Catholic Family Center, and adjunct lecturer of Arabic at SUNY Geneseo
  • Tek Acharyam, refugee from Bhutan, U.S. citizen, case manager and social worker
  • Rose Tomlinson, immigrant from Jamaica, permanent resident, and small business owner
  • Lisa Hoyt, director of immigration and refugee resettlement at Catholic Family Center