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

Dueling publication weighed in recently on the question: who has been tougher on Russia, Trump or Obama?

We discuss U.S. policy in regards to Russia, and how the ongoing Mueller investigation is affecting that relationship. Our guest has many years of experience in evaluating, teaching about, and contributing to this subject:

  • Randy Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester

First hour: An update on U.S.-Russia relations

Second hour: The state of electric vehicle usage

Cornell is getting ready to host its annual Business, Enology and Viticulture Symposium. We have a conversation about the state of winemaking in a region that is dealing with everything from climate change to tightening resources.

What is the future of winemaking for the region? Our guests weigh in:

  • Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate professor of enology for Cornell AgriTech at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist with the Finger Lakes Grape Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Dave Wiemann, vineyard manager at Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake
  • Kelby Russell, head winemaker for Red Newt Cellars

How can urban design help alleviate poverty? It’s a question that informs the work of Katie Swenson, the vice president of National Design Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners in Boston. Swenson is a national leader in sustainable design for low-income communities. She and her team work with architects dedicated to social activism.

This hour, we discuss the history of urban development, its roots in segregation, and how to incorporate community planning models that emphasize dignity for all residents. Our guests:

First hour: Reshaping Rochester - How urban design can help alleviate poverty

Second hour: The state of winemaking in the Finger Lakes Region

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 the voting age should be changed to 16;
  • What it means to be Christian;
  • Modern feminism;
  • The challenges faced by LGBTQ youth who are homeless.

Black Panther is not just a box office smash; it has already become a cultural touchstone. Our panel will discuss the movie, its themes, and its impact on our society.

  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester
  • Willis Brooks, PR rep at Entercom, and actor
  • Leslie Youngblood, author of Love Like Sky
  • Mona Isler, executive assistant and staff liaison to the board at WXXI, and comedy improviser

It's a name you haven't heard, but Dave Stevenson is a "legend" in the world of interplanetary science. That's according to the U of R's own Adam Frank.

Stevenson is visiting Rochester for a series of lectures this week, and our discussion covers the very nature of how planets are formed, and where life can exist. It's particularly poignant, as human beings continue to struggle with the climate on our own planet. Is there anywhere else we could go hang out for a while?

In studio:


First hour: Planetary scientist David Stevenson

Second hour: How Black Panther became a cultural touchstone

CNN reported on voters who unknowingly hosted campaign events sponsored by Russians. One woman in Florida did not believe the FBI's evidence, and told off CNN on camera. That encounter has gone viral, prompting several questions. Among them: did the reporter harass the woman? Could the reporter have approached that encounter differently? How can we break through when so many of us are determined never to change our minds?

Our guests: