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

We discuss the current state of the Libertarian Party, especially as we head into the midterms. The Libertarian Party had high hopes for the 2016 election season, but things seemed to collapse, at least at the polls. What happened? And what does the party need to do — at a local and national level — to build more support?

We’re joined by local libertarians:

  • Kevin Wilson, chair of the Monroe County Libertarian Party
  • Phil Ricci, founding chair of the Genesee County Libertarian Party
  • Lauren Hall, assistant professor of political science at RIT

Experts say Lyme disease is spreading, and as we’ve learned, so has to the controversy surrounding it. Mainstream medicine rejects the idea of chronic Lyme disease, and some doctors who speak out against it are harassed or even threatened. But patients who say they have chronic Lyme disease emphasize the treatment they’ve received from “Lyme literate” doctors helps.

So what does the science say? And how can humans protect themselves and their pets from Lyme disease? Our panel discusses it. Our guests:

  • Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, M.D., professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at URMC
  • Dr. Jackie Walker, DVM, veterinarian and Churchville Veterinary Hospital
  • Marcie Kreydt, Lyme disease patient, and Southern Tier regional director for Camp Good Days in Special Times

If you've ever wanted to publish a book, an upcoming conference hopes to help you move from concept to print. Writers & Books' upcoming Ladder Literary Conference will focus on four rungs of the publishing ladder: writing, editing, connecting, and publishing.

Our guests help us preview the conference and answer your questions. Our guests:

  • Kyle Semmel, executive director of Writers & Books
  • Tokeya Graham, writer, and professor of English and philosophy at Monroe Community College
  • Mark Costello, attorney in entertainment law with Boylan Code LLP
  • Amy Bishop, literary agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

What can small, grassroots groups do to stand up to corporate interests, especially when it comes to environmental issues? Fred Tutman is the riverkeeper and CEO of the Patuxent Riverkeeper organization. It's a nonprofit whose mission is to conserve, protect, and replenish the Patuxent river basin. Tutman calls himself a "grassroots troublemaker:" his work focuses on protecting the river from corporate pollution, and helping smaller, nonprofit groups ban together to fight corporate interests.

He'll be in Rochester next week as a guest of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, but first, he joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Fred Tutman, riverkeeper and CEO for the Patuxent Riverkeeper
  • Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Dorian Hall, member of the PLEX neighborhood


First hour: Fred Tutman on how grassroots organizations can compete with corporate interests

Second hour: Previewing Writers & Books' Ladder Literary Conference


First hour: Special rebroadcast: Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier

Second hour: PRX special: We've Never Been the Same: A War Story

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:

  • How to teach children and teenagers about healthy relationships;
  • Language and dehumanization;
  • The remarkable story of DJ Savarese, a non-speaking man with autism;
  • Whether it's time to abolish the British monarchy.

We continue our series of interviews with the candidates running to fill the Congressional seat of the late Louise Slaughter. This hour, we’re joined by Assemblyman Joe Morelle.

"By age 35, you should….” That phrase is at the center of a debate about what’s realistic for millennials when it comes to everything from financial security to the kinds of forks they have in their kitchen drawers. All kidding aside, the meme has gone viral, especially the one the states, “By age 35, you should have twice your salary saved.” Is that realistic for millennials?

In the midst of that debate, the story of a Syracuse-area man has also gone viral. A judge has sided with the parents of Michael Rotondo, a 30 year old who has been living in their home for years, rent free. Rotondo’s parents took him to court after he refused to move out. Critics say by living with his parents and not looking for a job, Rotondo characterizes the “typical millennial.” Is that fair?

This hour, we discuss these stories, the financial landscape for millennials, and whether or not these perceptions ring true. In studio:

  • Sarah Jones, PR account executive with Dixon Schwabl
  • Matt Wagstaff, manager of new sales channels at BCBS
  • Chuck Wade, vice president and financial advisor for Brighton Securities

First hour: "By age 35, you should..."

Second hour: 25th Congressional District candidate Joe Morelle