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

First hour: Could artificial intelligence help us or destroy us?

Second hour: Exploring phenomenon-based learning

Are you missing a portrait of an ancestor? Or maybe a dulcimer? How about a colonial South American bookstand? They might be at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG)! More than 600 mystery items are waiting to be claimed at the MAG. They aren’t part of the museum’s collection and the MAG’s curators don’t know how they ended up there, despite years of analysis. So now, the MAG is asking for your help, and it’s invoking a new state law that helps museums manage undocumented items.

We talk about a handful of those items, we explore their possible origins, and we’ll discuss what could happen to them next. Our sleuths in studio: 

  • Jess Marten, curator in charge, and curator of American art at the Memorial Art Gallery
  • Kerry Schauber, curatorial research assistant at the Memorial Art Gallery
  • Nancy Norwood, curator of European art at the Memorial Art Gallery

Let’s face it: millennials sometimes get a bad rap — they’re often called selfish, entitled, or apathetic. But many people argue that this negative reputation is unfair and untrue, especially when it comes to philanthropy.

Generation Y is changing the game when it comes to giving money, expertise, and time. According to researchers, millennials are more committed to volunteering than young people a generation ago. They are also more likely to give to social causes, rather than organizations.

This hour, we break down the stigma millennials face, and we explore their motivations for giving. Our guests:

First hour: Millennials and philanthropy

Second hour: Mystery items at the Memorial Art Gallery

We continue an annual Connections tradition by talking to members of the Rochester community about their favorite books of the year. We hear about a range of genres, while getting some insight into how our guests think, what they read, and why. In studio:

A number of recent incidents involving students being bullied has once again pushed the epidemic into national headlines. The video of an 11-year-old bullying victim in Tennessee went viral after his mother posted it to Facebook. In the video, Keaton Jones describes how his classmates called him ugly, poured milk on him, and shoved food down his clothes. This comes after 13 year old Rosalie Avila of California and 10 year old Ashawnty Davis of Colorado took their own lives after their families say they were bullied.

Why do kids bully other kids? And what will it take to combat this epidemic? Our guests help us understand the impacts of bullying, and we explore the research and methods behind anti-bullying efforts. Our guests:

Mikael Damkier

First hour: Combating the bullying epidemic

Second hour: Rochester and Western New York's favorite books of 2017

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:

  • Making yoga more accessible to all communities;
  • The future of Bitcoin and crypto currency;
  • The search for alien life;
  • Whether Star Wars still resonates with audiences today.

A local nonprofit is helping the homeless find permanent housing. We talk to the founders of Person Centered Housing Options about why they think a housing-first model makes for better outcomes in health, education, and in keeping families together.

Our guests:

  • Nicholas Coulter, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Charlie Albanese, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Enrique Arcelay, veteran of Person Centered Housing Options

What is fair trade? What is direct trade? And what's the difference? We hear about companies that deal in these practices, but if you were asked to define them, could you?

We talk to business owners who help us understand what they mean, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. Our guests:

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