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

25-year-old Talia Ben-Ora was an employee at Yelp in San Francisco when she published an open letter to the company's CEO about her struggle to make ends meet. She wrote about the need for a livable wage and better benefits, her frustration over having to work for a year in customer support before being eligible for a different position, and a host of other issues.

The letter went viral, inviting a mix of criticism and praise among people of all generations. Some responded by writing about "millennial privilege" and described Ben-Ora and her fellow members of Generation Y as entitled, greedy, selfish, lazy, and high maintenance. Others commended her for speaking out and advocating for change.

We invited four millennials to share their reactions to the letter, and we hear what they have to say about the stereotypes and perceptions often attributed to their generation. Our guests:

  • Bianca Bishop, case manager at Rochester Mental Health Center, and graduate student at Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Ben Eskind, owner/operator of Pachamama Farm, and graduate student at the University of Rochester
  • Jen Everdyke, student at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Chuck Wade, vice president and financial adviser, Brighton Securities


First hour: "Talia's Letter" and perceptions of millennials

Second hour: Tony and Renee Colon of Fuego Coffee Roasters

How would a more robust public transit system change Rochester? And what would it look like?

The Community Design Center's Reshaping Rochester Series continues next week with the theme, Transportation as a Leveler. Two of the event's speakers join us on Connections to discuss the strategies they've used to improve public transit in cities like Tucson, Chicago, and Memphis, and how these successes have improved access to jobs, healthcare, and education. Our guests:

  • Mo Duggan, executive director, Community Design Center of Rochester
  • Roger Brown, creative Consultant, Community Design Center of Rochester
  • Steve Farley, Arizona State Senator
  • Jacky Grimshaw, vice president for policy, Center for Neighborhood Technology


First hour: How would a more robust public transit system change Rochester?

Second hour: National Urban League president, Marc Morial; The Joint Collegiate Black Student Summit

It has been nearly one month since Super Bowl 50. Which commercials do you remember? At $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, is a Super Bowl ad still worth the price? Our panel of advertising experts discusses that question, as well as new trends in the industry. We'll also look at this year's winners and losers, and what goes into creating a successful spot. Our guests:

The expression, "I saw it with my own eyes," conveys a level of truth, but is seeing always believing?

University of Rochester professor Joan Saab is researching visual hoaxes from the 19th century and why people are willing to suspend their disbelief. We talk about why the "petrified man" -- also known as the Cardiff Giant -- and the bat-like people and unicorns of the Great Moon Hoax captured the imaginations of people around the world even after it was clear the stories were not true. Saab will give a presentation on the subject Wednesday evening at the University of Rochester.

Also, you may have noticed that Thomas Jefferson has been quoted frequently by politicians, but in many cases, the quotes are misattributed. We explore the relationship between hearing or reading and believing by looking at the use of spurious quotes. Our guests:

  • Joan Saab, associate professor of art history and visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester
  • Anna Berkes, research librarian at the Jefferson Library at Monticello

Library of Congress

First hour: Why do we believe, or want to believe, in hoaxes?

Second hour: Evaluating the 2016 Super Bowl ads and the changing face of advertising

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:

  • Gun violence prevention with Peter Read, a Rochester native whose daughter Mary was killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting;
  • Food deserts and the closing of Constantino's Market in College Town;
  • Bob Duffy's first year as CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and the controversy involving leadership in the photonics project;
  • Transportation and the move toward a multimodal future with traffic expert Sam Schwartz;
  • This year's Oscar nominations and the controversy surrounding the lack diversity with film critic Jack Garner.

Tarek Fatah is a writer, broadcaster, and liberal Muslim who founded the Muslim Canadian Congress. His book, The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism, examines the historical, psychological, and political divide between Jews and Muslims. 

Fatah will be a guest of ROC4 Israel on Sunday, February 28, but first he joins Connections to discuss his book and the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations.

A new theater program is helping local at-risk teenagers get back on a path to success. Shakespeare on the Streets matches students enrolled in Hillside's Reinvesting in Youth program with members of the Rochester Police Department, the Rochester Latino Theatre Company, and local Shakespeare artists.  

The student actors -- who have all had encounters with law enforcement -- will perform selections of Henry V on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. and March 12 at 3 p.m. at Wilson Foundation Academy. We talk to program organizers and to student participants, who explain how the play's themes have inspired them to work toward new beginnings. Our guests: