WXXI AM News

Sasha-Ann Simons

Arts InFocus Host/Reporter/Producer

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

Ways to Connect

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Public speaking, for many, can make palms sweat and hearts race. Now, researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Rochester have developed a new real-time feedback system using Google’s smart glasses, to help guide your performance as you speak in front of an audience.

The system, called Rhema, was developed last month and designed for people who need a bit of help addressing crowds.

Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI

The Save Our Youth program is an initiative in the Northeast Quadrant of Rochester, aimed at reducing crime in those neighborhoods.

The idea is to treat violence as a public health issue, much like a pandemic that spreads through contact. Waymon Daniels is an outreach worker with Save Our Youth, a program through Action for a Better Community.

MAUREEN MACGREGOR/WXXI NEWS

Walk into a beer brewing class these days and it’s hardly the “all boys club” it once was. Scattered throughout the audience of men, you’ll find women with eyes focused up front and pens in hand.

Cornell University’s Brewing Science and Technology workshop was back by popular demand. The full day course, held at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva last week, was at full capacity with more than 80 registered students.  Professor Karl Siebert prepared a packed agenda including lessons on barley and malt, hops, brewhouse operations and beer styles.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

WXXI and the Little Theatre have launched a new initiative, Veterans Connections, which is designed to help bridge military and veteran needs with community support and awareness.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

This year marks the 70th anniversary of some crucial events in World War II, including the surrender of Nazi forces, and later the surrender by Japan.

WXXI’s Randy Gorbman recently got a chance to sit down with one of this area’s  World War II veterans, who still vividly remembers his experiences.

Maureen MacGregor / WXXI

Outside Michelle Fridley's apartment building, mounds of snow line the perimeter of the parking lot. At least the curb ramp on her sidewalk is clear today, though that’s not always the case.

"For a week I was having a really hard time being about to leave here. It wasn't even just the snow. It was -- someone parked in my curb cut."

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI

“There aren’t many accessible homes for people with disabilities. And when they are accessible, they’re usually too expensive or segregated,” says 24-year-old wheelchair user, Jensen Caraballo.

It’s been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act established a mandate that five percent of all federally assisted housing developments must be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

Reporting in upstate New York from Innovation Trail reporters indicates that many New Yorkers living with disabilities still face challenges accessing services and difficult choices balancing quality of life and affordability.

(Videos after the jump)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is reintroducing a bill she thinks will help protect public health. The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act is meant to prevent farmers from feeding their livestock antibiotics.

Slaughter says she's been concerned with this issue since she did her masters thesis in microbiology.

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