STEM Tavern @ Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers

What makes a talk about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) even more entertaining? Why, beer of course!

Join our monthly STEM Tavern that features a fascinating science presentation plus good beer. For each beer sold at STEM Tavern, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers will make a donation to the Science Museum of Western Virginia! A food truck will also be on hand.

If you are interested in more information about the STEM Tavern programming, you can contact Sarah Van Zele at or 540.342.5718.

Join us on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers (523 Shenandoah Ave.). Talks start at 6 pm!

March 14: Lauren Kennedy  “Acute stress: What does it mean, and how do we control it?”

Lauren’s overall interest is in determining the best way to manage the acute stress response. We’ve all experienced the feeling of acute stress (think about the last time you had to do a public speaking activity), and we can probably all relate to how distracting that feeling can be. A racing heart, sweaty palms, and dry mouth can make it difficult to speak in public, for example, because it can interfere with the way we pay attention, make decisions, and remember information. But this experience is short-lived, and we move on quickly. What about when the same response and disruption in cognition occurs when people have no choice but to think clearly and perform well? My research interest is in using physiological interventions (namely biofeedback) with individuals who are frequently operating under high levels of stress, in an effort to help those individuals manage their stress response, think more clearly, and perform their best. The population I’m interested in specifically is healthcare practitioners, since poor performance in this population can have dire consequences for patients.

Lauren Kennedy is a fourth-year graduate student and doctoral candidate in the department of Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health at Virginia Tech. She graduated in 2014 from Roanoke College with a bachelor’s of science in psychology, a minor in creative writing, and a concentration in neuroscience, each of which continue to contribute to her research interests in the Parker Lab at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

April 11: Ryan Haupt

May 9: Derek Kellogg