The Building Blocks of Babies’ Mental Health: Relationships, Emotions, and Exploration

Baby in blue looks into camera over the shoulder of a gray-haired man in a white shirt

January Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Sara Falk

Mental health has become a big topic of discussion throughout our society, particularly after experiencing a global pandemic. However, we often talk about mental health as if it starts sometime in adolescence or adulthood. The truth is that mental health starts developing from the moment we are born (and maybe even before that!). Let’s talk about what mental health looks like in the first years of life and what babies need from us to build a strong foundation for lifelong mental health.

Color Psychology: Bringing Emotions & Color Together

A single rainbow carnation sits on a white background

December Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Elizabeth Schultz

This talk dives into the fascinating psychology behind colors. Starting with an exploration of how colors impact our perceptions, it delves deeper into the personalities associated with different colors and their relevance in various contexts. From decoding what our favorite colors reveal about us to understanding which colors are optimal for creating positive first impressions in interviews, dates, and interior spaces, this discussion navigates the intricate relationship between color choices and human perceptions.

The Magic of Christmas: Ancient Traditions & Celebrations

Santa with a surprised expression holds his round glasses to his eyes

December Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Aria Harveland

Prepare to unwrap the gift of knowledge as we sleigh the misconceptions about Christmas! Join us for a merry jaunt through history, where we’ll unravel the not-so-saintly origins of this festive season. From Saturnalia shenanigans to Yule logs burning brighter than Rudolph’s nose, we’ll explore the eclectic mix of traditions that deck the halls and jingle the bells of modern-day Christmas. It’s a ho-ho-whole new perspective on the holiday season. “Yule” be surprised at what you learn!

From Death Comes Life

two hands hold a clear read heart-shaped object as if to offer or give it to someone.

December Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Anita Fischer

Despite many nerds’ attempts to deny, delay, or downplay death, the fact is we will all die someday.  Some people (I won’t name names – ahem, me) have even pondered how and when they will die. Well, no crystal ball exists in this presentation. BUT, pay attention. You can learn more about the impact of what it means to be a donor after your death. Organ, eye, and tissue donation cannot happen without the generous decisions of those who are willing to momentarily gaze into the face of their own death and decide to make their final choice (one that comes after you are no longer able to make choices) to provide hope, healing, and meaning for others. What can be donated? Who can donate? How can one be a donor? All this will be revealed while you sip an excellent beer, wine, or cocktail. The best way to talk about death.

The Biological Process Behind COVID-19 Infection, Sample Testing, and Surveillance

November Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Cody Aguirre

As most of you may or may not know, there was a pandemic a couple of years ago called RONA, or more commonly, COVID-19. This was a SARS grade virus that would infect its host and sometimes kill them. With this new virus came a need for research, testing, surveillance, a vaccine, the whole shebang! The crazy amount of information that was learned and revised again and again within months was insurmountable. That’s where Cody Aguirre, a Native Texan, came in, because from 2020-2022 researching and testing COVID-19 was his life, and he’s here to share that with y’all.

Tired as a Mother: What Gets in the Way of Having It All

Woman holds white mug that says World's Best Boss

November Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Laura Hadley

In this interactive talk, Laura will review how mothers became a linchpin in today’s economy and the positive impact they offer to businesses, families, and even their own children through their work outside the home. However, as any mother will tell you, “having it all” is a bit of a myth and despite their positive impact, mothers are often overworked, overwhelmed, and held back by their motherhood. This talk aims to promote discussion about internal biases we may or may not have towards mothers as well as gives an opportunity for mothers to connect and talk about how they manage to have it all–and what they need to alter the current dynamic.

The Game of Life – Who Knew This Was a Form of Therapy?!

Woman's smiling face and arms emerge from colorful balls in a ball pit

November Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Krista Dotseth

Do you need therapy?!! “Hold up, heeyyy…” You may already be using a form of therapy if you sang those three words in your head! In fact, you’re practicing a form of therapy by coming to this event! Join us at Nerd Nite to learn about this little hidden gem, Recreational Therapy. How can a simple leisure activity be valuable to our health and wellbeing? How do we foster a balance between work and play? We may be more apt to work on life when it doesn’t seem so hard, maybe even a little fun, and who knows? Maybe you could find a sense of purpose in the process!

Your Personality Means More Than You Think

Woman with long dark hair and deep red shirt gives huge happy smile while looking at the camera

October Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Mark Becker

Most people don’t know their personality type, nor seem to care. The surprising part about that, is that your personality dictates SO much of how you live your life on a day to day basis. If there are certain things about your habits and patterns that you wish you could change, but can’t seem to – it’s likely tied to your personality. Once you realize this – it provides a level of peace and understanding that helps you learn to accept yourself and others for who they truly are.

Religion in Fantasy: Exploring Beliefs, Identity, & Morality Through Fantasy Literature

woman stands on a cliff looking at a castle in the clouds

October Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Jamie Jensen

In her presentation, Jamie will provide an analysis of religion as it appears in fantasy literature via implicit themes or allegory. She will explore topics including dogmatism, institutionalization, identity, and colonialism found in writings from authors such as Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, Pullman, Sanderson, Weeks, and Gaiman. Warning: Potential spoilers.

The End of the World as We Know It? AI & Our Future

Steam punk-esque Feminine robot with more robots in containers in background

October Nerd Nite on the Rocks

John Houston

The biggest technological revolution in human history is underway. The age of Artificial intelligence (AI) will usher in countless marvels. Some will be for the greater good, while others will present a serious threat to life as we know it. The social and ethical implications of AI are staggering. We are not prepared for what is coming as individuals, Americans, or citizens of the world. On that happy note, raise a glass (or three) with us as we greet the dawn of a new and uncertain era.
Humans and cyborgs welcome.