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Webster’s ‘Nerd Nite’ Allows Audience To Embrace Inner Geek

Calling all nerds and geeks — Webster’s Bookstore Café is hosting an event series tailored specifically for you to its entertainment lineup.

In mid-February, Webster’s owner Elaine Meder-Wilgus and Penn State professor of advertising and public relations Stephanie Madden co-founded the State College speaker series. The idea came to Meder-Wilgus after hearing stories about Nerd Nite in other hip-cool towns from her daughter.

“My daughter had attended in Madison, Wisconsin and then in Brooklyn, New York and she found it was a great way to meet like-minded people when she was new to an area,” Meder-Wilgus said.

While the event might be new to State College, Nerd Nites happen in more than 100 cities all over the world — from Metropolitan centers to college towns. The idea behind the State College lecture series is to invite three deeply passionate speakers to Webster’s Café once a week to spark debate and conversation with an audience that shares a mutual love for learning.

Plus, there’s beer for those of age, and who doesn’t love that? In fact, alcoholic beverages form one of the reasons that Meder-Wilgus cites as being a main motivator behind the event’s success so far.

“We already have a very active audience base (maybe it’s the beer?), but we have good crowds each time that are having a great time with all their nerdy new friends,” Meder-Wilgus said.

Since its founding about a month ago, the speaker series has already hosted a variety of speakers from the State College area. This week’s production will feature Colleen Connolly-Ahern, Joshua Wretzel, and Jose Fuentes.

Connolly-Ahern will be speaking on the guilty pleasures of the romance novel, Wretzel will touch on the birth of “cool” in various music genres and philosophy, and Fuentes will discuss air pollutants and pollination.

This week’s Nerd Nite starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at Webster’s. For more information on the speaker series, check out the event’s website here.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]


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