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February Titan Talks takes guests to local brewery

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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

NEW WILMINGTON, PA – Westminster College’s Dr. Pete Smith, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor of psychology, will continue the 2019 Titan Talks series with “The Chemistry of Beer & of People” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Hop Asylum Brewery in New Wilmington.

Dr. Smith, chair of the department of biochemistry and chemistry, is a guest/assistant brewer for the local craft brewery Hop Asylum. He was featured in the brewery’s first Professor Tap, where he created a red IPA called “Chemical Imbalance.”

At the talk, Dr. Smith will explain the science and chemistry behind the craft of brewing beer, including why hops are added to beer, why some beers are darker than others and the difference between ales and lagers.

Dr. Pataki, chair of the psychology department, will discuss the chemistry of people, as she shares the science behind relationships and how to make those connections stronger with the ones you love.

Smith, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2002, earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee. Pataki has been with Westminster since 2004. She earned her undergraduate degree from Allegheny College and her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Established in the fall of 2018, Westminster College’s Titan Talks is a three-part series featuring Westminster scholars and professionals and aimed at helping human beings develop their best selves and live lives with a mindful purpose.

TITAN Talks are free and open to the public, but reservations are due by Friday, Feb. 1. To register, visit For more information, please contact Nicole Hunter, assistant director of alumni engagement and coordinator of TITAN Talks, at 724-946-7373 or

Above left photo: Dr. Pete Smith, on ladder, brews up some of his Chemical Imbalance IPA with Matt Turk, brewer at Hop Asylum Brewery. Above right photo: Dr. Sherri Pataki