Public invited to monthly series of technology talks at Laurel Ridge

For Immediate Release:
October 4, 2019

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134


Synopsys Software Integrity Group senior research engineer Ksenia Peguero will be the next speaker in the Tech Bytes: Technology Talks with Industry series sponsored by Laurel Ridge’s Computer Science Department. Peguero will talk about how JavaScript frameworks impact the security of applications, and provide recommendations to ensure applications are kept secure

The free event, which is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Cornerstone Hall Room 300, is open to the community at large. Those in attendance will be entered into a drawing for a new laptop at the end of the presentation.

The Tech Bytes series has attracted an impressive array of speakers, including former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig, co-founder of the Berryville Institute of Machine Learning Gary McGraw and other cyber experts.

It is being funded by a grant Laurel Ridge received as part of the 2019 NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which is powered by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) with support from Microsoft Research.

The purpose of the grant is to attract more women and minorities to the computer science field, Laurel Ridge Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange says.

“We decided all three of Laurel Ridge’s technology programs:  computer science, information technology and cybersecurity would benefit from these Tech Bytes programs,” Stange says. “Students and community members can network with these experts.”

The following speakers are featured in upcoming months:

  • Nov 16 – Edna Reid, James Madison University adjunct faculty, retired FBI intelligence analyst, whose background includes postdoctoral research in terrorism information systems at the University of California, Berkeley, and research science at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Arizona.
  • Dec. 4 – Melanie Mitchell, Portland State University computer science professor, author of “Artificial Intelligence:  A Guide for Thinking Humans.”
  • Jan. 22 – Gary McGraw, co-founder of the Berryville Institute of Machine Learning, expert and author of books related to software security, Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering Dean’s Council member.
  • Feb. 19 – Kay Connelly, associate dean for research, professor of informatics at Indiana University.
  • March 11 –  Richard Danzig, 71st Secretary of the Navy, senior advisor to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, chair of the Advisory Panel for Idaho National Laboratories’ Innovation Center, member of the Toyota Research Institute Advisory Board, member of the Homeland Security Secretary’s Advisory Council, director of the Center for a New American Security and Rhodes Scholar.
  • April 8 – Heather Wilson, a James Wood High School and Shenandoah University graduate, who is the executive vice president, chief analytics & intelligence officer for L Brands, as well as a board member for Equifax.


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.