Scotlandville students celebrate NAF honor

Students from the High School for Engineering Professions program at Scotlandville Magnet High School Academy of Engineering celebrated their recent designation as a “Distinguished Academy” by the National Academy Foundation at their annual fundraising breakfast Dec. 12 at Boudreaux’s.

The HSEP program is one of only three Distinguished Academies of Engineering in the United States. The event was hosted by the HSEP Advisory Council and sponsored by Entergy. Academy students spoke about their classroom experiences and as student interns as part of the AoE curriculum to about 200 industry leaders.

Guest speaker Bill Taylor, NAF associate vice presidentfor network engagement and growth, spoke on “Fueling the Future through Partnerships.”

Funds raised will support Advisory Council activities, including ACT preparation, internships, scholarships and programs like the NASA Rover Challenge that help prepare students for STEM careers.

United Way receives Mattress Direct gift

Local retailer Mattress Direct donated 32 Tempur-Pedic mattresses to the Capital Area United Way on Dec. 9 as part of a regional donation aimed to benefit 125 children in need.

“We think that long-term, this is going to be a great benefit for both the child and the family as well as a great sentiment for the caring power of our corporate community here in Baton Rouge,” said Darrin Goss Sr., CAUW president.

Mattress Direct selected United Way for donations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi.

Garden Club to sponsor Smokey Bear contest

The Baton Rouge Garden Club will sponsor the 2014-15 local Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest, President Debbie Harris said at the club’s Dec. 12 meeting at the Baton Rouge Garden Center.

The poster contest is open to children grades 1-5 and is based on campaigns for fire prevention and conservation topics like litter prevention. Nationally, the contest is sponsored by the National Garden Clubs and the U.S. Forest Service.

Harris said the club received a $600 grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful to help buy materials for the contest. The grant will help with an outreach to about 10 local schools.

For information about KLB, call (225) 752-7446 or go online to For information on the national poster visit

LSU professor Meng selected NAI fellow

Wen Jin Meng, the LSU Gerald Cire and Lena Grand Williams professor of mechanical engineering, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, or NAI.

Election to NAI fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have shown a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

“I am honored to be elected a 2014 National Academy of Inventors fellow. This election validates our R&D efforts from understanding fundamental materials behaviors to developing process designs and manufacturing protocols so discoveries from our laboratories may one day become real devices with positive societal benefits,” Meng said.

Meng is an inventor or co-inventor on seven U.S. patents. He is the founder of Enervana Technologies LLC, a Baton Rouge-based start-up company focusing on design and manufacturing of metal-based microsystems. His inventions cover fuel cell components, automotive components, microscale devices and microfabrication technologies.

The NAI fellows will be inducted on March 20 as part of the fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

View all Community news, Dec. 26 photos here.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.