UNO professor wins two poetry awards

University of New Orleans English professor Carolyn Hembree has won two awards for a book of poetry. “Rigging a Chevy Into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague” is slated to be published next spring by Trio House Press.

Neil Shepard selected Hembree’s book as the winner of the 2015 Trio Award, an annual award given by the publishing company to an emerging poet in the United States. Trio House Press, based in Sedalia, Colorado, publishes both emerging and established American poets.

Hembree also won the 2015 Marsh Hawk Press Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award, selected by Stephanie Strickland. Marsh Hawk Press is a poetry collective based in East Rockaway, New York.

Hembree is an assistant professor of English and the poetry editor of Bayou Magazine, UNO’s literary journal. Her debut poetry collection, “Skinny,” was published by Kore Press in 2012. Her chapbook, “Fever Dreams in Tongues Without Skulls,” came out from Nous-zot Press in 2015.

Hembree’s work has appeared in publications including Colorado Review, The Journal, Poetry Daily, The Southern Poetry Anthology and Verse Daily.

Loyola student named business leader

Loyola University international business major Ashley Garcia was one of 22 college students nationwide selected to participate in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Student Entrepreneur Program, which seeks to foster growth for new women-owned businesses.

The Student Entrepreneur Program, held June 21-26, fosters growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through a tailored curriculum, a mentoring program and Fortune 500 corporate members. The program also featured a pitch competition at WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair in Austin, Texas.

Since the program began in 2008, more than 120 students have graduated from it.

Garcia plans to start a women’s organization within Loyola’s business school where she can brainstorm ideas and attend conferences to network with other women entrepreneurs.

WBENC broadened the Student Entrepreneur Program this year from its former focus on science, technology, engineering and math to also include the arts, focusing on creativity and design.

UNO researchers win $160,000 grant

Researchers with the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Materials Research Institute won a $160,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop new materials that could lead to advances in data storage and communications.

“The mobility of current devices demands that those devices become increasingly more miniature and multifunctional, where one device component can perform more than one task,” said Leonard Spinu, professor of physics, AMRI’s director and the grant’s principal investigator.

He will work on the project with chemistry professor and fellow AMRI researcher John Wiley.

According to Spinu, standard materials rely primarily on electrical input to drive devices such as phones and computers. In this project, UNO researchers will try to develop new materials that can respond simultaneously to light, heat, pressure or magnetic stimuli. This can contribute to the ongoing goal of improvements in technology by creating smaller, faster, lighter and cheaper devices.

The funding for this project is provided through the National Science Foundation’s Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research program, which is designed to support high-risk research that could lead to exceptional advances in science and technology.

Editor's note: This story was changed on July 6 to correct UNO English professor Carolyn Hembree's name.