Loyola University is offering noncredit creative writing classes this summer through its Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing. The classes include the following subjects: creative nonfiction, short story, poetry, developing a writing practice, fiction and screenplay.

The classes meet for eight weeks, beginning this week, at sites in New Orleans and Covington. The cost is $250 for each eight-week session.

Classes are open to those 21 and older, from published writers to newcomers. They are not open to those enrolled as full-time students at the university.

For more information, call (504) 865-2475.

UNO’s cyber operations recognized by NSA

The University of New Orleans has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency. UNO is the first university in Louisiana to achieve the designation.

The designation is reserved for a higher education program firmly grounded in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering disciplines with extensive opportunities for hands-on applications. The program is in support of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

“This is a huge honor for the University of New Orleans,” said Golden Richard, professor of computer science and director of the Greater New Orleans Center for Information Assurance at UNO. “This designation places strong emphasis on academic programs that prepare students to tackle real challenges in cybersecurity, meaning they have extensive skills in digital forensics, reverse engineering, network security and other areas.”

During the application process, UNO computer science faculty members mapped out curricula that were aligned with standards created by the NSA. A team of four experts from the NSA also participated in two daylong visits to the university.

Nationally, fewer than 15 institutions hold the CAE-Cyber Operations designation. Others include Carnegie Mellon University, Auburn University and Northeastern University.

The designation certificate will be presented at an awards ceremony at the 18th annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in San Diego, California.

UNO given $200,000 by wildlife foundation

The University of New Orleans has been awarded an 18-month, $200,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to improve a device used aboard shrimp boats to protect sea turtles.

In collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Coastal Communities Consulting, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy and the Louisiana commercial shrimp industry, UNO researchers will work on enhancing the design, testing and implementation of the turtle excluder device on skimmer trawl vessels.

The device allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a net.

The goal of the project is to refine the device so that it satisfies both the shrimping community and conservationists, as well as to better educate local fishermen about the device.

“The Nekton Research Laboratory at UNO is proud to help lead this public-private initiative that will utilize our research expertise to refine a technology and outreach process that are critical to both the economy and the culture of southeast Louisiana,” said Martin O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the Nekton Research Laboratory.

The outreach portion of the project will involve having UNO students teach local skimmer trawl fishermen how to operate the new turtle excluder devices.

Loyola Alumni Weekend includes classes, fun

The Loyola community and the public are invited to go back to college next weekend to experience social events and classes on more than 20 topics, including “iBrains,” business management techniques inspired by Pope Francis and many other topics.

Attendees can also take special tours covering 21st-century art in New Orleans, oyster saloons and Prohibition, as well as a naturalist walk through a swamp wonderland.

The classes are available through Loyola’s Alumni Weekend, being held Friday through Sunday. Hosted by the Alumni Association and open to the public, the weekend also includes class reunions and special events for alumni.

Tickets are $100 for the public and alumni. The price covers all Friday and Saturday events, including all alumni college sessions, a field trip of choice, breakfast and lunches, the 30th anniversary reception of the Honors Program, the All-Alumni Cocktail Reception and parking.

Individual $50 tickets also are available for the Saturday All-Alumni Cocktail Reception, and $40 individual tickets or $60 couples tickets are available for the Sunday Jazz Brunch.

Registration is available online.