Class in FH

Some of the courses listed below may require pre-requisite classes, instructor’s approval to enroll, or a specific form to request enrollment. Students are expected to be proactive when attempting to enroll in courses outside their majors or minors. For consideration of other courses as SISE approved electives, contact SISE Program Director, Anna Monhartova

SISE 4040-01: Collaborative Approaches to Complex Problems

With a focus on theory and practice, this course will explore problem solving approaches in disciplines ranging from biomedical engineering to political economy. Through individual research and group projects, students will engage and learn new collaborative approaches that are being used to solve complex problems ranging from environmental change to institutional racism. Course material will be drawn from the arts and humanities, architecture and design, business and law, and the social sciences and sciences. The course is open to all undergraduate students and serves as an upper level SISE elective. Students who have not taken SISE 3010 will be asked to participate in a one day workshop on Design Thinking at the beginning of the semester.


SISE 4560-01: Innovative Approaches to Social Change – Internship Seminar

Note: Students must secure their own internship placement. Click here for suggested internship placement sites with socially innovative organizations.

This seminar is designed for students participating in an intensive public service internship in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. The goal of this course is to offer opportunities for students to discuss their internship experience, reflect on the significance of public service, explore how academic knowledge can be applied outside of the classroom, and facilitate individual growth and career development in relation to social innovation principles. This course involves 70 hours of service with a community partner and satisfies Tulane’s 2nd tier Service-Learning requirement.


SISE 4951: Climate Change across the Curriculum: Science, Stakes, & Solutions
Instructor: Thomas Sherry

Climate change is an environmental calamity that threatens human civilizations and much of biological diversity, and thus we are all stakeholders in confronting and addressing the relevant challenges. Business as usual is difficult to justify, compelling us to ask what we can do. The goal of this course is to engage faculty and students in relevant disciplines across the curriculum at Tulane and beyond to implement design thinking as a way to explore solutions, large and small. The course will address a variety of issues, including but not limited to the physical and biological scientific issues, human population and consumption, economic challenges, energy production, ethical and moral issues, education and communication, environmental justice and related political and social issues, and climate change mitigation. Throughout the semester we will pivot between analyzing and understanding the threats to identifying solutions.


SISE 4960-01: Design Thinking Deep Dive: Prototyping & Testing

With a focus on application and further collaboration with a community partner, this course will explore fabrication methods in approaching problem-solving and addressing the needs of the client/partner. Through group efforts and team collaboration, students will engage and learn new fabrication methods that are being used to solve complex problems facing our community. Course material will be drawn from the arts and humanities, architecture, design, and business. The course is open to all undergraduate students who have completed SISE 3010 (Design Thinking) and serves as an upper level SISE elective. Students who have not taken SISE 3010 will be asked to participate in a one day workshop on Design Thinking at the beginning of the semester.


SISE 6020: Senior Practicum
Instructor: Schiller, Allison

Note: Spring semester only.  4020 a pre-requisite (or co-requisite for SISE 6020)

Senior Practicum is a capstone design course that provides an opportunity for SISE minors to apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in prior coursework to the planning, development, completion, and evaluation of a community-based project. With a focus on design-thinking, interdisciplinary theory, prototyping and place making, students work collaboratively on a practicum project guided by the instructors — and present the final project(s) to the Taylor team, local community and the wider public.


SISE 6100: A Transdisciplinary Social Innovation Toolkit for Graduate Students

Instructor: Murphy, Laura

Note: Spring and fall semester.  Graduate course; instructor approval required for upper-level undergraduates. There are no prerequisites.  The course requires students to enroll in the weekend Fast 48 workshop offered each semester. The workshop fee is $60.  Exceptions to this requirement will be made for students who have taken prior Fast 48 and who receive instructor permission.

The course offers graduate students theoretical foundations and practical skills to comprise a social innovation toolkit: including complex systems thinking, human-centered design (HCD), entrepreneurial thought-in-action, and systems leadership. This “social innovation toolkit” would complement their disciplinary graduate training (e.g., MA, MBA, March, MPH) with ‘transdisciplinary problem-solving’ theory and practice.    The course will run as a hybrid of academic seminar and workshop. It will be both (1) theoretical, ideas-rich seminar with readings, lectures, examples, and discussions around social innovation as a specific approach to societal problem-solving; and (2) hands-on workshops in design methods, systems-thinking, and business strategy.


Instructor: Hayley, Barbara 

This course fulfills Tulane University second tier service learning requirement.

Building Community Through the Arts investigates the history, theory and practice of community-based arts and art making, civic engagement and equity, and the relationship between art and community development.  The course is based on the model of Home, New Orleans?, a project in New Orleans that began in 2007 after hurricane Katrina.  Students work with local artists or organizations in New Orleans who are pioneers, trailblazers, and change makers through their work in various arts – dance, theatre, visual art, and music – toward community development on a small to global scale.  Reading, experiential projects, and discussion are grounded in the understanding of entering, building and sustainability of community.   The course is team taught by Ron Bechet, Professor of Art, Xavier University and Barbara Hayley, Professor of Dance, Tulane University, with students from both Xavier University and Tulane University.  Arts background is not necessary.


SISE 4953: Lots to Celebrate – Urban Place Making through Vacant Lot Strategies
Instructors: Gray, Cordula, & Schiller, Allison

Note: Fall semester only. No pre-requisites.

Strong social connections provide the elasticity for communities not only to survive, but to ultimately thrive and regain their vitality after a disturbance.  Resiliency exists in connections between people and places.  These connections can be built through a variety of systems and across a range of scales, both physical and temporal.  Applied strategies can be large or small, perpetual or temporary, spontaneous or intentional.  By setting a framework for people to meet, share, and connect, the invisible and intangible threads of a community grow in volume and strength, creating an elastic, resilient whole. The concept of shared space, the inherent attachment to place and culture that ultimately allows for the allocation of common resources and knowledge between individuals and across communities demonstrates the strength in collective identity to ensure resiliency.  In connection with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority the course will focus on the continued presence of vacant and blighted properties throughout the city of New Orleans. Through design thinking and speculative design fictions, students will envision future scenarios for urban development, considering social, ethical and cultural implications in conjunction with emerging technologies and policy-making.


EBIO 3690: Experimental Animal Behavior

Instructor: Karubian, Jordan

This course provides students the opportunity to design, implement, write-up, and present independent research project related to animal behavior. Research will be conducted on live animals at the Audubon Zoo or Audubon Park. The course will emphasize general principles of literature review and synthesis; experimental design; the collection, organization and analysis of data; and written and oral presentation of results. The course consists of 3 hours of laboratory per week (at the park or zoo) and 2 hours of seminar per week (on campus). This course fulfills the Newcomb-Tulane college intensive writing requirement. The course also provides an optional service learning component, with the related goals of (1) assisting curators at Audubon Zoo and/or Audubon Park with management of animal populations; (2), raising public awareness about the behavior, ecology and conservation of free living or captive animals; and (3) enhancing student understanding of behavioral ecology via experiential learning opportunities provided by the service learning.


GCHB 7200: Development Theory (Fall)
Instructor: Murphy, Laura

This course critically reviews major theories, concepts and debates about social, human and economic development in the developing world. We compare and contrast major development theories: economic growth, modernization, dependency, neoliberalism, sustainable development, Capabilities Approach, Human Rights, and Post-Development thought and social entrepreneurship/social innovation strategies. We challenge notions of: poverty, participation, gender, technology, globalization, sustainability, and the role/nature of foreign aid, and development actors.  Insights from ethnographies of development projects show how worldviews and assumptions translate into real “development” programs and projects that have often unexpected, unintended outcomes. The course is suitable for advanced undergraduates with IDEV, EVST, policy or other social science background who seek an interdisciplinary and critical review of development theory and its implications for practice.