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2021-2022 College Scholars Cohort Themes

Living and Learning Leadership at Tulane

Leadership is a learned skill that Tulane students can develop through many opportunities on campus. This cohort will take an academic and experiential approach to the study of leadership by engaging with readings, skills development workshops, and meeting with local community leaders from all walks of life. The goal is for you to identify your own leadership qualities and begin to consider where you might want to serve your community. Cohort activities culminate in smart goal setting for the remainder of your time at Tulane.

Faculty Principals: Michael A. Fitts, President, Tulane University, and Anna Mahoney, Director of Research and Administrative Assistant Professor of Women's Political Leadership at the Newcomb Institute

Fitts Headshot
President Mike Fitts

Anna Mahoney Headshot
Professor Anna Mahoney 

Leave Your Bias at the Lab Door: An Equitable Future in STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers are exciting! Building robots, reducing the impacts of climate change, exploring Mars...STEM practitioners are literally changing the world, and the statistics around STEM jobs look great. Projected growth in STEM careers is high and so too are STEM salaries. Less inspiring, though, are the statistics showing that in many STEM fields jobs go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants, not to mention numerous cases of racial and gender discrimination and harassment in STEM companies and academic settings. Our cohort will explore the scientific enterprise, what it takes to succeed in STEM careers, and why some groups of people have been minoritized in STEM fields. We will talk with STEM practitioners from different industries to learn about their personal road bumps and their vision of future opportunities. We will watch and discuss movies about how science gets done and who gets the resources and glory. We will also enjoy the landscape of beautiful southern Louisiana on some local science and fun field trips. All students are welcome in this cohort, regardless of your (potential) major or personal identity.

Faculty Principal: Nicole Gasparini, Associate Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Science

Nicole Gasparini Headshot
Professor Nicole Gasparini

Imagined Communities

This cohort will explore the idea of “imagined communities,” famously defined by the scholar Benedict Anderson as spaces that are “distinguished not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style by which they are imagined” (6). We will first discuss this idea broadly and constructively, reflecting on how students construct different communities among themselves, within their residence halls, at Tulane, and in New Orleans—a city whose spaces have beed imagined and re-imagined during a history defined by shifting nationalities and identities. We will also focus on the communities that the cohort most wants to examine, building on conversations going on in your classes, visiting specific sites in the community and, hopefully, incorporating your own research interests on nationalism and how it is constructed. In so doing, I hope that we can answer questions about what consequences there are for the “style” in which we imagine communities, both for the communities themselves, the individuals they choose to include and, perhaps even more importantly, those they exclude.

Faculty Principal: Brittany Kennedy, Senior Professor of Practice, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Brittany Kennedy Headshot
Professor Brittany Kennedy

Community Engaged Scholarship in New Orleans: Philanthropy and Social Change

The Community-Engaged Scholarship cohort will focus on your path toward becoming an engaged citizen-leader, and effective and ethical social change advocate/agent. The cohort content and service experiences will align with three foundational concepts that are essential to engaging in philanthropy effectively and ethically: ways of thinking about complexity, ways of being in relation to oneself and others, and ways of doing to achieve impact. While this framework is relevant to students aspiring to engage in social change in any sector, discipline, or industry, we will be applying it to our study of not-for-profit sector and philanthropy in New Orleans directly.

We will use the current pandemic to look at how local organizations are working quickly to stay connected and provide resources and services for their communities. This is a perfect area of inquiry for anyone who is interested in going into arts administration, creative entrepreneurship, and/or is looking for creative solutions to global problems. The seminar will feature leading guest speakers from across the country as we all navigate this new time together to think creatively about solutions to our immediate community.

Faculty Principal: Leslie Scott, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre & Dance

Leslie Scott Headshot
Professor Leslie Scott


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