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Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship
(504) 314-7688

Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching (CELT)
310 Richardson Building
6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University

Professors in Social Entrepreneurship

Building upon our strengths in civic engagement and service learning, we are proud to introduce a cohort of Social Entrepreneurship Professors at Tulane University. The establishment of these endowed Social Entrepreneurship Professorships provides a critical mass of faculty support for university-wide, interdisciplinary endeavors in social innovation & social entrepreneurship. The Social Entrepreneurship Professors teach, develop a research or practice agenda, and inform programming and initiatives in social innovation & social entrepreneurship. They represent a range of academic disciplines spanning the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Each one of these colleagues has been appointed to separately endowed professorships named after their core benefactors. These named positions thus remind us of the crucial importance played by our generous supporters in making possible social innovation & social entrepreneurship initiatives across the university itself.


Louise and Leonard Riggio Professorship and Carnegie Fellow


Nghana Lewis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

English and African and African Diaspora Studies

School of Liberal Arts

Nghana Lewis is associate professor of English and director of the program of African and African diaspora studies at Tulane. Her outreach, teaching and scholarship reflect her deep investments in community action planning and community-based research that respond to the wide range of issues confronting black people in general and black women and children specifically. In 2005, Nghana received a Louisiana Board of Regents Education Enhancement grant to launch the Encouraging Student Scholarship and Excellence through Native-Centered Education Program (ESSENCE).


NewDay Professorship and Carnegie Fellow


Byron Mouton, AIA

Professor of Practice

School of Architecture

Byron J. Mouton is an established architect, educator, New Orleans native and alumnus of Tulane University. He now finds himself building his locally based practice, BILD Design, in conjunction with his academic role as professor of practice at Tulane's School of Architecture and as director of the school's design/build program -- URBANbuild. With more than 20 years of experience in the fields of architecture and construction, having received several design awards and with a high degree of exposure in national and international architecture publications, Byron is committed to critical design and construction assignments that are focused on environmental remediation and the construction of affordable housing in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast.


Carnegie Corporation of New York Professorship and Carnegie Fellow


Laura Murphy, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor

Global Health Systems and Development

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Laura Murphy, PhD (City and Regional Planning) is clinical associate professor in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development at Tulane University, as well as adjunct associate professor at the Payson Center for International Development and an affiliated faculty member at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Her current research focuses on technology and social change, with work spanning strategies for mitigating deforestation in the Amazon to community-based responses to the impacts of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation. She currently teaches on themes that span development, population, environment; as well as on practical field research methods. Prof. Murphy earned the President's Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching in 2008. For the SISE program, Murphy teaches the semester-long design-thinking course for undergraduates (SISE 3010) and integrates design thinking and social innovation approaches into graduate workshops and courses.


Paul Tudor Jones II Professorship and Cole Fellow


Carol Whelan, Ph.D.

Professor of Practice

Teacher Preparation and Certification

Newcomb Tulane College


Carol Whelan is a professor of practice in the Tulane Teacher Preparation and Certification Program in Newcomb-Tulane College. With support from the Center for Public Service and the staff at Banneker Elementary and Middle School, Carol redesigned the Education in a Diverse Society class to include the teaching of social innovation strategies and co-designed the first course in Social Innovation Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane. Many of her students have received funding for their innovative ideas through the support of Tulane's initiatives in social innovation & social entrepreneurship and the Ashoka/Youth Venture program.

In collaboration with Tulane students, Carol has presented at the Ashoka U International Exchange Conferences in San Diego and Tempe Arizona and most recently led an academy session at the Impact Forum '13 in Singapore. Visit Carol's blog at for information about these projects and her work in social innovation and education.

Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Professorship and Carnegie Fellow


Elizabeth Townsend Gard, Ph.D., J.D.

Associate Professor

School of Law









Professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard joined the SISE faculty in 2013, as an extension of her real-world experiences working an a academic project with social implications. Together, with her husband, Dr. Ron Gard, they formed a Tulane spin-out company, Limited Times, a research service focused on copyright law, and home to the Durationator® software tool.   In moving the project to product, the Gards found needed resources along the way, and Dr. Townsend Gard’s award of the Glazer Professorship supports the work both of her primary research as well as thinking of ways to continue to support lean academic start ups, such their own.
The Durationator® is a software tool developed at Tulane Law School over the last six years, which seeks to make the past usable one query at a time by providing legal information regarding the copyright term of any given cultural work in any jurisdiction around the world.  This knowledge will facilitate the efforts of mass digitization of cultural works around the world, further support the reuse of culture, and allow copyright holders to have better reporting on the copyright status of their works.  For the first time in the new century, copyright law will be accessible to anyone and everyone. 

As part of her Glazer professorship, Dr. Townsend Gard will continue to develop the Durationator®, with its research arm still housed at Tulane, and she will also explore the larger question of how to support social innovation, both from the legal and cultural context.  She and Dr. Gard are planning to begin a SISE Law and Culture Information Initiative in January 2014.


Kylene and Brad Beers Professorship II and Cole Fellow


Barbara Hayley, MFA


Theatre and Dance

School of Liberal Arts








Barbara Hayley is Professor of Dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance and holds the Kylene and Brad Beers Professorship II in Social Entrepreneurship (SE) at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.  She is the founding artistic director of New Orleans Dance (1987), a project-based company comprised of local professional dance artists.  She is a modern dance choreographer of site-specific, community based, and concert projects.  Professor Hayley is helping expand Tulane’s vision of Social Innovation to more deeply incorporate the humanities and the arts as critical tools of effecting positive social change.

She has recently performed with Artspot Theatre Productions Rumours of War, as a build team member of How to Build a Forest, an 8-hour theatre installation piece, premiered at the Kitchen in NYC and directed by OBIE winning playwright Lisa D’Amour, and in the Southern Repertory Theatre production of Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge. Ms. Hayley received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 1997/1998 for teaching and choreography in Russia. She received the Louisiana Division of the Arts Choreography Fellowship, the New Orleans Mayor’s Arts Award and numerous awards with New Orleans Dance for production and choreography.   Ms. Hayley holds an MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and worked in NYC for 10 years before moving to New Orleans.  Her community cultural development projects include “Home, New Orleans?”, the ongoing community-based class, “Building Community Through the Arts” with Xavier University Professor Ron Bechet, and Team NOLA member of the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute since 2008.


Kylene and Brad Beers Professorship I and Cole Fellow


Jordan Karubian, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

School of Science and Engineering

Jordan Karubian recently received the Lynton Award for Engaged Scholarship in recognition of his ”community engagement, teaching, and research focused on understanding and reversing human-caused environmental degradation and associated loss of biodiversity.”  Dr. Karubian combines work in the classroom and lab at Tulane with research and capacity building in biodiversity hotspots, such as Ecuador and Papua New Guinea. His basic approach is to blend research, engaged teaching, and local community engagement to improve the quality of his research while achieving real world conservation gains. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and others; for more information visit Professor Karubian has helped extend the geographic range of our social innovation work and has strengthened ties between the Tulane community of scholars and students and indigenous residents of ecologically sensitive locations.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000