Mills Sociology

Program Goal 1: Theoretical Frameworks and Vocabulary

Be able to use sociological theories and vocabulary to explain how social forces and social structures shape human behavior from the individual to the global.

  • Sociological vocabulary : Use established sociological concepts appropriately.
  • Social theory: Describe the major tenets of several sociological frameworks.
  • Individual and society: Explain how sociology connects individual and the larger society.

Program Goal 2: Research Methods and Data Analysis

Students will gain basic skills in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and data analysis and will have advanced skills in at least one method of research and one method of data analysis.

  • Effective research design: Students create and execute appropriate research design and data collection methods.
  • Data analysis techniques: Students choose and execute data analysis techniques best suited to explain a social phenomenon.

Program Goal 3: Effective Communication

Students will be effective communicators who can construct and present well-organized, coherent, sociological arguments in writing, speaking, and other media to a variety of audiences.

  • Best Practices in Oral Presentations: Students demonstrate best practices in oral presentations including use of professional presentation software, effective time management, voice projection and self-presentation, and effective interaction with the audience.
  • Effective written communication: Students construct well-organized, coherent, arguments in writing that draw on sociological data and vocabulary.
  • Revising and editing skills: Students acquire the habit of revising and editing all written work in an iterative fashion before a final version is complete.

Program Goal 4: Using Research in Public Conversations

Students will accumulate a stock of established and accepted research findings and be able to critically use these to understand their own lives and the world around them, and to contribute to public conversations about contemporary issues.

  • Analyze contemporary sociological research: Students will be able to analyze contemporary sociological research in their work and use it to explain social and cultural phenomena.
  • Critically engage current research: Students will be able to critically engage current research findings and identify the strengths and weaknesses of various research designs.
  • Public conversations: Students will participate in public conversations about sociological issues either through conferences, workshops, interactions with mass media, or other public engagements.

From: Anthony Molaro LIS 7963 G01: Design Thinking, Innovation, and Creativity in the Information Environment, Fall 2015 St. Catherine University

  • Apply design thinking frameworks to articulate a project question aimed at addressing a “wicked problem” or creating and pursuing an innovative idea from imagination to prototyping/creation (Design thinking and problem formulation).
  • Develop research methods to research and build towards a solution for a “wicked problems” (Human-­‐centered research).
  • Evaluate the potential of a design or solution through analytical and synthetic thinking approaches (Iterative feedback).
  • Synthesize the physical, logical, and emotional design domains required for conducting a holistic evaluation of the potential success of their project (Critical evaluation).
  • Communicate effectively in oral and written format the output of their thinking (idea), and generate interest and support for the adoption or implementation of the idea (Present to outside stakeholders and perform project).
  • Collaborate within a multidisciplinary context and leverage the diversity of perspectives and differences to build robust solutions (Collaboration and incorporation of different viewpoints).
  • Synthesize unconventional ideas and points of view to uncover new solutions or pathways to the future (Reach/innovate unconventional solutions).

From:Bruce Lindsey "Design Thinking for Science, Engineering, Business, Liberal Arts"

COURSE DESCRIPTION:This introductory course will outline strategies and methodologies drawn from a wide range of creative design practices including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, industrial design, and others.The course will explore how these ideas and techniques are similar to practices in science, engineering, business and the liberal arts and how they might be applicable to multidisciplinary problem solving.Topics will include perception, representation, technology, group intelligence, bio-mimicry, and context based learning among others. Emphasis will be given to the intersection of design thinking with environmental problems and the relationship between design thinking and innovation.The course will include lectures, guest lectures with case studies, and design projects. Open to all undergraduate students.

  • gain an understanding of design and design processes
  • explore interdisciplinary applications of design thinking
  • gain experience (practice) in designing

Habits of mind:

  • ignite the curious mind
  • develop fluid and critical thinking
  • incite substantiated and open positions (a point of view)

Habits of work:

  • work done daily
  • organized persistence
  • reliance on colleagues for an emergent ecology of production
  • speed


  • visualization
  • building and prototyping
  • recording

At the conclusion of this class the student should be able to offer a definition of design, articulate design in the context of a design process, and speculate on the applicability of design to science, business, engineering, and the liberal arts.


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