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Ted Buchanan

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Jones professor teaches reading, writing and real-world change

Carol Whelan, the first Paul Tudor Jones II Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, encourages aspiring teachers to infuse their classrooms with ideas that make a difference. 

Carol WhelanSeptember 30, 2011

R.M. Morris
rmorris6@tulane.edu

Paul Tudor Jones II may be well-known for his track record as a global investor, but it's his philanthropic genius that will be remembered for generations.

By combining investment principles with charitable giving, Jones changed the rules for philanthropy when he founded the Robin Hood Foundation in 1988. Dedicated to uprooting poverty in New York City, the foundation combines due diligence with financial analysis to ensure accountability among its grantees. Through this approach, Robin Hood has become a force with its early childhood, shelter, jobs and education-focused programs.

Inspired by Robin Hood's success, Board of Tulane member Chris James created the Paul Tudor Jones II Professor of Social Entrepreneurship in 2010 to honor his good friend Jones.

The first Jones professor, Carol Whelan, sees a similar innovative spirit in Tulane students involved in the Teacher Preparation and Certification Program. Independent thinking and problem-solving are motivating the next generation of aspiring school teachers, she says.

“Students are 10 times more excited about what they’re doing when they’re actually coming up with real-world projects that can be implemented,” Whelan says.

At Benjamin Banneker, a Recovery School District elementary school near the Tulane uptown campus, Whelan’s students have designed five programs that infuse social innovation into the curriculum, such as fighting obesity, fostering leadership and literacy tutoring.

“They are trying to come up with ways they can actually make a difference in the classroom,” Whelan says.

Efforts like these show the Jones professorship is being used not only to advance social entrepreneurship but also to improve education in New Orleans, a cause dear to its namesake.

The Jones professorship has been matched by funds from the Carnegie Corporation of New York Leadership Award given to Tulane President Scott Cowen in 2009 and supplemented by a state Board of Regents grant.

R.M. Morris is a writer in the Office of Development.

 

 

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