New program envisions ‘encore careers’ with social impact

May 16, 2014 11:00 AM

New Wave staff

Public service is a way of life for members of the Tulane University community. Now a new program is being developed with to help alumni at midlife develop new careers that have social impact. logo

In keeping with the slogan, “second acts for the greater good,” Tulane joins with other pioneers who are creating pathways to socially impactful work past midlife, such as Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.

The new project is beginning with the appointment of former Tulane staff member Rebecca Conwell as a 2014 Encore Innovation Fellow to work with several Tulane groups — the Office of the Provost, the Department of Alumni Relations and the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program.

Conwell also will collaborate with Encore, which encourages local participants to pursue “encore careers” and generate social impact at the midlife stage while fostering personal fulfillment and continued income.

Thousands of Tulane undergraduates have already made a tremendous impact through public service, Conwell says.

“Imagine the impact of providing the same environment and experiences to a population that has 30-plus years of experience in the workplace.”

Plans are to develop a survey on encore careers that will be sent to Tulane alumni 40 years of age and older, followed by a series of one-day workshops to introduce alumni to the principles of social innovation — how to combine a passion for making a difference with the work and experience they've developed over their life, and how the two can be combined for an encore career.

Rick Aubry, assistant provost for civic engagement and social entrepreneurship, says, “We envision a new set of educational experiences to help alumni and community members eager to forge second ‘careers of purpose’ with an emphasis on an engaged, experiential learning experience.”

Tulane alumni are eager to get involved in the project, says James Stofan, vice president of alumni relations. 

“This will be a significant addition to our alumni career services program.”

Conwell worked more than 14 years at Tulane in government and community affairs and the President’s Office before leaving to start a consulting firm.

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