Student Success in a Virtual Community

Episode 3 April 08, 2022 00:43:12
Student Success in a Virtual Community
College Is Worth It
Student Success in a Virtual Community

Apr 08 2022 | 00:43:12

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Hosted By

Vi Nguyen Justin Gillmar Drew Melendres Jonathan Shores, Ph. D.

Show Notes

The College Is Worth It Podcast welcomes to the show Carroll Stevens. As the Interim President of Rhodes College, he informs us how his diverse array of experiences in the education space has assisted him as a college president during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He describes how a residential liberal arts college that values its close-knit in-person community fostered a virtual community. Carroll also shares his valuable insights about general trends in higher education like how colleges and universities can work to increase access to their institutions.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:04 You're listening to the College Is Worth It Podcast. Learn from leaders who are transforming higher education to ensure that a college degree will pay off for this generation and the next by exploring innovations in education with us in each episode. And now your host Vi Nguyen, hello Speaker 2 00:00:21 Everyone. This is Vi Nguyen and you're listening to the College Is Worth It podcast. I'm really excited to be speaking with Carroll Stevens today, who has extensive experience in the education space from his role as an associate Dean at Yale law school to starting up K through 12 charter schools. And now his current role as an interim president of Rhode college, Carroll's able to inform us how his diverse array of experiences in the education space has assisted him in this particularly challenging time for college presidents due to the pandemic. Specifically, he focuses on how a resident liberal arts college like Rhode college who values their in-person tight-knit community, was able to create this virtual community. And generally Carroll will share his valuable insights on general trends in the education space, for example, how to increase access. So let's get started. It is with extreme pleasure that I introduce Carroll Stevens. Hi, Carroll Speaker 3 00:01:28 Hive. How are you? Speaker 2 00:01:30 I'm good. How are you doing Speaker 3 00:01:31 Well? I'm great. It's terrific to see you again. Speaker 2 00:01:34 Yeah, it's always great speaking to you and I'm very excited of course, to speak with you specifically about the long and impressive career you've had in higher education that I cannot wait to learn more about before that. Um, of course you're at Rhode college right now. So can I ask you, how's your interim presidency at Rhode college going? Speaker 3 00:01:54 Well, it's a, it's a challenging time to be a college president at, uh, at any in every institution. I'm just back from a meeting of, uh, presidents of, uh, uh, Presbyterian colleges, that's Rhode, uh, historical, um, um, uh, roots. Uh, and we were, we spent three days comparing perspectives. There are a lot of long serving presidents in that group and, and, and extraordinary, uh, group. And, and, and we, we all agreed, uh, on two, I think one is that this is, uh, uh, you know, perhaps the most challenging period, but also the most interesting period in which to be, uh, a, a college president. And the other thing was that it has helped those of us with long years of experience. It, we, we have had the opportunity to put all of that experience into prep and, and stretch and grow, uh, some more, which is, uh, for all of the energy depletion that, uh, presidents are experiencing these days. There, there is a sense of, uh, uh, fulfillment and, um, and, and, and fresh energy that's, uh, uh, coming as, uh, as we anticipate, uh, what, uh, our opportunities comprised for this next period of, uh, service to the country and the world. Speaker 2 00:03:14 Yeah. Well, that's great to hear. Could you expand a little bit more, you called it challenging and interesting. So what is exactly challenging about this, um, time period you've experienced as an interim president? Speaker 3 00:03:27 Well, of course, we've had to go through institutionally everything that, that the nation and the world has had to go through in the public health, health crisis that we've experienced on a rolling basis, uh, first, um, increasing and then subsiding, and then changing, uh, a character so remaining, healthy and whole, uh, as an institution, both in the people of the institution and in the, in the finances and, and physical infrastructure of the institution during this period, it has been a really, without precedent, we've had to, uh, improvise in ways we never have had to before, but, and, and we've had to become, uh, development expertise in pivoting, uh, from, from one thing to the next and doing it well in real time so that our, our students don't miss out on, uh, you know, they're once in a lifetime opportunity to have a, uh, a meaningful, developmental residential in our case, residential liberal arts college experience. Speaker 3 00:04:34 And I, um, uh, I, I, I shared with my fellow presidents that I was happily astonished when, uh, the most recent issue of the, uh, Rhode college magazine was given to me. And I, I realized it ran to 100 pages of, um, student and faculty and alumni accomplishment and said from all of that, uh, activity and impact one, would've never known there was a pandemic at the same time. So I want to believe that we're, uh, uh, developing, uh, uh, a new skills and have acquired new EC let's call it execution knowledge in how we deliver educational services, that, that, that really are gonna Redow to the benefit of, uh, coming generations of law students. I, I prefer to think we, for whatever ground we may have lost, uh, we've gained, uh, rather a lot in, um, uh, delivering on a, our core mission and, and, and just having come through it, uh, fashion's a kind of resilience that we didn't know we had and wondered if we could acquire, but I think we have, Speaker 2 00:05:55 That's great to hear. And of course throughout time society and people are constantly questioning is college still worth it. And a lot of our listeners are wondering that as well. And so you mentioned that Rhode was able to maintain this and still, you know, create positive student outcomes. And so I was wondering, especially specifically with residential liberal arts college, like Rhode college, how did Rhode college and you work to maintain the value proposition of a college education during these unprecedented times? Speaker 3 00:06:30 Well, we had to pay a lot of attention to our human capital, um, um, and, and, and, and attend to carefully to the learning outcomes that we knew from experience that our students were in need of. And then, uh, be improvisational as to how those outcomes could be, uh, could be achieved. How can we alter the inputs from the traditional, um, uh, such that, uh, through, um, uh, through cyberspace, uh, that same, uh, knowledge could be imparted and skills developed in an, in an environment of virtual community sufficient to kind of hold us together until we could be together, uh, cause in residential liberal arts, uh, experience a lot, uh, it depends on serendipitous learning, uh, the, um, the debates and arguments that you have at night in the dorm room with your friends who were, who are taking different subjects than you. And, um, uh, you asking them what they've been up to all day and learning from that and, uh, and, and sharing with them what you were struggling with and getting their perspective on it. Speaker 3 00:07:52 There's no substitute for that re uh, really. So, uh, we had to, um, we had to accommodate ourselves as kind of brokers of knowledge and expertise in ways that we didn't and, and a lot of, uh, individual tutorials broke out as a result of that. Um, students helping one another and faculty helping, uh, students on an individualized, uh, basis. Uh, so it, uh, for all of its, um, uh, it was confusing in the, uh, in the beginning, it was messy in the middle <laugh>, but, but in the end it has turned, it has turned out. All right. And I want to believe as a lifelong educator, that our students, uh, higher education as compared to primary or secondary education, higher education really depends a lot on individualized learning and on individual intellectual motivation, interest, curiosity, uh, uh, and, and so forth that I, I am prepared to believe that our, this cohort of students, uh, who've come through colleges like roads have gotten even better at that, uh, to their benefit, uh, lifelong there going to be themselves better able to, um, to pivot as their own interests change and their priorities develop. And as, as economic and other circumstances of, uh, change, it, it, it seems to be the case that, that we can expect rather a lot of volatility in, um, political and economic terms in the period ahead. And I don't know, I'm very optimistic about this cohort of, um, of young people being, um, uh, adept, uh, at and prepared, uh, for dealing with such conditions. Cause after all, that's how they've been developed as, uh, uh, as college students. Speaker 2 00:09:54 That's great to hear. Well, I'll take that as a compliment to myself and someone who came from a small liberal arts college and also graduated virtually, I can definitely relate to the struggles of being a virtual community, but sort of the, um, kind of the character development that comes to that time, the genuine love of a demos that you need to foster when you're sitting alone in your room and studying. And so you talk a lot about creativity and higher education and kind of fostering this virtual community. We're talking about, I'm curious if you think the tools that you use during this time will continue to be used as innovation, higher education in the residential liberal arts community, or do you think that the importance of being together physically still remain, Speaker 3 00:10:46 Uh, yes. To all of that? Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, I'm fortunate to been the product of, uh, professionally of, um, of, uh, four institutions, uh, that, uh, prize and prioritized, uh, experiential learning or problem based learning. So the, uh, law school is that, uh, university of Kentucky law school, the Yale law school was especially strong at that Claremont McKenna college among undergraduate institutions. Um, it Sur singly good at that kind of, uh, experiential learning, uh, outlet for, uh, students and students and faculty working together. And it turns out Rhode college is, uh, very similar to Claremont McKenna in that, uh, regards. So, um, I come been shaped by, uh, educational organizations where that's, that's kind of baked in, uh, and I think we've only at Rob gotten better at it and become, um, uh, exemplars of it, uh, an institution that our, that our peers look to for, uh, uh, for advice and guidance and, uh, and, and examples. Speaker 3 00:12:05 So, yeah, I, I think, uh, uh, we, uh, uh, have, uh, have not only kept the faith, uh, but, uh, but promoted it, um, uh, well with this cohort of students and, um, and, and, and we are seeing that it travels well, uh, with other institutions that are, uh, doing likewise. So, so I think we, we, higher education will be coming out of this with, uh, a new appreciation for efficiency and, and effectiveness of, um, uh, the learning process. And it wouldn't surprise me if in a decade and maybe less time than that. Um, more and more, uh, of our students will be able to complete the course of study, um, in, in entirely satisfactorily in three years, rather than four years, if that is their preference. Uh, in fact, a growing number of students, uh, uh, here at, uh, at Rhode as was the case of Claremont McKenna are using their, uh, their fourth year or even adding on a fifth year, uh, simply to have a broader experience, um, to, in some cases in substitute for, uh, a master's, uh, program. Speaker 3 00:13:31 Uh, so making a, uh, the BA, uh, getting all, all the value that a, uh, a baccalaureate level degree can and should, uh, prefer and, and having, uh, the advantage of, of a graduate level experience to in the, the work, the research work that they do with their faculty members and in their upper level course, uh, selection at, uh, at both of my recent institutions, Claremont, McKenna, and, uh, and Rhode college, the most, the, the comment I hear, uh, most from, uh, uh, people who did go on graduate school, uh, graduates at the institution, it did go into graduate study. The most, the most often heard comment was graduate. School was a snap given how well my undergraduate experience prepared me. Aha, there's a learning, uh, we should own that fully, uh, for the undergraduate experience. So as to, uh, make the opportunity cost of the four year, uh, experience and the out of pocket cost for that, uh, period of time, really, uh, produce maximum value economically. And in terms of career satisfaction for, for our graduates, that's within our, uh, it's within our reach. Speaker 2 00:14:55 Yeah. I cannot agree more. I think innovation definitely increases the value of a college education. And I like what you mentioned about how flexible higher education institutions have been throughout this past year or two. I think a lot of people think of higher ed in general as a sort of traditional and slow moving body. However, these past couple of years have only shown the exact opposite. And so you mentioned a little bit in your past answer, my Alma mater Claremont mechanic college. And so I just was wondering if you could, um, kind of branch off about your long distinguished career in higher education, you've served in a lot of different capacities. And so could you tell our listeners a little bit more about your professional background and experiences in Claremont McKenna, Yale law school? Speaker 3 00:15:47 Well, um, I'm, I'm happy to do it. It, I, I, um, I actually, I, as an undergraduate at a little liberal arts college in Kentucky, which had, uh, which was quite old, uh, and, and had produced a, a, um, throughout its history, uh, a long line of educational leaders, including college presidents, uh, it, it, uh, a career in higher education administration appealed to me even as an undergraduate. So that's the image I began to form for myself and the goal I began to create, uh, only wondering what, uh, what the path would be for me developmentally in terms of postgraduate experience, the great thing about, uh, a, uh, a liberal arts education, is it, um, it prepares you for so many things in, in real time. Uh, so for me, that right developmental path ended up being, uh, law school cause I observed and was counsel that, uh, this, uh, was in the very early 1970s that, uh, what was described as the higher educations, uh, institutions of the future, what was then the future, uh, would be increasingly, um, large complicated regulated, uh, and, and had new resource opportunities and, and challenges. Speaker 3 00:17:21 And so the kind of, um, um, the, the kind of, uh, a knowledge of skills, one would develop in law school would be very useful for a, um, uh, for a leader of higher education institutions to, to have already by, by that time, uh, law trained people were beginning to be hired as college presidents. Not that many, there hadn't been much of a tradition, but it was beginning to happen. And, uh, uh, so, uh, so that's the, uh, career I imagined for myself and, and my, my, my own, um, law school, uh, six months after I graduated, recruited me back into the administration to, uh, to help them develop, uh, new programs of, of, uh, of outreach and, um, new academic program and, and, and, and, and new services in the way of career formation and, and, and career services, which, which fields were, were really, uh, uh, badly underdeveloped in, in all law schools a as of that time. Speaker 3 00:18:27 And, uh, we, we had some really good results from the things I was involved in, which helped my old school, uh, um, rise dramatically in, um, uh, in, in the rankings, um, and which, uh, uh, gave me exposure into a national, um, uh, in the national scene in higher education, which in, in, in due course after 11 years, um, uh, resulted in other law schools coming to me to, uh, uh, to recruit me, including the Yale law school, which I was delighted to hear from, because even there, it turned out there was a lot of work to be done. It was work that I'd had experience and something of a track record in doing at the university of Kentucky that they believed. And I also assumed was transferable, uh, into a institution of a very, uh, different kind. And it was there that I was privileged to, um, to be an associate Dean for what turned out to be 18 years, which by Yale standards is almost an unprecedented, uh, length at the time. Speaker 3 00:19:38 But, but we, we got a lot of accomplished in the, uh, law school, uh, itself and in, uh, in elevating the law school's profile and moving, uh, uh, clearly into the very front rank in terms of, uh, rankings and redeveloping, uh, entirely our physical, uh, campus and much of our academic program. And, uh, and, and then contributing to our, uh, our, our, our community of new Haven in, in ways that helped it and its economy, uh, be transformed. Um, you were a student at Claremont McKenna college where, uh, undergraduates were actually involved in PR R uh, in, in, involved in, in projects of the very same kind, um, uh, contributing to the inland empire throughout the inland empire of California and beyond, uh, um, we could spend the whole program talking about what those programs, uh, comprise, but you, you get the picture. Um, and that's what the Yale law school was about in, uh, in, in, in new Haven, uh, and, uh, that, uh, led to, um, an opportunity to come out into, um, uh, uh, primary and secondary education where I had never, before worked, uh, together with my students, we, and, and, and, and through their leadership, I was initially their faculty sponsor. Speaker 3 00:21:09 Um, uh, we, we ended up creating a charter school in 1999 called Amistad academy based on best practices that we had gleaned from around the country and actually up into Canada as well, uh, best practices from schools that were serving, uh, high needs kids, uh, that ensured that they graduated from high school ready for success in the next phase of their lives, but with a big emphasis on college, going, uh, with a population, uh, for whom, uh, for the most part, uh, they would be first generation, uh, students and that success, uh, we were invited to take to scale, and which has since become, uh, achievement first of which I was the founding chairman, which now operates 44 schools. I think it is in New York city, in a Ross, Connecticut, and, uh, and in Providence, Rhode Island, the mature organization that is by now educated tens of thousands of, um, of inner city kids, um, kids in poverty and kids of color, who've gone on to easing, you know, successes in, uh, the finest colleges in the land and on into me, uh, the great, the best medical schools and law schools and business schools and, uh, PhD programs, and many of them coming back into their own community or going into communities similar to those that they, uh, they, uh, grew up in and, and living lives of leadership and service. Speaker 3 00:22:49 And that led to the opportunity through the Stu ski foundation to, uh, uh, to take those learnings to scale in urban school districts across the, the country. So, uh, so the next assignment meant, um, growing in stretching even more and adapting that, which was learn in the context of, of, uh, individual schools and, and, and systematizing it and building durable policies and structures and, and, and, and resourcing, um, mechanisms that ensure that once progress was made in improving student outcomes, that could be sustained over time. And, and several stubs, ski school districts and school districts served by stubs, skis, um, um, successor organization, Cambridge education, and offshoot Cambridge university in England of which I was the you, the American head, um, uh, magnified the impact of the stub ski foundation in, in primary and secondary education. So, uh, and, and some of that led to work, I was invited to do, uh, overseas, particularly in Taiwan. Speaker 3 00:24:01 So it's been a great, um, uh, a great, uh, journey of, uh, of learning. And I, I would like to thank, uh, uh, contribution, but it's involved, uh, coming in and out of, uh, of higher education all along. My, uh, uh, my so journey at Claremont McKenna was designed as an interim assignment. I've been in, uh, uh, in business since the 1990s, I've been an advisor to early stage technology companies of one kind or another. And, uh, so I took a pause from that from 2014 to 2019, uh, to join the team at Claremont McKenna, which then, uh, uh, led to in its own way, me being asked to be a trustee at Rhode college roads, like most, uh, college boards, um, wish to have a, uh, uh, a board member who's, uh, experienced in higher education leadership just to provide that kind of perspective to, to the board, which is typically made up of, uh, of, of people, uh, in, from business and the professions, but not themselves experienced in higher education. Speaker 3 00:25:15 And then when we lost our president here at Rhode, uh, to a big job in Washington, the Rhode board turned to me to, to say, you know, this interim thing that you do <laugh>, could you, could you do the at, for us? And I, you know, I was honored and, and, and thought it would be, um, of course it was scary. Um, I mean, I'd been a trustee of an undergraduate college, and I had been a, a senior vice president at, uh, at, at Claremont McKenna, but, um, coming right into the hot seat was, uh, uh, felt felt right. And, uh, it's, it's just been warm and comforting, not so hot after all the seat Speaker 2 00:25:52 Mm-hmm <affirmative> so, yeah. Now you're the interim presence at Rhode college. Thank you so much for that. Yeah, well, clearly you've had a long admirable and very, very impressed career in higher education. What most interests me is how diverse your career has been, you know, from every level of education you've experienced. So I'm so curious, what would your takes be on what is currently the biggest challenge in the education space today, or even just more specifically the higher education space? Speaker 3 00:26:26 Well, uh, affordability and accessibility, uh, ranked right up there at the, the top and, uh, in, in ensuring, uh, completion of, uh, of the degree program followed close behind. We know from ample evidence that every year of post-secondary attainment, uh, improves life outcomes in, uh, in terms of, uh, personal satisfaction and, and personal circumstances, economic and, and otherwise. And, and, and we know also from ample, uh, evidence that completing the degree program, you, um, you began is, uh, uh, has a compounding, uh, effect, uh, for, for people and for society. Um, but the, uh, uh, the costs have risen, um, uh, over time, uh, to an extent now where the, the, the, the cumulative outlay and the opportunity cost is, is really, is really considerable and has to be managed, thought about and manage institutions everywhere are doing everything they can, and to buffer that through their own, um, their own funds and funds they're able to, uh, raise and, and thank goodness philanthropists still very much. Speaker 3 00:27:55 And I would say to a growing extent, uh, are, are prepared to invest in higher education infrastructure because, uh, cause they understand the value return to society, uh, of, um, of students attending and, and completing, um, a college degree still there is this gap. Uh, and so many students, uh, have to, to cover that through borrowing and, um, uh, that becomes worrisome, uh, to students and families and results, uh, too often in students, not, uh, following their hearts desire, but going where they feel they can and should in order to, uh, lessen the burden on their parents and on themselves. And, and that's not right, you know, we need to, uh, do everything we can to, uh, to ensure that students attend their first choice institution, an institution that, uh, um, inspires them and excites them and will motivate them and support them in, uh, in, uh, the, the kind of life they want to develop for themselves. Speaker 3 00:29:16 Cause every time in life, you, uh, you settle, uh, for something that is not really what you should be doing. Something is lost to the individual and to society. And, uh, I mean, the evidence I have about that is mostly qualitative, but there's, uh, rather than quantitative, but there's a lot of it. Uh, when, um, uh, when, when, when parents and students and institutions and communities have, have said to, uh, other young people, yes, go for it. Uh, we, we support you. We encourage you then then wonderful things happen. Uh, but when, uh, students feel like they have to settle, uh, it, um, it, it can be the stuff of discouragement and dissatisfaction and, and sometimes failure to thrive in, in the organization. My long work with students and perspective students, uh, teaches me that, um, students instinctively know prospective students instinctively know which college is right for them. Speaker 3 00:30:36 Uh, they, they can feel it when they walk on campus, they size, size it up. It, uh, it's a product of a complex, uh, intake of, uh, tangibles and intangibles. But, but when they know, uh, it's, it's the right thing for them to do. So it's up to us, uh, as the rest of society to be sure those pathways are open. I, I think about my kids from achievement, first schools, we worry about what, what is called in the literature, the undermatching, uh, problem. These are kids who, um, have, um, uh, have, have had the experience of success in their academic programs in, in primary and, and secondary, uh, school and they're ready. Uh, they they've been challenged. They've risen to the challenge and environment of high expectations and high support. And they, um, uh, they deserve to go on into an environment where that also will be the case. Speaker 3 00:31:36 And yet, uh, if they come, as most of them do from families below the poverty line, you know, the local state or community to college might look like the only, uh, place they literally can go and they go there and their, their accounting material, they, they might have dealt with as a seventh grader that literally happened to me. I I'm thinking of one student who, uh, uh, who, who reported them back in our early days, which caused me to realize early on, we needed to invest in the post-secondary success of our students in terms of helping them get placed in the colleges that, uh, they deserved. And, uh, and, and helping ensure that the colleges would provide the, uh, enabling support for that to happen, that needs to happen for every, uh, every college bound, a student in the country. Speaker 2 00:32:27 Yes, I cannot agree more, especially for my personal experience. As a first generation student, I sought out institutions that had good programs that could support me. And I think a lot of disadvantaged need higher education institutions that can support them. And so that kind of goes along to what you're talking about. There's more to college, a college decision. There's a feeling when, you know, an institution will be able to support your very specific identity. And so it is sad to think that high costs are affected, especially disadvantaged communities who, you know, need specific types of institutions that can support them through their, um, hardships and such. Um, so thank you so much for that answer. I was wondering since you worked with so many different types of institutions, what have institutions in the past, uh, um, or institutions that you've worked with in the past done to address either access or affordability concerns? Speaker 3 00:33:28 Well, uh, it's taken different forms at different phases, uh, of my career, uh, in the early days. Um, um, there were, um, we, we, we really had the need to, uh, open up new pathways for, uh, for students like yourself, uh, who, um, didn't come from, you know, families where, uh, higher education was a, a known and familiar, uh, quantity. And we needed to begin to look more like the, the country itself was looking in the composition of our student body. So, uh, ethnically demographically, um, uh, linguistically and, and so forth. So, so making sure we were places of belonging and welcoming to, uh, new awards of students for me as a law student, it, uh, it, it sounds like, uh, it's almost unbelievable to think of it now when law student law schools are typically, uh, well in many cases, uh, 55 or 60%, uh, women, but when, when I entered in, uh, 1973, my class was 35% women. Speaker 3 00:34:47 And it was by far the largest percentage of, of women ever to enroll in, uh, uh, in, in, in legal education the year before I think, uh, there had been seven women in a class of about 150, so not enough even to, to, to calculate a percentage of, and yet overnight cause the school had really opened its eyes and opened its doors, uh, and, and, and then solicit us of, um, of, of, of, of new talent, uh, women's students responded. And, and, uh, to us, you know, it was as if it had been ever, thus, we had not known anything different cause, uh, uh, uh, this was our class and, and the, uh, it was a delight to everybody when the, uh, uh, first year grades were tabulate that the number one person in our class was a woman and she was a classmate of mine from my little college. Speaker 3 00:35:49 So, um, and they were brave and courageous. And, um, uh, when we graduated there, their job getting rate and, uh, what was equal to the man was just terrific. It was as if it had ever been thus, but they proved the proposition that of course women could do as well, or better than the men in a profession that, that largely had just, uh, if, if not shut women out at at least ignored, um, uh, uh, women as, uh, as prospects for the profession. So all of the learning professions were undergoing that kind of, uh, transition and then, uh, doing the same with, uh, communities of color, uh, to, uh, um, uh, to, to both include and support and recruit and, uh, into a culture of, of belonging and being, being a part of that. And, and, and being, I'd like to think something of an agent of that as I became an administrator has, has really been the most, uh, fulfilling part of my career. Speaker 2 00:37:00 Wow. That is such a fun anecdote, especially due to current day context. We're seeing, of course, a Supreme court nominee who is a female person of color from a similar institution that you came from, or your competitor, I guess, Harvard law. Yeah. Which is funny. Um, yeah. Thank you. So, so much for that. Uh, well, I guess, so we're running out of time, so lastly, I'm just curious, what is next for you after your interim presidency at Rhode college? Cause of course it implies that will come to an end eventually. Speaker 3 00:37:35 Well, uh, uh, yeah, maybe, uh, there, there is some new data out, um, that, um, that indicates that the most productive, uh, period, um, and in a person's professional life is in the period between age 60 and age 80. I'm a, I'm 72 soon to be 73 <affirmative>, uh, and I'm prepared to believe that, uh, there may be something to that. And for this reason, um, the, the body of knowledge and, and experience that one gains over a long career, it's a, it's, it's a long book with many chapters mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, you is, uh, uh, is, is useful in times of, of turmoil and change and uncertainty and instability, uh, uh, cause, uh, we, we may not have seen the, uh, this particular, uh, matter before, but something similar, which, uh, which suggests a, um, uh, a path forward it's, um, uh, as I think I said at the outset, it's been really fulfilling to, uh, have to bring all at the bear and have it to bring to bear and to see the, uh, the, the response and the impact of that, uh, experience. Speaker 3 00:39:05 And so we'll see what the future holds. I, I have, um, uh, a couple of projects that I have in mind, uh, uh, have, uh, something of a background in the performing arts. I, I actually, oh, wow. Uh, ran, uh, one of the major, uh, producing theaters in the country, the sh theater in, in new Haven, in, in, in the capacities as board chair. And, uh, I live in, uh, community in Northern California, uh, that is, is, um, uh, is populated, uh, by, by, uh, uh, a lot of, uh, performing artists, musicians and, and actors and, uh, playwrights and, and writers. And I've been in invited in that community to, um, uh, to help, uh, actually create some new, um, uh, theatrical content. And that excites me, cause it, it will be a, a play for, for children, um, that, uh, focuses on, uh, the environment, uh, a, uh, uh, as, as a learning, uh, opportunity and an opportunity to express their theatrical interests and, and talents. Speaker 3 00:40:24 And, uh, some other things are coming along. Ideas are creeping in my head, but my whole, um, I, I think it's the case. I think that it is the case that I have never in my career, had to apply for any of the jobs that I've actually had, that people who know me and, uh, with all my eccentricities and, and know something on my track record have come to me to say, what about this? And, and I kind of know it when I see it. So I guess I expect that will continue as long as I have something to contribute. We'll see, <laugh> stay tuned. Speaker 2 00:41:03 Well, that makes sense, because you've lived a very interesting, successful life, so I could definitely see how has happened. Um, and I'm excited to hear more about your theatrics in, is it NACAS California is at north in California. <laugh> Speaker 3 00:41:21 Yeah. Well, thank you. I look forward to continuing our relationship and working together on our favorite project. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, providing loan repayment assistance, uh, support to America's college students. Speaker 2 00:41:32 Yes, definitely. Well, thank you so much for being a wonderful guest today. You brought so much wonderful information. So is there anything else you'd like to add as we end this podcast episode? Speaker 3 00:41:43 Oh, I don't think so. Except to, uh, encourage the, uh, students and aspiring students in our audience to, uh, uh, you know, to aim high, to think about what's right. Uh, uh, for them and to, um, to, to pursue your calling and, and make your calling your career. Cause when you do it's yeah, we call it work, uh, cause it requires effort, but, uh, but, but it can bring, you know, such joy to you and, and at the same time benefits and fulfillment to others and uh, it's, you know, it's really what I think we're put on this earth to do Speaker 2 00:42:25 Well. Thank you so much for that wonderful piece of advice. And thank you again. It was so nice speaking to you, Carol. Speaker 3 00:42:31 Thank you for the opportunity and privilege. Great to see you. Speaker 2 00:42:34 Great to see you too. Speaker 3 00:42:35 Bye bye. Speaker 1 00:42:38 This podcast is brought to you by Ardeo Education Solutions. Ardeo Education Solutions provides loan repayment assistance programs known as LRAPs to increase access and enrollment at higher ed institutions. Ardeo LRAPs help graduate it's with modest incomes, repay their federal student parent plus and private alternative loans. The powerful promise they provide gives students the confidence. They need to enroll to learn more about Ardeo. Visit us on the web @ardeoeducation.org.

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