Boomers in the Twin Cities who are looking for meaning and direction, or are interested in exploring encore work, have three new options starting this fall.

University of Minnesota Advanced Careers (UMAC) initiative 

UMAC brings boomers to campus for a period of self-reflection and learning as they figure out the next stage of their lives. This two-semester fellowship experience is an innovative pathway to transition from primary careers into new opportunities for meaningful engagement.  Fellows will form a learning community, connect with campus thought leaders and explore personal renewal and ways to leverage their talents for the common good.

In the fall, UMAC fellows will come to the Twin Cities campus, engaging in multigenerational learning opportunities. In spring, fellows will get hands-on experience applying their skills as volunteers in a social sector. project Throughout the academic year, fellows will engage in exploration, mentoring and dialogue about designing their next stage and solutions to challenges facing our communities.

Read Nancy Collamer’s Next Avenue article about the program. For more information about enrolling in the program contact Kate Schaefers at

UMAC Founding Director Phyllis Moen is Professor of Sociology and holder of a McKnight Endowed Presidential Chair at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Moen has an extensive background in investigating new models of work and the life course. She is author of numerous articles and books, including Encore Adulthood: Boomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose (2016), which addresses the challenges of this emergent “encore” life stage for individuals, families, communities, employers and governments.

Kate Schaefers, Ph.D., L.P.  is a psychologist, consultant and coach with a passion for aligning individual talents with meaningful work. She coaches professionals transitioning into new roles, and organizations exploring ways to tap the talent of a multigenerational workplace. Dr. Schaefers is volunteer state president for AARP-MN, and a founding board member of SHIFT, a Twin Cities nonprofit facilitating career change in the second half of life.

Bridging the Age Gap: Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity This fall, two University of Minnesota professors are inviting retirees back into the classroom, to work alongside undergraduate students on developing solutions to community challenges. The class, Bridging the Age Gap, is designed as an experimental, entrepreneurial venture to take advantage of an historic opportunity: namely, the retirement of large numbers of people who have extraordinary levels of experience, expertise and financial resources.

This class welcomes retirees from diverse professions and backgrounds who are interested and available in person and/or via the web to work with students as their plans and projects crystallize. Participation can vary, as can the roles assumed (idea generator, mentor, collaborator, joining a student-retiree team, serving as a sounding board, etc.). Contact Professor Emeritus Stuart Albert ( or Professor Thomas Fisher ( for details.

Hamline University Encore Fellowship Program  St. Paul-based Hamline University’s Encore fellowship Program is designed for those seeking meaningful work that contributes to society, and a sense of purpose in their lives.

As boomers retire, there’s a wide-open opportunity to inspire younger generations. Doing encore work as a volunteer or in a paid part- or full-time position, participants will continue to give back to the community and act as role models for those looking to do the same. Hamline’s Encore fellowship program is the first step down that road, using the skills, experience and knowledge acquired during a primary career.

During the fall semester, participants will:

  • Meet and learn from leaders in the nonprofit sector and others whose lives are models for an encore career.
  • Come to better understand personal values and goals.
  • Learn the fundamentals of nonprofit management.
  • Serve for two months as an Encore Fellow in a nonprofit organization.

For more information about Hamline University Encore fellowship Program, contact Jim Scheibel at Jim is a professor of practice at Hamline, with experience as a community organizer, (former) Mayor of St. Paul, director of VISTA and Senior Corps and nonprofit executive director. He serves on the Congressional Hunger Center board and as an AARP regional volunteer director.

Published: July 25, 2017