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What Color IsYour Parachute?

From the corporate recruitment of college students to retirement, the articles in our annual careers special report truly come full circle.


Those of you who are creeping toward retirement will be encouraged by our cover story, “Second Acts.” Diverse correspondent Kendra Hamilton caught up with former NASULGC vice president Dr. N. Joyce Payne and Kimberly Camp, who was the president and CEO of the Barnes Foundation.


Payne recently retired after 25 years at NASULGC, but she’s not even close to slowing down. She’s working on several pet projects but at the same time enjoying a slower pace, as she relocated from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., to rural North Carolina. Camp, who had long been an administrator in the arts world, relocated to eastern Washington state from Philadelphia not long after stepping down from her position with the Barnes, but she has not veered far from art. In fact, she is getting back to her first love — making her own.


I think you’ll agree that Payne and Camp serve as inspiration to those close to retirement and even to those who may be contemplating pursuing a particular passion or interest full time.


For higher education professionals, the good news, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s “Retirement Confidence Survey of College and University Faculty,” is that 35 percent of college faculty are “very confident” that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, compared to 25 percent of all working Americans. In addition, 95 percent of all college faculty have begun to save for retirement, compared to 69 percent of all working Americans.


But before one can start thinking about retiring, one first has to get a job, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund is making sure that students from its member institutions of public historically Black colleges and universities will be prepared when professional opportunities come knocking. Diverse staff writer Michelle Nealy profiles TMCF’s Talent Sourcing Program in “From the Classroom to the Boardroom.”


It’s been well documented that community colleges having been growing in popularity over the years and are no longer considered educational institutions of last resort. Increasingly professionals, college-educated ones, are taking advantage of community colleges’ various job training and certification opportunities to switch careers. Diverse contributing editor Lydia Lum reports on this trend in “Portals to New Career Paths.”


Speaking of paths, the one to a career in medicine is a long and challenging road, but one program takes interested minority students and walks them through the process step by step — even before they get to college. In “Charting the Course,” Diverse correspondent Dana Forde takes a look at how Rutgers’ Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences helps aspiring minority physicians and health care professionals fulfill their dreams.


Have you ever come close to getting the job of your dreams and then another candidate was hired?


If so, a must read is senior writer David Pluviose’s interview with Dr. J. Keith Motley, who was hired as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston this summer after being passed over for the position two years ago. Read in “No Place Like Home” about Motley’s graceful handling of the situation in the face of community outrage and how he eventually came back to his UMass Boston “home.”


And lastly, but certainly not least, B. Denise Hawkins profiles Drs. Irvin and Pamela Reid, who may just be the first Black presidential couple. Pamela was recently named president of St. Joseph College in Connecticut, and Irvin has been president of Wayne State University for 10 years. In “Welcome to the Club,” the Reids discuss how they’ve made their 41-year marriage work while raising children and often living and working in different states to take advantage of professional opportunities.

–Hilary Hurd Anyaso

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