Faculty Directory

Cal Halvorsen

Assistant Professor

Affiliate, Center on Aging & Work at Boston College


Cal J. Halvorsen, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor at the Boston College School of Social Work, an affiliate of the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, and a Senior Research Fellow at Encore.org. His work examines aging societies, intergenerational initiatives, and the need and desire for people past midlife to work past traditional retirement age, with particular emphasis on self-employment, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and encore careers. His research has been funded by both public and private sources, including the U.S. Social Security Administration, AmeriCorps, Boston College, Encore.org, and the Hope Foundation.

Cal has published op-eds in Fast Company, Forbes, and Next Avenue on later-life entrepreneurship and ageism. His expertise on older workers has also been featured in The New York Times regarding older entrepreneurs and freelancers, as well as The Washington Post, BBC, AARP, MarketWatch, and more.

Previously, he worked for six years at Encore.org, later serving as the organization’s director of research and evaluation. Cal is a graduate of both the MSW and Ph.D. programs at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and earned his BA from the University of Iowa in his hometown of Iowa City.

Selected Grants

June '21 – May '22:

AmeriCorps Seniors emergency demonstration grant to evaluate the new Intergenerational Vaccine Corps national and community service program. Role: Co-PI. (PI: Jim Emerman, Encore.org).

June '21 – May '22:

Schiller Institute Grants for Exploratory Collaborative Scholarship to assess the Senior Community Service Employment Program’s influence on participant health and well-being. Role: PI. (Co-PIs: Elizabeth Howard, Karen Lyons, Christina Matz, and Sara Moorman.)

Jan '21 – Dec '22:

RRF Foundation for Aging & Encore.org to evaluate the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship. Role: Consultant.

June '20 – May '21:

Boston College Research Incentive Grant to conduct community-based system dynamics workshops with Senior Community Service Employment Program participants. Role: PI. March '20: The Hope Foundation to develop a national study on charitable giving among mid-level donors. Role: PI.

May '17:

Dissertation Fellowship in Retirement Research, funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration and administered by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Role: PI.

Selected Media

The Washington PostYou've stopped working. Now go out and make money. (September 2019)

The New York TimesWhen retirement savings run short, freelancing fills the gaps. (September 2019)

BBC NewsWhy US firms are desperate to retain ageing workers. (August 2019)

WGBH Greater Boston: Almost half Of Americans plan to retire after 65—or never (July 2019)

PBS Next Avenue and Forbes: How to fix racial disparities in entrepreneurship over 50 (July 2019)

PBS Next Avenue and Forbes: How important is a presidential candidate’s age? (July 2019)

Fast Company: Why we need to be honest about the risks of entrepreneurship (November 2018)

On the Brink with Andi Simon: A whole new way to grow old and have fun (September 2018)

Selected Appointments & Awards

Nov '20 – Dec '22: Senior Research Fellow, Encore.org

May '20: Carroll L. Estes Rising Star Award, Gerontological Society of America, SRPP section

Aug '18 – Aug '19: Encore Public Voices Fellowship, sponsored by the OpEd Project, Encore.org, and Ann MacDougall

May '19: Excellence in Teaching Award, Boston College School of Social Work