Marc Freedman Portrait



Senior Research Fellow

Cal J. Halvorsen, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor at the Boston College School of Social Work, a project lead and investigator at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, and Well-being, and an affiliate of the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. His work examines aging societies and the need and desire for people past midlife to work past traditional retirement age, with particular emphasis on self-employment, encore careers, low-income workers, and volunteering. His research and training have been funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Institutes of Health, AmeriCorps, and AARP. His publications can be found at Google Scholar.

Cal is a believer in the importance of public scholarship. As such, he was selected to join the inaugural class of the 2018-2019 Encore Public Voices Fellowship, receiving yearlong training and support from experienced journalists on refining his public voice, including through op-eds. As a result of this training, he published his first op-ed in Fast Company on the inherent risks of later life entrepreneurship, with later op-eds in ageism within the presidential race and racial disparities in later-life entrepreneurship that were both cross-posted in Next Avenue and Forbes. His work 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. Further, The Wall Street Journal featured his analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data on when older people will outnumber younger people.

Prior to earning his Ph.D., Cal worked for six years at (now CoGenerate), later serving as the organization’s director of research and evaluation. During this time, Cal managed national surveys, presented at national and international research conferences, and acted as the organization’s liaison to higher education institutions. 

Cal serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and previously served on the board of directors for the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work. He 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.