Growing up in Tennessee as the daughter of two educators, Joanne Sowell has always considered herself a lifelong learner. She earned her law degree from Tulane followed by her master’s in taxation from the University of Florida. But shortly after starting her career as a tax attorney, Joanne instead chose a different profession: working full time as a mother to two beautiful boys.
While Joanne did temporarily stop practicing law after her boys were born, she still found 20 to 30 hours a week to devote to a range of community, nonprofit, and government-related activities - experiences that made the Public Leadership Credential (PLC) courses a natural fit for her.
“A friend of mine who had participated in the program’s very first session told me about the PLC, and I was so excited about it that I ran home and signed up immediately. What a perfect way for me to refresh and enhance my professional skills and knowledge, while also exploring how I could apply my legal background to more public policy issues.”
The PLC is comprised of six (6) six-week courses in three subject areas, plus a capstone assessment, and offers educational experiences similar the those found on Harvard’s campus. For Joanne, completing the program in its entirety was never a question.
“I enjoyed everything about the program right from the start. Believe me, I’ve taken other online classes before that were terribly boring, but the PLC courses were extremely well-designed and the material was incredibly interesting. I found each course to be valuable. It made me realize, for the price, the PLC is a really good deal.”
The next stop on Joanne’s career path: a Fall semester stay in Cambridge completing Harvard Kennedy School’s Mid-Career Master’s in Public Administration (MC/MPA).
“I look forward to using my time in the MC/MPA figuring out what is next for me professionally and how I can help make lasting civic improvements for Nashville. Also, because I was accepted via the PLC pathway, I only have to go for one semester instead of two. I’m very excited! But of course, as a southern girl I know I’ll be freezing by October!”