Rebecca Otten is a Professor of Practice and the Director of Strategy & Engagement at the Taylor Center. In this role, she facilitates the Taylor Center’s field leadership, campus and community partnerships, and program assessment.
Otten, as part of the founding team that introduced social innovation education to Tulane in 2009, launched and has continued to influence its co-curricular and curricular offerings over the last decade. Otten incorporates her diverse interests in youth development, systems theory, and social impact in higher education, examining the ways in which communities and structures can encourage inclusion and equity.
Otten teaches “SISE 2010: Introduction to Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship” and the TIDES course “Cultivate your Inner Changemaker.” Her current research explores a dynamic, long-term partnership between the Taylor Center and Grow Dat Youth Farm, a local organization that nurtures a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food. Otten has also established an ongoing partnership with unCommon Construction, an organization that uses the build process to empower youth to lead the workforce after high school or college.
Otten is a Change Leader with the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus Consortium and served as Network Advisory Committee Leadership in 2018-2020. She was previously awarded the Spirit of Tulane Award (2019), awarded to exemplary faculty and staff that exemplify the mission of Tulane, and the Josephine Louise Award (2010) awarded by the Newcomb Senate for outstanding contributions benefiting the Newcomb student body.
Otten holds a BS in Anthropology, BSM in Management, and master’s in public health from Tulane University.