5 Minute Version

I am currently an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Mary Washington, founder of IMAGINE Social Good and the Two Dollar Challenge, and author of the Sidekick Manifesto. I am also currently on the Board of Directors of Students Helping Honduras and a judge and board member of the Social Impact Media Awards.

I am the past founder of La Ceiba Microfinance, the Month of Microfinance, and the Poverty Action Conference.  I am also a former Clinton Global Initiative University mentor, an Opportunity Collaboration alum, a 2014 Feast on Good Speaker and the da Vinci Center’s first Change-Maker in Residence at Virginia Commonwealth University.

You can hear me speak by listening to these podcast interviews:

I blog as an exercise in vulnerability, to give half-time speeches, explore the Do’s and Don’ts of being a Do-Gooder, and articulate my personal pedagogy called Tribal Teaching.

Top Posts

If you are new to my blog, you may want to start by reviewing some of my top posts in the following categories:

Do’s and Don’ts for Do-Gooders

Halftime Speeches

Tribal Teacing


Born and raised in North Bend, OH, I earned my BA in Economics from Earlham College (Richmond, IN), my MA in Economics at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), and after having read Douglass C. North’s Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance headed to Washington University in St. Louis where I earned my PhD in Economics.

My first position was in the Economics Department at California State University San Marcos. My wife Kyra and I lived in San Diego (specifically, Hillcrest). When we got pregnant with our son Dillon, we headed to Virginia to be with family. We live in Richmond and spend a lot of our time in the mountains around Charlottesville (with family). Most of my free time is spent in the garden (my specialty is native perennials), working out, or  doing archery.

Social Media Channels

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3rd Person Biography

Shawn (aka the Blue Collar Professor) is the founder of IMAGINE Social Good, the Two Dollar Challenge, and author of the Sidekick Manifesto. His blog explores issues facing social innovators and entrepreneurs. He challenges the conventional wisdom of social entrepreneurialism with his Do’s and Don’ts for Do-Gooders and motivates do-gooders with his Half-time Speeches. At the core of Shawn’s philosophy is Tribal Teaching – a unique pedagogy that’s hell bent on rewilding his students and transforming them into better change-makers.