Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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UMW professor to help global poverty efforts

UMW economics professor Shawn Humphrey

An economics professor at the University of Mary Washington has been known locally for his work in the worldwide fight against poverty. Now, he will be known nationally.

Shawn Humphrey has been chosen as one of 30  mentors for the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting.

That meeting will be held March 30 through April 1 at The George Washington University in D.C. There, about 1,000 students from around the world will participate in working sessions, skills sessions and a large-scale service project.

Humphrey will facilitate discussions, share resources and build networks among a group of 50 students. He will also help the participants craft their personal commitments to action and plans to address challenges on their campuses, in their local communities or around the world.

This will be Humphrey’s fourth time at the CGIU.

The meeting focuses on five areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. Chelsea Clinton and Jon Stewart will be among the event’s speakers.

Humphrey is passionate about fighting poverty, and told The Free Lance-Star last year:

 “Nearly half of the world’s fathers, mothers, sons and daughters live on less than two dollars a day. All of us—educators, students and the poor—have a role to play in breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of poverty. As an educator I can emotionally engage my students in an effort to end poverty, empower them to act, and prepare them to become effective agents of change.”

He leads the annual $2 a Day challenge on campus, where students try to get by on that meager amount. He also travels to Honduras to extend microfinancial services and is a member of the Board of Directors for Students Helping Honduras. He has also received the UMW Alumni Association Young Faculty Member Award.

In April, Humphrey will spearhead the 2012 Month of Microfinance, a national initiative to raise money and awareness for domestic and global projects.