Marijo Upshaw (fx7598)

University information

Title: PT UPTF
Unit: Social Work Instruction Un
Department: School of Social Work

Contact information

Student information

Major: Social Work


Mike Ilitch School of Business

Title: Part-Time Faculty in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Biography:

Marijo Upshaw, MSW, MBA, is an experienced social entrepreneur. Her career has spanned over 25 years at the social administration, leadership and management level. She is currently on the part-time faculty at the School of Social Work at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches a graduate level course on Social Entrepreneurship that she developed for the university, and serves on the SSW’s Entrepreneurship Committee.

Previously, she was a principal of and the National Program Director with Social Work p.r.n., a national provider of social work staffing services across fields of practice.

She also served as the Leader of Financial Services for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Inc. (Goodwill NCW), leading the organization’s portfolio of mission programs to help vulnerable populations build financial capabilities that touched the lives of 10,000 people annually. Programs she led included a consumer credit counseling agency, HUD housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services, a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and a microbusiness development program that offered would-be and current entrepreneurs business development services, business coaching and linkage to micro-lending services and other forms of capital to start or grow their small business.

Currently, Marijo consults and volunteers her time to help build mission capacity for numerous grassroots and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) serving the humanitarian needs of Syrian internally displaced persons and refugees. She serves on the advisory board of the International Community Action Network (ICAN) based at McGill University, where she consults with the organization on a special program to build social work capacity for Syria by educating and training Syrian nationals in rights-based social work practice.

Education:

MBA, Rutgers University, Executive MBA

MS, Wayne State University, Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership

BS, Central Missouri University, Social Work

Marijo Upshaw

School of Social Work

Title: Part-time faculty
Biography:

Marijo Upshaw, MSW, MBA, is an experienced social entrepreneur. Her career has spanned over 30 years at the social administration, leadership and management level. Upshaw has a joint position at both the School of Social Work (SSW) and the Mike Ilitch School of Business where she has developed social entrepreneurship curriculum and teaches courses. 

Upshaw co-chairs the Social Entrepreneurship Committee at the SSW. SAGE publishers and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) awarded the committee the Innovative in Teaching Award in 2018 for the ground-breaking work the committee is doing to promote and foster entrepreneurship among key social work stakeholders including students, alumni, faculty/staff and community members. The committee plans and hosts numerous events that encourage and support would-be and existing social work entrepreneurs including an annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference that attracts over 250 participants, a Social Work Start-up Story Night that features budding and long-time social work innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in for-impact organizations, and Social Work Build, a 9-week business planning course for aspiring social work entrepreneurs developed in partnership with The Build Institute in Southwest Detroit.

Previously, Upshaw was a principal of Social Work p.r.n., an entrepreneurial start-up that grew into the leading national provider of social work staffing services in the U.S. She also served as the Leader of Financial Services for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Inc., where she led a broad portfolio of dynamic programs to help vulnerable populations build financial capabilities that touched the lives of 10,000 people annually.

Upshaw is passionate about helping others build ventures and movements that address transformative, inclusive and equitable social impact and systems change through innovation and enterprise. Additionally, she desires to address a gap in the social work research around entrepreneurship and better understand the entrepreneurial intentions of social workers. She is currently pursuing an advanced research certificate from the SSW, with her research interests coalescing around the intersection of social work and entrepreneurship.


Upshaw previously received grant funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship to participate in their research bootcamp. The bootcamp brings together entrepreneurs, policy advocates, policymakers, and support organizations for discussions the complex needs of entrepreneurship and provides mentorship and development workshops focused on research for practical impact, evolving questions in the study of entrepreneurship, new opportunities for data and methods, and career trajectories in the field.
 

Degrees and Certifications:
  • MSW, Wayne State University
  • MBA, Rutgers University
Teaching Interests:
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Impact Investing
  • Intervention and Program Planning
  • Social Work Leadership
Marijo Upshaw

Courses taught by Marijo Upshaw

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024 (current)

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Spring-Summer Term 2022

Winter Term 2022

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