Shawna McNamara

Shawna's Territory

Shawna McNamara

Regional Agent

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Shawna is the TCA team member that serves the South, Central, and West regions, facilitating quality and inclusive programming for campuses. With a commitment to both entertainment and education, Shawna actively seeks out material that promotes social justice and drives positive change on campuses. Drawing from her experiences as an LGBTQIA+ activist and education major, she brings a unique perspective to the team, prioritizing diversity and representation in programming. A proud Minnesota native and University of Minnesota alumna, Shawna finds fulfillment in continuous learning, embracing challenges, and exploring diverse interests. Outside of The College Agency, she enjoys spending time with family, assisting her wife with their business, dancing, and embarking on adventures around the world.

When I was young, I wanted to be:

Favorite food:
Thai Food

Favorite movie:
Moulin Rouge - Nicole Kidman, music, and burlesque dancing? Yes, please.

Favorite CD/Album:
Top 5:
Jewel - Pieces of You
Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Ludacris – Back For The First Time
Spice Girls - Spice, because who doesn’t want to be reminded of their childhood?

Favorite subject in school:

Favorite book:
I tend to pick self help books that I get halfway through and never finish. #ADHD

Favorite TV show:
I have a guilty pleasure for reality TV, particularly indulging in shows like The Real Housewives franchise and Vanderpump Rules. Additionally, I’m drawn to murder mystery series like Dateline, as well as other documentaries and films of a similar genre.

Favorite sport:

Describe your perfect day:
My perfect day involves embarking on an adventure in a new city or area with my wife. Beginning with an early buffet brunch to fuel us for the day ahead, we’d dive into various active activities like ATV’ing, skydiving, hiking, or any other engaging pursuit. As the day progresses, we’d leisurely stroll through the city, immersing ourselves in its attractions, culture, and local cafes, perhaps picking up some treasures at boutiques along the way. In the evening, if our energy permits, we’d dress up for a night out on the town, indulging in dinner and exploring unique venues or catching a show.

Alma mater:
University of Minnesota - Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education Foundations (Graduate School: I got halfway through the Master’s degree program in Elementary Education before I realized I didn’t want to be a teacher)

Proudest Accomplishment or Award:
Some of my proudest achievements and recognitions include:

  • Receiving the “Outstanding Returning Associate” Award from NACA Des Moines in 2024, alongside my colleague Hayden.
  • Venturing into entrepreneurship and successfully becoming a business owner.
  • Collaborating with my wife to create and launch the interactive mental health fair, “The Amazing Wellness Race.”
  • Earning various workplace awards during my time at Aldo Shoes in 2012, such as “Best Sales Increase,” “Productivity,” “Rookie of the Year,” and Aldo’s Club Elite “Best in the World.”
  • Beyond professional accomplishments, I take immense pride in my role as a stepmom, my proudest accomplishment would be becoming a Step Mom and experiencing my best self come out of that.

Why do you like your job?
I find fulfillment in my job because it allows me to collaborate with a diverse range of personalities and roles. What truly warms my heart is witnessing a campus host a successful event, particularly when I see the impact it has on students’ growth. While I certainly enjoy the success of events like our popular Stuff-A-Plush programs, nothing brings me greater satisfaction than knowing students were engaged with inclusive material that inspires positive change and leaves a lasting impact.

The family I’ve built in my adult years surpasses any expectations I ever had. On 3/3/23, I married my incredible wife, Kristin, in Costa Rica. Kristin is not only a psychiatric nurse and certified wellness coach but also the main host of “The Amazing Wellness Race.” That day marked my official role as a stepmom and “monty” (aunt/mom) to four remarkable individuals: two stepdaughters, Josalynn and Savannah, a stepson named Ethan, and our nephew, Jaydn. Additionally, Kristin and I had the privilege of fostering Jaydn’s sister for nearly two years.

Just before COVID hit, my wife and I welcomed Storm, my very first puppy, into our lives. She serves as my service dog and occasionally participates as a roaming therapy dog at our interactive mental health fair, “The Amazing Wellness Race.” Storm is not just a pet; she’s my baby, bringing immense joy to our family.

One of our cherished family traditions is wearing matching pajamas during Christmas and coordinating Halloween costumes, with Storm joining in on the fun. While we go all out for Christmas, Halloween is truly our forte. We love a friendly competition with our neighbors when it comes to outdoor decorations, especially during Halloween. Traveling together, especially on road trips, is another favorite pastime for our family.