Mark is passionate about student learning and engagement, organizational leadership, and customer service. He possesses a B.S. in Criminology and Political Science, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership, and a J.D. in Law. Mark’s broad skill set includes:
- Legal Experience: Mark possesses over a decade of legal experience as a former trial and appellate attorney, with an emphasis on constitutional law, civil rights litigation, aviation law, criminal defense, and administrative law. His practice included representing educators, law enforcement officers, pilots, and small business owners. In addition to being the author of The First Amendment Strikes Back: Amplified Rights, a law review article analyzing municipal noise ordinances that has been cited by state and federal courts deciding First Amendment cases, Mark also taught numerous continuing legal education seminars that focused on technical legal issues, such as sovereign immunity, civil rights, and nuisance law.
- K12 Teaching Experience: Mark possesses K12 experience as a former tenth-grade English teacher at the Sarasota Military Academy, a public charter high school in Sarasota, Florida. During his first year, Mark authored substantial portions of the school’s accreditation self-study, and the high school received accreditation in only its second year of operation. During his second year, Mark redesigned the English curriculum and increased the student passage rate on the Florida FCAT reading assessment by an impressive 18 percentage points.
- Higher Education Teaching Experience: Mark possesses higher education teaching experience as a former program coordinator of, and an assistant professor in, the Paralegal/Legal Studies Program at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa. During his tenure as a program coordinator and assistant professor, Mark realigned the curriculum to meet the needs of employers and transfer institutions; forged a collaborative partnership with the Innocence Project of Iowa; increased the enrollment of the program from 6, to nearly 30, students; and received Instructor of the Year recognition prior to his promotion to Executive Dean of Instruction and Development.
- Executive Leadership Experience: Mark possesses executive leadership experience as a former Executive Dean of Instruction and Development at Iowa Lakes Community College, where, as the college’s Chief Academic Officer, he led teams in accreditation, assessment, online learning, concurrent enrollment, STEM initiatives, program development, adult basic education, and grant writing. During his tenure with the college, Mark’s teams secured several grants, including an NSF STEM grant for student scholarships; a U.S. Department of Agriculture RUS-DLT grant for teleconference equipment; two U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grants for the college’s manufacturing and engineering technology programs; and an Iowa STEM Council grant designating Iowa Lakes Community College as the Northwest Iowa Regional STEM Hub. Additionally, Mark led efforts to design and implement several of the college’s programs, including Digital, Social, and Broadcast Productions; Electrical Technology; Engineering Technology; Game Design and Development; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology; Veterinary Technician; and Water Quality and Sustainable Aquatic Resources. His teams assumed a pivotal role in enhancing campus customer service initiatives, implementing a live chat feature on the college’s website, and creating a collegewide student ambassador program.
- Accreditation Experience: Mark possesses accreditation experience as a former peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. As a peer reviewer, Mark reviewed two- and four-year college system portfolios and conducted an on-site comprehensive quality assurance visit. He also authored the Comprehensive Systems Portfolio for Iowa Lakes Community College and drafted substantial portions of the accreditation self-study for the Sarasota Military Academy, which achieved SACS accreditation during only its second year of operation.
- Policy Leadership Experience: Mark possesses policy leadership experience co-facilitating the Iowa STEM Council’s Computer Science Workgroup; serving as a board director with the Innocence Project of Iowa; serving as a writer for Code.org’s K12 Computer Science Framework initiative; and, most recently, serving as a member on the Technology Association of Iowa Workforce and Education Committee.
- Entrepreneurial Experience: Mark is the co-founder of LearnAcre, LLC, which offers customer service training for individuals, businesses, and organizations. He is also the co-founder of Midprise Solutions, LLC, which creates applications to assist educational institutions with student advising, adjunct instructor scheduling, and faculty qualifications.
Mark has also performed amateur standup comedy, composed and arranged music, programmed computers, and survived a small aircraft forced landing following a catastrophic engine failure at night, over the Gulf of Mexico.