Personal--Dr. Orsag currently holds the title of Professor of European and Interdisciplinary History at Doane University. He grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Dr. Rebecca Word-Orsag, who works in the Omaha Public School system as a School Psychologist, reside in Gretna, Nebraska with their Welsh Terrier, Dylan. Mark is an avid technical rock climber (climbing outdoors mostly in South Dakota and Arkansas). He has also done numerous alpine/mountaineering ascents in Colorado and Wyoming.
Education, Teaching and Service--Dr. Orsag received his BA from Carnegie-Mellon University, his MA from the Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. in European History from Michigan State University. In addition to the two European history survey courses, Dr. Orsag teaches upper-division courses on Roman, Russian, British, French, German, Interdisciplinary and Military history. He also has taught or teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses online (through Doane's OLA) and participates in Doane's Ed.D. program, both as a committee member and chair. Since coming to Doane University in 1998-1999, Dr. Orsag has been awarded the Doane University Student Congress Teaching Award three times (2002-2003, 2008-2009, and 2012-2013). He has served as the manager of four significant academic projects at Doane University between 2007 and 2021.
Scholarship--As a scholar, Dr Orsag has over 30 academic publications/presentations. His latest research projects have involved interdisciplinary topics mixing history with the sciences. These efforts are all the result of collaboration with Doane University colleagues Dr. Amanda McKinney and/or Dr. Andrea Holmes. Recent research, undertaken with Amanda McKinney and faculty at Bucknell University, has resulted in a book manuscript dealing with an ancient Roman pandemic-- the 3rd Century Plague of Cyprian. Part of this work was presented at the juried Association of Ancient Historians (AAH) Conference spronsored by the University of Illinois in May 2021. Two linked presentations (encompassing the entire work) have been accepted by the American Historical Association (AHA)-- the juried top national conference in the history field. These presentations are scheduled for January 2022 in New Orleans. Working under the leadership of Andrea Holmes, Mark participated, as editor, contributing author and project manager, in the publication of a two volume multidisciplinary textbook on cannabis-- Cannabis, a Comprehesive Overview. This project involved, at various stages, a total of 10 faculty from three different academic institutions.