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Mark Orsag

Mark Orsag


Phone Number: 402.826.8219
Department: History
Office: GA211
Campus: CRETE
Credentials: BA, MA, PHD


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.

As a scholar, Dr. Orsag has around 40 academic publications/presentations. His latest research projects have involved interdisciplinary topics mixing history and the hard sciences. These efforts are the results of collaboration with Doane University colleagues Dr. Amanda McKinney and/or Dr. Andrea Holmes. Recent interdisciplinary research, involving Dr. McKinney and biologist Dr. DeeAnn Reeder of Bucknell University, has focused on a 3rd Century Ancient Roman pandemic, the Plague of Cyprian. The resulting monograph Interdisciplinary Insights from the Plague of Cyprian: Pathology, Epidemiology, Ecology and History is under contract with top academic publisher Palgrave-Macmillan. Publication is expected by early 2023.  The work has also been presented at all the relevant top juried national conferences: the American Historical Association (2022) and the Association of Ancient Historians conferences held by the University of Illinois (2021) and the University of California-San Diego (2022). Working under the leadership of Andrea Holmes, Mark participated both as the volumes editor and a contributing author, in the publication of two textbooks (Bowker/Amazon 2021) that are at the heart of Doane University's Cannabis Studies program-- Cannabis, a Comprehensive Overview (Volumes I and II). This textbook project involved, at various stages, a total of ten faculty from three different universities as well as scientific specialists from private industry.