Mark moved with his wife, Gaby, and son, Sammy, to SIUE to be closer to his place of birth and to teach digital journalism and graduate research courses. Mark grew up in Washington, Missouri. He went to St. Francis Borgia Regional High School where he played soccer, ran track, played a little basketball and was active in theater and competitive speaking. He earned a Journalism degree with a focus on broadcasting as well as a BA in English from Mizzou in 2002. Mark was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Tau Alpha, and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary societies. Mark then worked as a television reporter in the Quad Cities (KWQC) and later in Tucson, Arizona (KOLD, ironically). He returned to academia to complete his master’s degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona before continuing on to earn his Ph.D. Mark conducts research in media sociology with a focus on how news organizations react to and try to shape evolving communication technologies to suit their needs as they work to inform society.
Mark has been married to Gabriela Renteria-Poepsel for 12 years. They met in Guadalajara in 1999, when Mark was a sophomore in college studying Spanish abroad. Mark and Gaby have a son named Sammy, who is hilarious and adorable.