Doctor of Dental Medicine, Washington University School of Dental Medicine, 1979
Mark grew up in the St. Louis area, where he attended St. Roch Parish School and went on to graduate from St. Louis University High School and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He graduated from the Washington University School of Dental Medicine in 1979. Mark served in the United States Navy for three years as an officer and dentist. He then moved back to St. Louis where he raised his children, Sarah, Kevin, and Matt. For the past 40 years, Mark has had a private dental practice.
Through his practice, Mark provides free dental care, both general dentistry and orthodontics, to those who cannot afford it and who find dental work stressful. For the past 25 years, he has treated children from Boys Hope Girls Hope. Mark also provides free dental work to children from the Judevine Center for Autism, for whom dental work can be extremely stressful due to sensory processing differences. Mark’s staff ensures these children have a fun dental visit, which includes “a ride” in the dental chair. In addition, Mark has offered free dental care to the Missionaries of Charity, Jesuit priests, and other clergy who take vows of poverty.
Mark’s service extends beyond his professional contributions. Since 2009, he has volunteered with Loyola Academy in St. Louis, tutoring students and coaching the track team from 2009-2016. Loyola staff note Mark’s heightened sense of compassion and patience, as he provides structure and takes time to understand the needs of each student. He reminds students to focus and strive for their best, while not expecting perfection. Most importantly, Mark provides a stable and reliable presence for the students.
Mark exemplifies the meaning of selfless service. His nominator Brian Kelly, associate director of development for Washington University’s School of Law, noted, “Since Mark was a kid he has made service a way of life, first as a dutiful son, then in the U.S. Navy, and eventually as a family man and community volunteer.” He is an excellent example of using the gifts one possesses to make a difference in the community.