Mark Gingerich

A faculty veteran with an open door for students

OWU history professor Mark Gingerich is also the associate dean of academic advising. (Photo by Linda O’Horo)

The James S. Britton Professor of History, Mark Gingerich, has taught at Ohio Wesleyan University for 20 years. Starting this year, he also is wearing the mantle of associate dean of academic advising.

In this role, Gingerich, Ph.D., supervises the activities of the academic advisors for students, and also is available if students or parents want to communicate with him.

“Any student is welcome to send me an e-mail, call, or schedule an in-person meeting during my office hours—which this semester are Mondays and Fridays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to noon, or by appointment,” Gingerich says. “Academic advising can be challenging—and there’s no manual or specific training for this job.”

During the past two decades, he has seen more students who need assistance in written communications—an issue he believes comes from declining standards in high schools and from a growing dependence on informal communications, including the Internet and social media.

Gingerich believes the study of history provides critical skills applicable across a wide range of disciplines. “We can’t fully understand and appreciate the present without a solid sense of historical perspective.”

His background includes a diverse international perspective. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and has also lived in England, Germany, and Turkey. He grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is a third-generation history scholar. His father taught the history of science at Harvard University, and his grandfather taught religious history at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.

Gingerich earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in modern European history from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

While earning his doctorate, he became the first recipient of the University of Wisconsin’s Citation for Distinguished Service as a Teaching Assistant in European History. At Ohio Wesleyan, he has received the prestigious Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for the Encouragement of Teachers and has been selected Faculty Member of the Year by OWU’s Greek Society.

Gingerich lives in Clintonville with his wife of 24 years, Suzan Osman, and twin daughters, Yasmin and Dilara, who were born on Valentine’s Day and now are eighth-graders. For relaxation, he plays bass guitar, and is an avid aficionado of classic rock music.

By the way, did you know this Gingerich trivia?

  • His parents went to Goshen College with the parents of Dale Schwartzentruber, OWU’s associate dean for institutional research.
  • Gingerich appears as an “extra” in the classic Rodney Dangerfield college comedy “Back to School,” filmed at the University of Wisconsin while he was studying there in the 1980s.
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