After completing a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and political theory from McGill University in 1991, Mark was accepted into the graduate program of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In July 1993, he graduated with a Masters of Philosophy in Social and Political Theory, having written a thesis on the emergence of religious fundamentalism in the modern West. The funding he received from the O'Brien foundation helped make this degree possible.
In 1994, Mark decided to return to Canada to continue his studies in the field of comparative religions. He received an M.A. in 1997, and a Ph.D., both from McGill, in 2006. During this time his research focus shifted to Asia - Japan, in particular - and he spent five years (2000- 2005) in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan, studying Japanese and researching movements in modern and contemporary Buddhist ethics. In early 2006, Mark received his Ph.D., and was soon hired as Assistant Professor at Bucknell University, a top-tier liberal arts college in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2010, his position was shifted from the Religion Department to the Comparative Humanities program, allowing him to teach a broader range of seminar courses in the humanities to a select group of highly motivated students.
In 2011, Mark published his first book, entitled Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought (Ashgate Press, UK). He is presently researching his second book on progressive political movements within modern Japanese Buddhism. On the basis of his record of scholarship and teaching, he was recently granted tenure at Bucknell, and has been promoted to Associate Professor of Comparative Humanities and Asian Thought. Mark has recently taken on a position at Bucknell as Graduate Studies Advising Coordinator, which gives him responsibility for advising all students who plan to attend graduate school in any discipline. In addition, he assists students with their applications for graduate scholarships and fellowships.