“Shenandoah provided me with the foundation needed to grow in my desired field. I was fortunate to have excellent professors and great guidance from mentors that kept me on the path of what I wanted to achieve,” expressed Alumni Board member Mark Turner ’07.
His most influential mentors were Dean Stan Harrison and his assistant Emily Tremoulis, Bob Bonometti, who Turner thought of as an excellent professor and advisor Ken Lambert. Also, institutional computing staff members Kim Borden and James Randall who mentored Turner in all aspects of his desired profession of technology.
Shenandoah has been a big part of Turner’s life. Not only did he earn his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SU, he has been employed by the university since 2002. At the beginning of his junior year he was hired as a technology support specialist for the institutional computing department. His second job was the database system administrator for the advancement department. Turner was later promoted to his current position of director of advancement services. In this role (among many other things) he is responsible for managing reporting, data integrity, policies, procedures, training, technical support, web development and gift processing. This means, when you update your address or send a gift, he is responsible that it is done properly.
Turner expressed how rewarding his profession has been: “I have enjoyed being the person that people come to when problems need to be solved. I like approaching issues by thinking outside-the-box, and being able to do that every day and deliver results is very rewarding. Also I get to work with a great group of people that I get along with, which I consider a blessing as not everyone I know can say that.”
Turner has been interested in business and technology since he was 13. “In high school all my extracurricular courses were computer classes and business classes. Both fields were areas that always held my interest and came naturally to me.” He continued on that path at Shenandoah by majoring in business with a concentration in information systems. “It has just been a really fun time doing something that I enjoy.”
“Hanging out with friends, working on group projects and the insane late night study groups for accounting,” Turner describes as some of his fondest memories of SU. Looking forward, he says, “This will be the first year I bring my son to Homecoming. I usually just come with my wife, but this year he will be three and I know he will love all the activities!”
Turner has always made it a point to be involved with SU. This is one reason he decided to join the Alumni Board of Directors, of which he has been a member since 2008. Turner explains, “It has been a great time and I like connecting with alumni from different eras.”
“I give back financially and with my time as a way to show appreciation for what Shenandoah has helped me achieve. When I was a full time student I received the Offutt Scholarship generously provided by Tom and Elaine Offutt, which helped me tremendously with my student aid. Receiving that scholarship made me see what a large difference giving back makes. I give back every year and every gift is in honor of them. Giving back financially and with my time is important to me. I know I would not be where I am or met the great people that I have if I had not come to SU.”
In his free time, Turner enjoys reading, working out, cooking, swimming, playing indoor soccer, website development, playing with his kids and seeing movies at Alamo Drafthouse. “I love that place!”
Turner resides in Winchester with his wife, Stephanie Smith Turner, a 2004 SU graduate who is an elementary school teacher. They have two children: Cade, age 3, and Laken, age six months. They also have a dog named Bally.
Written by Sharon Hurst