Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
• The Professor's Bio •
- Mark A. Foster, Ph.D., is a traditional, not a metrosexual,
Renaissance man. He has been engaged in ventriloquism since he was
six years old, after watching The
Paul Winchell Show on ABC in the early 1960s (not the later,
and syndicated, Winchell Mahoney
Time in 1965), and has extensive performance experience in a
variety of media. Currently, he has numerous figures (including Dusty
Would, by Jack Coats, and Sandy Would, by an unknown designer), a
talking cane (Sassafras "Sassy" Twigg III, by Col. Bill Boley), and
several puppets. You may also view his Yahoo! ventriloquism
profile and listen to the act's original theme song from way
- He completed several years of theatrical coaching at Hal and
Ruth Persons' prestigious Theatre
Academy (Queens, New York City), an offshoot of Lee
Strasberg's Little Theatre,
and at various other drama schools.
- He is a full-time, tenured (full) Professor of Sociology at Johnson County Community College. Located in
the Kansas City bedroom community of Overland Park, Kansas, it is
one of the top-ranked two-year higher educational institutions in
the United States.
- He has both a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in
sociology. His primary research area is in religious studies.
He is a radical sociologist of religions.
- Macro to Micro, a new sociology text he
cowrote and coedited, has been published by Kendall Hunt.
- He was the first faculty member in the Johnson County Community College
Liberal Arts Division to teach courses over the Internet, which he
continues to the present time. He also developed that college's
academic ranking system. Previously, he served as chair of two
- He is a degreed journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
and an Associate in Arts in English. Between his positions at three
radio stations, he was news writer, newscaster, reporter, and
producer. He also published the Middle Georgia edition of
These days, however, as an opinion journalist and a web publisher,
he maintains the SocioSphere webzine and
eleven other websites.
- He has received numerous certifications and trainings in
humanistic counseling, stress management, genogramming,
neurolinguistic programming, child abuse treatment, whole brain
communication, hatha yoga, human resource development, and in
several techniques of meditation.
- Professionally, in addition to serving on the board of directors of the Autism Society of the Heartland, I belong to the American Sociological
Association (the human rights section and the sociological practice and public sociology section),
Sociologists without Borders, the Society for the Study of Social Problems (the mental health section, the social problems theory section, and the disabilities section), the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, the New America Foundation, the
Religion and Intellectual Life, the Institute for Policy Studies, and
the International Society for Textual
Reasoning, and he is
a signatory to the Earth Charter..
- He is the sole owner and web developer of the MarkFoster.NETwork™.
- He is a past president of the Kansas Sociological
- While a student, he was inducted into lifetime membership in
three international honor societies:
- Phi Theta Kappa (Community College), 1975
- Phi Alpha Theta (History), 1982
- Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology), 1983
- He was previously a section leader on three and then two CompuServe
forums. He then served as forum manager on America Online.
- He was born in the New York City borough of Manhattan and raised
in the boroughs of the Bronx (1956-1961) and Queens (1961-1968). He
subsequently relocated, with his family, to Long Island, New York
(1968-1976). He then lived in Athens, Georgia (1976-1978); White
Plains, New York (1978-1979); Long Island, New York (1979-1980);
Starkville, Mississippi (1980-1984); Long Island, New York
(1984-1985); Wise, Virginia (1985-1989); and Macon, Georgia
(1989-1993). He currently resides in Olathe, Kansas (1993-present),
a Kansas City suburb.
- On a personal note, he was born of Jewish parents
(Ashkenazi) and bar mitzvahed. However, he formally converted to
the Bahá'í Faith
at fourteen-years old.