Dr. Orsag was born and grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Rebecca Word-Orsag currently reside in Gretna, Nebraska with their Welsh Terrier, Griffin. Dr. Orsag is an avid technical rock climber (climbing outdoors in the summers in South Dakota and Arkansas). He has also done alpine/mountaineering ascents in Colorado and Wyoming. Mark also has been involved annually with the autumn Hitchcock Nature Center Hawkwatch (a count of hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures migrating south through Western Iowa's Loess Hills).
Dr. Orsag received his Ph.D. in European History from Michigan State University. His area of research is in Russian and Soviet History. Dr. Orsag teaches courses on Roman, Russian, British, and Military history, among others.
Since coming to Doane University in 1998-1999, Dr. Orsag has been awarded the Doane University Student Congress Teaching Award three times (2002-2003, 2008-2009, and 2012-2013). He also been listed multiple times in Who's Who Amongst America's Teachers. As an author, Dr Orsag has published nine scholarly articles and one book.