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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson

House Fellow
Web Administrator
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
162 Uris Hall 

I grew up in Iowa, Maryland, and Colorado. For me a good day was taking something all the way apart and then putting it back together again and having it work. Sometimes things didn't work quite the same way ever again, which led to some earnest conversations with my dad. You can really learn a lot that way. I loved being outside and on my bike, which makes me wonder why I spend all day trapped in front of a computer now.  

When I started my undergrad degree at the University of Kansas, I wanted to be a Hemingway-esque journalist but I switched majors to Political Science, and a year abroad in France got me a dual major in French. After I graduated in 1994 I took a year off school and worked construction, where I learned how to build a house from the foundation to the shingles. I still do all my own work. I decided to go to grad school, and not wanting to settle on one specific discipline I went to the Institute of French Studies at New York University. 

My experience with the Internet began in 1998 when I had to find a way to pay back all the student loans I had racked up. I worked for a couple of "silicon alley" startups where I learned a lot about "synergizing my clicks-to-mortar potentiality," but also learned that a shaky business model won't fly even with all the venture capital in the world. I was subsequently hired by a firm that built the web applications other startups needed, which made a lot more sense since the agency got paid before the clients' venture capital ran out. We also had one really big client, Ford Motor Company. I took part in Ford's response to the Firestone Tire Recall, and the subsequent move to a clustered hosting environment after the previous web servers melted into puddles. At the end of the whole deal they understood why they needed to make their websites a priority. When Ford decided to take their dealer portal project in-house, I was kept on as a consultant to work remotely as the 'institutional memory' of the project as Ford sought to re-build it in on their own technology platform.

I moved to Ithaca in 2006 after visiting a friend numerous times and not wanting to return to the exurbs of New York City on Monday morning.  I have a 10 year old daughter, and recently remarried. I currently work as a one man web design and development shop for the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. In my free time I like to travel places I've never been, keep my recreational soccer game hot, fix old Volkswagens, and get lost, tired, hungry, and sore while backpacking and canoeing.