The man that has given arguably the best speeches at orientation, graduation, and other clubs and events, rightfully has a perfect 5.0 on the Rate My Professor website. Dr. Warner never fails to captivate an audience of any size with his extremely 232707 Student Success Center Ribbon Cutting - Selects-1018inspirational speeches. After meeting him, it’s nearly impossible to not walk away with a smile and a bit more of an optimistic outlook on your life. Always signing his emails and ending his speeches with “create a great day,” Mark Warner believes there’s no such thing as a bad day, rather it’s up to you to create a day with the choices that you can be proud of that ultimately make you happy.

I met with Dr. Warner to learn more about his perspective, why he teaches, and a little more about his personal life. Here’s what I found out:

DD: What helped you find your calling with teaching, and why do you continue to teach?

MW: “I started off in consulting when I was younger and I soon realized that the highlights of my week were when I could learn and when I could teach others. I later came back to JMU in administration and part of my contract was to teach at least one course. It’s currently the highlight of my week.”

DD: What makes your class different from other classes?

MW: “We spend a lot of time creating a community which focuses on personal growth and  on the practical aspects of leadership. Some of the rules: you can never sit in the same seat twice, and we always start class with our adventures for the week. It’s very hands on and has applicable leadership concepts with a lot of reflection.”

DD: What makes your life perspective so optimistic?

MW: “My parents are the ones who helped me discover my lens on the world. They were the example for what an optimistic view of the world would look like. I just love seeing the world in a positive way and can’t imagine it any other way.”

DD: What is something that most people don’t know about you?

MW: “I’m a strong introvert. I have a lot of outside interests, so on the weeknights and weekends I do woodcarving, woodturning, golfing, and kayaking and I make sure I take time to do those things. I’m also very deliberate and intentional about spending time with my family.”

DD: How do you start each morning?

MW: “At 5:30 a.m. I wake up and my wife and I have our morning coffee in the hot tub. It’s our one guaranteed time that we have together uninterrupted and to catch up on life. I don’t miss a day, if its raining we wear baseball caps, if it’s snowing we try to catch the flakes with our tongues, and if it’s hot we just turn the temperature down!” 

I’ve met with Mark Warner on several occasions and I always leave much happier and inspired to do great things for others. Dr. Warner teaches Leadership and Personal Growth (Psyc 326). If you’re interested in taking his class, you can get on the waitlist by emailing his secretary, Leslie Beam at

Remember to always be the best you can be and to create a great day, every day.

One thought on “JMU’s Top Professors: Dr. Warner

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