Mark Canada Biography
Mark Canada, Ph.D., is the eighth chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo. Over the course of his 25 years in higher education, he has been an award-winning teacher and leader, a prolific writer and scholar, a champion for student success, and an engaged member of his campus and broader communities.
A proud graduate of Indiana University Bloomington (’89), where he studied journalism and English, he worked for two daily newspapers before earning his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 1997 to 2015, he worked at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he served as Professor of English, chair of his department, and associate dean and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He returned to Indiana University in 2015, becoming Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at IU Kokomo. In this role, he collaborated with colleagues across campus to design and launch the KEY (“Kokomo Experience and You”), IU Kokomo’s signature experiential-learning initiative, which has provided many hundreds of students with opportunities to learn through internships, retreats, research, simulations, competitions, community projects, and educational trips to businesses, museums, and natural and historic settings in Chicago, Louisville, Detroit, New York, Yellowstone National Park, Disney World, Silicon Valley, and other destinations. He also was a leading participant in the national Re-Imagining the First Year project, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. A recipient of AASCU’s William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement, he has been an active advocate for information literacy, partly through his work on the “Mind Over Chatter” project, supported by the Rita Allen Foundation and RTI International.
A professor of American literature, Dr. Canada spent many years in the classroom, receiving the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. He has written extensively on American literature and other subjects. His seven books include the Audible Originals Ben Franklin’s Lessons in Life (2021) and Edgar Allan Poe: Master of Horror (2020), as well as Thomas Wolfe Remembered (University of Alabama Press, 2018), Introduction to Information Literacy for Students (Wiley, 2017), Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and other titles. His articles on student success, truth in the media, Henry David Thoreau, Rebecca Harding Davis, Theodore Dreiser, Edgar Allan Poe, and other subjects have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Change, The Academic Minute, The Conversation, Southern Cultures, American Literary Realism, Edgar Allan Poe in Context, and other outlets.
A frequent lecturer for the Indiana University Alumni Association, Dr. Canada has given presentations on Poe, Frederick Douglass, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and other subjects for IU’s Mini University and Winter College, as well as other venues.
He and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Esprit, and a son, Will. They live in Kokomo and enjoy traveling to sites near and far. They have led student trips to Philadelphia, Boston, New Orleans, and other destinations and have traveled extensively in the United States and Europe.