Mark Russell

Mark is currently a Masters student in Classics at Villanova, on track to graduate in the spring of 2024. His love for languages, however, goes back more than 20 years, beginning with Spanish at an early age, Latin in 7th grade at Cathedral School in NYC in 2001, and Ancient Greek at Kent School in 2006.
Mark continued taking Latin and Greek through college, along with 2 years of Russian, earning a BA in Communication Studies at the College of Wooster in 2012.

Upon graduation, Mark turned his sights to a career in the hospitality industry, serving and bartending in high end restaurants in New York and Philadelphia, eventually landing a manager position in Chestnut Hill. During this time, he was able to engage in his dedication for service, honing his abilities in teaching, multi-tasking, and mentoring new employees. His lifelong passion for Classics, however, led him back to the classroom with the hopes of becoming a teacher of Latin and Greek.

Luckily, Mark’s lifelong language abilities and training served him well: in 2020, he was accepted to a 2 year Post-Baccalaureate program at University of Pennsylvania, earning a 4.0 GPA, and gaining admittance to several Masters programs for Classics, including a full scholarship and stipend to Villanova University. As a graduate assistant at Villanova, Mark frequently steps in to support the Department head in teaching intermediate and upper level Latin for undergraduates. In addition, he provides tutoring free of charge for Villanova students in Greek and Latin, which has further enhanced his teaching and learning abilities.

Teaching Philosophy & Approach

I thoroughly enjoy engaging with new students, discussing and showing the ways language connects us to the past and to other cultures. Learning where words come from, and how they have evolved over time, strengthens not only our understanding of culture and meaning, but opens the door to realizing the connection between all people, and in turn ourselves. For me, learning Latin and Greek has been this doorway to understanding meaning.

To put it simply, it wasn't until I learned another language that I started to fully understand my own! I began to see vocabulary, grammar, and syntax in a broader context, and this foundation would in turn strengthen my ability to learn new languages, and further understand the similarities and differences in other cultures.

Having fun is crucial to learning a new language - going outside one's comfort zone to learn a new language can be difficult and stressful, but I find it important to keep things simple, and break things down to their simplest parts. This applies to everything - a long word, complex sentence, or advanced grammatical concept. Once something is understood in it's most basic form, the memory retention is that much greater.

These "Aha!" moments are what I live for, and seeing students experience these for the first time is a consistent rush of joy. The ability and responsibility to provide these moments, for me, is a worthwhile endeavour.

“These ‘Aha!’ moments are what I live for, and seeing students experience these for the first time is a consistent rush of joy.”
Teaching Level:
  • Middle
  • High School
Teaching Type:
  • Tutoring
  • Full-Semester Classes
  • Full-Year Classes
Teaching Subjects:
  • Latin


Courses that Mark Russell Teaches

  • 12th Grade English
    This course is an intensive introduction to advanced literary study.…
  • AP Latin
    Our AP Latin course offers a captivating exploration of the…

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