Member of the Board of Directors
Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure
Mark Odum, who was injured in a diving accident as a teenager (he is a C5-6 incomplete) went on to graduate from college with dual degrees (a B.S. degree in Journalism and B.A. degree in Communications) from the University of Maryland. At the time, he was only the second full-time student using a wheelchair. While a student, Mark was elected to two terms as a Representative in the Student Legislature where he established the Disabled Student Services office.
After graduating, Mark continued to pursue what has become a long and distinguished career working on behalf of people with disabilities. Mark, who is currently the Project Director of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) at KRA Corporation (KRA), began his relationship with NARIC more than 20 years ago. In 1979, after finishing college, Mark began working on behalf of NARIC at The Catholic University of America. His outstanding writing and management skills were rewarded with a series of promotions to progressively more responsible positions, all of which were concerned with some aspect of communicating and promoting NARIC's services.
More recently, and prior to joining KRA Corporation, Mark was Project Director of NARIC when the contract was held by Macro International, Inc. While at Macro, Mark oversaw another National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) contract administered by Macro, the ABLEDATA project. This project was consolidated as an adjunct to the NARIC project. Mark was the primary administrator for blending these projects without creating any additional steps for the user community.
Mark also has served as Media and Acquisitions Manager of NARIC, writing and producing regular and periodic publications; reference materials; new and revised publications; and the Center's newsletter, NARIC Quarterly: A Newsletter of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Resources. In addition to his media responsibilities, he identified and acquired materials for the Center's library.
Mark devoted 3 years to working as Publications Director of the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health (NCEMCH) at Georgetown University Medical Center. He managed the entire publications process for all materials disseminated by the Center.
Despite his very busy professional career, Mark also has found the time to take an active role with a number of organizations that represent the interests of disabled people and has served these organizations in various capacities, including the following:
- President, National Spinal Cord Injury Association
- Vice President for Prevention, National Spinal Cord Injury Association
- Second Vice President, Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington
- Editor, SCI Connector, Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington
- Member, Task Force on Information Services, President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped
- Member, Executive Board, National Spinal Cord Injury Association
- Member, Board of Directors, National Spinal Cord Injury Association
- Member, Board of Directors, Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
- State Representative, Consumer Advisory Board, Maryland Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Chairman, Program Committee, Rehabilitation Information Round Table
- Special Problems Director, Disabled Student Services Office, University of Maryland
- Member, Executive Board, Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington
- Member, Board of Directors, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Metropolitan Washington
- Member, Board of Directors, Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention
- Member, Public Policy Committee, Safe Kids Campaign
- Member, Advisory Board, Consortium on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, NIDRR
- Member, Montgomery County, Maryland, Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities
- Co-Chair of Maryland Walks
Mark's contributions to the disability community have not gone unrecognized. He has been the recipient of the following awards and honors:
- Handicapped Individual of the Year, Maryland Rehabilitation Association
- Nominee, H.C. Byrd Citizenship Award, University of Maryland
- President's Award of Excellence for Outstanding and Superior Performance, Macro Systems, Inc.
- Project Management Award for Distinguished Team Leadership and Exemplary Performance,
Macro International Inc.
- Service and Achievement Award, Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
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