Mark Penland

IMG_2072Twenty years ago, Mark Penland started working for TCC as a student assistant in the photography department during his first semester.

He went on to complete his bachelor of fine arts and was offered a position as an instructional associate on the NE Campus.

Penland said one of the most important things he has learned came from Peter Feresten, who founded the photography department.

“’To teach is to learn.’ I feel like I never stop learning,” Penland said.

Penland is also a thrifty vegetarian. He said he never buys anything new except food or underwear.

For the past five years, Penland has not owned a car. He rides a bicycle every day to and from work to run errands and buy groceries accumulating 150 miles weekly.

When it comes to food, he said, “I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian. I grew up in the country, and I grew up around animals.  I knew a lot of animals experience a lot of fear before they die, and I think there is plenty of fear on the planet, and I don’t want to add to it.”

Elyssa Whaley


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