Being a part of higher education is an exciting atmosphere to embrace challenges, acquire knowledge and be a part of an ever-changing community. As a graduate assistant in the MAHE department, I am provided with a wonderful mix of admin work, leadership responsibilities and continual input opportunities toward the development of this program. I feel extremely blessed and passionate to assist in the betterment of this program, and Taylor University’s undergraduate and graduate experience as a whole.
I came to Taylor and the realm of Christian higher education from an entirely different undergraduate experience. I completed my B.A. in English Literature Education, with a Spanish minor from Purdue University in 2012, and am forever proud to be a Boilermaker. Following graduation, I taught high school English for a semester before moving across the pond to teach oral English to over 350 Chinese middle school kids in Shenzhen, Guangdong—a decision that lead to one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Though I am beyond grateful for my diverse undergraduate experience at Purdue, I am equally excited to be immersed in Taylor’s community as well. The MAHE program has provided a wonderful space to learn and experience the ways my faith will continue to impact my calling in this field of student development. As a member of the MAHE team I am grateful to be able to share in the many success stories and accomplishments of this program. I find myself being reminded daily, of both the blessing and challenge of my position as a MAHE graduate assistant. This role encompasses so much of what I would hope for in any job, let alone in a vibrant community of learners and scholars. It is such a gift to believe in the work I am doing.
To hear more about Mackenzie's experience in the MAHE program or for more information about the program, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
How is God forming and transforming individuals through higher education, and what is our role in this work as educators? The MAHE program tackles these types of questions with both academic discipline and Christ-like compassion -- creating educators who are deeply invested in the holistic development of students. I am grateful to be part of a program that allows me to personally experience this transformation while also preparing me to influence future students to become change-agents in communities local and abroad.
Before arriving at Taylor, I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011 with a B.S. in Nursing and Addictions Counseling; during this time I was personally enriched by leadership opportunities in residence life and the John Wesley Honors College. Following graduation, I worked in mental health nursing prior to moving to Christchurch, New Zealand, to assist in planting a church with my husband. During my time overseas, I returned to the university setting and was responsible for managing advocacy and welfare services at the University of Canterbury Students’ Association. This experience led me to apply to the MAHE program in order to deepen my understanding of meaningful student development.
I am excited for this new season to be shaped both by the information that I am learning and the opportunities to practice these theories in my assistantship. The next two years will be a unique opportunity to learn from dedicated faculty and students, and in return, to serve those professors and peers in my role as a MAHE graduate assistant. I look forward to contributing to this intentional, life-giving and inspiring community of learners.