Then she met Dr. Jason Morris, dean of the university’s Honors College. He mentioned the opportunity and convinced her to apply. Mackenzie, who is from Little Rock, Arkansas, is an accounting major and English minor.
She has been accepted at Baylor Law School, but that will have to be postponed for a little while. One thing Mackenzie always wanted to do was teach English abroad. Morris provided the opportunity she was looking for. She applied for the Fulbright Scholar Award, received it, and now is planning to head to Malaysia as an English Teaching Assistant.
“It worked out,” she said.
Everything seems to be working out for Mackenzie – and for ACU. Mackenzie is one of two ACU students who were named recipients of the Fulbright Scholar Award this year. Angela Jirik will be an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia. This year’s award winners join a list of other ACU students and faculty honored with Fulbright scholarships and grants dating to the 1950s.
ACU is included in the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. students. ACU is one of only three Texas institutions to receive the designation.
Mackenzie will graduate May 11 and then will spend some time with her family in Little Rock, including a brother who is a senior in high school.
“I’ll head home to see him graduate,” she said.
Then she will have a long wait before leaving for Malaysia, sometime in January. Some of the time will be spent on a road trip with her family, camping out and visiting several national parks in the West.
Mackenzie also wants to get a job or internship, preferably related to law, the career she wants to pursue after finishing her stint as a Fulbright Scholar. As of now, Mackenzie doesn’t know exactly where she will be assigned in Malaysia, but she knows she will be somewhere in the country for 10 months.
She will be following in the footsteps of another ACU Fulbright honoree, Lindsie Lawson, who received the award in 2018 and left for Malaysia in January 2019. Her term will be up in November, so the two ACU graduates won’t bump into each other in Malaysia. But Mackenzie is getting some tips from Lindsie as she waits to go abroad.
Since arriving at ACU, Mackenzie has discovered a world of opportunity, thanks to people like Morris and other faculty and staff. She spent part of the summer of 2017 in Leipzig, Germany, studying business under Dr. Jonathan Stewart. She served an internship in the summer of 2018 and now is preparing for Malaysia.
Once she gets home from the Malaysia trip, Mackenzie will be on the road to Waco, where she will enroll at Baylor Law School for the spring 2021 semester. Mackenzie is leaning toward immigration law after earning her degree – if not immigration law, then definitely a field with a social justice emphasis.
Mackenzie also understands business well and is drawn to that field, too. If she does go into business law, Mackenzie will find some way to use that skill to help others. She went on a spring break mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2018 and found it to be rewarding.
Wherever life takes her, Mackenzie will maintain her ties to ACU.
“I have made some very, very good friends,” she said.