Women in Education Spotlight: McKenzie Mack

The Reich College of Education’s (RCOE) James Center for Student Success and Advising is spotlighting a few of our women education majors as part of Women’s History Month. 

Read to learn more about senior elementary education major McKenzie Mack. She is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and her academic concentration is in diversity studies. 

"As a Black woman educator, I am making history every day. One of the reasons I decided to become an educator is to be the representation and change that I didn't have."

What are some of your interests (personal, professional, and/or academic)?

I am a very family-oriented person so my favorite things to do always involve spending time with family and friends, whether going out or just sitting at home watching TV.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to go to graduate school and focus on the educational needs of underserved children and youth, especially African American and other children of color in urban and other diverse settings. 

Which woman has been a major influence in your life?

One of my favorite quotes that I was told growing up is, "You come from a strong line of Black women; you cannot lose." To think of just one influential woman in my life would be impossible because they are all such powerful women who have molded me into the woman I am today. 

However, one woman who continues to encourage and support me every day is my mother, Phebe. My mother holds the strength and grace that I could only wish to someday have. Being the mother of five, working a full-time job, and in school to get her masters proves to me every day the importance of hard work and not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. I am more than grateful to have such amazing women raise me and mold me each day.   

How are you making history as a woman educator, and/or how would you like to?

As a Black woman educator, I am making history every day. When choosing this major, I knew I would be met with not much diversity as demographics show that most elementary education teachers in America are White women. Being the only Black person in my classes, in the schools where I am volunteering/interning, is not a feeling you get used to. Still, the way I push through it is by telling myself, "it's bigger than me." One of the reasons I decided to become an educator is to be the representation and change that I didn't have. That feeling I feel when in a room where no one looks like me is felt by students of color all over, which is why I strive to create an inclusive classroom that allows all of my students, no matter their identities, to feel seen and welcomed.

McKenzie Mack
Published: Apr 13, 2021 12:51pm