Mackenzie April is from Baldwinsville, NY where she graduated with a class of only 500 students. SUNY Brockport’s small campus and small town atmosphere was a huge part of what drew her here. Though she planned on studying social work. she ended up majoring in Women and Gender Studies and Creative Writing. Her career goal is to teach Creative Writing and Composition classes at a collegiate level. She’s always had a passion for both subjects, but has also learned a lot since coming to Brockport.
“I have a sister who minored in Women and Gender Studies, ” April said. “I was so confused about what it was and I was really only exposed to feminism in the media, and that’s a very fluffy, sugar coated type of feminism, so I was interested in learning more about intersectional feminism. I found that at Brockport.”
Brockport taught April that creative writing it could be more than just a hobby. She loved writing as a creative outlet, but never considered it as a career path until she came to the College.
“I look to creative writing for everything and I mostly write poems. I fill up so many notebooks just to get my emotions out.” April said. “I never thought I could major in a hobby that I enjoy so much, and when I found out there were actually jobs out there for people who are good at writing I realized, ‘Wait a minute, I could actually do this.’”
Taking creative writing classes hasn’t diminished her love for the craft. A lot of her homework is writing that she would be doing for fun regardless, and she enjoys the structure of her classes.
“I was always told that even if you like your major, it’s really tedious and a lot of work, and it is,” April said. “But it doesn’t feel like work since a lot of my classes are workshops, critiquing other people’s work and reading. It doesn’t even feel like I’m in school.
April is heavily involved on campus as an assistant for the Department of English for the Writer’s Forum, a Residential Advisor to 32 first-year students in Dobson Hall, working at the Center for Graduate Studies, and interning for the Department of Women and Gender Studies.
In order to become a Residential Advisor, April had to complete the Leadership Development Program last year, during her first year as an advisor. She says that the process of completing the LDP was one of her favorite memories on campus.
“I got the opportunity to work with President Macpherson,” April said. “She was my mentor for the LDP so I met with her bi-weekly and I think that was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had here.”
As an assistant for The Writer’s Forum, April is in charge of helping the Department of English host the weekly event. Contemporary authors visit the Brockport campus to discuss their careers, while students from writer’s craft classes interview them.
“I help with the programs and the flyers, it’s really fun,” April said. “Especially since it’s my field and I feel really connected to the professors because of it.”
As an intern for the Women’s Studies Department, she’s in charge of the department’s social media accounts. In late 2018, Dr. Barbara LeSavoy of the Department of Women and Gender Studies is bringing April to the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia where April will present about intersectional identities on college campuses.