Celebrating the Class of 2020: Makenzie Schroeder

Makenzie Schroeder is interested in people; how they communicate and interact with the world around them. She wanted to explore those concepts in college while making responsible choices for her financial future.

The University of Michigan-Flint allowed Mackenzie to do both of those things—and then the opportunities kept coming.

The Communication Studies and Political Science double major is the editor-in-chief of The Michigan Times, UM-Flint’s campus newspaper. She is the co-captain of the UM-Flint Debate Team and has traveled around the country for debate competitions. She is the co-president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society. She earned the Maize and Blue award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor. And after graduation, she will be completing her master’s in communication at the University of Missouri.

Makenzie was able to take advantage of these experiences while remaining debt-free, an achievement she credits in large part to the scholarship opportunities at UM-Flint.

“Sometimes when you apply for scholarships, you never think you’re actually going to get them because you’re going against myriad other students. However, at UM-Flint they give out a ton,” Makenzie says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s out of reach. It’s actually something that students can get and benefit from.”

Makenzie also participated in research with Political Science professors Kim Saks-McManaway and Kevin Lorentz. Here she is pictured presenting their findings at the Michigan Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Makenzie often learned about resources from her professors, and those connections with faculty would also help her take the next step after graduation. Michelle Silva, a lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, would meet Makenzie for lunch in order to discuss the graduate school application process.

“I’m a first-generation college student and my first year I didn’t know how to fill out the FAFSA, let alone a graduate application,” Makenzie says. “Sometimes as a first-gen student, it’s easy to feel the imposter syndrome. All of my professors have been there for me and reminded me that ‘no, you are worthy, you can do this.’”

Encouragement and support allowed Makenzie to take on numerous leadership roles within student organizations. With a career goal of becoming a college professor, Makenzie valued how she could help students become better writers and journalists as editor-in-chief of The Michigan Times. She also served as a political science tutor with Pi Sigma Alpha. As co-captain of the debate team, Makenzie engaged in British Parliamentary-style debate competitions around the country. She sees debate as something that brings together every aspect of her educational experience, explaining that “it makes you think deeply about a lot of serious issues that often get ignored in society.”

Once Makenzie completes her master’s in communication, she plans to continue on to a PhD program, researching underserved groups and how they interact with the media. We know you’ll do great things, Makenzie!