Mackenzie Hunter

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Major: Public & Nonprofit Management
Expected Graduation Date: August 2017

Why did you decide on a degree in Public Affairs?

Over the past decade, I have had the incredible opportunity to provide volunteer support for a number of organizations across the country. Each of these service experiences enriched my life immeasurably. They helped me to recognize my ability to effect positive change through volunteer service. They opened my eyes to the complex social and environmental issues facing our communities today, and shaped my aspirations to become a public servant.

Above all, they taught me that by working together to advance the common good, we can all participate in the creation of a strong and vibrant nation and world. These realizations have inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in Public Affairs.

What do you like about your Program at UT Dallas?

What I’ve enjoyed most about my experience in the Public & Nonprofit Management program here at UT Dallas is being able to deepen my understanding of the multi-faceted field of public service. The University is widely recognized for offering intellectual challenge, stimulating research opportunities, and emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. I have the privilege of seeing this put into practice each day.

Plans for the Future

I aspire to work with the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that provides pathways and opportunities for Americans to engage in their communities. Its mission to improve lives and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering mirrors my personal and professional interests, and I believe my education, skills, and passion will assist me in becoming a strong asset to the agency down the road.

In the meantime, I look forward to many years of continued service here at UT Dallas, as there is truly nothing I find more gratifying than assisting young people to recognize their power to make a difference.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

My advice to prospective EPPS students is to establish a network of other students in the program, get to know the faculty and staff, stay on top of the reading, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!


I enjoy hiking and being outdoors, as well as making hand-decorated greeting cards, and experimenting with organic vegetable gardening.