Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
McKenzie McLoughlin reads a book called "Speak Up!" in her office.

McKenzie McLoughlin | Spanish and Strategic Communications | Class of 2017

What motivated you to enroll at NAU?

Growing up in Tucson, Flagstaff was the place we’d visit in the winter. It’s where I learned how to make snow angels, ski, and hear the stories of my mom’s time as a Lumberjack in the ‘80s. I had dreams of going to college on a beach and then reality checks of said beach colleges, but NAU was always right there.

I went on my Daily Campus Visit and felt at home.

I studied strategic communications and Spanish when I finally became a Lumberjack, and I studied abroad (twice!), participated in Model UN, worked on campus, and built a community that was much more permanent than I was expecting. My NAU experience was unexpected in the best way possible.

When I graduated, I started a job working for University Admissions, then found my way over to NAU Communications, where I contributed to NAU Social and The NAU Review (how meta!). After that, I started teaching classes in the School of Communication as an adjunct instructor, and now I work in University Marketing.

So, the question really is, how did I come to stay at NAU?

The simple answer is that I love the people who work here, the students we serve, the mission we have, and the physical location we get to do it all in!

Why and how did you select your final major and minor at NAU?

Trial and error! Started as a minor in Spanish, studied abroad summer of freshman year, and wanted more opportunities to study abroad!

In what ways did your NAU coursework prepare you for your career?

I was part of the team that launched the state’s FIRST higher-ed website in SPANISH! You can’t ask for a more direct connection to a Spanish and Strategic Communications major!

McLoughlin and friend in Jacks gear

Did you participate in any experiential learning opportunities, like a study abroad or an internship? If so, how did these contribute to your overall NAU experience?

I participated in both study abroad and student employment. Study abroad really helped me expand my horizons both literally and figuratively. I studied in Costa Rica and Spain, and I built lifelong relationships and learned a lot of soft skills that helped me to hone my communication in English and Spanish.

Student employment helped me to become the professional I am today. These more concrete career skills as they relate to NAU were crucial to my current success.

What part of your NAU experience do you value most highly today, and what could NAU have done better to prepare you for the future?

I think my student employment and my Model UN career really helped my experience. I think having faculty be more explicit about how classroom skills translated into work skills and experiences was key to my understanding of my transferable skills.