At the top of her class

ALES grad earns Oxford Scholar status

Helen Metella - 14 June 2018

Mackenzie Martin, an extraordinarily busy student convocating today from the Department of Human Ecology, can now add being a Rhodes Scholar to her lengthy to-do list.

After earning joint bachelor of education and science degrees, as well as a certificate from Peter Lougheed Leadership College, Martin has completed practicum teaching at a junior high school in Edmonton and is headed to graduate studies at the University of Oxford this fall, via one of the world's oldest, most prestigious and selective international scholarships.

"There are so many wickedly smart people at Oxford and I look forward to having great conversations with people who challenge me and talk about things I've never heard of before, never even thought of before," said Martin, the lively and articulate 22-year-old whose studies in human ecology take place within the Department of Human Ecology.

"It's so exciting to join the Rhodes community, which aspires to develop and support public-spirited leaders around the world."

In addition to her curriculum studies in child and family development, she invested extra effort researching aging, and on creating a program that inspires pregnant teenagers and teen mothers in Edmonton to pursue post-secondary education.

In 2016, she won an undergraduate researcher stipend to conduct an ethnographic study at De Hogeweyk, an internationally renowned village near Amsterdam for people with dementia.

Working alongside faculty researchers Janet Fast and Megan Strickfaden, she is a part-time research assistant with AGE-WELL NCE, a national research network that focuses on aging and technology.

The team is developing a tablet application and associated database that allows family caregivers to choose appropriate technological tools for their needs.

"Mackenzie demonstrates all of the best attributes of an ALES student," said Stan Blade, dean of the Faculty of ALES. "A great education taught by superb faculty members, international perspective through a diversity of experiences, and local leadership in important activities and initiatives to help the community. We are so pleased that she has been selected for this remarkable opportunity at Oxford."

Martin's award marks the second time in three years that a student from the Faculty of ALES has received a Rhodes Scholarship. Each year, a class of 100 scholars is selected from countries around the world and 11 are chosen from Canada.