Week 11/2015 - Fellow highlight
Dr. Lauren Mackenzie
As part of our Weekly Fellow Highlight, we asked Dr. MacKenzie a few things about herself. Our Fellows are a very important component to ISCL and it's always enjoyable to check in with them to find out what project they're working on and how they are enjoying life. Dr. MacKenzie was very generous with her answers, and we are pleased to make her our first Fellow interview on ISCL
From Dr. MacKenzie:
Most of my time outside of teaching is spent at home with my husband, Joe, and two boys, Mark (age 7) and Ryan (age 2). We recently moved to northern Pennsylvania and try to spend as much time outside as we can.
I met my husband when I was a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts and he was an Army ROTC cadet. Without him, I never would have been introduced to what has become my professional passion - teaching intercultural communication skills to military students. Joe has been a constant source of support for me as we both try to progress in our careers while raising a family. Balancing work life and family life is a challenge, to say the least, and I don’t make as much time as I should for other things. But when I’m not at home or work, I love to swim, run, play Scrabble and watch any Boston sports team on T.V.
I also try to keep two books going at all times - one professional and one for fun. The last two books I read were “Me, Myself & Us” and “The Last Living Confederate Widow Tells All” - I highly recommend both!
Since I left my job at the Air Force Culture & Language Center in August, I have been teaching 4 classes a semester at Bloomsburg University devoted to Intercultural Communication and Conflict Management. I have begun two new projects since I arrived here. The first is a proposal I am developing which would allow student veterans who have deployed to write an essay and interview with me in order to satisfy their cultural diversity general education credits. I am part of the BU Veterans Advisory Committee and hoping to move this proposal along in the coming months so that student veterans can receive credit for their overseas deployments. The other project I am working on is a revision of the Intercultural Communication assessment measure for the general education course I teach. I am developing a series of Situational Judgment Tests which would assess students’ knowledge of what they’ve learned in class using scenario-based exercises as opposed to self-report questions.
Finally, I have a publication and several presentations coming up this spring. I will be delivering a presentation at the Women, Peace & Security conference held this April at the U.S. Naval War College as well as an intercultural communication training session for the Air Force Special Operations School in June. I also have a chapter coming out in the new book: Communicating User Experience: Applying Local Strategies Research to Digital Media Design titled "Intentional Design: Using Iterative Modification to Enhance Online Learning for Professional Cohorts.”