Student Profile: Mackenzie Mercer
After her younger brother was diagnosed with autism, Mackenzie Mercer tagged along to his counseling sessions. Along the way, she says she fell in love with psychology.
“I declared my psychology major as soon as I could,” she says. “We all have the same brain structures, but everyone is so different, and I like figuring out why. I would be reading about psychology even if it wasn’t for class.”
The Ionia junior says she gravitates toward the clinical, rather than research, side of psychology because she loves the interactions with people it provides. Mercer is completing an internship at MidMichigan Medical Center of Gratiot County.
“I intern in the partial hospitalization unit and sit in on group therapy sessions with clients with many different disorders from depression to schizophrenia,” she says. “It’s a completely voluntary program, and the goal is to help the patients live more productive, better lives. Everything that we do is fascinating for me. It really brings out my nerdy side.”
A sister of both Alpha Xi Delta and Zeta Sigma, Mercer plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology. In the meantime, she is enjoying her time in Alma. Both of her parents graduated from the college, and she loves the family atmosphere on campus, she says.
“Alma is such a relaxed and welcoming community,” she says. “If I go to the grocery store on the weekends, I see my professors or classmates, and we always say ‘hi’ to each other. You always feel safe here, and no matter who you are or what major you choose, you will fit in at Alma.”