Why are they a Husky Hero!
By Deklin Fitzgerald- Editor-In-Chief
Photo courtesy of Cammie Breuer
Mackenzie Roderick is a prime example of what makes a Husky Hero. Not only is Roderick a leader on and off the court, she is and has been involved in her school community. With aspirations of achieving a successful and fulfilling career, Mackenzie found her way to the University of Southern Maine, where she is in junior standing with a Health Science Major, with a concentration in Pre-Professional and an Honors Minor. She plans on becoming a Physicians assistant, with PA school following her time at USM. Her academic trac has her graduating in three years, despite this being her second year on campus. Roderick has been employed at the Northern Light Mercy Walk-in Care, in Windham.
What inspired you to attend college?
I think I knew that pursuing medicine was something I always wanted to do. I am really intrigued by the human body and I knew that college would be the best option to further my education.
In terms of pursuing medicine, what inspired that choice?
Being an athlete, I have a lot of experiences with different health professionals and going through PT in high school, physical therapy, I was really interested in what was going on with my own body and I realized the opportunities to learn about everybody else and what else is going on in other peoples bodies. And that really intrigued me and I think that through my career, I will be learning something new everyday and that really excites me.
What did Athletes and PT look like in high school?
I think it’s definitely challenging, but a lot of athletes go through it. So just pushing through and knowing that you’re working towards a goal, and that goal is to get back on the court, or the field or the mat. And using your mental health, and prioritizing that while you are working on your physical health.
What activities did you do in high school?
Yes, I also played highschool and I was a part of the student council. I was a four year class officer, two time class secretary, two time class president. I was in National Honors Society. I was the treasurer there. I was on the EA Leadership Team. EA is Erskine Academy, my high school. I was on the girl-up club. Which raises money for girls in developing countries to go to school and get the products they need. I was apart of the cooking club, the math team.
How has that shaped your transition into college?
I think being a part of all of these different activities in high school really helped me with my time management and I’ve always thrived when I am bouncing around from event to event. So having that busy schedule has really helped me, because being a college athlete. That is your entire life. Bouncing around from practice, to class, to work, and so that kind of molded the priorities I have today.
Do you do any curricular activities in college?
Yes, so I play basketball here at USM and I also am a part of the USM Pre-PA club. Pre-Physicians Assistant Club. So we meet with guest speakers and volunteer at various locations.
How has being involved helped shape you?
I think there has definitely been some challenges being a college athlete, but knowing that I can push through and I can make it to the next day is what really keeps me going. I am pushing myself and the success is all worth it. Not just the points and the wins, but you know the improvements and everything like that. The friendships, the teammates that you meet, the girls that you play against, that you build relationships with. That’s what makes it all worth it. And that’s what makes me who I am, right now.
Would you consider yourself a leader on and off the court?
I would say I am, you know on the court, I am playing more of a Point Guard position right now. So I am kinda in charge of putting players where they need to be, and kinda running the floor. That is kinda what happens on the court. Off the court, I really hope to be a role model and an outlet for the younger girls who are experiencing college athletics for the first time. So I hope I can give them someone to look at and someone to talk to.
What is one of your favorite sports memories?
I think a lot of athletes will tell you that their favorite memories don’t actually happen on the court. They happen with the teammates off the court, at the team dinners, the movie nights, even film can be fun. I think my favorite memory thus far… probably the bus rides after our win. So coming back three hours at 01:00 am doesn’t always seem ideal. But we can make the most of it. So it’s really fun.
What is inspiring your resilience to balancing everything?
I think that… so being a college athlete, we go six days at most, and just prioritizing the “me” time. The time you get by yourself. Your going, your going, your going, but it’s good to take a break and that’s kinda what fuels me to get up and into my practice gear and go to practice everyday. The time I get to relax and reflect.
How would you describe your experience at USM?
I think USM is a great place to be. It’s a beautiful campus, it has beautiful people, all coming from different parts of the world. Different parts of the state. Different parts of the country. Bringing that all together. I have had a great experience here, I have met some pretty amazing people. Students, Professors, Staff. So it’s been really enjoyable for me, and I know everyone feels that way.
When you look back, what will you remember?
I work hard out here, and I think I will remember the success that time brought me. So, in the future, where I’m living out the life that I dreamed of. I will remember the time I put in and that I deserve this successful life.
If you had to offer your younger self advice, what would it be?
I would say take advantage of all the opportunities that you have. Shake hands, meet people who can help you. Even if you think they can’t help you, they can. Take advantage of anything that the world offers you.
Who inspires you?
Right now my dad inspires me the most. He’s a recent empty nester, so he’s living at home by himself, and I am really proud of him. A lot of the things I do, I make sure he knows I am thinking of him. And he pushes me to keep going.