2011-2012 Luce Scholar

Mackenzie Evan Smith studies Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the recipient of a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship in Morocco, a Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society Scholarship, and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been an editorial assistant at Creative Nonfiction and Carnegie Mellon University Press. She has also worked as a reading tutor for elementary students, a writing tutor for international students, and an Arabic teaching assistant. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, TriQuarterly and Her Campus; she was selected as a finalist for the 2009 Alexander Patterson Cappon Prize for Fiction from New Letters. Prior to attending college, Mackenzie worked at a Girl Scouting center in Switzerland and aboard a tall ship as a Boson’s Mate in the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. In 2006, she solo hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine; this experience formed the basis of her creative writing fellowship project, “The Appalachian Trail: Understanding Its Impact and Meaning in Pennsylvania Communities through Creative Nonfiction.” This fellowship and her experience traveling in North Africa and the Middle East contributed to her senior honors thesis, a travel essay collection entitled “The Naked Note Taker” (thenakednotetaker.wordpress.com). She is currently completing the collection and plans to graduate in May 2011.