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Campus Celebrity: Mackenzie Gellings

Name: Mackenzie Gellings

Hometown: Sisters, OR

Year in school: Senior

Major: Animal Science 

HC at Oregon State: What are you involved with on campus?

Mackenzie: I am a 3rd year Resident Assistant and Senior Resident Assistant in my building. I’m involved in research on campus in the Reproduction and Embryology laboratory, which is part of the College of Animal and Rangeland Sciences. I’m also involved in the University Honors College and I’m currently finishing up my undergraduate thesis on the effects of a certain enzyme on bovine embryos. 

HC at Oregon State: What made you decide to become an RA, and which hall do you reside over?

Mackenzie: My freshman year I lived in Sackett Hall. I was very shy and introverted as a freshman, and very overwhelmed to be here in Corvallis after coming from a small town. I had some great RAs that made the transition to college much easier for me and helped me to make my freshman year awesome! I wanted to be able to do the same thing for other incoming freshmen in the future, so I applied to be an RA and got the job! I have been an RA in Hawley-Buxton Hall for all three years of my RA career, and it’s a wonderful building and a great community to be a part of.

HC at Oregon State: What has been your most memorable RA moment thus far (good, bad, or both)?

Mackenzie: One of my favorite moments in my career as an RA was last year when I had two residents from my wing apply to be RAs. It’s always so gratifying when your residents apply for the position because they’ve seen how great the job can be and want to contribute to a community in the future. Both those residents from last year ended up getting the job and are now working with me in Hawley-Buxton! It’s been awesome to get to know them as residents and then as coworkers and see them grow as RAs. 

HC at Oregon State: What are the pros and cons of being an RA?

Mackenzie: Being an RA is one of the most difficult and challenging positions that you could choose to have during college. It tests your patience, your resolve, your work ethic and your people skills. It is also, in my opinion, one of the most gratifying and amazing jobs you could ever have in college. The growth you experience as a person is astounding. I have learned so much about myself through this position and have done some serious growing up because of it. You get the opportunity to meet some amazing people, to work with a wonderful staff and to help people make the start of their college career the best it could be.

HC at Oregon State: Any words of advice for those considering applying for an RA position?

Mackenzie: The job is what you make of it. There are lots of RAs that just float through the position and don’t make any real impact on the community that they are in. This is fine, if all you are in it for is the financial benefits. The experience you get if you put your whole self into the job is totally worth it. Building community, meeting people, helping people and your own growth as a person are the reasons you should be getting into this position. It can be draining and exhausting at times, but in the end it’s totally worth it. 

HC at Oregon State: What are you planning on doing after graduation?

Mackenzie: Right now my plans are to go work as an assistant trainer at Haaby Performance Horses in Central Oregon for a year or two. It’s a reining and cowhorse barn, and I’ve been given the great opportunity to work with some awesome people and talented horses and learn as much as I can. After that, I’ve been accepted to the Equine Science Masters program at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to travel, learn more about myself and focus on a field of study that I love!

Give it up for Mackenzie, and stay tuned spring term to meet even more incredible people within the OSU community!


Lara is a graduate of Oregon State University, with a degree in New Media Communications and minors in writing and Spanish. Currently, Lara resides in New York City and works in the Influencer Marketing space.
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