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McKenzie Reid

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2024

Hometown: Powell Butte, Oregon

Portrait of McKenzie Reid

I am the first engineer and the first Vandal in my family. Coming from a suburb of Portland, Oregon, to the University of Idaho was a complete change of culture and perspective. I felt welcomed and encouraged by the Vandal Family and am now on my way toward pursuing exactly what I want to do after graduation.

As a senior in the College of Engineering, I am gaining experience in the demanding and valuable field of plastic engineering. I am highly involved in U of I's Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team, which designs and builds cleaner, quieter and more efficient snowmobiles. I've held leadership positions since freshman year and experienced our team's second-place win in global competition last winter when we scored only two points behind the top winner.

Through the club, I seized an opportunity with Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to intern in the company's supply chain and plastic engineering divisions. Textron, Arctic Cat's parent company, has offered me a place in their two-year Leadership Development Program after graduation. Beyond that, I anticipate continuing to apply the engineering skills gained during my education and internship in a future role that would bring me home to the western U.S.

The past academic year has been the most rigorous and challenging time of my college career. I've learned how to study smarter, not harder, manage my time, prevent burnout and achieve life-school balance. The Snowmobile Challenge Team has been my networking superpower, launching internship experiences across three years: first with mechanical engineering professor Dan Cordon here in Moscow, and then with Arctic Cat, where I discovered my passion for plastics engineering.

Financial support has reduced stress and worry, allowing me to give 100% of my energy to school and success. To all donors, thank you for your effort in giving me the opportunity to pursue my life's goals.

I am here now to say that because of your support, I have been able to chase and ultimately achieve my dreams as a University of Idaho engineering student.

Growing up, I was told that engineering was impossible for me and that the world was going to tear me down. I am here now to say that because of your support, I have been able to chase and ultimately achieve my dreams as a University of Idaho engineering student.

“Without the generosity of scholarship donors, I would not have been able to discover a love of computer science and pursue it through my doctoral degree. Your support has made all of my studies and research possible.”

Mary Everett ’23
Computer Science

“Because of my scholarships, I was able to feel more comfortable in school, not only because it was something I really wanted, but because I have this incredible support system from donors who want me to succeed.”

Kathy Ruiz ’24
Mechanical Engineering

“Your support was a game-changer for me. I worked hard to pay my way, but I could not have done it without you. Your help relieved a lot of stress of worrying about bills and allowed me to focus on my passion for engineering.”

Hannah Doyle ’22
Civil Engineering

Be Unstoppable.


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