Mackenzie Ryan Feature Story

By Grant Hensley

Many young college students enter on to the campus of the University of South Carolina with the intention of graduating and finding a job shortly thereafter.

But for Mackenzie Ryan, there was no other duty in her life that she would rather fulfill than being the first person in her family to graduate from college. And to know what drives her the most, you would have to embrace her upbringing that led to this point.

Like many people in this world, your father is your biggest role model. For Ryan, growing up in a family with a father who was in the army only made her role model more respected. At 17, Robert Ryan enlisted into the army and learned the hard work and determination needed to make it in life. Shortly after retiring to start a family, he ended up running a construction business with the same attitude.

Just like her father, Ryan followed suit all the way through high school, ultimately landing her a scholarship to Pace University in N.Y. Although she only ended up staying a year, she learned how much of an impact she could make in this world. A year later, she transferred to USC where she would eventually call the School of Journalism and Mass Communications her home for the next three years.

With that same hard work and determination as her father, Ryan has been studying public relations in hopes of one day becoming the head of communications for the NHL team, the Boston Bruins. She will concede to another National Hockey League team if offered, however. She has already worked for famous Gamecock insider, to jump-start her path.

But not all of Ryan’s life is so serious. She likes to run a lot, hang out with friends, and even drink a few cold ones when the day permits it. She loves to read books; especially suspense filled ones, even though she does not like mixing in schoolbooks at the same time.

You would expect millennial leanings out of her, but she enjoys 70’s rock with no remorse. After growing up on the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts she has always had hopes of someday making it to one of her dream beaches on New Zealand. These are just a few interesting things about what makes Ryan such a special character.

Describing herself, she said, “I am compassionate, opinionated, and driven.” These three attributes are exactly what are seen when talking to Ryan.

She is a person that cares deeply about others.

She is opinionated in how one should run their life, although don’t talk to her about politics because she has no more time to listen to that madness.

And lastly, she is driven. Just like her father, her drive to make the most out of what she has been given only propels her to reach for more and never settle for less.

As her goal of graduating college has almost come to fruition, there is only more to come as the 22 year-old prepares for her next journey in life.

Hensley is a s senior public relations major in the journalism school