Makenzie Rogers could be the face of the modern Auburn woman—independent, outgoing and determined to be herself.
The Houston, Texas, native drives a pickup, cheers for the Dallas Cowboys and spent her summer helping create a disaster plan for townships in Port Alfred, South Africa. She holds a passion for hunger studies and hopes to spend her career after graduation next spring first attending law school and then working to facilitate international adoptions.
In the meantime, she stays busy as president of the board of the Student Alumni Association, Auburn’s largest student organization with an average of 3,000 members.
The global studies major, who is minoring in hunger studies and business, is a first-generation Auburn student, so she says she came to campus prepared to fully immerse herself in the culture. The Student Alumni Association seemed a good place for her to start.
“I was determined to get plugged in and find my place,” Rogers said. “This was an organization that stood out to me because their purpose lasted far after my four years as a student. This was an organization that would serve me for the rest of my life. However, I didn’t realize I wanted to become a leader within the organization until I felt the love and acceptance of the people around me within the Student Alumni Board. From then on, I realized I wanted to be a part of making other students feel a part of the Auburn family.”
Rogers had her first taste of leadership by getting involved with current SGA President Jacqueline Keck’s campaign. “I was able to witness the steps women are taking at Auburn to have a seat at the table,” she said. “Jacqueline has shown that it is possible to have both humility and confidence. At this moment, I could name more female organization presidents than male, so I really do believe women are paving the way for change and I am so happy to know that Auburn stands behind us and our successes.”
The busy senior, who spends her free time crafting gifts for friends and “indulging an unhealthy obsession for coffee shops,” said there are plenty of opportunities for leadership at Auburn, but she has learned that women leading behind the scenes often do not reap the recognition enjoyed by their more outspoken counterparts.
“Women who are more soft-spoken and work more behind the scenes are often not viewed as leaders, even by themselves,” she said. “While I probably tend to vocalize my opinion too often, there are many other ways to lead. Over the last few years, I have found that some of the greatest leading happens by those who appear to be following.
“My one piece of advice for incoming Auburn women is to be strong and bold and never hesitate to try something challenging out of fear of rejection.”