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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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7 Things About Randi McKenzie

McKenzie has been a member of the SDSU family for 35 years.

Randi McKenzie is the assistant dean for Student Affairs for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

McKenzie has taught and advised university students for more than 39 years. For 13 years, she was involved in developing the faculty-student mentoring program at San Diego State University. The program received national recognition under her direction.

Randi McKenzie

She serves in a joint position in academic and student affairs. Her work in the college includes serving as the advisor to the award-winning PSFA College Council, coordinating scholarships, assisting academic advisors and handling student affairs.

1. What inspired you to do this kind of work?

Former Assistant Dean Carole Robasciotti. She was a role model for me and her passion and dedication to students was unparalleled.

I have always enjoyed working with students outside of the classroom and watching them learn and grow is an inspiration on a daily basis. The position of interim assistant dean was offered to me when I stepped down from directing the mentoring program and it was a wonderful progression in my professional development from my involvement with students, programs, and committees on campus.

2. How long have you worked at SDSU?

I am beginning my 35th year as a faculty member at SDSU.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

"It's better to sleep on something you want to say, then stay awake worrying about what you said."

4. What is your favorite thing about your job?

Interacting with students and trying to assist them in solving their problems.

5. What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

The scope of the encounters and responsibilities entailed to do the job well. The freedom to create programs to promote student success and retention and the depth of the interpersonal relationships that can develop over time.

6. What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

In the role of assistant dean, I really have to be the leader, role model, sometimes larger than life person and in my "real life" I prefer to be quiet and engage with only one person at a time. Also, I performed in the opening of the first show at Octad One in Lakeside. They built the theatre around us as they were building the set. My first play was at SDSU in their children's touring theatre.  I played the front end of a horse.

7. If you could only rescue one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

The decorative, engraved sword my student mentors gave me in the 2000s. Followed closely by the photos of Thom (my husband) taken on our 25th wedding anniversary.

Bonus Questions

1. What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

I enjoy New Age music, musicals, Janet Evancho and music from strong singers — not loud music. Celine Dion, Streisand, Dave Grusin, Dixie Chicks, Josh Groban and Maia Sharp are some of my favorites.

2. What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

My favorite athlete is Venus Williams. My favorite professional sports teams are whatever team is playing in the city I am living in. Currently the Chargers and the Aztecs (always the United States team during the Olympics).