Employee Spotlight

Terrell G. McKenzie

Associate Director, Operations and Programs

University Events

McKenzie Terrell

Terrell G. McKenzie has been with Emory University for 11 years. He currently serves as the associate director for operations and programs for the University Events team. In this position he creates and oversees events directly related to Emory executive leadership such as the president, provost, and deans. He is also engaged with broad Emory community events such as Commencement.

Growing up in the Bahamas only one mile from the beach, McKenzie calls himself an island boy, though he has now lived in Atlanta longer than he lived in the Bahamas and can understand why people find being at the beach blissful and relaxing.

There are many reasons McKenzie loves Atlanta and one of those is the diverse background of those who choose to call Atlanta home. While in private school in the Bahamas, he spent much time with the foreign exchange students and enjoyed learning about their upbringing, culture, and traditions. He made friends from places such as Europe, South America, and Africa at a young age. He feels that same sense of melting pot diversity and culture by living in Atlanta.

This past year held an exciting moment as McKenzie was able to vote for the first time. Since he left the Bahamas at 18 and did not become a US citizen until two years ago, 2020 was the first time he was eligible to vote in an election. He felt that this election in particular needed his voice, and he found the process exciting, daunting, and a bit scary. He immersed himself by reading about the candidates, watching the debates, and trying to understand other opinions on critical topics.

"Performing for others is my way of sharing, and it brings me much joy."

McKenzie has been involved with musical theater for many years, has danced professionally, and even modeled for a time. When asked where his confidence to perform originated, he said it actually came from other people—being discovered while singing in church, impressing a high school drama teacher, and encountering a photographer while walking on the beach. While he’s always been comfortable performing and entertaining, it wasn’t until others commented on his performances and believed in him that he realized his potential.

He says, “Performing for others is my way of sharing, and it brings me much joy.”