on faculty since 2000
Ph.D., Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, 2004
M.S.W., Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
B.A., Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, 1997
Give Mackenzi Huyser a few minutes of your time, and she’ll have you participating in a project that works to create change and address the inequities of social structures. Even if you don’t get involved, you will realize quickly that Huyser’s goals for her students include helping to develop their callings to serve and become advocates for change.
“I love to see students show their passion for serving others by giving voice to issues that impact clients. Our students challenge the status-quo and advocate for change in the communities where they serve,” said Huyser, chair of Trinity’s social work department since its inception in 2000 and professor of social work.
Huyser, who earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Andrews University (MI) and a M.S.W. from Grand Valley State University (MI), sees her classroom as a place filled with energy and lively discussion and a place where ideas are developed.
“I work to create an environment where knowledge and skills can be strengthened and students are engaged in learning about social issues through challenging readings, discussion, and activities.”
Every year, the Michigan native accompanies a group of social work students to Springfield, Illinois, for Lobby Day, helping them to become active participants in the legislative process to bring about change. She also strongly encourages students to attend and present at professional social work conferences. In addition, students are required to participate in service learning hours throughout the program and must complete 400 hours in field education during their final semester.
“These program opportunities prepare our students to be leaders,” says Huyser. “As leaders, Trinity social work graduates partner with clients and communities to speak to the pressing issues of our day. This work is significant as in the future they will be called on to shape the landscape of social services to address the concerns of those in need.”
Her commitment to addressing social issues is unwavering and is reflected by her philosophy of teaching at a Christian college. “It is absolutely necessary that our department create learning opportunities so our students are prepared to be advocates for social justice,” said Huyser. “Students who choose to major in social work are committed to serving others in a Christ-like manner. Our program creates opportunities for students to live out this call in our diverse urban context.”
Huyser also views her role as a calling in social work education. She hopes to “inspire students to serve others through their work in social work … and not only serve others with compassion but also [become] radical change agents to address the inequalities in so many of the structures in our society.”
Huyser serves as an associate editor of the journal Social Work and Christianity. She was selected as Emerging Leader for the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter in 2010.
Huyser, M., Boerman-Cornell, B., & DeBoer, K. (2011). Christian schools and demographic change: Two case studies. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 20(1), 4-27.
Wolfer, T.A. & Huyser, M. (Eds.). (2010). Grappling with faith: Decision cases for Christians in social work. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
Huyser, M. & Wiles, M. (2010). The letter. In T.A. Wolfer & M. Huyser (Eds.), Grappling with faith: Decision cases for Christians in social work (pp. 29-39). Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
Huyser, M. & Zumdahl, L.E. (2010). The threat. In T.A. Wolfer & M. Huyser (Eds.), Grappling with faith: Decision cases for Christians in social work (pp. 123-127). Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
Huyser, M. & Wolfer, T.A. (2010). The eligibility error. In T.A. Wolfer & M. Huyser (Eds.), Grappling with faith: Decision cases for Christians in social work (pp. 149-156). Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
Huyser, M.A. (2010). Social Work with Volunteers [Review of the Book]. Social Work and Christianity, 37(1), 93-94.
“Teaching BSW Students Research: Results From Two Models of Collaboration” Annual Program Meeting, Council on Social Work Education, Portland, OR, October 2010.
“Field as the Signature Pedagogy: Meeting the Needs of Millennials” Annual Meeting, Baccalaureate Program Directors, Phoenix, AZ, March 2009.
Wolfer, T.A. & Huyser, M.A. (2008). Introduction to the special issue Radical Christian Innovations in Social Work and Social Welfare. Social Work and Christianity, 35(4), 363-373.
Huyser, M.A. (2008). The new monastic movement: A case example of Reba Place Fellowship. Social Work and Christianity, 35(4), 413-428.
Boerman-Cornell, B. & Huyser, M.A. (2008). A diverse set of diversity experiences: A case example of constructing cultural competence in teacher education. Teaching with compassion, competence, commitment, 2(1), 54-71.