On Tuesday, June 20 at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center, John Mackenzie, manager of I.T. project management, will give his devotional address which he will focus on gathering with others who share similar faith and values. 

He felt inspired to speak on this topic because he went to a high school that only consisted of two Latter-day Saint families. When he started attending BYU-Idaho in 1991, he noticed how many more individuals shared his beliefs. He wants to help current students take advantage of their time on campus by surrounding themselves with others who share that common denominator.

“I really enjoyed my time here and all the gathering opportunities that I had across campus from outstanding faculty members and classes to roommates and activities,” Mackenzie said. “I had a great experience, I just wanted to talk about something that made an impression on me.”

Apart from taking advantage of being around others with similar beliefs and standards, Mackenzie wants students to be present both physically and mentally during their time on campus. Even in inconvenient situations, he invites students to do their best to be present and make the most of every day at BYU-I.

“It’s very easy, it seems like, to just pull out the phone when you’re distracted because you feel out of place because it’s a place to go and feel comfortable,” Mackenzie said. “Try to just set aside devices for those times when you’re in those gathering environments whether that’s church or other activities like that.”

Mackenzie grew up in Northeastern Ohio and studied at BYU-I where he met his wife in the John L. Clarke Building. Together they have five children and one grandson. He served a mission in Naga, Philippines where he spoke Tagalog from 1992-1994. In 2002 he started with BYU-I as a program analyst and has worked in various positions in I.T. ever since.