McKenzie grew up in Indiana. Most of her time was spent riding bikes and building forts outdoors. Her family took many trips to Brown County Indiana which sparked her love of nature. These early experiences prompted her to choose Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington, IN for her undergraduate studies to be close to the beauty of Brown County. As a new college student, she spent her free time volunteering at farms of all shapes and sizes, including a farm in central Costa Rica and an Amish family farm in rural Indiana. These experiences helped shape her understanding of the delicate nature of current food systems and instilled a desire to work in a field that could positively impact these issues.
McKenzie received her Master's in Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, both from IU. While at IU, she worked as an intern with the IU Office of Sustainability and became enthralled with sustainability education at institutions of higher learning. After graduating, McKenzie worked in sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she managed a large "green" fund that financed many sustainability projects on campus.
After a couple of years, McKenzie moved back to Indiana to take the role as Sustainability Coordinator at Butler University in Indianapolis. In this role she facilitated sustainability programming, coordinated climate action planning, and taught a sustainability practicum course. Over the 2015 summer, McKenzie served as a Fellow for Plan 2020--the bicentennial planning initiative for the City of Indianapolis. In this role, she researched urban resiliency and helped to set the stage for a resiliency master plan.
In July 2018, McKenzie accepted a position at the University of Texas at Austin as the Senior Zero Waste Coordinator. In this role she oversees the university's commitment to be Zero Waste by 2020.
In her free time, McKenzie enjoys rock climbing, gardening, fermenting things, and exploring natural areas with her dog.