Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Meet the McKenzies

Serving SDSU since 1980

Meet the McKenzies

by PSFA News Team

May 28, 2020

The McKenzies arrived at SDSU as faculty members in August 1980 and they continue to serve the University well.

Randi McKenzie, M.Ed., officially retired in 2016 as an emerita Assistant Dean of Students (College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts—PSFA). She has worked and volunteered at SDSU in numerous roles, including serving as the Director of the Student-Faculty Mentoring Program (FSMP) and teaching sport fencing and theatrical sword fighting. She has a strong background as a competitor (e.g., finishing second in the nation in women’s saber fencing), and has taught in the Old Globe Theatre’s MFA program for four seasons. Currently, she volunteers within PSFA, the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs (EOP), and in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film. Beyond SDSU, Randi volunteers with the American Red Cross and the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, a San Diego Police group that helps provide additional “eyes” in the city, checks on vacation homes, assists home-bound seniors, and delivers evidence to district/city attorney offices.

Thom McKenzie, Ph.D., officially retired as professor emeritus in the SDSU School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences in 2004. A native of Canada, he is a former school physical education and health teacher, coach, and administrator. He also served as a technical consultant with the USA National and Olympic Volleyball Teams for 16 years. Dr. McKenzie has authored/co-authored approximately 300 scientific papers and chapters, presented at over 500 international, national, and state conferences, and served on numerous national committees and task forces. In his own words, despite humble beginnings, he has “traveled broadly, participated in the Olympics, dined with a president, and received more recognition than ever imagined.” Through his research and scholarship (which continues and includes being on NIH-funded grants through the SDSU Foundation), Thom truly has impacted society in a most profound manner. He, for example, is co-founder of SPARK (Sports, Play, & Active Recreation for Kids), an internationally recognized, evidence-based, physical education curriculum and instruction program that is now in its 31st year.

Randi notes, “I have received a great deal from working and volunteering with the students, faculty, and staff at SDSU. Having spent 40 years on SDSU’s campus, I wanted to repay the university for the privilege of working with those from whom I have learned so much.”

Randi and Thom have included SDSU in their estate plans. Their gifts support a KPBS programmatic endowment, the SDSU Emergency Crisis Response Team, and the SDSU Courage Through Cancer Fund. Additionally, they annually support student research within the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences as well as the Performing Arts Traveling Troupe, a Bystander Intervention and Sword Fighting program, and Children’s Theatre within the PSFA College.

We are so grateful for all that Randi and Thom do for SDSU and the broader community.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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