Mackenzie O'Brien

Mackenzie O’Brien '20

Biological Sciences Mental Health Rehabilitation

Initially, when I came to UNE, I was more focused on Medical Biology. I had this idea that that was the only important health aspect. In college, I shifted my perspective and saw how important and how much of an epidemic mental health is. That shifted me towards Psychology, now I study Biological Sciences and Psychology with a Mental Health Rehabilitation minor.

There’s a lot of overlap with psych and bio, which allows you to tailor the program towards what you specifically want to do long-term. There’s flexibility. You can't top the biology labs and the classes that are offered at UNE. The marine biology courses stand out because the facilities are fantastic. We are right on the water here, so we are in the perfect location to be studying it. You can’t beat that.

The Mental Health Rehabilitation minor is unique. There are not a lot of colleges that offer it at all — let alone offer it so that you come out of it with a certification. When you finish the minor, you are certified to work in Maine as a mental health technician.

Beyond the Classroom

I'm the president of the IMMUNE club and the NOLA club, which are both service-based. The NOLA club does volunteer events throughout the semester, around Biddeford mostly. Then, the group goes down to New Orleans every spring break to work with the St. Bernard's Project building houses that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

For IMMUNE club, we do an international medical mission trip each year. We volunteer with places like Partners for World Health sorting and donating medical supplies internationally. This year, we took a trip down to Ecuador to visit various health clinics. I can't wait to go back, Ecuador was an absolute dream come true. We’re in the process of deciding where we're going next for the IMMUNE trip.