Mackenzie Evan Smith studies Creative Writing and Arabic at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the recipient of a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship in Morocco, a Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society Scholarship, and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from Carnegie Mellon University. Her writing has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Her Campus and Many Voices—One Community; she was selected as a finalist for the Alexander Patterson Cappon Prize for Fiction from New Letters.
In 2006, Ms. Smith solo hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine; this experience formed the basis of her creative writing fellowship, The Appalachian Trail: Understanding Its Impact and Meaning in Pennsylvania Communities Through Creative Nonfiction. This fellowship and her experiences traveling in North Africa and the Middle East contributed to her senior honors thesis, The Naked Note Taker. She plans to graduate in May 2011.