With a passion for technology, design, and service, MaKenzie Cuthie ’24 has made the most of her Digital Communications education at Lebanon Valley College—in and out of the classroom.

Growing up in the Palmyra area, Cuthie initially hesitated to enroll in a college close to home, fearing the “hometown college stigma.” However, upon discovering LVC’s emphasis on individualized attention, smaller class sizes, and opportunities for meaningful interaction with professors, she realized that it was the perfect environment for her to thrive.

“I value an environment where I can actively engage with my peers and faculty members, creating meaningful connections, and amplify the impact of what I’m learning both inside and outside of the classroom,” Cuthie said.

Cuthie’s journey into Digital Communications was sparked by her innate creativity and her understanding of the importance of effective communication. LVC’s Design, Media, and Technology Department caught her attention, offering a comprehensive blend of human-centered design, user experience, communications, and graphic design.

“My favorite classes were the IXD (Interaction Design) 450/451 studios with Dr. Ritchie,” she said. “As a UX concentration student, these courses were comprehensive and challenging courses that forced me to think outside the box to solve real world issues. At the same time, these courses encouraged me to be creative in my solutions and explore how humans would truly interact with various systems.”

Beyond academics, Cuthie is actively involved in campus life as the president of DigiVal, a club that encourages students to explore creativity through various tools and machines offered by the program. From embroidery machines to VR headsets, DigiVal fosters a culture of innovation and hands-on learning, empowering students to unleash their creative potential.

Cuthie’s commitment to service shines through her work with local organizations such as The Caring Cupboard and the Hershey Food Bank & Community Outreach. Prior to college, she served as the Operations Manager and Digital Media Specialist at The Caring Cupboard, supporting the organization through the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, her recent freelance project with the Hershey Food Bank & Community Outreach allowed her to leverage her skills to create a website that met their organizational goals, showcasing her dedication to making a difference in the community.

“Every inch of the website—from the logo, to the layout, to the copy—was created by me. I am forever thankful for the opportunity the Hershey Food Bank entrusted me with. Their commitment to serving the community is truly inspiring, and I’m grateful to have played a small part in supporting their mission.”

As Cuthie prepares to graduate, she looks forward to her role as a Graphic Designer / Multimedia Specialist at the eciGroup, one of the state’s premier commercial construction groups. Her responsibilities will include maintaining websites, creating video highlights, managing social media, and more. Additionally, she plans to embark on a trip to Iceland, embracing new adventures and experiences as she continues to make a positive impact in the world.