Not Just a Number: Psychology Major MacKenzie Allison on Why WPU

Oct 6, 2020

To be honest, MacKenzie Allison’s initial experience at William Peace University was not what she expected.

The Durham, North Carolina, native chose to attend WPU in order to play softball, study biology and make a meaningful impact on campus. But within her first year, Allison realized athletics was not going to be the way she invested in the University community and biology was not her true calling.

Now a senior with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, Allison said at first the unexpected transitions were frustrating, but now she’s happy for the challenge.

“When I realized I wanted to change my major and invest in other, immersive experiences,” she said, “I started to broaden my horizons and utilize WPU’s critical thinking courses (CTC) requirements in order to find other peaks of interest.

“And I most definitely found it in psychology, which is the reason I wholeheartedly decided to continue my education at WPU.”

Allison added she consistently recommends using WPU’s standard of exploration to new and incoming students to make sure you find the best fit for your education. Through WPU’s CTC requirements, she found her path from biology to psychology to even more specific study.

“I absolutely love everything about the field of psychology, but through my experience, I definitely found my home in research,” she said, adding that she will graduate this December with her BA in Psychology and a concentration in research.

“Although my interests may be nerdy, I have never felt more excited about learning what goes into running and operating a study,” Allison said. “There is something about constructing a study in a way that will not only yield reliable and valid results, but also comply with ethical guidelines to protect the rights of participants and the integrity of the data that is so challenging and rewarding to me.”

She credits this enthusiasm to her WPU professors, like Dr. Betty Witcher, who pushed her in classes because she saw her potential.

“We have fantastic professors at WPU, and I have been given the opportunity to develop very solid professional relationships with them,” Allison said. “In the psychology department, you are exposed to a variety of ideas, theories and studies, and while each of the professors comes from different backgrounds and has original ways of teaching, they never told me what to think, rather, they taught me how to think for myself. 

“I think this is critical in the world we now live in. As a young person, it’s valuable to understand that it’s okay to deviate from the majority opinion given you know how to develop and articulate a meaningful point or idea.”

Her hard work and commitment to the field of psychology contributed to her internships with LabCorp/Covance over the last two years: first, in training international employees on video conferencing best practices in summer 2019 and then as an In-House Clinical Research Associate intern this past summer.  

Looking back on how different her WPU experience has been than what she expected, MacKenzie said she wouldn’t change anything now, adding that with those unexpected changes she grew both personally and professionally.

And her advice to new students? 

“It is perfectly fine to not know what exactly you want to do,” she said. “In fact in my opinion, it is so much better for you to come in with an open mind and a willingness to learn than to have this very specific title in mind that you hope to obtain. 

“I’ve learned adulthood is all about being prepared for change and being comfortable with the uncomfortable. So take the changes in stride and choose a direction, you’ll learn the path as you go.”

What’s next?

Allison was recently offered a full time role as an In-House Clinical Research Associate with LabCorp/Covance, starting in January 2021. She credits her mentors at WPU for helping her achieve this dream. 

“A Big thank you to the psychology department at WPU for seeing my potential and mentoring me as I worked to achieve my goals!” 

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 


Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.


Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.


Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.


Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.


Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.


Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students


If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 


Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.


WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting


Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.


William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU


Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.


WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 


Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.