Alumni and Friends | University Community

Faith Kaylor took a leap from fashion and dance to law and society

Faith Kaylor took a leap from fashion and dance to law and society when she entered Ohio University's master's program in law, justice and culture.

When she came to OHIO as an undergraduate, Kaylor envisioned a career in fashion "because I have always been interested in the fashion industry and consumerism. Not only that, but I have job experience in retail, so it was a familiar world to me," Kaylor said.

"Dance also has been a central part of my life since I was four years old, and I have been so ecstatic working as a dance teacher for my hometown studio and a choreographer for various theatre organizations," she added.

Now Kaylor is trying something out of her normal comfort zone.

"I have been spending time devoted to social advocacy and equality against racism and gender violence. That work has always been very important to me, and I realized just how important in my final year of my undergraduate career," Kaylor said.

"This is when I realized I wanted to switch career paths, and when I found the M.A. in Law, Justice and Culture program, it just felt like a perfect fit. So that brought me to graduate school. It’s sort of the Elle Woods path, and I’m not entirely sure where my path is taking me, but I am sure I’m moving in the right direction," she said.

Kaylor hasn't given up on fashion and dance. She's still working retail during academic breaks, and it gives her "a great balance and joy to be creative in both school and my work as a dance professional."

Kaylor's path to OHIO

Kaylor started taking college-level courses in high school, and she still keeps in touch with faculty from her College Credit Plus courses.

"I took classes at the Lancaster regional campus and met a lot of great faculty. One that stands out is the theatre director and professor, Victor Jones. I have had a long and great relationship with him, and he always taught meaningful and lasting lessons. One thing any one of his students could tell you is about his stance on gratitude. His lessons remind me to stay grateful and find joy in life," Kaylor said.

After she started at another university, Kaylor transferred to Ohio University during her sophomore year in search of that joy.

"My undergraduate major was retail fashion merchandising, and I obtained a degree in human and consumer sciences. It was a great program and had a lot of opportunities within it. There was also a focus on sustainability in textiles, which was very interesting and eye opening," said Kaylor, who earned her bachelor's degree from the Patton College of Education in 2022.

Kaylor noted that Professor Lisa Williams has always been "an amazing professor and resource. Even from my orientation, she made sure to devote special time and care to make sure everyone felt comfortable and knowledgeable about the program. She sat personally with my family and me to give us a small tour and answer all of our questions. I still reach out to her and feel as though she genuinely cares about any updates I have and my success. Her classes are always interesting and there’s a specific class that mixes fashion with science that is especially cool. I still have notes from her lectures on finance advice in a special folder!"

Among her favorite memories of OHIO — in addition to joining student organizations and going to basketball games — is finding out that she would be staying one more year in Athens.

"One memory that really sticks out to me is the moment I was accepted into the master’s program. It was such a moment of anxiety and joy reading the email subject line! The program has brought so many great opportunities, like the Ireland study abroad trip over spring break," Kaylor said.

"I really was anxious about graduate school and still am anxious to a certain degree, but I have found that I am capable of doing the work itself. The end of my first semester was eye-opening to realize I was halfway through my graduate degree and my goals were reachable if I continued to work hard and make school my priority," she said.

Kaylor spends time now giving back by serving as a graduate student mentor to undergraduates in the Center for Law, Justice and Culture.

"My biggest piece of advice would be to get involved! Don’t miss the connections you can make with faculty and the opportunities or resources the university provides," she said. "Speaking of resources, I will plug my Bookly link here. I have appointments open for anyone with LJC master’s program questions! I would love to help you with anything you need."

March 2, 2023
Staff reports