Name: Kayla Ratliff
Degree: Strategic Communications
University of Oklahoma Graduate Student
Kayla Ratliff is studying intercollegiate athletic administration with aspirations of becoming a director of football operations for a Division I football team. Being a fifth-year senior, along with multiple degree changes, gave Kayla ample time to decide what she wanted to pursue. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a long time,” Kayla said. “I switched from merchandising to sports medicine and even looked into wedding planning.”
Her love for sports initially sparked when she studied abroad in Sylvania for a semester. With no Communications courses offered at the institution, she picked up a Marketing minor so she could study in the business school. She quickly found her way into athletics and became invested in soccer.
After returning to OSU, she interned with game and event management for the OSU Department of Athletics. She was responsible for hosting the opposing team and coordinating practice and arrival time.
Kayla also served as a liaison for graduation, Speakers Board members and any other events. She even drove James Franco in a golf cart when he visited OSU as a guest speaker in April 2016.
During her time at OSU, Kayla knew she was interested in event management, so she took every opportunity she could to gain more insight. She served as philanthropy chair in her sorority, campus outreach for Into the Streets and vice president for Pencils of Promise.
“Being a part of the initial kick start for Pencils of Promise has really prepared me for my future endeavors,” Kayla said. “It’s given me a new perspective of how to run things.”
Despite attending OSU’s top rivalry school, Kayla is thankful to be a part of the Cowboy family and the School of Media & Strategic Communications.
“I think what all SMSC majors have at their benefit is that the school really cares about the students, the progress they’re making and the future they have,” Kayla said. “Those professors are fantastic and made every moment of my time here really worth my while.”
Kayla works as a graduate assistant for the Lloyd Noble Center in event and game management. She will graduate in May 2019 with her master’s degree in education.