Kayla grew up in Lisle, IL, one of Chicago’s southwest suburbs. In the summer of 2015, she received an AS degree from Joliet Junior College (JJC) and later received an AAS in Operations Engineering from JJC and her BS in Biochemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2018. At UIC, she worked in Professor Justin T. Mohr’s group on iron-catalyzed dihalomethylenation at the gamma-carbon position of enone substrates. Kayla also worked concurrently in Professor Constantine Megaridis’ lab on chemical functionalization to make biodegradable, superhydrophobic coatings as well as explored methods to couple fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (F-POSS) with various metals for anti-degradation and corrosion resistance purposes. After graduating, she joined INEOS Styrolution as an R&D technician, working on enhancing mechanical properties and improving recyclability of styrenic polymers. Kayla is an NSF GRFP fellow who joined the Swager group in the fall of 2019 as a chemistry graduate student in the program in polymers and soft materials.