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Student Spotlight: Kayd Miller

Student Spotlight: Kayd Miller

Major: Public Policy

Sport: Rowing

Year: Senior

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the East Bay. I spent my childhood growing up in Antioch, CA until we moved to Brentwood, CA when I was 11 or I lived in Brentwood until I was 17 then lived kind of all over the East Bay. I've lived in Concord, Martinez, Pacheco, Walnut Creek, Berkeley, Pinole, and no I live in Oakland. I also lived in Los Angeles for like 6 months before going back to college, but it was probably the worst place I've ever lived. 

Who did you look up to growing up?

I can't say that I had one idol growing up. I did have a special appreciation for all my teachers, especially those who went above and beyond to accommodate my needs. Honestly, I would say I really had to look inward to idealize the person I wanted to be, and look up to that. 

What is your favorite childhood memory?

When I was little, I was really close to my older sister, who is only one year older than me. Whenever I was scared, she would let me sleep in her bed. I remember we used to both be afraid of the monsters that the shadows in our hair would make, so we would face sleeping each other, determined that that would keep the monsters away. My mom also helped keep us safe by creating "monster spray" for our pillows, which was just water with lavender essential oils to help us sleep. 

How long have you been competing in your sport?

I just started my second year, both of which have been at Mills.

What/who got you into your sport?

I have been in sports my whole life. I thrive on competing, especially within a team. After I tore my meniscus my family didn't have health coverage and couldn't afford surgery, so it didn't heal all the way correctly. Ever since then, it has been hard to find a sport that accommodates that injury. When I was applying to Mills, I knew I wanted to get back into sports because I missed having the support of a team and I missed the feeling of being strong and in shape. I saw that Mills had a program that taught people how to row, which was awesome because I didn't want to just be thrown into a sport and expected to be as good as people who have dedicated their whole lives to the sport. I went and talked to the head coach. When I went to talk to her, I sort of just went in and said "I'm joining crew if I get accepted into Mills. What do I need to know and what should I do to get ready?" 

What is your favorite thing about your sport?

Probably that it is a full body workout, the friends you gain are so integral to your life, and that it is insanely competitive, but not in a way that makes you not want to try. Nothing is as thrilling as rowing past another boat in a race and watching them get further away as you pull forward faster.

What is your favorite color?

Oooh, that's tough. Pretty tied between red, brown, or purple.

What is your favorite food/drink?

I LOVE sushi and sashimi!! I also really have a soft spot for a really good ramen.

What is song do you have on repeat right now?

Show Must Go On by Queen

Who is your favorite celebrity and why?

Janelle Monae, because I think the afro-futurism movement is really cool and it's so amazing to see another celebrity out with the same sexual orientation as me (she's unapologetically pansexual!)

What is something you want to do before you graduate?

I feel like the education I received up until I started at Mills was always very surface level. My goal in coming to Mills was to learn more about how to be a social justice advocate within my field of study, and I feel that I have really gained a lot of knowledge to help me with that. I'll never be done learning how to be a better person and I know that I have a lot to learn to be a good ally, but Mills has provided me with the knowledge to critically think about my position in the world in relation to others so that I can do my best to make everyone's situation more equitable (hopefully!)

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

My semester is a little thin since I'm done with most of my classes, but I would have to say my senior seminar. My senior thesis topic is really interesting, but it's not what I wanted to study. I learned through my research in this class that my topic of interest doesn't actually have research done on it, so I now know what direction I want my career to go after college. It's really empowering to find the topic that you're passionate about, I'm just sad that it took 5.5 years of college to get here. I'm glad I have found it though!