Kayla Sliz '20

Psychology Major
Kayla Sliz with Cecile Gunn, clinical assistant professor of psychology

If you ask Kayla Sliz to single out her highlight as a UNH student-athlete, she probably won’t mention such accomplishments as being named the 2016 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Scholar of Distinction and being named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad three years running.

Nor is she likely to bring up her nomination to the 2018 America East Conference All-Academic Team or receiving the Gina Bailey Skelly Field Hockey Scholarship Award (2018 and 2019), which is given “to an athlete who embodies the impact of leaving a positive legacy on the UNH field hockey program by consistently providing an excellent example of sportsmanship, quality academic experiences and outstanding character.”

No, she’ll probably even skip over her induction into Chi Alpha Sigma, the College Athlete Honors Society.

Instead, she’ll tell you about her poster presentation at the 2019 UNH Undergraduate Research Conference on the topic of female leadership in collegiate sports. “My poster looked at the skills and strategies of effective leadership. It was very rewarding to spend the year working hard to analyze data and get to share the results of that work with my peers,” says the midfielder from the frozen tundra of Ajax, Ontario.

A psychology major with a kinesiology minor, Kayla has benefited from the intellectual breadth that comes from working closely with faculty from the liberal arts as well as health and human services. “Karen Collins in the Kinesiology Department taught the first class I took at UNH and I have been working with her, both in the classroom and in research, ever since,” Kayla says.

“I’ve also worked closely with John Mayer and Cecile Gunn in the Psychology Department for my senior honors thesis. They’ve all been extremely helpful in developing my research skills and preparing me for my future in psychology.”

In a senior season that saw the team captain tally 12 points on five goals and two assists on the field, Kayla now has her eye on a different kind of field.

“Studying liberal arts at UNH has taught me to be able to come up with my own ideas and opinions about a topic and then be able to communicate those ideas effectively. This is great preparation for what I hope will be a career in clinical sports psychology.”