Kayla Ballinger


Kayla Ballinger

Life Design Coach 

Office: 314 McLeod Hall

Whether you're confused, overwhelmed, stressed, or feeling great, just show up. I aim to make space for whatever students bring in. You are in charge of how shallow or deep our conversation goes. You know yourself best, I'm just here to help ask questions that help you realize that and support you moving forward!
- Kayla

Kayla Ballinger is defined by her persistence and humanity. Growing up in Delaware, OH, she has always been near college towns and knows how meaningful an education can be for both personal and familial growth. Kayla is a first-generation college graduate who chose Bowling Green State University to break the mold for her family. While completing her education degree, she was able to balance multiple jobs while also taking advantage of BGSU’s study abroad program where she traveled to Turkey and taught at an elementary school. When she returned and graduated from BGSU, she took care of her family while working for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Eager to advance herself, Kayla returned to BGSU to pursue a master’s degree where she also met her Falcon Flame. With her degree, Kayla pushed her career forward and worked for various institutions, like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Owens Community College, and eventually, she returned to Bowling Green State University. Kayla’s work with the Thompson Scholarship for Working Families was rewarding to her and gave her the opportunity to learn about Life Design. Through Life Design, Kayla has been able to help students of all backgrounds find their voice and give them the proper tools to productively design their life forward. She wants her students to feel heard and fill in gaps of knowledge so students can get all the resources they need.

To underline her ability to connect with students, one of Kayla’s favorite Life Design tools is the Empathy Map, which makes students step into another person’s shoes and empathize with them in a more meaningful manner. She finds this activity to be a great way of better understanding where someone comes from and then apply those lessons to yourself in order to improve yourself and the people around you. Kayla also loves discussing Dysfunctional Beliefs with her students. The goal of this tool is to find out what false narratives or beliefs we have bought into and find a way to reframe it; the tools also help to understand the root cause of a dysfunctional belief. Discussing these dysfunctional beliefs helps to normalize them and find a better path forward where we stop holding ourselves back and create a better self and world view. 

As a teacher, students can expect Kayla’s classroom to be a low stress environment that is student focused. Kayla wants to know her students well and will use their feedback to guide the path of the class. She knows every class is not the same and wants to create a community of humbleness and honesty. Students can also expect this warmth and helpfulness in one-on-one coaching sessions where Kayla will get to learn more about you as you work together on building a pathway that fits you. Through the classroom and coaching, Kayla wants students to walk away knowing they can take a more active role in their future and that they can make choices that matter to themselves while also having a lot fun along the way.  


  • Delaware, OH 

Majors / Degrees

  • Bowling Green State University - Bachelor of Arts in Education and Human Development with a minor in Psychology 
  • Bowling Green State University - Master of Arts in College Student Personnel (CSP)  

Professional Experiences / Certification

  • Scholarships, Career, Transfer, Undecided, English Language Teacher, Barista  

Interests Outside of Work

  • Walking, Cooking, Sewing, Knitting, and Other Creative and Mindful Activities 

Words to live by

“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” -Brene Brown 

Updated: 08/10/2023 02:27PM