Kalahn Taylor-Clark, Ph.D. came to Walnut Hill in hopes of pursuing a dance major, with dreams of eventually dancing with Alvin Ailey, but within a month of her arrival here had injured her back. "I was at a difficult crossroads—go home or pursue the craft of art," she recalls. "I decided to stay and become a theater major. It was tough." Kalahn had not received any formal training in theater, and her only real experience consisted of several past school plays. "The experience opened my eyes to the expansiveness of who I would become," Kalahn says of her time on the Hill. "Studying the craft of theater allowed me the discipline to dedicate myself to pursuits that I found worthy, but also allowed me the freedom of thought to be creative in how I solved problems."
Kalahn took these lessons with her on her post-graduation journey, continuing to hone that discipline and creativity throughout her career. She is a health policy expert "on paper," but she has found herself able to work outside the box. "I have been able to pursue opportunities outside of traditional academia or not-for-profit organizations," Kalahn explains. "To bring multi-stakeholders, often what I call 'strange bedfellows,' to the table to solve difficult issues—this skill will be my unique contribution to any work that I undertake." In addition to her duties as mom to 4-year-old son Dashiell Grey and two four-legged children, Kalahn is an Associate Vice President and Head of Public Affairs for the Cardiovascular Unit at Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company. Her position involves serving as a liaison between the company and key partners, such as provider groups and scientific societies. "While the job has taken me outside of my comfort zone—to a corporate environment—I have been able to navigate the culture and build support for the work my team is trying to pursue," says Kalahn. "Being able to navigate cultures—even corporate culture—is a skill gained through my theater training."