DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Student Spotlight > Meet Kellen Brown: Student leader, 2022 Lincoln Laureate

Meet Kellen Brown: Student leader, 2022 Lincoln Laureate

Kellen Brown
Senior political science major Kellen Brown is DePaul's 2022 Lincoln Laureate. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

As someone with a natural desire to lead others toward safety and success, Kellen Brown entered college with a solid plan for his future. A senior political science major with minors in Russian studies and history and DePaul's 2022 Lincoln Laureate, Brown entered DePaul intending on military service after graduation. With his enrollment in DePaul’s Army ROTC program, alongside other campus involvements, Brown is readying himself to achieve this goal.

Brown’s college experience is defined by his involvement in DePaul’s ROTC program, the Student Government Association and Sigma Chi Fraternity, all of which have contributed to his leadership development.

“DePaul has given me all of the leadership and growth opportunities I never knew I needed,” Brown says. “Being a part of these things has given me the opportunity to interact with so many different people, learn how to make meaningful connections and make myself a better person and leader.”

The Loyola-DePaul Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program has been the center of Brown's collegiate activities. The demanding yet rewarding program involves early-morning workouts every day at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, regular staff meetings and various leadership activities.

“This has given me a leg up over my peers and friends in terms of leadership experience and how to interact with and motivate others," Brown says.

When Brown isn’t engaged in ROTC activities, he advocates for sustainability and student safety, and he serves as a student voice within various DePaul spaces to improve both. Through his role as chief of staff for DePaul’s Student Government Association, Brown has helped lead the university to an increase in sustainable efforts. This position also granted him opportunities to make DePaul’s campus a safer place for his fellow Blue Demons.

“Last year, I participated in a town hall with the Lincoln Park alderman, DePaul representatives and police officers from the neighborhood,” he says. During the meeting, Blue Demons asked questions about student safety. “This topic matters to all of us. Public Safety recognized what students were most concerned about. We feel the town hall actually made a difference."

Brown’s efforts also have contributed to the introduction of various security precautions to protect those on campus.

“Kellen has been a great student advocate to advance the needs of his peers to university administration,” says Courtney James, the advisor for SGA. She adds he has centered conversations around safety with the 2022 spring town hall, his advocacy for increased lighting for evening hours, and creating and expanding shuttle services on and between campuses.

“His determination to create a better experience for all DePaul students will be felt by Blue Demons for decades to come," James says.

On top of Brown’s involvement with ROTC and SGA, he acts as an important member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. During his junior year, he served as Sigma Chi’s president and led the chapter in reaching its most successful year of fundraising, with $27,000 raised for low-income students within Chicago Public Schools. Brown also uses his position within the fraternity to guide the underclassmen toward success and to act as a mentor during hardships.

The university has recognized all of Brown’s hard work and accomplishments through the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, naming Brown as the 2022 Student Lincoln Laureate. Each year this award recognizes students who demonstrate leadership and service in the pursuit of bettering humanity.

With the skills he has developed at DePaul, Brown is confident in his ability to serve as a well-rounded leader after his graduation.

“DePaul has been everything to me. I’m not sure how my life would have gone if I didn’t choose to attend DePaul,” Brown says. “I am well prepared to be an adult in the 'real world' and be successful in my career."