“Kellen is a talented individual. He is an excellent writer and storyteller. Not to mention, Kellen is great behind the lens and takes appealing photos. His skills with photography and videography were an asset to the social media program. One characteristic that stands out about Kellen is that he is tech savvy as well as an avid researcher and problem solver.”
Communications and Public Relations Manager
“I had the distinct privilege of working with Kellen as one of our summer interns at my organization and would have hands-down hired Kellen onto my team if I could. I later did hire him for several freelance needs, including creating communications and marketing materials, Spanish translation, and as a photographer at events. Kellen is wonderful to work with and has a great eye, great heart and great sense of style, all while being a true professional.”
Executive Director (2014 - 2018)
American Youth Symphony
“It was a pleasure to work with Kellen. He is very collaborative and has an excellent way of translating one’s vision into tangible creatives. He truly takes the time to understand your vision and goals for a project, and works tirelessly to make sure he executed the product the way you envisioned. He developed a website for my non-profit and created the graphics for my presentation materials. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Kellen is thoughtful, creative, and hard-working. I highly recommend his work, you will not be disappointed.”
Shannon Stanton Agbotse
Founder and Director, Hosanna Christian Academy
Professor of Education, Whittier College
“In 2015, Kellen was given the critical task of researching and analyzing career services management (CSM) platforms for the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at a critical time of organizational transformation for CCPD and Whittier College. CCPD needed to rapidly transform its software systems to keep pace with the hiring needs of employers and the career goals of students. As the Assistant Dean of CCPD, I required a platform that would provide the College and CCPD with a real-time data dashboard and deep dive analytics. Moreover, any new CSM platform needed to appeal to students in order to be used. Kellen provided me with the first comprehensive overview analysis of the systems available at the time. Using his research, several CSMs were identified in a short period of time. Kellen's initial research led to CCPD procuring a 21st-century CSM that far surpassed CCPD expectations for providing students with global career opportunities, and enabled CCPD to use data to develop critical career development programming. I appreciated Kellen's commitment to the research and his ability to keep his eye on the big picture need for the CSM research.”
Assistant Dean (2015-2018)
Whittier College Weingart Center for Career
and Professional Development
"Kellen worked as my intern at The Los Angeles Review of Books from 2016-2018. Not only did he always complete editorial tasks on time, I came to rely on him and trust his judgment. He worked with freelance writers and academics, from graduate students to eminent professors, and with the editors at the LA Review. He is always professional, reliable, sensitive and pleasant. He ultimately organized the workflow and trained a new set of interns for me. He is sharp, easygoing, beyond competent, and an absolute joy to be around. He goes above and beyond what's necessary, he's reliable and he does everything with a gentle sense of humor and good will. Kellen listens carefully to all viewpoints. He meets deadlines. He is also one of the sharpest students, if not the smartest, I have ever worked with in my 13 years of teaching at the college level. Anyone would be lucky to have Kellen on their team.”
Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books
Assistant Professor of English, Whittier College
“I nominated Kellen to apply for the 'Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship,' a program that is designed to identify and cultivate students from groups that are under-represented in the professoriate. In this fellowship, Kellen worked with me on a project concerned with intertwining matters of race and gender in the work of Ernest Hemingway. Kellen completed that work at an extremely high level and made several public presentations on it at research conferences. I was able to observe that Kellen did not have to rely on written materials to do that work. I rarely see any of my peers bring that off as well as he did, and I believe he has achieved enough that his work is publishable in regular research journals in my field.
"I do think Kellen's resume reflects who he is -- I do not see him as one of the resume-builders who get involved just to check off another box. He contributes and gets noticed. That being said, Kellen is a very modest and respectful person. He relates very well with his peers, and takes them seriously. He has a fine sense of humor and listens carefully. I believe he has great self-awareness and accepts correction.
"His maturity level is high and he gets things done. I predict success at whatever level and of whatever kind Kellen wants.”
Professor of English
“The Whittier Historical Society and Museum was thrilled to have Kellen work with us! He composed five exceptional articles that were published in our monthly newsletter, The Gazette. He chose and researched all of his articles, and was required to work with sensitive historical documents and materials. In addition, he designed the newsletter using Microsoft Publisher and edited other interns' articles for publication in the newsletter. Kellen created several flyers and posters for upcoming events and posted them on the Whittier Museum's social media sites in order to attract the public to our events. He assisted in updating our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to encourage people to visit the Museum and participate in upcoming events. And lastly, Kellen was always open to assisting in any area requested of him. He went above and beyond to assist with set-up and break down of events. We are very grateful to Kellen for all of his work. ”
Director, Office Manager
Whittier Historical Society & Museum
“Kellen Aguilar is the single finest student I have taught in my 18 years as a college professor, including twelve years at West Virginia University and six at Whittier College. He is as sophisticated in his thinking and writing as the best Ph.D students I taught in my twelve years of teaching graduate students, and as capable an instructor as nearly all of my departmental colleagues.
"Kellen draws skillfully on his training in English and History, using each to fortify and enrich the other. In addition, he has an extraordinary memory that allows him to form very specific connections between material encountered not only at the beginning and end of a semester, but across semesters and disciplines. For example, Kellen offered a design proposal for a "Museum of the History of Literary Criticism," whose architecture and whose pathways reflected shifts in critical thinking about the value of literature across centuries. In addition, Kellen actually designed an interactive exhibit for his museum, building a website with scannable QR codes that allows a visitor to engage in particular with the shared ideas of historical literary figures. Kellen's work is always ambitious, but it is important to add here that the ways in which Kellen stands out are always in terms of his intellectual humility as much as his intellectual courage, and also in his generosity towards his peers. Kellen raises the level of discourse in any conversation he enters, and engages thoughtfully with the work of his peers without ever seeming condescending or judgmental. He encourages and inspires where another of his abilities might merely intimidate.
"It was these last qualities that led me to invite Kellen to serve as a peer mentor in my Freshman Writing Seminar. The students in that class adored Kellen. He held writing workshops for them outside of class, tutored students individually and modeled intellectual ambition and humility in everything he did. On two occasions I turned the class over to Kellen and he ran discussions for the full 50 minutes. Kellen understands the importance of pacing in teaching, the value of providing a variety of ways for students to approach new material and the importance of prioritizing what the students are doing, not what the instructor is doing.
"Kellen impresses me in many ways. He is hard working, responsible, and deeply committed to self-improvement. Yet the attributes that strike me as most extraordinary are his talents as a writer, his intellectual autonomy, and his amiable self-confidence. He writes with greater clarity and sophistication than many graduate students, and at the same time is able to articulate ideas in ways that make them accessible and inspiring for less prepared and even struggling students. In short, Kellen behaves like a colleague.”
Associate Professor of English
"I wish I had met Kellen years ago. I am at awe by his maturity and the great level of professionalism he displays in his work. He is respectful, dedicated, responsible, organized, prepared, highly reliable, attentive, and above all, very humble. He has helped me improve my writing and math skills and moved me closer to obtaining my teaching credentials for Elementary Education.
"Kellen's knowledge and patience make him an outstanding teacher. When he sets himself to a task, he truly dedicates his time to it. For example, when we were unable to solve a math question dealing with unit conversions, Kellen promised to follow up with me on that question. Before the end of that day, I received an e-mail from him with the solution and a clear, step-by-step explanation of the problem.
"As I prepared to take the writing portion of the CBEST exam for teacher credentialing, Kellen taught me rhetorical techniques, explained strategies for formulating written arguments, and assessed my progress. For practice, he e-mailed me additional writing prompts and guidelines to assess my writing skills.>
"I am pleased with the way he conducts himself -- with a great deal of humbleness, professionalism, and readiness. Kellen always makes himself available to help. I highly recommend him. Thank you, Kellen. You’re the best.
Robert Hill Lane Elementary School