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My Student Experience: Teaching Fellow Charles Kellon Grows Leadership Skills as NC State Student Government’s Director of Equity and Accessibility

Charles Kellon, right, stands next to Student Body President Timothy Reid
Charles Kellon, right, stands next to Student Body President Timothy Reid.

After joining NC State Student Government as the College of Education student senator last year, Teaching Fellow and elementary education major Charles Kellon decided he wanted to engage the campus community on a larger scale. That’s why he was excited when he was presented with the opportunity to become the student-run organization’s director of equity and accessibility. 

“I just wanted to take this role on so that I could help positively impact the campus experience for the rest of the minority students and students who will come after me — just being able to have an active role in helping create the change that we wanted to see,” Kellon said. 

Kellon leads a roughly 25-person team that makes up the Department of Equity and Accessibilty. Part of that involves planning events, such as Respect the Pack, which is hosted by Student Government each semester to promote diversity and inclusion. 

Kellon delivered a speech at this fall’s Respect the Pack and was involved in the planning process for the panel of multicultural students in leadership that followed. This spring, he worked with current College of Education student senator and Transformational Scholar Jahzar Fields to plan a Respect the Pack that focused on intersectionality and featured a number of related workshops.

“It was a collaboration between us where I did more of the actual presentation and then he did the delivery but was able to make it his own,” Kellon said. 

In addition to Respect the Pack, Kellon and his team also hosted a Black History Month luncheon at Talley Student Union, which was designed to build community among Black students at NC State. At the luncheon, Kellon delivered a keynote speech in which he traced the history of Black trailblazers, scholars and leaders at NC State. 

“That was a great learning process for me while writing the speech, that I got to learn more about Black history at NC State and notable black people here on campus,” Kellon said. “It was a great experience. I was glad to be able to deliver that.”

This upcoming semester, Kellon is looking forward to a number of other events his team has planned, including a town hall where students with disabilities will be able to talk with a representative from the Disability Resource Office and ensure their needs are being met. 

“I want to make sure that I can create events that are impactful for the community at large and foster a greater sense of community around people who come from multicultural backgrounds or with different accessibility needs,” Kellon said.

Kellon said he believes the leadership experience he is gaining in Student Government will be valuable when he begins his teaching career. 

“I definitely feel that the event-planning aspects and then also, just public speaking in general, will be beneficial in the classroom, in addition to learning how to lead and work with a larger team,” Kellon said.