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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Kellan Roybal


Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Kellan loves stories. Growing up in Colorado, he explored story-telling in theatre, music and comedy before electing to study communication in college. During his undergraduate studies at Regis University in Denver, Kellan examined queer history and theory as modes of story-telling which drove him briefly into community organizing in the nonprofit sector. After graduating in 2016, Kellan pursued graduate degree in healthcare administration while working as a patient advocate in an urban Denver hospital. One day, Kellan was assigned to work with the family of a patient whom the system had failed. Hearing their story, Kellan realized that this failure was largely preventable. He also discovered that he'd need more than an administrative education to make an impact and transferred into social work. Kellan now attends both the Brown School and the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis in pursuit of his MSW and MBA degrees. He plans to work with hospitals in quality improvement and safety while developing community-focused partnerships. He aims to bolster population health, tackle issues in health equity and ensure that no patient's story gets cut short. In his free time, Kellan loves reading, coffee and hiking with his doggo, Twylah.


What made you consider business school?

As a social worker, I want to innovate new programs that meet patient needs. I also know that rising costs make development a challenge for hospitals and other providers. Understanding the business side of healthcare will help me direct program development in such a way that all people benefit across the continuum of care.


What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I am thrilled with the opportunity to build new partnerships with my colleagues at Olin and throughout the Reaching Out community. I am also excited to learn new business and leadership skills within Olin's values-based and data-driven framework. This space holds tremendous potential for growth and I cannot wait to see how I can better serve our community throughout the learning process.


Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Leaders come in many forms and I admire those who remember to give life a giggle. In a beautiful world that unfortunately experiences many hardships, I can always look to people like Coco Peru (Clinton Leupp), Dan Levy and Ellen DeGeneres to bring about a smile. In addition, I came across the work of queer theorist, performance artist and activist Kate Bornstein in my undergraduate studies. Of the many lessons I've learned from Kate, the most important is to be adaptable, be authentic and be resilient.


What's one thing everyone should know about you?

My goal in life is to embody that elderly grandma or other endearing older guardian-figure who always has food for visitors.