Donning the effortless loose shirt and shorts summer combo, hair tied up messily, Kelly Kimball speaks with an infectious enthusiasm and vivacity. The 20-year-old literary journalism major and digital arts minor is a marketing and publicity intern for UC Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources Center (CARE), president of the spoken word and performing arts collaborative “Uncultivated Rabbits,” a featured columnist for The New University, a writer for Incite Magazine, and a marketing liaison for European boutique “Alina B”—did I mention she’s only a second-year?
Halfway into her undergraduate career, the Northern Californian transplant has established herself as a tour de force on campus and then some. Yet, Kimball’s invaluable contributions to the UC Irvine community almost never happened. Despite having been accepted at prestigious campuses like New York University and Northwestern University, Kimball was rejected at all the UC campuses she applied to. After a whirlwind appeals process, Kimball was accepted at UC Irvine. She cites this initial setback as her motivation to succeed here. “I said: I’m going to get involved as hell. My whole sentiment was that I’m going to become so successful, they have to say ‘I’m so sorry we didn’t accept you,’” she says.
Kimball has certainly made good on her word. As president of “Uncultivated Rabbits,” she manages over 40 performance requests a school year. Kimball facilitated bringing renowned performance poet Joshua Bennett—who’s performed at the White House and the Sundance Film Festival—to perform alongside “Uncultivated Rabbits” members at the recent “Express U.R.Self” showcase. “Uncultivated Rabbits” also had a recent success at the 2014 Anteater Awards, performing at the event as well as garnering the “Most Original Publicity/Marketing Award.”
Kimball’s role in the CARE office is to ensure the events that promote awareness of gender-based violence and sexual assault are well-attended and publicized. Kimball was the main facilitator of this year’s “We Step into the Light,” an event that pairs sexual assault survivors with artists who create tribute pieces for the survivors.
“I went in [to the CARE office] wanting marketing experience, but what I got out of it was knowledge of gender-based violence, empathy to the extreme, and the ability to program for these huge ideas that contribute to a global movement of advocating for rights to personhood,” Kimball explains.
Kimball’s column in The New University, titled “Embarrassed to Ask, Dying to Know,” tackles topical and controversial issues such as the conflict in Syria and rape culture. Kimball’s contributions to Incite Magazine include an interview with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, which was tweeted out and lauded by Ohanian himself.
As a marketing liaison for “Alina B boutique,” Kimball is able to indulge her interest in fashion and garner valuable marketing experience. She likens the experience to “The Devil Wears Prada.”
Further indulging her interest in fashion, Kimball was selected to model in the 2014 annual fashion show put on by UC Irvine’s Fashion Interest Group (FIG). On her downtime, Kimball binge-listens to videos by artists like Kurt Schneider, as well as healthy doses of spoken word poetry. “It’s like liquid gold,” she laughs.