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Karel Czanderna Named Vice Chair of Clarkson University Board of Trustees

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

Thomas E. Holliday, chair of the Clarkson University board of trustees, announced today that Karel K. Czanderna, a former North Country resident and alumna of Clarkson University’s class of 1977, was elected vice chair at the last meeting of the board of trustees. Dr. Bayard D. Clarkson Sr. will continue to serve as distinguished vice chair.

Karel K. CzandernaCzanderna has been a member of the board since 2002, and has served as chair and co-chair of the trusteeship committee, as well as chair of the board’s academic affairs committee. During her time as a trustee, she has also served on the executive, compensation, institutional advancement, marketing, alumni and research committees.

Before becoming a trustee, Czanderna was a member of the advisory council for the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering and active in supporting corporate and professional society partnerships across Clarkson.

She earned her bachelor of science degree in physics from Clarkson in 1977. She also has a Ph.D. (1984) in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and attended executive education at Harvard Business School.

In his announcement to the Clarkson community, Chair Holliday said, “Karel is a collaborative leader and strategic thinker who holds a thorough understanding of how research universities bridge discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise. As an engaged alumna with a distinguished career, she also knows how to connect students to their leadership potential in the global marketplace.”

Distinguished Vice Chair Clarkson Sr. added, “Karel is an excellent choice to serve as vice chair. She is highly committed to Clarkson’s success and future growth. In addition to her excellent professional credentials, she had deep knowledge of the University, the regional community of Potsdam and the people who live there and make it a great place to learn, live and work together. Karel brings tremendous insight and perspective to the board’s deliberations and the entire board enthusiastically endorses her election as vice chair.”

Most recently, Czanderna has been the group president of building materials for Owens Corning and an advocate for sustainability and improving the energy efficiency of buildings as a way to decrease energy use globally.

Before joining Owens Corning in 2008, Czanderna held various executive management positions including vice president of the cooking products and outdoor kitchens businesses at Whirlpool Corporation, responsible for Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana brands.

After graduation, Czanderna spent 18 years at Eastman Kodak, holding a series of increasingly senior positions including corporate vice president for the inkjet strategy and, earlier, the worldwide portrait photography business.

The daughter of Alvin and Lucile Czanderna, she was raised in Potsdam with two sisters and graduated from Potsdam High School in 1974.

Now retired and living in Lakewood, Colo., Alvin was a professor in Clarkson’s Department of Physics and one of the founders of the Clarkson Institute of Colloid and Surface Science. 

Karel Czanderna is married to Dan Shirkey, a 1980 Clarkson master’s degree alumnus, who also grew up in the North Country and graduated from Canton High School.  

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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