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Clarkson University's Kelly Chezum Receives Women's Entrepreneurship Day Award

Clarkson University Vice President for External Relations Kelly Chezum received the Education Pioneer Award for her work supporting Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) and leading efforts to promote college student engagement in entrepreneurship and business opportunities for girls and young women. The second annual WED was held at the United Nations in November.

Kelly ChezumChezum, chairwoman for the WED Education Program, was honored for her founding leadership of a committee and network of colleagues and small business advocates to connect more than 100 institutions of higher education into the United Nations event. The group also created national awareness of WED’s goals and outreach to lay the foundation for future engagement of the college and university communities. Together, this group successfully connected entrepreneurial students with alumni and support female entrepreneurs in their future careers.

In receiving the award, Chezum acknowledged her higher education colleagues and students in the room and the organizations that supported outreach to the college and university communities including representatives from Legacy Out Loud, the United States Association of Small Business Educators and Clarkson’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship.

"We all wake up every morning as ordinary people. It is what we each decide to do with the rest of our day to influence and impact the world around us that can make us extraordinary," Chezum said as she accepted the award.

She encouraged all of the more than 700 attendees at the UN conference to reach out to their alma maters now to support a student to attend the 2016 WED events as well as get involved in promoting women’s entrepreneurship.  
Chezum has served as Clarkson University's vice president for external relations since 2009, leading the school's integrated marketing communications and long-range planning activities. She has also served as assistant secretary of the board of trustees, since 2003. She joined the Clarkson staff in 1999 and has held positions as director of corporate & foundation relations, assistant to the president for strategic advancement and division head for marketing & external relations.

She is vice president of the board of directors of the Adirondack North Country Association, a member of the public participation, community and tourism, and Adirondack work groups for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and a member of the Adirondack 1000 Islands Sports and Events Commission. She is also past president of the Hospice & Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley board of directors and past co-chair of the Adirondack Initiative for Wired Work.

Chezum received her doctoral degree in law and policy from Northeastern University, her MBA from Clarkson, and her bachelor of science in business administration and communication from Carroll University.
She resides in Canton, N.Y., with her husband, Brian, and son, Cade.
WED is the world's largest celebration of women entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, innovators and job creators, with the goal of empowering the four billion women on the planet and bringing hope to 250 million girls living in poverty. In addition to recognizing the contributions of women to the economy, WED also strives to gather a think tank of women leaders, which will ultimately create an amplified merged message to expand businesses with social good initiatives in communities locally and globally.

To learn more about Women's Entrepreneurship Day and how to get involved, visit .

Educators who want to learn more and join the Education Program network can contact Kelly Chezum at or visit .

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, 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 innovation with enterprise.

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

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