Matthew KelmMatthew Kelm

Matthew Kelm, who received the John G. Smale Award for the most outstanding economics graduate of 2016, completed his BA in 2016 with a 4.0 GPA. Graduating with honors in the major he presented his paper "The New NFL Disneyworld" A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Inglewood, California in May just before graduation.

During his senior year he also received (1) the Rick Rees Unsung Hero Award for organizing the first California Student Veteran Conference for the State of California and (2) the Serving with Integrity scholarship award from Student Veterans of America and PNC Bank.   

Matthew is a liaison between the San Francisco Giants Community Fund and the Chico Junior Giants. He plans to pursue a doctor of law degree “with an emphasis in either sports and entertainment or anti-trust law,” according to his Linkedin Page.

Matthew came to Chico State after leaving the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant with over 5 years of service.  The Air Force awarded him the Air Force Achievement Medal for demonstrating meritorious service while serving overseas and the Senior Airman Below the Zone with early promotion. While in the Air Force Matt took courses through the Community College of the Air Force, the American Military University and Arkansas State University. In February 2014 Matthew became a Certified Personal Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). He took classes at Butte College and Orange Coast College before enrolling at Chico State in 2014.

While at Chico State Matthew organized the first California Student Veteran Conference, which was held at Chico State as well as being a key member in the Student Veteran Organization receiving the 2016 Student Veterans of America & Home Depot Foundation Vet Center Initiative that provided the Organization with a $10,000 grant.  He also found time for the Student Veteran Organization, SALUTE Veteran Honor Society, Economics Club, and Phi Kappa Phi while making the Dean’s List for his high GPA. During 2015 Matthew coached baseball for the Durham Little League, interned in the Housing Law Department of the Community Legal Information Center, and began work as a Veteran Benefits Counselor in the Office of Veterans Affairs until graduation.  

“An Economics Degree from California State University, Chico has provided me with many tools I will surely put to use in my future plans to become a lawyer,” Matthew stated in a recent email. “Chief among the tools is learning to think and work critically and analytically. Besides the many tools I have acquired through obtaining this degree, another crucial way this degree will aid my future career is simply by providing another base of knowledge outside strictly a legal education. In my personal opinion, lawyers who have expertise in areas outside of only legal issues are better positioned to find their legal niche and the capability to execute a wider breadth of legal work.”