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Kelly Harrison Receives Leadership Award from University of the Cumberlands


Williamsburg, Ky. – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke to a crowded auditorium of over 3,000 University of the Cumberlands (UC) students, staff, and faculty, as well as friends from across the state of Kentucky, during the University’s 7th annual Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership event on Tuesday, April 3rd. Held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on the UC campus, Giuliani’s speech, “Principled Leadership in a Time of Crisis,” spoke on courage and the six principles of leadership; beliefs, optimism, courage, relentless preparation, teamwork and communication.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored eight individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating the essentials of exceptional leadership in a time of crisis. These individuals were chosen because they have shown extraordinary courage by responding with bravery during crisis and emergency situations or by showing compassion and generosity toward others. Kelly Harrison was of the individuals that received a Principled Leadership Award for her commitment and motivation in providing outstanding service in response to crisis situations and her dedication to making the world a safer place to live.

Harrison, a graduate of Williamsburg High School, attended Cumberland College in 1983 and later became a student at Eastern Kentucky University while studying Paramedic medicine.

A dedicated citizen, Harrison has helped enrich the Williamsburg community a wide capacity. She has served as the Little League Basketball Coach/T-Ball Coach for 3 years, the Whitley County High School Alumni Board of Directors for 5 years, and has continued to provide numerous valuable civic opportunities such as free Poison Control Awareness, CPR, and First Aid workshops. She also has acted as a Whitley County sponsor for events like blood drives, bone marrow drives, American Heart Association’s “Your Heart for our Hearts 5K Run” and “Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in every school.

In 1992, she became the Assistant Director of the Transcare Ambulance Service and in 1994, the Director of Mountain Lifeline. In 1999, Harrison became a CPR and First Aid instructor and later on in 2001 assumed the ongoing role of Director of Whitley County Emergency Medical Services. Since 2004, she has acted as a Poison Control instructor for students of local schools.

Her community contributions were recognized in 2003 when she was honored with the Emergency Medical Service of the Year Award. Harrison is the daughter of Roger Harrison and the late Phyllis Harrison of Williamsburg, KY. She is the sister of Gina Hamblin, Roddy Harrison, and Scott Harrison.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.