After private practice in Paoli, Indiana, Chezem was consecutively appointed to the Lawrence County Court, the Lawrence Circuit Court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals for a total of 22 years of service. She was the first woman appointed to a Circuit Court bench in Indiana and the second woman to serve on the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Following 22 years on the Indiana trial and appellate bench, Chezem moved to a University-based career. She is a Professor Emerita of Youth Development and Agriculture Education, School of Agriculture, Purdue University. She continues to hold an adjunct appointment at Indiana University’s School of Medicine. From this base, she works on federal, state and local policy on agriculture, alcohol, and related rural health issues. Chezem has been particularly interested in rural issues and legal issues in alcohol research.
Current Service and Board memberships:
1. U. S. Interagency Coordinating Council on FASD, Justice Issues Workgroup.
2. National Institute of Justice Peer Review Panel
3. United States Cattlemen’s Association
4. Cornerstone Care Centers, Inc
5. Protect The Harvest, Board of Directors
6. Indiana Office of Women’s Health, Advisory Board
7. Morgan County Economic Development Corp, Rural Revolving Loan Committee
Chezem served on the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland and consults with the U.S. Department of Justice, and Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Chezem served as Vice-President of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center Board, the Fairbanks Hospital Board, as First Vice President and Trustee, Class A (non-Alcoholic)to the General Services Board for Alcoholics Anonymous, The Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana Rural Health Association Board, and many other state and local boards.
Chezem owns and operates her family grain and beef farm in Clay County, Indiana. Her husband owns and operates his family grain farms in Clinton County and Carroll County. Their daughter operates their Scott County farm.