Spring Cleaning

  • While winter never quite took hold in this part of the nation, and most of the U.S. missed out on the expected reboot winter gives mother nature, this is the time of year our minds turn to spring cleaning and new growth. It’s all too easy to gather unnecessary items in our home.  By nature, we tend to bring items into our home more often than we take them out. Each time we return home, it is common to bring new items into our home, but rarely to we practice this procedure with old items laying around, taking up square footage. The removal of unwanted items is a classic example of addition by subtraction.  We add precious space by removing the clutter.

    I think it is easy for us to let similar clutter accumulate into our lives in the same manner.  We tend to busy up our minds with that ever present buzz of negativity floating around the airwaves.  This is not entirely our fault, just think of what makes us tune into a program, or click on an article.  We see an outrageous headline, and are intrigued to read further because we either want to see how the story ends, or it is nothing more than a boredom buster during a midday drag.

    Media outlets are all clawing and scraping to gain an edge in ratings, and typically that means outrageous headlines.  More often than not, headlines are absolute hyperbole, and by the time you reach the end of the article, they have completely come full circle to make the initial headline obsolete once they bring in those awful facts that ruin a good story.

    I understand that we live in a culture of “want it now” in every realm of our life.  We often don’t bother to scroll through the entirety of an article, and media outlets are well aware of our need to quench the thirst of our hard-to-please minds.  Headlines drive mouse clicks, and that is how they justify to advertisers how many people are navigating their site. If you are pulled into a headline, I encourage you to not get caught up in “headline panic”, but take time to read a story all the way through, even if you have to scroll.

    I challenge you to clean up some space in your mind by booting out the negativity that is relentlessly being trolled in front of you.  Instead of forwarding an outrageous headline, or turning up the volume for a “breaking news alert”, instead take time to write a hand-written letter, or call up and ask how your parents are doing.  You could even go as far as to taking a walk in nature, or show your children how to skip a rock. You might accidentally find yourself having fun.

    News outlets salivate at the phrase “polarized nation”.  Personally, I see more people working together in the world, than attempting to drive it apart. In this season of change, don’t forget that no matter how much addition we do by subtraction, it will always be unraveled by division.

  • -Mr. Gossett, Chatfield Instructor

The Women Behind Chatfield’s Mission: International Women’s Day

Sr. Julia Chatfield with her small, dedicated group of women

Chatfield College is celebrating International Women’s Day by honoring two incredible women, Saint Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursulines and Sr. Julia Chatfield, foundress of the Ursulines of Brown County and what was to become Chatfield College.

In 1845, a small group of Ursuline Sisters, dedicated to educating girls and teaching them gospel values, came to St. Martin from Europe at the request of Cincinnati Archbishop John Baptist Purcell.

Archbishop Purcell had moved his seminary from downtown Cincinnati to St. Martin. After five years, the seminary moved back to Cincinnati, and the property in St. Martin lay vacant. The Ursulines, led by Sr. Julia Chatfield, intended to turn it into a place to educate young girls.

Sr. Angela Merici

The Ursuline order was founded by Saint Angela Merici, who lived in northern Italy in the 16th century, a male-dominated time in which it was believed that girls were not capable of being educated. Angela believed that the values of society could be changed through the education of women. She had received a vision from God which showed her that the collective power of women could help transform society. She founded a group of women for this purpose and called it the Company of St. Ursula, in honor of the patron saint of youth.

Over the next three centuries, the Ursuline order grew throughout Europe. There were boarding schools, day schools, and schools for the poor. Everywhere, the Ursulines were regarded as educators.

With the purpose of the Ursuline order firmly imbedded into their lives, Sr. Julia and the others were determined to continue St. Angela’s vision in the United States.

Because the two small structures in St. Martin left by the seminarians were not adequate for a boarding school, the Sisters began to build a school. Within three years, a school was built with bricks fired from the clay on the St. Martin property. They had 27 pupils.

Under Julia’s direction, the school and the Ursuline community thrived. At the time of the Civil War, there were students from both the North and South, some of them daughters of colonels and generals.

Over time, the Ursulines of Brown County expanded their teaching to neighboring parishes, giving religious instruction to both boys and girls. They opened a mission in Santa Rosa, California, and a day school, Ursuline Academy, in Cincinnati. In the 1950’s, the boarding school in St. Martin also began accepting day students.

In 1958, the Ursulines established the Ursuline Teacher Training Institute to provide a liberal arts education for recruits to the Ursuline order. In 1971, that same institution opened its doors to the public, and changed from being a college for those in religious service to serving the community as a whole. It was renamed Chatfield College, in honor of Sr. Julia Chatfield.

Although Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati grew throughout the years and is now located in Blue Ash, there were not, unfortunately, enough students to maintain a day school in St. Martin. The school closed its doors in the early 1980’s. However, the Ursuline tradition of providing education to the community continues today with Chatfield College, at both its main campus in St. Martin and its Cincinnati location in historic Over-the-Rhine. The college is governed by a lay board of Trustees composed of business leaders, educators and other professionals from the community, as well as members of the Ursuline order.

The Ursuline values of compassion, justice, education of the whole person, and acceptance of diversity as the dynamic principle of unity are the foundation of Chatfield College community life. Just as St. Angela was dedicated to reaching those people who in her society were considered not capable of learning, Chatfield serves a community of under-served students who may find it difficult to get a college education in a traditional college setting.

The mission of St. Angela and the Company of St. Ursula continues in the mission of Chatfield College. Just as Sr. Julia Chatfield and the Ursulines have made a difference for countless women over the centuries, Chatfield is making a difference in the lives of its students and their families. Just as St. Angela believed that the values of society could be changed by educating young  women, Chatfield is working to change the values of the community through education. And, just as St. Angela believed that the collective power of women could transform society, Chatfield is dedicated to transforming the community and the world, by helping its students achieve a better future for themselves and their families.


My Chatfield Story by Nicole Watkins

Chatfield College is a small, hometown community college where you can achieve a better future. This is my Chatfield story.

I graduated high school in May of 2015. At the time, I wasn’t too sure if college was the path I wanted to take in my life, so I took a year off to think about a few things. Within that year, I came to the conclusion that college was the best path for me, so I started researching my choices. Chatfield was one of the first colleges that caught my eye. As I started researching Chatfield, I saw that it would best fit my needs. Chatfield is close to home, has small class sizes, and is cost efficient. Also, it’s a plus that the campus is beautiful!

I applied to Chatfield and got my acceptance letter within a few weeks, which was very exciting for me because I am a first generation college student. I came in to meet with my financial aid advisor, Becky Brown, to begin the FAFSA process for financial aid. One of my biggest worries was how I was going to pay for college. Sure enough, FAFSA told me that my father made too much money, so therefore I wasn’t eligible for any grants. That broke my heart, because without financial aid, I wouldn’t be able to attend college. Once I told my advisor that no financial aid meant I couldn’t go to college, she immediately started looking for other options. When I left her office, I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness that I wasn’t going to be able to attend college because of my financial status.

A few days later, I got a call from Becky.  She asked me to come in and talk because she had a solution. She told me that I was going to be able to attend Chatfield College because the scholarship committee had awarded me some scholarship money, which would cover some of my tuition. I felt a rush of happiness and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders!  We talked more about how I was going to pay for the remaining tuition, and we came to the conclusion that I would have to do work study combined with a job to pay off the remaining bill.

Fast forward to the second day of classes and, as I was driving to Chatfield, my car got hit on the rear passenger side by some lady in a minivan driving about 60-65 mph, completely totaling my car. What a wonderful way to start off the school year, right? People came up to the car, one of them being my former teacher from high school, Kim Wiederhold. I was in shock and hyperventilating, and they were all trying to get me to calm down while someone called 911. Luckily, I walked away from the crash with only a chest contusion and some deep muscle bruising.

The next day, I contacted Chatfield and told them what happened, and that I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get to school because that car was my only means of transportation. They told me that the last thing they wanted to see was me dropping out because I couldn’t find a ride to school. So they came up with the solution that if I couldn’t find a ride to school one day, they would have someone from the college come and pick me up! That right there was amazing and I am so very grateful.

I’ve been attending classes at Chatfield for more than six weeks now, and I have to say it was one of the best decisions of my life.  The faculty and staff are willing to go above and beyond for their students.  I am so truly grateful to Chatfield for everything the staff has done for me when they didn’t even know a thing about me. All they knew was that I was a student trying to better my life by getting a degree, and that was good enough for them. They care so much about the education of their students and want us all to succeed. They are all angels. Thank you to the staff of Chatfield, you are all true blessings!

-Nicole Watkins, first-year student

Spotlight on Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly (1921 – 2003) was born in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New Your,.  Daly was an avid reader and was fascinated by Paul De Kruif’s popular book The Microbe Hunters. She was further inspired by her father’s love of science. Daly was educated at Hunter College High School, an all female institution, where her ambition to become a chemist was supported and encouraged.

She enrolled in Queens College in Flushing, New York, as a commuting student, and graduated magna cum laude in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Daly enrolled in the doctoral program at Columbia University, after tutoring chemistry students at Queens College for a year. Daly researched how compounds produced in the body affect and participate in digestion. The title of her dissertation was “A Study of the Products Formed by the Action of Pancreatic Amylase on Corn Starch.” She was awarded her doctoral degree in 1947, only three years after enrolling in the program, and was the first African American woman to obtain a PhD in chemistry in the United States

Spotlight on Kevin Hall

Black History month traditionally focuses on the past and how the future has been shaped by the past. Kevin Hall is changing the future now for both African Americans and Deaf individuals. Kevin has been Deaf since he was two years old after he contracted H-flu meningitis. He attended St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, where he learned to communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). He began playing golf at the age of nine with his mom and dad. He played golf for Winton Woods High School and went to Ohio State to continue his golf career, winning the 2004 Big Ten Championship.    Kevin always says that the noise of the crowd doesn’t get to him. He has no noise distractions on the course, one of the benefits of being deaf.

Kevin grew up in a loving family with parents that supported him in every aspect of life. They encouraged him to communicate using both ASL and voice. They also made sure he practiced golf on every fair weather day possible.  Benefiting from their support and the support of and many rounds of golf with one of his mentors, Patrick Sweeney, Kevin followed his dream and became a professional golfer. He just played the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open on the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption this month.

Kevin uses an interpreter to communicate with the press during press conferences. Prior to the Genesis Open, Kevin’s conference showed his struggles to communicate in the hearing world. The press asked a question, the interpreter had to sign the question to Kevin and then he in turn responded to the question.  There is always a delay in communication having to use an interpreter. Kevin, with his contagious smile, held his press conference and proved to any child with a hearing impairment that they can do anything they set their mind to.

Kevin is a true role model for African Americans and the deaf community today.

-Melisa Greatorex, Chatfield Instructor


I would be remiss if I did not take some time to wish everyone a happy Presidents’ Day, especially in light of Barack Obama’s presidency.  We honor his hard work, his accomplishments, and courageous dedication in helping make this country a better place.  While not enough to erase the deeply entrenched racial dynamics our country currently faces, the impact of his presidency will have a tremendous impact on future generations.

To borrow the metaphor from the great Ralph Ellsion, his presidency made visible what wasn’t previously.   While not exactly analogous, in 1966,  Nichelle Nichols initially wanted to leave the role of Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek television series.  Martin Luther King urged her to continue in the role, understanding how powerful she would be to the millions of people that would watch her on television every week, knowing that her “first” would create possibilities that had never existed before into real realities.

It is the topic of “visibility” that I would like to ponder a bit further, as we continue to celebrate African-American history month.  In a cruel twist of irony, as visible as African-Americans are in terms of policing, discrimination, and social statistics, their historical, social and cultural contributions continue to remain invisible: the Blues, jazz, rice, peanuts, kidney beans, lima beans, carbon bulb filaments, traffic lights, street mailboxes, touch tone phones, refrigerated trucks, open heart surgery, 350 years of forced free labor – the list goes on and on.   They remain invisible in terms of attribution, in terms of acknowledgement, and in terms of respect.  It is precisely because of this invisibility that celebrating African-American history month needs to continue, as we attempt to honor African Americans and their contributions – rendering the invisible visible.

However, we need to engage a level of openness and honesty if we are truly to render those invisibilities visible.  In one way, celebrating African-American history month actually functions to reinforce and normalize the invisibility, or the visible invisibleness that this particular community has and continues to endure.  Many educational and non-educational institutions simply ignore African American history month; and for those that do participate, many non- African Americans pay lip service to their participation, as they want to create an air of visibility to their superficial celebration.  If we truly want to render the invisible visible, if we truly want to escape these racialized binaries in which we find ourselves trapped, we need to ask ourselves a question – modifying something that James Baldwin posed over 50 years ago:  “Why it is necessary to have African American history in the first place?”  Perhaps it’s because it sustains the visibility of some, while maintaining the invisibility of others.

-Tim Sakelos, Humanities Chair

Who is Medgar Evers?

Civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the former spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Malcom X, are two of the most celebrated martyrs of the civil rights era. However, Medgar Evers who, on June 12th 1963, was killed by an assassin’s bullet outside of his home in Jackson Mississippi, was an extraordinarily courageous man, who also made very significant contributions to the Civil Rights movement.

Medgar Evers was born on July 2nd, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi. During his teenage years, Medgar eventually dropped out of high school to join the United States Army. He fought with America and its allies to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II before returning to Mississippi in 1945. Three years later, in 1948, Evers enrolled at Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University) where he first earned his high school diploma, and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1952.

Shortly after college, Evers began his career as an activist with the civil rights organization known as the Regional Council for Negro Leadership (RCNL). The organization led a boycott of companies that refused to hire black workers. In 1954, after building a reputation for being a courageous, outspoken leader, Medgar Evers became Mississippi’s first field agent for the NAACP.  In the 1950’s, Mississippi had a reputation for being the most racially intolerant state in the country. Elected officials, deputy Sheriffs, police officers, and other organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the Citizens Council, all conspired together to preserve segregation in the state, and throughout the south in general. Mississippi politics and its dealing with blacks was so brutal, that when speaking of America’s issues with racism, in a documentary called “Spies of Mississippi”, President Lyndon B. Johnson said “There’s America, there’s the South, and then there’s Mississippi”. But Medgar Evers refused to back down.

As an NAACP field agent, Medgar Evers organized boycotts of businesses where blacks were not welcomed, and facilitated voter registration posts for blacks whose vote in most cases, had been suppressed for years due to intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan and the implementation of literacy test. He also investigated claims of discrimination and incidents of crimes against blacks at the hands of whites when Mississippi’s legal system failed to deliver justice.  Two of Evers’s biggest cases included filing a law suit against The University of Mississippi after it denied admission to black applicants Clyde Kennard and James Meredith, and investigating the disappearance of 14-year-old Emmitt Till, an African-American boy from Chicago Illinois, who was murdered during a summer vacation to Mississippi for allegedly whistling to a white woman –a story we now know is false as the alleged victim, Carolyn Bryant,  recently admitted. Clyde Kennard eventually died in prison after being framed by the FBI in a deliberate move to keep him out of the University of Mississippi. James Meredith, on the other hand, in 1962 became the first African American student admitted to the University of Mississippi, after a federal Judge enforced the 1954 Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas’s prior ruling that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Just one year later, Medgar would be shot and killed as he exited his vehicle in the driveway of his home. He was 37 years old. Two weeks later, Byron De La Beckwith, a professed Klansmen and member of the White Citizens Council, was arrested as the alleged trigger man in Evers’ death.  The all-white juries, appointed by Mississippi’s then district attorney, failed to find De La Beckwith guilty of the murder, allowing him to walk out of the Hinds County court room a free man. In 1993, the Medgar Evers murder case was re-opened, and this time De la Beckwith was tried and found guilty of the assassination of Medgar Evers. Justice had finally been served. According to an article published by the L.A. Times, “Myrlie Evers, the widow of Medgar Evers, wept when the verdict was read and grasped the hand of her daughter, Reena Evers-Everett, while her eldest son, Darrell Kenyatta Evers, applauded”.

Medgar Evers’ contributions to the civil rights movement were tremendous. In 1992, a statue of Evers was built in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi to honor his legacy. Additionally, Delta Drive, the street where Medgar Evers was assassinated, was renamed Medgar Evers Boulevard. Medgar Evers is survived by his wife Myrlie Evers, and children Darrell Kenyatta, Reena Denise, and James Van Dyke.


-Sokoni Hughes, OTR Admissions Counselor

The Harlem Rattlers—A Little Known Chapter from the World War I History

The Harlem Rattler’s Crest

When people tend to think about African-Americans and the military, they tend to think of the Tuskegee Airmen, who flew missions over Europe in World War II, or the Buffalo Soldiers, an all-African-American military unit who fought in the Indian Wars after the Civil War.  Added to their roles is that of The Harlem Rattlers, a group of all volunteer soldiers who fought in the trenches during World War I.

Known by names such as The Harlem Hellraiser and Men of Bronze, the Harlem Rattlers were the 369th New York Infantry that formed after the United States entered World War I (1917).  They faced discrimination at the hands of the military.  For instance, they were not issued rifles to practice drill; the military feared that the soldiers would get into altercations with the local townsfolk.  However, the resourceful Rattlers figured out a way to get the rifles they needed for drill.  The U.S. government was giving away rifles for free to any rifle club that asked for them.  Members of the Rattlers wrote to the government posing as the head of various rifle clubs to get the guns that they needed.

Receiving only one month’s training instead of the standard three to four months’ training, the 369th Regiment was shipped overseas where they were used for manual labor, digging tunnels and trenches, as well as acting as stevedores (men who load or unload cargo from ships).  They finally got the chance to go into combat when their regiment was assigned to fight alongside the French.  It was there that the Harlem Rattlers made history. They fought against the Germans for an astonishing 191 straight days, longer than any other American regiment during World War I.

Two members of the Rattlers distinguished themselves during battle.  On May 14, 1918, Privates

369th Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division in trenches near Maffrecourt in the Argonne Region, France, May 04, 1918.

Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts were on guard duty in the Argonne Forest in France when German troops came upon them.  In the ensuing battle, Johnson and Roberts defended themselves from as many as 24 German troops, who initially captured Roberts and were going to take him as a prisoner. Pvt. Johnson used his bolo knife and his bare hands to rescue Roberts, while also killing as many of the Germans as he could.  After the skirmish, both men were awarded the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest award for bravery.

Artist Horace Pippin also served with the Harlem Rattlers.  Colonel Horace Pippin was shot during battle and lost the use of his right arm, temporarily sidelining his artistic aspirations.  After the war, Pippin learned how to draw and paint without the use of his right arm.  Pippin became one of the greatest self-taught painters of the early 20th century.  His painting “Christmas Morning Breakfast” currently hangs in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

When the Harlem Rattlers returned from France, they were denied participation in the Rainbow Coalition parade—a parade designed to honor all the different sorts of troops who fought during the war.  The Regiment continued to exist until the start of World War II, when the troops were divided up into different parts of the military.  Soon, their stories were forgotten, until scholars and researchers in recent years began to resurrect their story.

For more information on the Harlem Rattlers, the definitive guide to the Rattlers is Jeffrey T. Sammons and John H. Morrow, Jr.’s book Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality.

-Alan Jozwiak, Chatfield Instructor

A Tidbit on Dorothy Vaughan

Dorothy Vaughan in her twenties.

Some of you may be aware that there is a movie out right now about three black women who had the mathematical minds and the mathematical skills to help put astronauts into space for the United States. That movie is entitled Hidden Figures. Hopefully all of you know that the US, especially the state of Ohio, lost a true hero in late 2016, with the passing of war hero, astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. One of those three women, Dorothy Vaughan, had Ohio connections as well. Vaughan, a 1929 graduate of Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, outside of Dayton in Greene County, is a historically black college founded in 1856), helped put John Glenn into space and ultimately worked as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) manager—one of only a few African-American women to do so.

It may be hard to relate to the lack of computers in the 1960’s, but people were the ones who performed mathematical computations [a.k.a. computers] of that era, and Vaughan became a well respected NASA mathematician, one of America’s human computers. For you Chatfield math students (no matter which math class you may be taking), getting John Glenn into space and back again safely involved the calculation of proper mathematical trajectories. Vaughan served as head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ segregated West Area Computing Unit from 1949-1958 (this organization eventually grew into NASA).  Chatfield Algebra students, you should take note of the following: Vaughan was instrumental on projects, such as compiling a handbook for algebraic methods for calculating machines. According to her NASA biography (where you can learn more about her), the predominantly male engineers often requested her for particularly challenging projects, and also requested that she personally handle the work. For you Chatfield students, here is a trivia question. Which Chatfield admissions counselor actually was a math major and has a math degree? And who says you can’t use algebra when you get out of Chatfield!?

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go see Hidden Figures in theaters and learn more about this amazing woman, along with two other extraordinary stories.

To read more on Dorothy Vaughan, click here.

-Jim Woodford, Chatfield Instructor

Reference source: “Wilberforce grad a ‘Hidden Figure’ who helped launch Glenn by Amelia Robinson for the Dayton Daily News.

To Post, Or Not To Post?

Let me first start off with a belated “Happy New Year”!  This being my first blog and all for 2017, I had to get that out of the way.  I sincerely wish everyone a year of health, healing, happiness, and continued self-growth.

My 2017 has started off with what seems to be a perpetual cold and or sinus infection.  Funny thing about being a parent who is ill; I am more worried about getting my two daughters sick than healing myself.  I suppose that shows my devotion and love for them and their well-being.  There are worse traits to have in life… right?

With some unwanted extra time to lay around pondering how life’s priorities migrate with age, along with an avalanche of news articles, tweets, and blogs to read; I’ve come to wonder why can’t people have this approach to humanity in general?  I don’t mean in regard to keeping germs to themselves (though I sure wish they would), but rather consider keeping your negativity and anger restrained in a respectable manner when venting to the world.

At the micro level, I witness people on Facebook lashing out with knee jerk reactions to something they saw on the news.  When someone starts with an angry and hateful approach, guess what? Yep, you will get angry, hateful responses.  In a flash, this can end friendships, create bitterness among workmates, family, and you could become labeled as someone who is irrational and appears angry to the world.  There is very little desirable about this characteristic, and could potentially harm your career and future relationships.

Let us go one step further to the macro level of angry postings, lashing outs, and articles.  We are in a tumultuous time in politics, not only in the U.S., but across the globe.  Nations are ramping up their military, and both the U.S. and Russia are planning to ramp up their nuclear arsenals.  Keep in mind, those two nations already make up 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.

Unlike the Cold War era, we have leaders who must cope with online rhetoric, often which is heated, and at times, is not exactly factual.  The U.S. is not the only nation with the tendency to use or misuse news outlets and social media.  Leaders of nations don’t get there because they are timid. Often, they get there because they are determined, driven, and not afraid to be the loudest voice in the room.  Unfortunately, voices carry much further these days.

I’m not pushing one political agenda whatsoever, because all parties are guilty of this new found way to trump the media outlets. (Pun was seriously not intended there).  I am saying all we can do is start at home with your own smartphone, tablet, or computer.  Going viral for a vulgar and hateful message does not only negate a positive outcome, but it takes away one thing we all yearn for, and that is respect.  I encourage you to debate and let your voice be heard in a respectful manner, because healthy debate brings about healthy results.  One less angry post makes room for more positive one.  Make 2017 productive and positive!

-Mr. Gossett, Chatfield Instructor