Take Some Time to Unplug, and Plug Back Into Family

homefireplace_feet_567Well it is Christmas time… again.  Our lives and hearts are all a flutter with joy, good tidings, feeling overwhelmed, and did I mention feeling overwhelmed?  Yes, it is absolutely a cliché to say Christmas time can be stressful to the point of mental anguish. We all want to please and impress our children, family, friends, and co-workers with lavish and creative gifts. To accomplish what? The standard boiler plate response is to state how giving makes us feel good, and seeing joy in others brings joy to our own hearts.

There is no doubt that gift giving swells our hearts by seeing those special to us glowing in happiness.  Happiness… what precisely is happiness?  According to Merriam-Webster, happiness is as follows: “the state of being happy”.  Some synonyms for happiness include: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction. Happiness is so valued, that it is one of the three unalienable rights in the United States Declaration of Independence. The other two being life and liberty. Perhaps we’ll get to those another day.

In this season of expected unbounded happiness, why do so many feel such hollowness once the gifts have all been unwrapped? Possibly it is because we spend so much time chasing the carrot of cultural technology obsession, we leave our loved ones behind in our cyber dust. We have lost deep connections in our lives because we feel the need to stay up with the “times”.

Think about how much time you spend staring at a screen this holiday season searching for online sales, events, or commenting on those hilarious dancing “elf yourself” posts from friends.  What would that time mean to your child, spouse, or a parent if you were to give that time to them? I think most of us are guilty of being hypnotized by those tempting devices. However, there is no gift in this world that substitutes for meaningful time spent with a loved one, and this is especially imperative for children in our lives.

The sparkle of a gift begins to fade once the package has been opened, but an experience with a loved one will maintain a luster long after the lights of the season have dimmed. So the next time you pick up your smart phone, tablet, or begin a Netflix binge; take that time to hug a loved one, read to your child, or call an elderly parent.  I wish everyone a blessed, joyous, and safe Christmas season.

-Mr. Gossett, Chatfield Instructor


Guitar Students at Lessons and Carols

img_2455I was delighted when Dawn Hundley asked me to help with this year’s Christmas show, Lessons and Carols. I had already started my students in MUS150 and MUS1502 on playing several Christmas carols and so it was only natural to arrange to have each student play one Christmas song as a duet with me for the Christmas show.

The idea for doing Carol Of The Bells with the entire class came to me during Steven Fritz’ class.   Steven has taken almost 2 years of guitar classes at Chatfield College. Unfortunately, Steven has injured his right hand and will not be able to perform at the Lessons and Carols on Friday night. Steven’s input and participation in the rehearsals we have had has been important in our ability to put this all together for Friday’s show.

The parts for the arrangement of Carol Of The Bells that we are performing were written during each student’s weekly lessons and so each part is uniquely written for them with each student’s input on note choices and on the form of the arrangement. Each student has learned all the parts of the arrangement so that they would have a deeper understanding of each other’s parts and perform well together. I am so proud of the effort that each student has put towards putting together the music for this year’s Christmas show.

These are the students performing at Lessons and Carols Friday night –

Anna Nicole Howard is in her second semester of guitar classes at Chatfield College. Nicki loves img_3486modern rock and her favorite band is Black Veil Brides. She hopes to someday form a band as a lead singer and guitarist.

Chase Patterson is in his 1st semester at Chatfield College.  Chase played guitar for a few months before taking guitar classes at Chatfield. Chase is interested in modern rock and contemporary Christian music.

Margo Thompson is in her first semester of guitar classes at Chatfield College. Margo had no previous experience playing guitar before this semester. Margo’s family has a great history of musicians. Her grandfather & great uncle were in a band in the 1960s with John Scofield, who is now a world famous jazz guitarist. Margo is interested in playing all types of music with a emphasis on playing and singing country music.

James Evans is in his second year of guitar classes at Chatfield College. Jay became interested in playing guitar when his grandfather gave him his first acoustic guitar a few years ago. Recently, Jay got an electric guitar and his interest has grown even more. Jay is interested in playing all types of music with an emphasis on classic rock.

Ethan Griffin has been taking private lessons with me since the beginning of this summer 2016 in the enrichment program at Chatfield College. Ethan is 11 years old. After finishing the enrichment program, Ethan decided to continue private lessons with me. Ethan’s interest in playing guitar started from seeing his father play guitar night after night in the very successful local band called the Bar Codes. Ethan has even played with his dad’s band in concert! Ethan is interested in playing all kinds of music with an emphasis on playing classic rock guitar.

Alexis Dericks has been playing guitar since the beginning of this semester. Alexis has done an incredible job learning to play guitar, despite not owning a guitar to practice. Alexis comes in every Wednesday during my lunch break to practice on the guitars that Chatfield College purchased last year for students, and I am so proud of her efforts to learn to play. She is proof that, if a student is willing, there will be a way provided to succeed. Alexis’ grandmother is a pianist and her family has always had a great interest in music. Alexis is interested in playing all types of music with an emphasis in popular music.

Julian Montana Matthews has been playing drums almost his entire life. Montana’s interest in music came from his father who played both drum set and guitar. This is Montana’s first semester in guitar classes. Even though Montana is not playing guitar at Lessons and Carols, he has done a great job learning to play guitar in classes with me this semester. Montana is interested in playing all types of music with an emphasis on playing hard rock music. After he graduates from Chatfield, Montana hopes to someday come back and teach percussion at the college.

img_3492I am so thankful to all these students for all the hard work they have done to put together the music for Lesson and Carols. I am looking forward to Friday night.

Lessons and Carols will be held on Friday, December 2nd at 7pm in the Mongan Building located at the St. Martin campus in Brown County. A cookie and punch reception will follow the performance. Come out and show your support for these students and their hard work.

-Jamie Murrell, Guitar Instructor at Chatfield

Join the Movement and Give Today


Click Here to Make Your Gift

After Thanksgiving, many of you fought the long lines and did some early Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  Many more of you shopped on Small Business Saturday, which helps our small local businesses.  Today, some of you are probably making purchases on Cyber Monday, hopefully on your breaks or lunch hour.  Tomorrow, we celebrate generosity on what is known as Giving Tuesday.

Now entering its fifth year, Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving back and kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.  It connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

This will be our 3rd year participating in #GivingTuesday at Chatfield College.  This year, Chatfield students have been hard at work signing Christmas cards that they will hand deliver today, Giving Tuesday, to more than 100 residents of the Laurels of Blanchester, the Continental Manner, the Oak Pavilion and Epic House in Over-the-Rhine.

In turn, we hope to receive 100 gifts on Giving Tuesday, of any amount, to show our students that they are supported in their efforts to achieve a better future. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match our donation, up to $1,000!

You can help us achieve our goal!   Make your gift for #GivingTuesday on our website at, mail in your gift to Chatfield College at 20918 State Route 251; St. Martin, OH  45118, or call us at 513-875-3344 X 124 to make your pledge or payment.

Every gift matters to our students.  Please share this with all of your friends and family, so that we can spread the word concerning our campaign, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, as we will be making periodic updates on our students as they deliver the Christmas cards.

The Joys Of Holiday Giving

8-ways-to-give-back-during-the-holidaysIt’s the time of the year where everyone is thankful for the many blessings they have in their life, and they look to give back. The holidays tend to bring out a charitable side of individuals, and there is no shortage of worthy organizations to support.

At Chatfield, we believe we have something worthy of your support. The students of Chatfield dream big, but don’t always have the means to achieve those dreams. They need your help! We wanted to take this time to let you know of several ways that you can support our students at Chatfield College through purchases you may already be making!

krogercommunityrewardsChatfield College participates in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Last quarter, 19 households supported Chatfield College through the Kroger Community Rewards Program bringing a total donation back to Chatfield College of $141.  That is an average gift of $7.42 per household.  If we multiple this by four that is an annual gift of $29 per household.  If you have not done so already, please consider joining this program and making Chatfield your charity of choice.

There is not cost to you to join and it is very easy.  Just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Sign in to your online account or create a new account- You can do this with your alt ID (phone number)
  3. Find and select Chatfield as your organization and click enroll
  4. Shop as usual

Please note that you have to renew your choice annually in April and your fuel points or other discounts will not be adversely affected.

amazon-smile-logoWith days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online shopping is about to explode! We have an opportunity for giving with Amazon Smile as well. If you plan to shop at Amazon this holiday season or do on a regular basis,  please consider supporting Chatfield College.  Follow the easy instructions below:

  1. go to and sign in or create an account.
  2. Choose Chatfield College as your charity of choice.
  3. Purchase items from Amazon and Chatfield College receives .05% of every purchase.

In addition to these immediate rewards, you have the option of making an annual or planned gift to our students.   Annual gifts are always appreciated and go to support immediate financial needs of our students.  You also have the option to contribute to one of our 28 endowed scholarships.

11-29-2016If you are not familiar with GivingTuesday, a yearly day of giving back the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, check out Chatfield’s project this year and join the movement!

On Giving Tuesday, Chatfield students will hand deliver Christmas cards to 100 residents of nursing homes in Blanchester and Over-the-Rhine. In turn, we hope to receive 100 gifts to the college, of any amount, to show our students that they are supported in their quest to achieve a better future!


As you can see, there are many ways to show your support to Chatfield College. You can start giving today without putting out any additional money!

Thank you for all that you do to help better the lives of our students and their families.

Make a gift now




Chatfield College To Present Lessons & Carols

Chatfield College is pleased to invite the community to Lessons and Carols on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Mongan Academic Building on the St. Martin Campus.

Lessons and Carols reminds us of the meaning of the Advent Season through music and selected readings by the students, staff and members of the Chatfield College community. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.

A punch and cookie reception will follow the program to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas holiday season.

For more information about the event, call 513-875-3344, ext. 126 or e-mail  Admission is free and open to the public.

Lessons and Carols is funded in part by the Lulu O. Craig Fine Arts Fund.

Is There a Day After Today?

donald_trump_hillary_clinton_president_590As we teeter on the edge of the 2016 election, most, if not all of us have been impacted by this race either directly or indirectly.  There is a poll or statistic released everyday about the two nominees (yes I know there are four running, but for this blog we can stick with reality).  We see polls on how you will vote on favorability, likability, trustworthiness.  I would like to see a poll asking simply this: “what do you plan to do the day after the election?”

We have been bombarded on social media with ads, television ads, radio ads, and it would seem that if your candidate loses, life as we know it will cease to function.  Why do we let two people who have favorability and trustworthiness ratings well below 50% control our lives?  I know of people who lose friends on social media because of disagreements over political ideas.  Now, I understand that this is by far the most polarizing election in recent history, and thanks to 24 – hour news cycles and social media, it is pounded into our heads that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the worst thing to happen to America (depending on which side you are on).

Do you want to know a secret the news stations aren’t telling us? Wednesday morning after the candidates have held their victory party, or the losing candidate makes the obligatory congratulation and concession call…the sun will rise.  We will go do our jobs as well as we can, we will wake up to feed our children and get them off to school, and live with hope, because you never know what the tide will bring in the next day.

We have the will and the power to not be the divided nation that so many are predicting.  Neil Armstrong wasn’t alone when he made his way out of the Eagle and onto the Moon’s surface.  He had hundreds of thousands of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, welders, and nearly any other industry you can think helping him along the way.  He was and always will be the symbol of our conquest of the Moon, but he did not by any means do it all alone.

We can’t get bogged down in the idea that if our candidate loses then we have lost it all. Wake up Wednesday morning and be a loving parent, a positive co-worker, a supportive friend, and be an overall good steward to society.  Post something positive on your social media site, go against the grain of the anger and divisiveness the media is drumming up. Don’t just try to do well, try even harder to do good.

Mr. Gossett, Chatfield instructor

Why YOU Should Vote & Why YOU Need to Be Informed

img_4403For the last several months, the upcoming election is all anyone can talk about. You can’t use any type of social media or turn on the tv or radio without being bombarded by it. Aside from sharing a funny meme or two, a lot of us may just be fed up with hearing about it. The good news is that we are down to crunch time! And while one of the most controversial elections is coming to an end, we must make sure we take part in this sure-to-be history-making process.

So, why should you vote? First off, it is your right, and a right many people have died to provide to you. As we look back on America’s history, we can recall the Civil Rights era, the women’s suffrage movement, and the Constitutional amendments that have gotten us to where we are today. Secondly, it does affect you in the present and in the future. You should want to have a say in electing the representatives that will fight for you and your rights. Remember, your vote is your voice.

As a millennial, it is even more important to cast your vote! According to, “millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers according to an analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, which defines millennials as people between the ages of 18-35. Both generations are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.”

But, this election is unique for millennials — it marks the first time essentially all the millennials in the country are old enough to vote.

“In fact, millennials continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group. Only about 46 percent voted in the last presidential election; compared to 72 percent of the Silent Generation, who habitually punch above their weight.” (

So why should you be informed when you go to vote? When I was younger, in high school and college, I didn’t really feel the need to be involved in politics. I foolishly thought “It doesn’t really affect me”.  I would vote, of course, but because I didn’t know a lot about any of the candidates or issues, I would just go along with who I heard my family supporting. While these may have been good candidates and aligned with my beliefs and values, I later learned I needed to be able to make that decision for myself and know why I made the decision I did. In elections past, I’d find myself in the voting booth, staring at names I didn’t recognize and always walking out a little ashamed that I had to “guess” which candidate to vote for when there was no party affiliation.

This seems to be a common theme among young people; I have heard this same attitude echoed among many of my friends. We leave the politics and the voting to our parents. But what these people don’t realize is, it is our government too! One day, we will be the parents making these decisions for OUR families! And in order to make the right decisions, we have to know what we are talking about and voting for. As young people, now is the time to become informed!

So this morning, I went to my local Board of Elections and I voted early. I felt responsible and proud to cast my vote, one that I had researched and thought about for the last several months. I felt confident in the process and in myself. Voting is a priceless right for an American citizen, and I hope sharing my story will encourage my fellow millennials to get out there and take advantage of that right!

-Brianna Houchens, Digital Media Coordinator

Re: Your Recent Email to Your Professor

01-respect-email-conduct-nensuriaStudents who use emojis in their emails and write “heeeeelp!” in the subject line don’t necessarily know better. Paul Corrigan and Cameron Hunt McNabb present a way for professors to help such students.

Dear College Student,
If your professor has sent you a link to this page, two things are likely true. First, you probably sent an email that does not represent you in a way you would like to be represented. Second, while others might have scolded you, mocked you or despaired over the future of the planet because of your email, you sent it to someone who wants to help you represent yourself better.

In part, because only a click or swipe or two separate emails from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and texting, the lines between professional emails and more informal modes of writing have become blurred, and many students find the conventions of professional emails murky. We think we can help sort things out.

In the age of social media, many students approach emailing similar to texting and other forms of digital communication, where the crucial conventions are brevity and informality. But most college teachers consider emails closer to letters than to text messages. This style of writing calls for more formality, more thoroughness and more faithful adherence (sometimes bordering on religious adherence) to the conventions of Edited Standard Written English — that is, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and syntax.

These different ways of writing are just that — different ways of writing. The letter approach to emails is not always and forever better (or worse) than the texting approach. Knowing how and when to use one or the other — based on why you are writing and whom you are writing to — makes all the difference. So, if you use emojis, acronyms, abbreviations, etc., when texting your friends, you are actually demonstrating legitimate, useful writing skills. But you aren’t if you do the same thing when emailing professors who view emails as letters.

Effective writing requires shaping your words according to your audience, purpose and genre (or type of writing, e.g., an academic email). Together these are sometimes called the rhetorical situation. Some of the key conventions for the rhetorical situation of emailing a professor are as follows:

1. Use a clear subject line. The subject “Rhetorical Analysis Essay” would work a bit better than “heeeeelp!” (and much better than the unforgivable blank subject line).

2. Use a salutation and signature. Instead of jumping right into your message or saying “hey,” begin with a greeting like “Hello” or “Good afternoon,” and then address your professor by appropriate title and last name, such as “Prof. Xavier” or “Dr. Octavius.” (Though this can be tricky, depending on your teacher’s gender, rank and level of education, “Professor” is usually a safe bet for addressing a college teacher.) Similarly, instead of concluding with “Sent from my iPhone” or nothing at all, include a signature, such as “Best” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name.

3. Use standard punctuation, capitalization, spelling and grammar. Instead of writing “idk what 2 rite about in my paper can you help??” try something more like, “I am writing to ask about the topics you suggested in class yesterday.”

4. Do your part in solving what you need to solve. If you email to ask something you could look up yourself, you risk presenting yourself as less resourceful than you ought to be. But if you mention that you’ve already checked the syllabus, asked classmates and looked through old emails from the professor, then you present yourself as responsible and taking initiative. So, instead of asking, “What’s our homework for tonight?” you might write, “I looked through the syllabus and course website for this weekend’s assigned homework, but unfortunately I am unable to locate it.”

5. Be aware of concerns about entitlement. Rightly or wrongly, many professors feel that students “these days” have too strong a sense of entitlement. If you appear to demand help, shrug off absences or assume late work will be accepted without penalty because you have a good reason, your professors may see you as irresponsible or presumptuous. Even if it is true that “the printer wasn’t printing” and you “really need an A in this class,” your email will be more effective if you to take responsibility: “I didn’t plan ahead well enough, and I accept whatever policies you have for late work.”

6. Add a touch of humanity. Some of the most effective emails are not strictly business — not strictly about the syllabus, the grade, the absence or the assignment. While avoiding obvious flattery, you might comment on something said in class, share information regarding an event the professor might want to know about or pass on an article from your news feed that is relevant to the course. These sorts of flourishes, woven in gracefully, put a relational touch to the email, recognizing that professors are not just point keepers but people.

We hope that these rules (or these and these) help you understand what most professors want or expect from academic emails. Which brings us back to the larger point: writing effectively does not simply mean following all the rules. Writing effectively means writing as an act of human communication — shaping your words in light of whom you are writing to and why.

Of course, you won’t actually secure the future of the planet by writing emails with a subject line and some punctuation. But you will help your professors worry about it just a little less.

By Paul T. Corrigan and Cameron Hunt McNabb on
April 16, 2015

Make Higher Education Affordable By Earning College Credits Now



Are loans the only affordable way to obtain a degree? Who wants to dig themselves out from insurmountable debt right after graduation? Thinking about rising costs of college tuition can be daunting for students embarking on their postsecondary education.

Options are available to earn college credit early and save money in the process.  Students in Ohio may enroll in the CCP program to earn high school and college credits concurrently and graduate college early.

The program is available to public, private and home school students in grades seven through 12. There’s no cost for tuition, books or fees, and classes may be taken on a high school or local college campus, depending on available options in the area.

Chatfield College is just one school to offer the dual enrollment program. The private liberal arts associate’s degree college, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers CCP at both of the school’s campuses in Cincinnati and Brown County, Ohio, as well as at partner facility Southern Hills Career and Technical Center in Georgetown, Ohio.

“It’s an amazing program,” Chatfield College President John Tafaro said. “The Ohio Board of Regents wanted to make college accessible and affordable and they sure did.”

With CCP, students can complete their freshman year of college or beyond by taking up to 30 credit hours per year, of which the state will pay for 15. Credits may be applied to the institution where students take the classes, or may transfer to other Ohio public colleges and some out-of-state and private institutions.

“It’s a great way to show up with free college credits and some confidence of having finished a college course,” Tafaro said.

However, CCP may not be right for every student. “It’s not a good idea to do it just to save the money, and you have to be committed,” Tafaro said. “These are college classes, not high school classes that are beefed up for college credit.” Students must be prepared for the rigors of collegiate material, alongside traditional aged and adult learners. School districts may seek reimbursement for a failing grade, which will appear on both high school and college transcripts.

To learn more about the CCP program at Chatfield, click here.

Other alternatives to earn college credit include AP and IB classes. The College Board’s AP classes are college- level courses offered in high school. Students take the AP test at the completion of the course. Based on the score, college credit may be earned and applied to more than 2,600 colleges worldwide. Similarly, IB courses are advanced courses in which a test is taken for college credit. Though not as widely recognized as AP, IB courses are offered in nearly 900 high schools with almost 1,700 universities accepting IB credits worldwide. There is a fee for both tests and minimum scores must be achieved for college credit.

The College Board’s CLEP program helps students receive college credit at a fraction of the cost by testing out of various subjects. CLEP is a good option for adult learners, veterans and military personnel. Getting a jump on college before arriving there is possible. Depending on the college or university, there may be programs specific to that school.

At Northern Kentucky University, several programs are offered, including Credit for Prior Learning, Military Credit, and School-Based Scholars (SBS), a dual credit program offering college classes to high school juniors and seniors at a reduced rate. Similarly, Cincinnati State has a host of ways to earn college credit based on workplace credit and experience such as their Applicable Work Experience and External Formal Training Program. Help is out there and researching what’s available at each school can save big in the long run.

Sara Gadzala, Contributor

Content originally published in the College Connection, an Enquirer Media Specialty Publication, on October 9th. 2016.


You’ve Made It Halfway, But Don’t Give In

3B3A9638As we move from summer to autumn, there is an energy in the air, a restlessness that lingers on the breezes of the Chatfield College Campus.

Students hurry around and apply their knowledge to the classes that they have made to the half way mark;  that’s right, it is the time for midterms.

Although grades from professors are not due until the 11th, there is a scrambling for an open computer, and a last minute cram for information, as well as study groups and the college transfer fair. Another Brown County Fair has come and gone, and the leaves are beginning to get the first twinges of golden orange.

Many times when we see that we are halfway through a project, we start to get a bit lazy. Maybe we think missing one class won’t make a difference in anyone’s life, but it does.  No matter what age or mindset or occupation you plan to pursue, there are standards set by employers to keep absenteeism to a minimum, and Chatfield is no different in trying to achieve the same.

So when you feel a bit tired and run down, should you just cancel class?  NO, that is the last thing you should do;  as a student, it holds back your classmates, it disrespects your instructor and it defies the rules that we are trying to instill in students on campus. Ask yourself if it is really worth dropping your grade and holding your friends and classmates back, for your day of leisure.

Flu season is coming up fast and you may need that sick day in a month or so, to accommodate a REAL emergency, so ask yourself if it is truly worth it to miss a day, a lecture, a midterm evaluation, etc.

The adult world appears to be filled with liberty, but it is not. In order to keep a job, you have to be there, and you need to be on time, so do not treat your education any differently than you would treat your job.  Remember we are all in this together, sometimes instructors don’t want to get up and roll out, either, but we do.   If you want to collect a paycheck and keep a job, you will be required to be there… on time. So if you abuse the privileges that you have been given, the only person that will ultimately lose is YOU!

So stay strong and persevere this semester; as all others will end, and as the new chapters of your life unfold, remember: YOU will be the one to manifest your own destiny, and life will generally NOT get easier, after college, so demand that you develop you own accountability.

I am very proud of most of my students, for keeping that nose to the grindstone. It shows integrity to step up and be counted, especially when you don’t feel like it. So keep on showing up on time, we realize things happen, but I doubt they happen all the time or every week, and if they do, you may need a new strategy.

It is your personal choice to be here, make the best of it!

Happy Midterm.
Christina Schnetzer