Some call her Dr. Chatman, many call her an activist, others have nicknamed her “mom” – but all call her an inspiration. Writes one of her nominators, “In Cheryl, I see a woman of great strength and self-esteem who is not afraid to involve herself and show others where she has traveled and what they can achieve. … She instills in every person the sense of dignity, worth, human commonality, a higher purpose, and thirst to learn.”
Chatman carries a wealth of experience working with diverse and underserved populations in the St. Paul metro area, creating programs for low-income, single mothers to build their education and personal development; mentoring at-risk young adults and providing opportunities for them to gain after-school leadership experience; and serving as a liaison between communities and academia, creating “great harmony among the many ethnic groups in an urban school area,” as one nominator wrote.
For her involvement in civic, church, and campus groups, Chatman has twice been recognized by Concordia University for the Excellence in Action Award, given to individuals who show great pride, leadership, and attitude in their work at the university; and has received the Kwanzaa Unity in Family, Community, Nation, and Race Award and other community recognition for her efforts to bring together different ethnicities through faith, education, and community involvement.
Chatman holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman College (’74), master’s degree from Iowa State University (’76), and a Ph.D from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (’90). She is an annual member of the ISU Alumni Association.