Outstanding Grad: Hannah Chatham

Hannah ChathamHannah Chatham

Major: Fine Art (Metalsmithing and Jewelry)

As a non-traditional student with five years of military experience, Hannah Chatham has found a place to explore her passions for art here at CSU. Her work blends traditional and digital processes to create visually compelling wearable and non-wearable objects, highlighting the depth of her knowledge. Although Chatham’s background has made navigating college life challenging at times, she has been greatly successful in developing a wide variety of skills and making connections with other students of various identities on campus.

Learn more about her story below:

1. Why did you choose to study at CSU?

“I separated from the Navy in 2017 with the opportunity to move anywhere in the country and have my college education paid for. I started researching schools in Colorado because it seemed like a neat place I had never been to. I visited Fort Collins and Colorado State University, and I just fell in love with the area and how friendly everyone was.”

2. How has your background shaped your experience here at CSU, and what advice would you give to students of similar identities?

“When I graduated high school in 2012, I wanted to go to college for art, but I didn’t have a clear path. Looking back, I am thankful for the five years I spent in the military prior to college. I gained a lot of life experience during that time, and the difficulties I faced made finally pursuing my passion extremely fulfilling. I also attended community college while in the Navy, so I was able to get a head start on general education credits.”

3. What accomplishments from your educational career at CSU are you most proud of? How were you able to accomplish those things?

“I am proud of the many skills I have learned at CSU, especially in the art department. I ended up learning and loving so many things I never expected. I am also proud to graduate with two art concentrations, a minor, and a certificate. It was difficult to juggle so many things, but in the end, it is very rewarding to have such a well-rounded education.”

4. What has been the most challenging aspect of your educational career so far? How have you overcome those difficulties?

“Although I ultimately appreciate not going to college right after high school, being an older student from a very different background can feel alienating at times. I realized that there are a lot of nontraditional students though, and a lot of people from different places. Diversity is a beautiful thing, and there are always ways to find things in common with people, regardless of background. The pandemic has presented its own challenges of course, but I kept taking classes the entire time and I was always thankful for the social interactions and projects to focus on.”

5. What are your post-graduation plans and goals?

“My main goal after graduation is to keep learning. While I don’t plan on going to graduate school immediately, I would like to continue learning technical skills in areas like metal work and digital fabrication through job shadowing, work, and artist residencies.”