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Donor Spotlight: Karin Burwinkel

September 15, 2023

If you drive down the long tree-lined lane to the tranquil St. Martin office of The Chatfield Edge, you may run into Karin Burwinkel. She has a quilting studio on campus, complete with a longarm quilting machine. This is Karin’s retreat, her home away from home.

Karin has had a home at Chatfield since she was 12 and attended boarding school at the School of the Brown County Ursulines (BCU) in the early 70s.

“The Ursuline nuns have an unconditional love that I needed then.”

Throughout the years, Karin learned that the compassion of the Ursuline nuns reaches far beyond the classroom, providing an extended family to all those in need.

Why does Karin support The Chatfield Edge?

Today, Karin is a key supporter and advocate for The Chatfield Edge, donating her time and talents to support the organization’s mission of empowering and accompanying students as they transform their lives through the pursuit of postsecondary education.

“I support The Chatfield Edge and the Ursuline sisters because I want to follow their example,” said Karin. “I can never pay back what was freely given to me.”

In 1980, Karin’s son died of SIDS. She and her husband were devastated. One of the first to offer comfort? The Ursuline sisters.

“They are like extended family, and they consoled my husband, Rick, and me as we struggled to come to terms with our son’s death. My family knows the deep and powerful impact of the Brown County Ursulines on my life – then and now.”

Karin later worked as a sign language interpreter at Chatfield College and now serves as a BCU Alumni Association board member.

What is the BCU Alumni Association scholarship?

The BCU Alumni Association (BCUAA) brings together the women who attended the school until its closing in 1981. The BCUAA scholarship provides needed financial help to students. It was previously for those attending Chatfield College. Now, it is for anyone pursuing their postsecondary education with the help of The Chatfield Edge.

“This is a gift from the students who benefited from an Ursuline education in the past to students in the future.”

Alissa Woods is one of those Chatfield Scholars who benefits from BCUAA’s generosity. As a non-traditional student returning to postsecondary education in her late 20s, support from others who believe in her talent and dreams is priceless.

Making a gift to The Chatfield Edge is investing in a mission dedicated to providing students with the tools, support, and mentorship they need to meet their educational goals.

If you would like to learn more about ways to give to The Chatfield Edge, call us at 513-875-3344 or contact Kelly Watson at