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Borough of Manhattan Community CoIIege The City Univeraity of New York

A ]ournaI of Award-Winning 8tudenta and Mentora


2010-2011
EXCELLENCE
MARKS
of
Cinderella Man
Hiatory achoIar MichaeI Hattem Iooka back to BMCC, the atart of an amazing journey.
At 31, Michael Hattem was supporting his family by working at whatever
menial jobs he could nd. It was 2007 and our son Lucien had just been
born, he recalls. I realized I had to provide a better future for him, and
going back to school seemed the best way to accomplish that.
Four years later, Hattem is graduating from CUNYs Baccalaureate Program
for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies with a bachelors degree in history,
and set to begin graduate studies at Yale Universitywhere hes been awarded
a 5-year, tuition-free fellowship plus a $26,500-a-year stipend.
At BMCC, Hattems rst mentor was Jacob Kramer, his professor for
early and modern American history. He was particularly interested in
the history of the American labor movement, Kramer recalls. He really
wanted to do something above and beyond the scope and substance of our
class assignments.
Writing that research paper inspired Hattem to become a historian, and
enroll in the CUNY Baccalaureate program, where students design their
own curricula. His major was history, with a focus on colonial America,
and he applied to graduate schools to continue those studies.
Im not surprised that Yale offered him a fellowship, Kramer says.
There are some people who are just good at historical research. Michael
is one of them. Yale not only offered full tuition remission plus stipend
for ve years, but healthcare coverage for Hattem, his wife, and their two
young sons.
Im not naturally a condent person, says Hattem. But the feeling that
I could do this has been slowly building for a while. Of course, if it hadnt
been for mentors like Professor Kramer, I wouldnt even have applied to
these placesThey boosted my condence in myself and took time to help
me outside of classmeeting me for coffee, inviting me to their homes,
writing letters on my behalf.
Profeaaor ]acob Kramer: 'MichaeI'a IeveI of
comprehenaion, anaIyticaI abiIitiea and inteIIectuaI
aophiatication cIearIy atood out. He waa aIwaya
keyed into cIaaa diacuaaiona and aIwaya prepared
to comment.'
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