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Stephanie Hammitt’s Path to Success

Stephanie Hammitt 84 knew she wanted to be an accountant since she was a little girl. I wrote a paper about it in grade school, she said. I still like math. I know that if I use logic, start with the beginning steps, and go to the end, Ill get the right answer. I can take different paths, but Ill always get to the same place, and thats satisfying.

Stephanie Hammitt  
Stephanie Hammitt  

 

Education, family, American Indian culture, and even math are important to Hammitt. She has taken different paths, but those four things are always with her. Judging from her smile, it’s been a satisfying journey.

 

 

Hammitt enjoys what she does and she’s good at it. She’s been the chief financial officer for the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) since 2009 and has received a Chancellor’s Outstanding Service Award from the Minnesota State College and Universities System (MnSCU) for her work. The college also received a MnSCU Excellence in Financial Management award that reflects the work made by the entire staff and faculty to improve financial operations.

THE JOURNEY
Since she graduated from UMD in 1984, she has worked in several capacities for area institutions, beginning with the Duluth Community College Center, which merged with the Duluth Vocational School and later became Lake Superior College. Next she worked for Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Center. After that she worked for Fond du Luth Casino and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa before coming full circle, back to the field of education with FDLTCC.

Hammitt is proud of FDLTCC’s business program and the American Indian studies program. Many of the students in these programs go on to UMD and other area colleges and universities for their four-year and advanced degrees. “The law enforcement program headed up by former Duluth Chief of Police Scott Lyons is also strong,” she said. “Scott has been a gift to us.”

The mission of the college is to accept everyone, no matter what their differences are, and to forge a union between all cultures. “We teach American Indian culture, and that’s what makes us unique,” Hammitt said. Throughout the year, the college holds pipe ceremonies, drum ceremonies and feasts. “We don’t want anyone to be afraid to ask questions and want to make everyone feel comfortable,” she said. “The Tribal College is a great place to work,” Hammitt said.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING
Hammitt came from a family where education was important. She was inspired by her dad. “When I was a little girl, my dad went back to school. I remember him doing homework at the dining room table late at night.” Her parents strongly wanted their children to get an education. “They always said it didn’t matter what we wanted to do,” she said. “Any field was good, they just wanted to make sure all of their kids had an education.” She and her husband Brian, a telecommunication engineer for Enventis, have passed that same message down to their four children.

After high school, Hammitt chose UMD and her parents approved. She enjoyed her experience as a student at UMD. She lived in the Movilla apartments for part of the time and one of her friends from high school became her roommate. Hammitt remembers studying a lot but making time for basketball and hockey games.

She especially liked two of her accounting teachers, even though they had very different personalities. “Professor Robert Curtis was really interesting,” she said. The other teacher, Rob Walker, was quite a bit younger. “He was in tune with students,” she said. “He wasn’t dull, and he was very well liked.”

Education, family, American Indian culture, and even math are important to Hammitt. She has taken different paths, but those four things are always with her. Judging from her smile, it’s been a satisfying journey.



Written by Cheryl Reitan, April 2014

 



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UMD News Features editor, Cheryl Reitan, creitan@d.umn.edu

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Last modified on 04/09/14 03:45 PM
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