Distinguished Professor Michael Dukakis’ unbreakable, long-term commitment to his students and to providing them with opportunities to succeed is demonstrated by the special bond that he has with his former student and now-professor Dan Urman. A humble Dukakis says it’s real-world experiences that are critical to students’ learning and the essence of Northeastern’s experiential learning model.
Northeastern faculty member Dan Urman says the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles was his “political coming of age moment”—one he says was made possible by Michael Dukakis.
At the time Urman was a rising senior studying political science and history at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a student of Dukakis’, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Northeastern and visiting professor at UCLA. Urman had impressed Dukakis in class in the spring, and when the DNC rolled around he asked Dukakis if anyone was running his visit.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you do it?” Urman recalls. “It took me about two seconds to say ‘yes.’ It was a trial by fire, and I learned a tremendous amount. It inspired my passion for politics and teaching. In 2012, we created a website to teach the larger public about the campaign and convention process, and I can directly trace it to my initial experience in 2000.”