A native of Minnesota, Dr. Flaten earned his BA in History and Russian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College (1987), then his MA in Medieval History (1992) and Ph.D in Early Modern History (1999) at Fordham University. After teaching at Caldwell College in New Jersey and Plymouth State in New Hampshire he joined the SUNY system with his appointment as Assistant Professor of History/Political Science at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) IN 2003. Professor Flaten teaches a variety of SUNY General Education courses in categories 3 (POSC 103 American National Government), 4 (HSTY 201/202 American History), 5 (Western Civilization: I and II), and has a continuing interest in teaching SUNY General Education #6 (International travel courses). He was honored with the SUNY Chancellor's/Trustees' award for Excellence in Teaching 2009 as well as the TC3 Award for Excellence in 2015.
Dr. Flaten went through several different traditional textbook iterations, but was never content with content, accessibility, or cost. Dr. Flaten used his first OER product in Spring 2018 for his America to 1877 history sections in response to those concerns. That successful experience led him to convert other of his course to OER, making all his teaching sections OER!