USF HONORS COLLEGE:
Common Cheats – Dr. Wilkins, Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, Jussie Smollett, Joseph J. Ellis, Marilee Jones
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MISCONDUCT COVER-UP SPANS YEARS:
USF Honors College Professor Perpetrates then Covers-Up Double Life – Adultery, Scholarship Cheating, Abuses Cancer Patient to Work in Mental Health and Around Other Medical Patients
USF’s brightest students, world’s future leaders taught by dishonorable scholarship-cheating professor Dr. Wilkins.
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The enclosed photograph is the actual fake bald cap that Dr. Catherine Wilkins created, and tried to deceive a cancer patient with. Professor Wilkins bought a skin-colored bald cap, cut off short pieces of her own hair, and then glued them to the bald cap. Dr. Wilkins then covered it with a red bandana and hat. USF Honors Instructor Dr. Wilkins falsely pretended she shaved her head. She wore this cruel fabrication in front of a cancer patient that recently was bald, that lost all of their own hair to ABVD chemotherapy. It was mental abuse perpetrated by Dr. Wilkins. Professor Wilkins then immorally used the cancer patient in more of her lies, in falsifying her school scholarships, and for college career advancement.
Ironically, Dr. Catherine Wilkins teaches classes in Mental Health, one as a popular USF Honors capstone course. Dr. Wilkins also teaches at the Morsani College of Medicine, and Tampa Museum of Art.
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USF Dr. Catherine Wilkins Cheats, Lies About Going Into Debt Helping Cancer Patient on Scholarship
* * * Dr. Wilkins fabricates scholarship, commits adultery, uses an artist cancer patient to advance her college art career.
* * * Dr. Wilkins makes fake bald cap, and mentally abuses bald cancer patient.
* * * Dr. Wilkins psychologically damages cancer patient, while patient is near death.
* * * For her deceit, receives credit and recommendations. Now teaches courses in Art, Mental Health, PTSD, and Medicine.
* * * USF Honors College, Tampa Art Museum, Morsani College of Medicine.
* * * USF Honors College Health Professions Students Impacted.
* * * Honors capstone course “Connections: Mental Healthcare, Community Engagement, and Art”
* * * Courses are taught by an instructor that has frequently lied, falsified academic scholarships, escaped accountability, and engaged in adultery.
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Dr. Catherine Wilkins lied and unethically used my cancer to advance her college career.
Below is an exact word-for-word transcript from Catherine Wilkins’ falsified college scholarship. In it, Catherine praises herself for taking care of a cancer patient, her boyfriend of four years.
That is a lie.
I am that boyfriend. I am that cancer patient. I have been an artist, going to center for the arts magnet schools and taking AP art courses and studying humanities my entire life, long before Dr. Wilkins was ever an Art Historian or Humanities Instructor.
Dr. Wilkins commends herself for taking care of a “loved one” cancer patient.
Everything about me, and Catherine taking care of me, is a complete fabrication by her. She lied to her own university teachers, professors, and faculty about taking care of me, a cancer patient, in order to get their sympathy and respect. And she lied on her scholarships.
I am just now learning details of this from Dr. Wilkins’ falsified college scholarship, that she deceptively uses me and my condition in.
The only truth: Is that I had cancer. The rest, is fabricated by USF Honors College capstone instructor Dr. Wilkins.
Dr. Catherine Wilkins built her entire college career on lies.
It is unconscionable that Catherine used my struggle with cancer, my life-and-death battle, to promote her college career.
If you think a respected person isn’t capable of this, please look again.
* There are persons, such as:
* * * The sham-story homeless man and couple from GoFundMe (Mark D’Amico, Kate McClure, and Johnny Bobbitt), who for a time the public believed were compassionate saints, and poured money and praise into them. It turned out they invented the whole fake-story for their profit.
* * * Jussie Smollett who faked an elaborate plot in an attempt to advance his career, and gain his own sympathy, and profit. Jussie Smollett did this in a fraudulent attempt to become the face of a movement, and be seen as a cultural hero.
* * * Many have used “False Rapes” to conceal adultery: An internet search will show a multitude of real-life court examples.
* * * A respected and popular professor (David Scott Broxterman) at Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida has been revealed as a fraud after forging documents to fake a doctorate from the University of South Florida (USF).
* * * Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph J. Ellis admitted that he lied to his students and others when he said he had been a combat soldier in Vietnam. ”Perpetuated over many years, his lie about himself clearly violates the ethics of our profession and the integrity we expect of all members of our community,” said a statement posted on the college’s website. ”Misleading students is wrong and nothing can excuse it.”
* * * Former dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marilee Jones resigned after admitting she fabricated her credentials nearly three decades earlier.
* * * The teachers and parents in the bribe college-admissions cheating scandal (Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and so many others). Anyone employed at an university should know by now, unfortunately, how extraordinarily ingenious, conniving, unethical, and dishonest students, even faculty and parents (who were former students), can be.
During my several year relationship with Catherine, that almost resulted in marriage, Catherine repeatedly and severely deceived myself, and those around her.
What was Catherine doing while I had cancer? Cheating on me. Committing adultery. Having several affairs. She even had an affair with, David Brodosi at USF.
In an attempt to hide her sexual affair with David Brodosi, Catherine Wilkins told me Brodosi raped her.
I told Catherine, she must report David Brodosi for sexual harassment and rape, immediately. Several times, I insisted she file a detailed sexual predator report of David Brodosi.
But the truth turned out to be, their adultery was completely consensual.
Catherine Wilkins’ personal home and University of South Florida’s work computers were filled with months of sexual and erotic emails and text messages to and from David Brodosi. Proving Dr. Wilkins’ adulterous affair was consensual. Catherine and Brodosi discussed intimately their secret “booty calls” as they called them, s*x positions, and traded s*x pictures with each other. Catherine Wilkins admitted to me later that they had consensual s*x. And both Dr. Wilkins and David Brodosi tried to keep it hidden, and cover it up.
Catherine later admitted she loved the illicit thrill, danger, and excitement of cheating. Catherine didn’t care that her adultery was destroying my life, she wanted “the dangerous thrill.”
Catherine Wilkins attempted to get away with cheating, by saying David Brodosi raped her. It instead, was a consensual affair.
There are countless real rape victims, and Catherine tried to appropriate rape, to get out of adultery.
And Catherine had so many other secret lovers, and adulterous affairs that she tried to hide and coverup, while I was dying of cancer.
Professor Catherine Wilkins secretly applied to pose nude for Playboy. There were messages about rockstars autographing her b*****s backstage at a concert. Messages from other secret lovers, and s*x adventures. Dr. Wilkins was going to male strip clubs, singing “It’s Raining Men!” Dr. Wilkins gave local statues f******o and took photos. Catherine Wilkins opened a hidden account on the s*x hookup website, “Adult Friend Finder” for threesomes, orgies, one-night stands, with both men and women. In New Orleans, Dr. Wilkins prowled Bourbon Street looking for sexual attention and assumedly a s*x hookup, in an extremely tight shirt, showing off her b*****s, that in glitter read “VEGAS.”
Dr. Wilkins even had s*x with my friends. When I asked her, why my friend knew what her b*****s and nipples looked like, Dr. Wilkins knowing she was at least partially caught, said “We only flirted online. I emailed him naked pictures of myself. We didn’t have s*x.” This alone is heartbreaking enough. Then when I had to go further and ask, “Then why does my friend know what you sound like during s*x, and how you do specific s*x actions, that I’m only supposed to know about?” Dr. Wilkins was then forced to admit, “We had s*x. I lied.” Then she tried to diminish it, turn it around, and receive pity and sympathy, by saying this person was on anti-depressants, and it affected his erection. Poor Catherine. Her secret lover, a person I knew and used to be friends with, had penile dysfunction. What a way to try for sympathy, when you’re caught cheating and lying.
Her secret affairs went on and on.
There are so many other adulterous and dishonest activities Dr. Wilkins engaged herself in. All while we dated. All while I fought cancer, and struggled to stay alive.
All while she tells those around her, writes on her scholarship, and imagines herself as the faithful, saintly girlfriend and almost-wife taking care of me as I was dying. Catherine wasn’t taking care of me, she was having the time of her life cheating.
Each time I found just a little of Catherine Wilkins’ lies and wrong-doing, I begged her to stop, and to do the right thing. Catherine refused to cease, or do what was right, time and time again. Catherine just continued doing what she wanted, using whoever she wanted, telling whatever lies she wanted, and simply tried harder in her coverups.
The only thing Professor Wilkins learned: Was how to conceal, gaslight, and manipulate better.
Catherine’s method is to tell any lie, obfuscate, deflect, blame, accuse others, and even try to become a victim herself, so she may take flight from accountability, and even profit.
Catherine tried to escape responsibility.
To get away with a lie, Catherine would just tell another lie, or blame someone else, or try to make it seem smaller or innocent, or misdirect.
She would say she stopped a certain lie or dishonest behavior or action, but that again, was only to minimize it. I found time and time again, she continued in it. She did not stop.
These are mind games that destroy. Besides the initial destruction of the illicit deed, the coverup continues further destruction. Catherine wanted to gain through sympathy, but had little sympathy for those she lied to.
Professor Catherine Wilkins knew, ultimately, she could win and do whatever she wanted by lying, cheating, manipulation, and hiding the truth. She need not be accountable if she could just lie, put on the right face, and have no one double-check.
Catherine Wilkins even faked and wrote false letters from her parents. She wrote the letters, pretending to be her parents, using her father and mother’s names, and in their voice. She did this, so her parents would not find out about her lies.
On Dr. Wilkins’ dishonest scholarship, word-for-word, she claims: “The illness of a loved one has depleted my savings and caused a great deal of medical debt which I help pay…”
Catherine did not pay my medical bills, or accrue debt “helping me,” as she states. Catherine states this, because she wanted the money for her own college and life purposes.
Catherine did nothing for me, except impede me finding cancer treatment, impede my chemotherapy, and impede my recovery. Her mind games and tactics truly almost killed me.
Catherine: Cancer is literally a daily life and death struggle. Every little germ counts. Every body cell living, dying, growing, or not, means a whole human, dies or lives, vomits or rests, loses their hair or keeps it, endures pain or heals. Instead, you see the cancer suffered by someone else as a way to gain sympathy, and credit for actions you never did. For care you never gave.
Catherine: You told your teachers, professors, friends, parents, wrote on scholarship applications, how you saintly paid my medical bills until you went into debt, and nursed me while I endured cancer. Lies.
New Orleans Charity Hospital, where you have never stepped a foot inside while I was pumped with chemo, and Charity’s doctors, nurses, and a truly saintly social worker are who paid my bills, treated me, gave me genuine mercy, and let me live more years.
Catherine: Please tell me where adulterous cheating, lying, covering-up, manipulating, taking from, copying, nearly plagiarizing, causing extreme mental anguish to, and gaslighting is considered “caring for a cancer patient.”
Catherine: How can you use and abuse a cancer patient in this manner? As you state in your scholarship and told so many, I was “your loved one.” Really?
Catherine: How many other times did you use me, and lie, for your sympathy, credit, or gain? Countless incidents, I’m sure.
Catherine: The truth is, you treated me as an object to advance yourself. Not as a human being. Only when humans see other humans as stepping stones and objects, can they become so selfish, and treat others so callously, and tell such immense, heartless lies.
Catherine: Because of your lying, adultery, coverups, gaslighting, and mind games, I did not get my insurance papers filed in time. This almost became my death sentence. This nearly killed me. You simply said, “Not my fault.”
When I expressed how hard everything was on me, Catherine simply said, “Not my fault.”
Catherine: To me, and every hardship I encountered, and the added difficulty of your lies and adultery, your answer to everything was: “Not my fault.”
To your school, teachers, and scholarships, you made yourself into a saint taking care of a cancer patient and paying all his medical bills. Lies.
Callous, selfish lies.
Catherine and I almost married. She was the love of my life. …Until the day I started to find out she was committing adultery on me, and selfishly and dishonestly appropriating my life to benefit hers.
When there were animals trapped in the water, or wounded in the middle of the road, I introduced Catherine to animal welfare and rescue. I introduced Catherine to vegetarianism. I later spent years assisting animal rescue.
I have been an artist my entire life. I am a multidisciplinary artist. My art and photography are in books, magazines, newspapers, and museums. I spent my entire life in magnet schools for the arts, AP classes (both art and academic), honors programs, and studying and creating art. So, Catherine Wilkins appropriated my life as an artist, to become an Art Historian. Normally, I would be flattered. I would have shared anything with Catherine, especially the arts. I almost shared my entire life with her. I love when I can inspire others to be an artist, or study or appreciate art. Art, is my mission in life.
Art, to me, is one of the most important creations of humankind.
I love when I can inspire anyone to be better.
And as a multidisciplinary artist working in visual, literary, music, and theatre endeavors, that creates and gives everyday of my life, I learned young to thank and credit the artists before and next to me that influenced me. Despite the cliché maxim that great artists steal, I believe great artists homage, thank, share, and credit as well as create original work. Great artists don’t steal, selfish people do.
But Catherine did not share — Catherine stole, copied, lied and hid.
Whenever I did something, Catherine usually secretly appropriated and copied it, without credit.
Stealing is not flattery.
Dr. Wilkins liked the false feeling and praise that many of her ideas occurred by “immaculate conception.”
Deceptive shortcuts in life and esteem.
Catherine Wilkins, by her appropriation, just about plagiarized my life to advance and create hers.
The revelations of Catherine’s lies and adultery became so bad, we even discussed at our wedding, if Catherine could still wear white. If adulterers and liars could wear white at a wedding. Ultimately, the conclusion was: Catherine and I could not marry, because it was impossible to overcome her adultery and ongoing dishonesty.
What did Catherine do when we did not marry, and I ended my relationship with her? I recently found out, Catherine continued her lies, using of me, and resumed dishonestly appropriating my life to benefit hers.
I was in contact with Dr. Wilkins for over a decade, into my early-thirties, until I couldn’t take her falsehoods anymore.
Professor Catherine Wilkins lied and appropriated my cancer to advance her college career.
I learned, Dr. Catherine Wilkins told everyone she was taking care of me. That my cancer and illness was hard on her, not me. Catherine Wilkins: The selfless saint. None of these teachers, school faculty, or people ever met me, except one for just a minute. They all just took Catherine Wilkins’ word as truth.
The first time I got an inkling of this lie, was when I went to USF after I found more evidence of Catherine’s adultery and copying, and questioned her about it. Her Art History professor told me, how Catherine was taking care of me during my illness and how much Catherine was doing for me.
I was at USF to confront Catherine about lying, copying, and adultery, and I am told: “What a saint Catherine is for caring for me in my time of desperate need.”
Before I could respond to Catherine’s teacher, or fully understand the deceit, because it caught me by complete surprise, Catherine whisked me out of the room. Catherine did this every time someone else was about to expose one of her lies, or unknowingly and accidentally reveal a clue to her adultery and affairs, or simply, how Dr. Wilkins was copying my own endeavors without credit. Catherine would quickly remove me from the room, or tell me not to say anything or ask certain questions.
Catherine made herself into a saint, even claiming she went into debt paying for my cancer treatment costs.
In Catherine’s scholarship, she lies: “It seems like true help from G*d … I would be more able to dedicate some of my own earnings each month to help my boyfriend meet the cost of the medical expenses he has unfortunately accrued.”
Who paid for my cancer treatment when almost no hospital would admit me? Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
Catherine did not pay a dime, and accrued absolutely no debt. Not from my medical treatment. Her only debt she cared about, was her school debt.
Who cared for me while I fought for life? The doctors and nurses at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Otherwise, I was completely alone. My landlord in New Orleans even asked me, who is my next-of-kin or emergency contact, in case I die from cancer and chemo. My answer was, “I have no one.” My landlord said, “You must have someone! I have to fill in the emergency contact space of the lease.” I repeated, “I have no one.”
And it was in that New Orleans apartment, alone, and at Charity Hospital, that I begged and struggled to stay alive.
The main motivation I had for living: Art. I was writing a screenplay and a musical. I am a painter and photographer. I kept on with my art studies and creation as I was alone, bald without hair, weak, nearly dying, and nauseous with chemo in my veins.
Catherine was not there, not for a single cancer treatment. Catherine and I talked by phone, and barely. Catherine just kept up her lies by phone.
Catherine: Is there nothing you will not cruelly steal from me and use as yours? Is there nothing you will not lie about?
You even used my cancer?
I almost died, Catherine. I lost all my hair. Chemo burned me up inside. I vomited weekly. The smallest infections nearly killed me.
I had to walk several miles to and from Charity Hospital — alone — for my treatments, walking home weak and always near vomiting after being injected with bags of ABVD chemo. I now have lifelong detrimental effects from cancer, major surgery, and chemotherapy. My lifespan and health is shortened.
And you were not there, you were never there, Catherine.
I was alone, fighting for life, Catherine, as you were busy cheating and lying.
What was truly my time of need, was Catherine’s time to benefit.
Catherine Wilkins turned my cancer, into a way for her to get scholarship money, and school and career advancement.
To me, those images of caring people surrounding a cancer patient with love, are a complete fantasy.
Also on Dr. Wilkins’ dishonest scholarship, she claims: “As an orphan, my boyfriend had no one else to care for him, and I was reluctant to abandon him in such a state.”
Catherine never once concerned herself that I was an orphan, until now, on her scholarship when she felt she could appropriate that, too, to gain more sympathy and profit for herself.
In fact, I was at a huge disadvantage during our entire relationship because of this. Catherine had doting parents that were willing to defend her and ignore, turn a blind eye, or support her lies. I had no one to defend or protect me, no one to stand up for me, or even give me moral support while Catherine was lying and cheating.
Catherine: I was an abused child. My biological parents were abusers. I have been alone my entire life. Do you know how hard it is to be an orphan? To be abused physically, mentally, and sexually your entire childhood?
What kept me alive as an orphan? Art.
Being an abused orphan, physically and sexually, was my first life-and-death struggle.
To you, Catherine, me being an orphan was just another detail you could appropriate into your own lies and stories to gain sympathy for yourself.
What kind of person are you? To try to turn cancer, an orphan, and even rape into lies you can tell others to gain advancement or sympathy for yourself, or to hide adultery.
Catherine: The fact I am an orphan, is not yours to appropriate.
Catherine, you did not know I was raped several times. Not only was I sexually abused by my biological mother until I escaped, I was raped by men over the years, because I was a vulnerable orphan. As a rape victim myself, please do not appropriate “rape” because you and your USF boss wanted “booty calls” and you were caught.
Catherine, to explain that I was raped by men throughout my childhood, and to say it is a painful topic to discuss, is an immense understatement. But you know what? I decided to become stronger from it. I endured it. I became stronger, and I stayed a good person.
And you, Catherine, tell me that David Brodosi, at USF, did this to you. You told me he raped you, forced you onto your knees, and by physical force made you give him oral s*x. Catherine, I am a victim of such a rape. In brutal, real life. To you, you tried to use rape as an excuse to get out of a secret, consensual affair, and try to even get sympathy from me, while you were cheating on me.
As a child, I had a man do that to me, in real life, and threaten to kill me. I was about 7 years-old, the first time. I simply walked into the bathroom by accident, and I was raped. And there were other rapes and abuses I endured throughout my vulnerable life as an orphan. Please do not use a made-up rape story to hide consensual adultery.
Catherine Wilkins: Rape is no small matter.
You were willing to tell any lie, deflect, redirect, manipulate, destroy or use anyone — especially me — to coverup cheating s*x, and to advance your life.
Catherine: How many times could you destroy my heart?
A person only has one heart.
Each time I found out more about your deceits, I told you, even as strong as I am, even steel that is bent and twisted too many times will break. You broke me. I am an adult man, and I know I sound like a naive child when I ask: “Why must humans — carelessly and carefully — damage other humans?”
Catherine: Child abuse hurt me immensely. But: You, broke me.
Professor Wilkins, I will repeat, because you lie about it in your scholarship to imagine yourself as a selfless sacrificer: I was an abused child. You knew that general part. But. Do you know what it is truly like to be: Sexually abused daily and nightly by women and occasionally men? Be beaten and hit until you have bruises and bleed, mentally abused daily, be unloved, deprived of nearly everything from winter clothes and basic household heat in freezing Northern winters, to being deprived of normal nutrition, calories, and vitamins, to being deprived of just a single loving and encouraging touch?
Do you know what it is like to be treated inhumanely nearly your entire childhood, by multiple people? Treated as an object that takes up space and time, and costs money, instead of a child with positive dreams, and artistic talents, and a hungry intellect? I survived child abuse because of my love for the arts, and reverence for a better future. Since I was a child, despite my own deprivations and abuse, I wanted to sincerely improve the world around me.
As an orphan without a support system, I quickly learned personal accountability. I had no one to fall back on, only myself. Humans should always be accountable. As an orphan, I had no time for “fun.” But to me: “Fun” was art, and studying. I had so much work to do, so much art to create, so much to happily learn, so far I wanted to climb, so much “future” to carve out. So everyday counted.
As an abused orphan, I had no one to be proud of me. So I learned, I had to be proud of my own actions.
As an abused orphan, and the tremendous pain and suffering I endured, I learned young not to hurt others. Not to repeat the cycle, not to make excuses, but to make and do positive endeavors. And show and teach by example.
I ask you again, Dr. Wilkins, because on your college scholarship, you clearly state I was an orphan, and that you, Catherine, did not want to abandon me “in such a state” while I was enduring cancer, and that was a main reason you were seeking your scholarship. This scholarship you hid, and I was only recently informed about. You talk of how you suffered. You express your sacrifices. Really?
Catherine, you have deceptively and cruelly turned my horrendous child abuse, into your own application for sympathy and gain. How could you? How can you turn my nightmare as a youth, into a made-up fable in your own life so you can look better on a scholarship? How many other college scholarships did you outright lie and exaggerate on? How many other times did you use me, and the pain in my life, to further and benefit your own life?
Catherine: When I was physically raped, and threatened with being killed as a child, if I ever spoke out — to end and free myself from that abuse and danger, each time as a child, I had to run away from home after home, and occasionally endure life being a homeless kid. No easy task. But. Child abuse was straightforward. Your form of mental rape and abuse goes on-and-on in my life. I keep finding out, even now, how you have lied and used me.
I asked you to report David Brodosi as a s*x offender. Instead, I find countless consensual sexual messages between you and he, and I accidentally open a vast world of your cheating, lying, sexual adventures, and adultery. A world I never wanted to open.
Dr. Wilkins continues: “Since he was unable to maintain treatment in New Orleans, it was necessary for me to remain in the Tampa area.”
This is a lie.
Catherine lied on the location, because she needed the scholarship for her own location at USF in Florida. I received all of my cancer treatment in New Orleans at Charity Hospital. Dr. Robert Veith, MD was the oncologist that treated me and saved my life multiple times.
Catherine Wilkins never stepped a foot inside Charity Hospital. She was not there, when I took a taxi in the middle of the night and admitted myself — alone — and desperately begged the emergency room doctor to take me to an oncologist and save me.
Catherine was not there, when during my cancer treatment, and because of it, my blood count plummeted, and I had to take an emergency midnight taxi again, because I developed a serious infection and my body was boiling from fever. I was alone, and literally only a few hours from death. Dr. Veith suddenly appeared at the hospital, in the middle of night, put me on antibiotics, and saved my life yet again. Even now, I cry with gratitude for Dr. Robert Veith. Dr. Veith is human kindness and compassion.
Catherine Wilkins never met Dr. Robert Veith, nor even asked the names of my doctors and nurses. She didn’t care. Her answer to me for everything, and every pain in my soul I endured was: “Not my fault.” And Catherine was certainly not there for my recovery, as she deceptively states she was in her scholarship.
I struggled from nausea, chemical smells and tastes, trying not to vomit. After each treatment, being filled with chemo, I walked myself two miles home alone. During the long walk, which was mostly along a highway and major traffic roads, I smelled car exhaust fumes, which only intensified my stomach’s constant need to retch and gag from ABVD.
One day, I woke up and brushed my hair, as usual. In one stroke, it all came out. I lost all my hair in one go. But for a few ridiculous strands that I tried to keep, I was now bald.
Catherine wasn’t there. I called her on the phone, and told her I lost my hair. I told her how hard this was, how much pain I was in.
She listened, but she didn’t really care.
Catherine just said, “I don’t have anything to do with you losing your hair.”
I felt more and more isolated. I felt as if I was on Pluto, far from sun or warmth, far from people. I received great compassion from the oncologists and nurses at Charity Hospital, but that was only for the brief minutes they tested me, put me into scanning machines, or injected needles. Any other moments, I was utterly alone.
Weeks after I lost all of my hair from chemo, Catherine said to prove her love, commitment, and solidarity with me, she would shave her head.
Instead, Catherine Wilkins snipped short locks of her hair, glued these short pieces of hair to a skin-colored bald cap, and tried to finish the illusion with a hat.
Who the h**l is heartless enough, conniving enough, to do this fake act to a cancer patient? Catherine Wilkins made a fake bald cap, trying to pass it to me as her real shaved head, as I was dying of chemo and without my own hair.
I asked Catherine to take off the hat. Then I asked Catherine to take off the bald cap she created. Her several-feet length of brown hair was simply pinned beneath. Then I asked her to leave.
I was fighting for my life, everyday.
When I was in the cancer ward at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, I watched how a young boyfriend took care of his bald girlfriend who was also struggling for her life. He loved her. I overheard him tell the nurse how he bought his girlfriend face masks, he made sure she took extra vitamins, and he constantly sprayed disinfectant and cleansed surfaces, so her weakened immune system would be protected.
As I watched the love this young couple had for each other, that this young, devoted man had for his girlfriend and her health… All I thought is: I have no one. I am alone. My girlfriend isn’t here. She’s not doing any of that. Catherine is having affairs on me. I have cancer, and Catherine is cheating on me.
Another reason Professor Wilkins couldn’t be there for me during chemo:
Catherine Wilkins later told me on the phone, that she quit college, and joined the Army and was accepted into “Delta Force.” Her father was in the Army Special Forces decades ago as a Green Beret, so I mostly believed her, but with much reservation. From then on, we could only speak on the phone, at certain hours. She described to me she was in basic training, and some of her military lessons, such as laying in the dirt, and searching for landmines by slipping a knife into the soil in front of her. She said how the drill instructors would play games with the recruits, her being one of the Army recruits, by suddenly turning the showers ice cold while she was in it. I was proud, but again a bit confused, by this new Delta Force Army recruit named Catherine Wilkins. I thought: Maybe Catherine won’t cheat while in the Army, and the Army will instill values into her. Catherine and I could only meet in hotel rooms infrequently when she got “leave.” Mostly it was just phone calls. I’m sure she got all her basic training information from her father, who really was in the Army Special Forces. Dr. Wilkins obviously never quit college, or joined the Army.
How did I find out Dr. Wilkins never quit college, or joined the Army? I was walking home after a long evening at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, to lay down and rest from my treatment. I need to cross Bourbon Street to get to my apartment. I bumped into Dr. Wilkins prowling Bourbon Street looking for sexual attention, and assumedly a s*x hookup, in an extremely tight shirt, showing off her b*****s, that in glitter read “VEGAS.”
Shocked, Dr. Wilkins simply admitted, “Yeah. I lied about joining the Army. I’m going to Tulane.” That was the only truth she divulged. Of course Dr. Wilkins told me other lies that evening. On her skimpy outfit that revealed her b*****s, Dr. Wilkins said: “I didn’t do my laundry, all mine are dirty, so I had to borrow a friend’s clothes. She’s smaller than me, and this is all she had.” I simply walked away, and let her continue prowling for s*x. My heart, and health, couldn’t take it.
Numerous times I was literally hours from death from infections, fevers, low blood counts, and chemo. And Dr. Wilkins is having fun looking for s*x or sexual attention on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
Dr. Wilkins didn’t want anything to do with caring for me during my cancer treatments, or even treating me as a human, instead of an object to use and benefit her college career. She was only concerned about advancing herself in college. She didn’t have time for both cancer and college.
But Dr. Wilkins could lie about both.
For Dr. Wilkins, it saves a lot of time and effort, to just lie or copy.
Then, I recently learned, Catherine Wilkins blatantly lied in a scholarship praising herself for being the devoted, selfless girlfriend that loved me and paid my bills, and sacrificed hugely for myself and my health.
I learned Catherine was telling her college teachers how compassionately she was taking care of me, how difficult and demanding it was for herself to help me through my illness.
Nothing is farther from truth.
Catherine: Do you know how this feels?
It is being raped. You raped my spirit and my mental health repeatedly.
I had cancer, fought for life, and you cheated on me and lied to me daily.
Catherine: You even lied about shaving your head to show commitment to a cancer patient, and instead, you created a fake bald cap. You literally glued tiny pieces of your hair to a bald cap. How many atrocities can you commit towards a patient of cancer?
And now I found out, I was being used falsely in a college scholarship application, so an adulterer, and someone that did no such good deeds, can advance themselves.
Catherine: How could you? Why?
How could you tell people you were taking care of me, when you were cheating on me the whole time? How could you try to get scholarship money this way?
How could you tell people you were in debt for paying my medical bills, when you were never even at one of my chemo treatments? Not one. Ever.
Catherine: All you ever wanted was to advance yourself. You succeeded by lying, manipulating, and using my cancer.
Even appropriating my life as an artist, and the fact I am an orphan.
There is nothing Professor Wilkins wouldn’t do, if it meant she could gain, feed her ego and impress peers, imagine herself as a selfless saint, or hide deceit.
Except for the angels at Charity Hospital, I had absolutely no support during my cancer treatments and recovery.
Catherine didn’t care about me. Dr. Wilkins cared about becoming a college professor by any hook, crook, scheme, or lie.
Catherine Wilkins: My battle with cancer, is not yours to use, advance yourself with, or appropriate.
Below… The word-for-word transcript of Catherine’s falsified scholarship (everything about her “care” for a cancer patient is a complete lie fabricated by her):
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Table of Contents
Reasons for Applying for the CDA Scholarship
Supplement to Scholarship Application for Catherine Wilkins
1. The illness of a loved one has depleted my savings and caused a great deal of medical debt which I help pay, while at the same time impeding my graduate education and making my progress as a student somewhat difficult.
2. My position as a graduate teacher is very rewarding in that it enables me to share my love of learning with fellow young people; however, it does not cover the full cost of my school fees and living expenses.
3. I fear that my dream of earning a graduate degree and becoming a college professor might not be realized without further financial aid.
Supplement to Scholarship Application for Catherine Wilkins
My name is Catherine Wilkins. I enrolled as a graduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans, pursuing a Master of the Arts degree in Art History.
I lived in the Tampa Bay area my entire life before moving away for graduate school, born into a wonderfully large and caring extended family. My family raised me very well, and taught me principles of love, wisdom, and faith from a very early age. In part due to their dedication( to my upbringing, I was able to skip first grade, going directly to second grade from Kindergarten. From grade school onward, I attended Catholic schools, where I was educated both intellectually and spiritually. During my time at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, I began assisting as a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, as well as at a tennis camp for young children. Additional extracurricular activities during that time period included employment of thirty five hours per week at Publix Supermarkets, membership on the high school tennis team, enrollment in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), and volunteer work for several environmental agencies.
I graduated high school third in my class, with highest honors and a special departmental award in English, just after my seventeenth birthday. In the fall, I dual-enrolled at the University of South Florida (U.S.F.) and St. Petersburg Junior College in order to take more courses at once. I took specialized courses at the University and more broad, required classes at the Junior College, all completely funded by merit-based scholarships. While at school, I received the Florida Bright Futures full scholarship, as well as an additional Legacy Scholarship from the Humanities department, a trustee scholarship from the Junior College, and both Presidential and Honors scholarships from the University of South Florida. I received my Associates’ degree in just over a year, in December, graduating on the Dean’s List with High Honors. After that point, I attended courses solely at U.S.F. while still working at the supermarket. At the University, I specialized in the Humanities, and had a ravenous appetite for all knowledge concerned with history, art, literature, music and theatre. My scholarships allowed me to take a great number of classes at once, sometimes as many as twenty-two credit hours per semester, prompting me to finish my Bachelor’s degree three years after I received my high school diploma. I graduated magna c*m laude, with an overall Grade Point Average of 3.757.
Upon my graduation, I received an offer of a full scholarship for graduate school, plus a paid position as a graduate assistant at Tulane University, a well-accredited school in New Orleans. Unfortunately, over the summer between my graduation and my planned matriculation at Tulane, my boyfriend of four years developed a cough which prompted a visit to the doctor’s office. After several tests and minor surgeries, the doctors discovered that my boyfriend was suffering from Hodgkin’s Disease, a type of cancer. As an orphan, my boyfriend had no one else to care for him, and I was reluctant to abandon him in such a state. Since he was unable to maintain treatment in New Orleans, it was necessary for me to remain in the Tampa area.
Unfortunately, I had not planned on attending U.S.F. for graduate school, and consequently had not applied for any scholarships. At such short notice, there was no financial aid available for me for my first semester of graduate school, and I was able to pay for only one course with the money I earned working as a library assistant at the University. I was extremely troubled, not only due to the stress I experienced as a result of my boyfriend’s battle with cancer, but also because I felt as though I was falling behind in my course work and was forfeiting my dream of achieving a graduate degree in Art History and going on to work as a college professor. I was left with little but my family, friends, and faith to help me get through this difficult period in my life.
Fortunately, in spring, I was blessed with some opportunities which served to help me on my path to a productive and complete adulthood. I was offered a job as a graduate teacher at U.S.F., a position that provided a very modest salary, but which included a stipend for 75% of my tuition. This provided me a wonderful opportunity to share my love of learning with other young people while at the same time pursuing my own dream of receiving a graduate degree. I earned twelve credit hours toward my Master’s Degree in Art History at U.S.F. before my boyfriend’s recovery allowed me to continue my education at Tulane University. While I still have a tuition scholarship and a job at the school, I have encountered a great deal of expenses, in terms of fees that run upwards of $1300 per year that I must pay myself, along with aiding my boyfriend with his accumulated medical expenses, and, of course, my own living costs. Because I stayed in Florida with my boyfriend for the first year of my graduate experience and payed for much of my schooling on my own, my savings have been virtually depleted, and I often face a good deal of stress and pressure when attempting to pay my bills each month. In the meantime, though, I have remained active as a graduate student, maintaining a 4.0 unweighted grade point average while partaking in volunteer activities at the Newcomb Gallery and the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as serving as my department’s representative in multiple on-campus student organizations. This past year, I have taught two art-historical survey classes while I completed most of my graduate coursework, and I am now preparing to begin writing my thesis and applying to other schools where I would like to work toward my Doctoral degree.
Recently, my grandmother, a Catholic Daughter for over four decades, brought this scholarship to my notice. It seems like true help from G*d, and would allow me to take more courses at the University without worrying about my inability to pay the related fees. In addition, I would be more able to dedicate some of my own earnings each month to help my boyfriend meet the cost of the medical expenses he has unfortunately accrued. While his illness and the ensuing chaotic changes in my life have certainly been taxing – emotionally, physically, and spiritually – I am very grateful that I have had this opportunity to grow and learn, to help another, yet still persist in meeting my own goals. The experience of the past year has taught me so much about life, love, and faith; important lessons which transcend those I learned in the classroom. I cannot wait to apply what I have learned about life to my educational studies, and this scholarship from the Catholic Daughters will provide me the means by which I can accomplish it.
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Wilkins was a faculty member for several years at the University of Colorado Boulder and Florida Southwestern State College before joining USF’s Honors College in 2015.
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Truth and Admissions: Former MIT Dean Seeks to Reclaim Her Name
By Eric Hoover for The Chronicle of Higher Education.pdf
For weeks Marilee Jones has rehearsed the words. The night she stands before an audience once again, she will share some advice on applying to college. She will describe how growth comes from failure. And she will talk about the lie that made her infamous.
Ms. Jones, former dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, resigned in 2007 after admitting that she fabricated her credentials nearly three decades earlier. She said in a press release that she had lacked “courage” to correct her résumé, which listed degrees from three institutions; she had not graduated from any of them. A roar of publicity followed. Then, the nation’s most outspoken admissions dean vanished without a word.
Where Ms. Jones went was not so much another place as another time. Her past opened up and her future closed. In between were days that went nowhere and connected to nothing. The woman who had talked to hundreds of people a week stayed in touch with only a few. She had nobody to confront but herself.
After losing one of the top jobs in college admissions, Ms. Jones, 58, says she found something more important—humility. She describes her fall as a blessing, the moment when she finally became herself. “Everybody has a shadow side they’re running away from,” she says. “If you can’t face your shadow side, you project it onto everybody around you.”
In a series of recent interviews with The Chronicle, Ms. Jones described living with a lie for many years, what she’s done since leaving MIT, and how she plans to restore her reputation. As a dean, she gave hundreds of talks, preaching calm to anxious applicants. To reclaim that role, she has re-emerged as a consultant, one who hopes to advise high-school students and their parents, as well as college enrollment officials.
Recently, Ms. Jones arranged to speak at Montclair High School, in New Jersey. How spectators would respond to her first public appearance since she left admissions, she could only guess. She worried that someone would stand up and say something like, “You lied. Why should we believe you?”
It would be a reasonable question. After all, Ms. Jones was the gatekeeper at one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, which, like any college, expects honesty of its applicants, students, and scholars. She rose to the top of a realm where a diploma is sacred. To claim a degree one did not earn is to sin against an entire system.
Ms. Jones says what she did was wrong. She also says she has forgiven herself for what she describes as mistakes made by a younger, much different woman. She hopes that people will weigh the lies she told against the work she did and see the difference.
Nonetheless, forgiveness alone won’t make her telephone ring. Although her message about admissions still resonates in the field, is it enough to redeem the messenger?
For a long time, questions like that froze Ms. Jones right where she stood, retired and anonymous. Then one day something changed, she says: “I decided that I wanted my name back.”
The Path to Cambridge
Growing up in Albany, Marilee Jones learned that service to others was a necessity. Her father, Pete Jones, instructed his five children to fetch groceries for elderly neighbors and shovel walkways when it snowed. Mr. Jones, who worked at the Albany Felt Company, was known for helping people all over town. Often they would thank him by leaving bags of homemade treats—brownies and baklava—at the family’s front door.
Behind that door, he was hard to live with, Ms. Jones says. She describes her late father as a disciplinarian who was constantly angry. Her parents often told her not to ask so many questions. Growing up, she felt confined. “I didn’t want to be who I was,” she says. “So I imagined myself being in other places, doing other things.”
Going away to college was not something people in her neighborhood even talked about, so in 1969 she enrolled at the College of Saint Rose, a Roman Catholic institution in Albany, and continued to live with her family. On the campus she felt as lost as she did at home.
Drinking and drugs were not her escape, Ms. Jones says. Instead, she worked. Cleaning offices, selling handbags, hooking patients up to EKG machines at the hospital. She also worked as a certified emergency medical technician, riding in ambulances from 3 p.m. to 11. After graduating with a degree in biology in 1973, she was unhappy and restless. So she saved money for a trip to Europe and the Middle East, where for months she trekked, alone.
In 1978, Ms. Jones arrived in Cambridge, Mass., with a new husband, Steven, a graduate student at MIT. The couple moved into a dormitory, and Ms. Jones often stayed up all night, talking to students about their lives.
One day she saw an advertisement for a job—an assistant to MIT’s director of admissions. She says she remembers wearing a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress and sandals to the interview, but not much about the interview itself. Nor does she recall the moment she wrote down on a form that she had attended Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. MIT officials have said that Ms. Jones added a degree from Albany Medical College after she was hired. Ms. Jones does not dispute that account, but says she cannot remember that detail, either.
In the fog of those moments lies a mystery. Why Ms. Jones did not state that she had, in fact, graduated from Saint Rose is something that she may never understand. She says it might have been because she worried that the college would not impress anyone at MIT. Or because, as a young feminist, she rejected the Catholic Church and did not want to acknowledge that she had attended a Catholic college. Or because she doubted herself.
“I was screwed up,” she says. “I was very, very angry. It was probably a lot of different things. It was a top-of-my-head decision, like, OK, I’m going to try this on. I just couldn’t be myself. I wasn’t good enough to be myself.”
‘This Monster Behind the Door’
By all accounts, Ms. Jones was good at her job, which she began in 1979. Her first assignment was to schedule speaking engagements at high schools, where female graduates of MIT would talk to young women about the importance of studying mathematics and science. Later Ms. Jones was responsible for recruiting women, as well as for outreach to international students. She enlisted more MIT students and alumni in recruitment and created a dynamic weekend campus-visit program, one of the first of its kind.
Michael C. Behnke, who was MIT’s director of admissions from 1985 to 1997, says Ms. Jones deserves much of the credit for diversifying the undergraduate class. During his tenure, the proportion of women rose from 28 to 42 percent, and the proportion of minority students more than doubled, from 8.5 to 17.5 percent. Mr. Behnke describes Ms. Jones as a “terrific” colleague. “The two qualities she has in spades are passion and humor,” he says. “She could be in your face without annoying you.”
Early on, nearly all of Ms. Jones’s colleagues were men. She recalls them smoking pipes during staff meetings and discussing how a particular applicant might benefit not only MIT, but also the nation. Some of her co-workers had been trained by B. Alden Thresher, director of admissions at MIT from 1936 to 1961. Mr. Thresher wrote an influential book called College Admissions and the Public Interest, a thoughtful study of the field, published in 1966.
Ms. Jones devoured the book, in which Mr. Thresher wrote that education must put students’ interests above those of colleges. He also lamented that many applicants considered education a benefit that others would bestow on them, rather than something they would get for themselves. “This is the almost inevitable result,” he wrote, “of the undue stress put upon affiliation with the ‘right’ college.”
For many years, Ms. Jones tried not to think about her falsified credentials or examine her reasons for lying. For one, they did not seem to relate to her day-to-day work. “I knew I was good at what I was doing, and I was satisfied with that,” she says. “There was this monster behind the door, and I knew if I turned around and looked at that, I would have hit the wall. I had the monster barricaded in, and I thought, I’m not going to let you out.”
Ms. Jones knew that coming clean would mean losing her job and her career. She also feared that the news would harm her husband, who was a faculty member at MIT before working at the institute’s Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center. Later, she worried about how the truth would affect her daughter, Nora. Neither knew that she had not attended the colleges listed on her résumé, Ms. Jones says.
Then in 1997 Mr. Behnke announced that he was leaving MIT. Ms. Jones, then associate director, felt ice run down her spine. She wanted the job, but what would happen if she submitted herself to the vetting process? She describes the dilemma as a “moral moment,” when she could have chosen to correct the record. Instead, she applied for the job.
The hiring process took months. Ms. Jones says she gave MIT 14 references, but the degrees she had claimed went undiscovered. Although MIT officials declined to comment to The Chronicle for this article, the institute’s chancellor, Phillip L. Clay, told The New York Times in 2007 that little effort had been made to verify her credentials. Perhaps it was just because Ms. Jones was a familiar face, having been in the office for almost 20 years.
When Ms. Jones finally got the job and the new title of dean, she was relieved, but that feeling did not linger. “It was still with me,” she says of her past. Soon thereafter she started having arrhythmias and waking up with chest pains. She could not shake the thought that her lies had been unnecessary: her first job at MIT apparently did not require a degree. “I would have done exactly the same job if I had told the truth,” Ms. Jones says. “I would have done exactly the same job and had no worry.”
The worry grew worse as her name became more familiar. Over the years Ms. Jones became a sought-after speaker. Her message was that everyone involved in admissions needed to chill out for the sake of education, not to mention their sanity. She spoke to high-school students, parents, teachers, and principals all over the nation. She often received standing ovations from mothers and fathers who would line up to meet the guru with the bright red hair.
Some admissions deans scoffed at all this. After all, they knew that plenty of teenagers did not gnaw their nails off, dreading that an Ivy League college would reject them. The brand of angst Ms. Jones described did not plague every Zip code. Sure, applying to college is hard, but some believed there was nothing wrong with that.
Still, Ms. Jones impressed many observers. Jennifer Delahunty recalls hearing her speak at Sidwell Friends High School, in Washington, several years ago. “It was almost like a revival,” says Ms. Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College. “She’s that good at communicating this message.”
In 2006 that message arrived in a book called Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond, which Ms. Jones wrote with Kenneth R. Ginsburg, then an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. The book examined the pressure to be perfect, casting college admissions as a mental-health issue.
In one passage, Ms. Jones described an epiphany she had one night while visiting a high school in the Midwest. A student asked her if it were true that applicants to MIT needed to have participated in 10 extracurricular activities. What had given him that idea? MIT’s application provided 10 lines to list those activities. “I could see the world through his eyes for a few seconds,” Ms. Jones wrote, “and I was horrified.”
Soon Ms. Jones revamped the application, trimming the number of lines for activities. She also tweaked MIT’s essay questions to ask students about things they did for pleasure, as well as about their failures and disappointments.
Less Stress, More Success was a hit. Full of advice for students and parents, the book included a passage about integrity. “Holding integrity is sometimes very hard to do because the temptation may be to cheat or cut corners,” it says. “But just remember that ‘what goes around comes around,’ meaning that life has a funny way of giving back what you put out.”
A Second Act in New York
Ms. Jones resigned in April 2007, the same day she admitted that the three degrees were bogus. MIT officials said at the time that the institution’s dean of undergraduate education had received information suggesting that her credentials were not what she claimed. The ensuing conversation with MIT officials is a moment Ms. Jones refuses to describe, except to say that it was an answered prayer.
For years, Ms. Jones says, she had prayed for something to happen, some way out of the lie she could not bring herself to confess. “It just didn’t fit me anymore,” she says… Then all of a sudden, she was in her car, driving home from MIT for the last time. As she pulled into her driveway, she noticed that her heart had stopped racing and her chest pains were gone.
“I was free,” she says.
Soon Ms. Jones’s name was everywhere. Her answering machine filled up in an hour. Reporters descended upon her house, in Concord. Her neighbors called the police after camera crews parked themselves outside.
Ms. Jones, who by then had separated from her husband, fled to Manhattan to stay with an old friend. She did not go outside for weeks. She slept constantly. “It was like a snake, molting,” she says. “I felt as though my skin had been peeled off, and the underlayer of skin wasn’t ready yet.”
When Ms. Jones finally returned to Massachusetts, she found that she had received hundreds of supportive e-mail messages, cards, and letters. She figures a third came from people she did not know. In handwritten notes, people thanked her for the good she had done for kids, or wrote “G*d bless you,” or told her that they were praying for her. Ms. Jones also received candy, uplifting posters, and several copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She opened several boxes containing angels, made of glass, or plastic, or wood. Amid all this were two letters of scorn, which she tore to pieces.
When Ms. Jones saw people she knew at the gas station or supermarket, they were always kind, but she could tell they felt uncomfortable. “They didn’t know I felt relief,” she says. “I had myself back again. I wasn’t hiding anything.”
Ms. Jones decided to move. As a kid, she had gone on field trips to see Broadway shows, after which she would daydream about living in Manhattan. Back then, the loud, electric city seemed too big, too impossible. After her public humiliation, though, it seemed like just the right place.
Since moving to New York in 2008, Ms. Jones has sought what she describes as a “reclamation.” She hired a public-relations consultant, Rose Marie Terenzio, formerly the personal assistant to the late John F. Kennedy Jr. Ms. Terenzio says she explained the first rule of making a comeback: “If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, try to fix it if you can. Then move forward.”
Ms. Terenzio connected Ms. Jones with Columbia University Medical Center’s Center for Survivor Wellness, which serves teenagers who have been treated for cancer. Since last November, Ms. Jones has volunteered there each Wednesday morning, meeting one-on-one with patients whose illnesses have interrupted their schooling. She has helped some of the students plan their next steps, to college or a career, and advised others on how to write their application essays.
“She’s able to grasp that one little thing that makes them passionate,” says Solimar Curumi, the center’s clinical coordinator. “That means getting them to look her in the eye.”
Word of mouth has led parents of other sick teenagers to Ms. Jones. Recently, she started giving free advice to Maritza Salgado and her daughter Reitza, who has cancer. Ms. Jones has helped Reitza, a high-school graduate, plan for the SAT, and recently paid for her to take an art class at a local college.
While working pro bono with families who have little, Ms. Jones has also tapped into Manhattan’s well-heeled set. This spring, she founded TruStar Consulting, a service for parents of high-school students who want help navigating the admissions process and its attendant anxieties. Since becoming a consultant, Ms. Jones has worked with about two dozen families, some at no charge. Her rate is $200 an hour, or $500 for a three-hour consultation, plus unlimited e-mail communication.
At first, Ms. Jones was reluctant to put her name on her business. Then this summer, she started a second company called Marilee Jones Consulting, through which she offers her expertise to high schools and colleges, as well as parents. Her Web site lists numerous endorsements, including a quote from The Boston Globe: “the most celebrated and outspoken admissions dean in America.”
Although Ms. Jones no longer has that title, she believes she has a right to the good side of her name. “What I did at MIT was my work,” she says.
Over the last couple years, Ms. Jones has thought a lot about what forgiveness means, and she’s had little choice in the matter. People who know her story, she says, constantly volunteer secrets to her, about how they once attempted suicide, or lied about their credentials, or cheated on their spouses, or stole things.
The question is whether she can turn her own story into a lesson for others. In peculiar fashion, Ms. Jones has proved the point that she made in Less Stress, More Success: “The truth is that success and happiness are states of mind and have nothing to do with where one goes to college.”
Although several deans were reluctant to say much about Ms. Jones or her new business, Michael B. Sexton, vice president for enrollment management at Santa Clara University, captured the consensus among them. “The message Marilee wants to speak of is important and she does it well,” he says. “I just wonder if her notoriety will overshadow her credibility.”
Some were impressed, at least, that she had chosen to re-enter the field. “She’s very brave,” says Ms. Delahunty, at Kenyon. “She’s exposing herself to scrutiny of her audiences.”
Mr. Behnke, her former boss at MIT, suspects that some colleges would be open to hiring Ms. Jones as a consultant. “We’re a pretty forgiving country. We give people second chances,” he says. “She paid for what she did. Her career has been in the doldrums. If she explains that, I think it can be a valuable lesson for people to hear.”
Paige Crosby, a college counselor at St. Johnsbury Academy, in Vermont, says she wants to meet Ms. Jones—and buy her dinner: “When all this came down, I said, OK, she really understood where these kids were coming from. I thought, Aw, that poor kid.”
Dishonesty is not something Ms. Crosby takes lightly. Over the years, she has confronted students who have shown her essays that seemed too perfect. She orders those who admit to plagiarism to get out of her office and come back when they are ready to talk about it. When they do, she asks them, “Are you done yet?”
Mistakes should teach you something, Ms. Crosby says. And she thinks that by explaining her mistake, Ms. Jones is perhaps more qualified than ever to tell students about the importance of being who they really are. “People do things for a reason,” she says. “Sometimes you have to look behind the individual and ask why they did it. We do that with kids all the time. I don’t know why we stop doing that with big people.”
Bob Turba sees it differently. Chairman of school counseling services at Stanton College Preparatory School, in Florida, Mr. Turba has long disliked when speakers who have done something wrong stand up and tell young people what not to do. He recalls what a student once told him after attending a presentation by a former drug addict. “I can keep doing drugs and eventually get off of them, just like he did,” he recalls the student saying. “And I can probably make some money speaking about it.”
In other words, Mr. Turba would not welcome Ms. Jones into his auditorium. “I’m not opposed to the idea of people coming back from a problem,” he says in an e-mail message. “But when they become celebrities because of their issue, there’s something wrong with our values.”
What’s in a Name?
When Ms. Jones left MIT, many of her supporters worried that people would dismiss everything she had ever said. Among those who worried was Scott White, director of guidance at Montclair High School, in New Jersey. In a message he posted on an admissions e-mail list in 2007, he lamented her lie but praised her message. He urged his colleagues to remember her “vision of sanity, compassion, and concern.”
After all, Ms. Jones understood the hallways of Mr. White’s world, where, he says, too many nervous teenagers believe they must achieve perfection to get into an elite college. Teenagers just like Ivy, a girl he once met who said her parents had named her that because they wanted her to attend an Ivy League college. He believes colleges, testing companies, and publishers of college guides have warped the admissions process, turning high school into a résumé-building strategy session.
So when Ms. Jones contacted Mr. White recently about the possibility of presenting at Montclair, he told her she could come. And why not? Ms. Jones, he says, is “the counterweight to the insanity out there.”
Mr. White arranged for Ms. Jones to speak at a gathering for parents of juniors last Thursday night. The title of her talk: “The 10 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make in the College Admissions Process: Why They Matter and How to Avoid Them.”
Two days before the event, Mr. White predicted that Ms. Jones would win over parents, just like the last time she spoke there, several years ago. He drew an analogy to Pete Rose, the former Cincinnati Reds star who admitted to betting on baseball games as a player and manager, only to find a second life on the speaking circuit. “Everyone makes mistakes in life,” Mr. White said. “People know that Pete Rose had some issues there. But would I want to hear him talk about baseball? Absolutely.”
Still, Mr. White wondered if someone would complain about Ms. Jones. After all, a curious parent might ask why—in a world full of admissions deans who have never lied about their degrees—had the school invited Ms. Jones? “It’s a bit of a risky move,” he said.
In the end, Mr. White apparently decided it was too risky. Two nights before Ms. Jones was to speak at Montclair, he called to cancel her invitation. Ms. Jones says he told her he was concerned that her appearance would get him in trouble with his principal.
The next day, Mr. White told The Chronicle that his decision was due to a last-minute change in the evening’s agenda: “It had nothing to do with who she is,” he said. He would not say when, or if, he would reschedule her talk, however.
So Ms. Jones must wait awhile longer to face the first audience of her new life. Her next presentation is scheduled for January, when she plans to speak at a high school in Massachusetts. Until then, she will practice her talk and ponder the best way to fold her own story into it. All the while, she will wonder what comes next.
Marilee Jones has reclaimed her name, and the best part is also the worst: Nobody seems to have forgotten it.
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College cheating scandal prompts resignations and questions at elite prep schools
By Richard Winton, Alene Tchekmedyian, Hannah Fry and Hillary Davis
The college admissions cheating scandal is roiling some of Southern California’s most elite prep schools, leading to resignations and questions as federal prosecutors seek student records from the institutions.
Douglas Hodge and Michelle Janavs, two of the parents charged in the wide-reaching probe, have resigned from their positions on the board of trustees for the famed Sage Hill School in Newport Beach. They are accused of paying bribes to get their children into schools with fake athletic achievements.
Law enforcement sources told The Times that several top private schools in the L.A. area, including the elite Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, where tuition this year runs $38,400, received subpoenas from prosecutors seeking information about some of the students involved in the fraud case.
Although the prep schools are not targets of the investigation, prosecutors want to know whether the parents and others accused in the case sought or received help from the schools, the sources said.
Several former Harvard-Westlake parents used the services of William “Rick” Singer, the admitted mastermind of “side door” entries to prestigious universities, sources told The Times. One of them is Jane Buckingham, a marketing guru whose daughter attended the school until last year.
Buckingham is accused of paying $50,000 for someone else to take her son’s ACT exam in July while she arranged for the teenager to take a test at home to make him think he had completed the exam. She has pleaded not guilty.
In a statement provided to The Times, Harvard-Westlake said it was conducting an internal review to “fully understand the scope of any relationship that Singer may have had with our families.”
“We will also provide any information that authorities request that will help them with their continuing investigation,” the school said. “Harvard-Westlake has an unwavering commitment to integrity and fairness in the college admissions.”
Singer, who has pleaded guilty to a slew of federal charges and cooperated with the federal government since September, ran his for-profit college counseling business and the nonprofit he used to funnel bribes from wealthy parents to college administrators and coaches from Newport Beach.
He had ties to Sage Hill School and L.A.’s Loyola High School, whose website boasts that its students have gone off to Ivy Leagues and other top universities. Tax documents show that Singer’s nonprofit, Key Worldwide Foundation, gave $39,900 to Loyola in 2016. It’s unclear how the funds were distributed.
Neither Sage Hill nor Loyola responded to inquiries about whether they received subpoenas.
Hodge, the 61-year-old former chief executive of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., is accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Singer and his various associates to get his daughters into USC and Georgetown as fake athletic recruits.
A charging document states the Sage Hill School trustee worked with Singer as far back as 2008. That year, his daughter’s application to Georgetown said she had won multiple U.S. Tennis Assn. tournaments. But the association’s records indicate she never played a match, the document said.
Four years later, the USC application for Hodge’s younger daughter said she was co-captain of a Japanese national soccer team and an All-American midfielder for a club team in the U.S. The university’s soccer coaches in February 2013 were allegedly bribed to recommend her as a soccer recruit.
The following month, she was accepted. She attended USC that fall, but did not join the soccer team.
Janavs, a Newport Beach resident and a former executive in her family’s food manufacturing business, is accused of paying large sums to get her two daughters into prestigious schools through cheating on the ACT and lying about one’s athletic achievements.
She bribed a USC senior associate athletic director last year to falsely pitch her older daughter as a competitive beach volleyball player who won multiple tournaments in California, according to court documents. Through Singer, she also allegedly arranged for her daughter to take the ACT with extended time at a West Hollywood test center in 2017. She scored a 32 out of 36.
When it came to her younger daughter, court records suggest Janavs was more cautious.
“[My younger daughter] is not like [my older daughter].… She’s not stupid,” Janavs said, according to a transcript of a recorded conversation included in the charging documents. “How do you do this without telling the kids what you’re doing?”
In another conversation, Janavs and Singer discussed plans to have a proctor doctor her younger daughter’s ACT exam. Janavs appeared to be frustrated, because the daughter told her that she wanted to take the test over and over until she scored a 34.
“If she gets a 33 and tells me she’s gotta take it again, then you deal with her,” Janavs said, according to court records.
Days before her daughter took the test in February, Janavs mailed a $25,000 check to Singer’s nonprofit, records show.
Both Hodge and Janavs have pleaded not guilty.
USC said that six applicants in the current cycle who are linked to the scheme will be denied admission. The university is reviewing, one by one, the cases of current students and graduates involved in the scam.
But the fallout extends far beyond the families and administrators involved in the scandal. Two Stanford University students on Wednesday filed a federal class-action lawsuit against eight colleges ensnared in the scandal, alleging that the rigged system denied them a fair chance to matriculate at the elite institutions and could tarnish their degrees.
Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods allege they were among those cast aside in the admissions process.
Olsen had nearly perfect SAT and ACT scores and had participated in dance, qualifying for the elite dancing squad at Stanford, when she graduated from high school. She applied to Yale in 2017 and paid an application fee of about $80, but was rejected by the university, according to the lawsuit.
“Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school,” the lawsuit states. “She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process.”
Woods has a similar story, according to the lawsuit. She applied to USC in 2017 with stellar marks on her college entrance exams, paid the $85 application fee and was denied admission.
“At the time she applied, Woods similarly was never informed that the process of admission at USC was an unfair, rigged process, in which parents could buy their way into the university through bribery and dishonest schemes,” the lawsuit states.
The students also claim that since Stanford is linked to the scandal, their degrees may be tainted. One of their concerns is that prospective employers may now question whether they were admitted to the university on their own merits or whether their parents were willing to pay bribes to guarantee their admission, according to the lawsuit.
Richard Winton is a crime writer for the Los Angeles Times and part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2011. Known as @lacrimes on Twitter, during 20 years at The Times he also has been part of the breaking news staff that won Pulitzers in 1998 and 2004. He won the ASNE Deadline News award in 2006. A native of England, after getting degrees from University of Kent at Canterbury and University of Wisconsin-Madison, he began covering politics but chose a life of crime because it was less dirty.
Alene Tchekmedyian is a reporter in the Metro section of the Los Angeles Times. She covers breaking news in California. She previously covered Glendale and Burbank police for Times Community News. She received her master’s in journalism from Columbia University after graduating from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. She currently serves on the UCLA Communications Board, which oversees the university’s student-run media publications. She grew up in Huntington Beach.
Hannah Fry is a Metro reporter covering breaking news in California. She joined Times Community News in Orange County in 2013 where she covered education, Newport Beach city hall, crime and courts. She is a native of Orange County and attended Chapman University, where she was the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, the Panther.
Hillary Davis covers the city of Newport Beach for the Daily Pilot. She joined the Pilot in February 2017 after spending 10 years reporting for newspapers across Arizona, where she was a six-time finalist for the Arizona Press Club’s Community Journalist of the Year. She earned a master’s degree in mass communication from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. (714) 966-5985
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Jussie Smollett update: ‘Pain and anger’ around ‘Empire’ in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says
From AP (Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 10:49PM)
LOS ANGELES — “Empire” co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels says the weeks since cast member Jussie Smollett was arrested and charged with fabricating a racist and homophobic attack have been “a freakin’ rollercoaster.”
In an Instagram video that doesn’t refer to Smollett by name, Daniels says since “the incident” he and his cast have “experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it.”
Daniels had been among the first to voice his support for Smollett after he made the report in January.
Smollett faces 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. The TV actor claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the Streeterville neighborhood on Jan. 29. He said two men physically attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, threw a chemical liquid on him and looped a rope around his neck.
But Chicago police said Smollett orchestrated the attack with the Osundairo brothers, who he knew. One brother was an extra on “Empire” and the other was Smollett’s personal trainer.
Prosecutors say Smollett paid the Osundairo brothers to pull off the staged attack.
RELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury.
Daniels says the situation nearly made him forget to tell audiences that the Fox drama returns to the air Wednesday. Daniels and other producers removed Smollett’s character from the season’s final episodes after his arrest in Chicago.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty.
RELATED: Jussie Smollett’s character to be removed from ‘Empire’, producers say.
WLS-TV contributed to this report.
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College Suspends Professor For Vietnam Fabrications
By JODI WILGOREN for New York Times
Joseph J. Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who admitted in June that he lied to his students and others when he said he had been a combat soldier in Vietnam, has been suspended for a year without pay by Mount Holyoke, the women’s college in western Massachusetts where he has taught since 1972.
Professor Ellis’s fabrications, exposed in a detailed Boston Globe article two months after he won the Pulitzer for his latest book, ”Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation,” sparked a national debate about academic integrity.
Mount Holyoke’s president, Joanne V. Creighton, said she had decided to suspend Mr. Ellis and strip him, at least temporarily, of his endowed chair after a faculty committee’s six-week investigation, which included a review of his course notes and thousands of student evaluations.
”Perpetuated over many years, his lie about himself clearly violates the ethics of our profession and the integrity we expect of all members of our community,” Ms. Creighton, a scholar of American literature, said in a statement posted yesterday on the college’s Web site. ”Misleading students is wrong and nothing can excuse it.”
The phone at Mr. Ellis’s home in Amherst, Mass., has been disconnected. His lawyer is on vacation and, an assistant said, unavailable for comment. But in a statement issued by the lawyer’s office, Mr. Ellis apologized to Mount Holyoke’s students and faculty, and to Vietnam veterans, saying, ”I did something both stupid and wrong.”
Mr. Ellis’s lies to students and to journalists ranged from his bragging about scoring a winning touchdown with a high school football team for which he had not played to his tales of working for Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the United States military commander in Vietnam, and participating in Army operations near My Lai just before the massacre in which American soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed civilians there.
The lectures in his course ”Vietnam and American Culture” were sprinkled with personal anecdotes from the time when, he said, he was a paratroop platoon leader. In reality, his military service consisted of three years of teaching history at West Point.
Ms. Creighton’s strong rebuke is an about-face from her staunch defense of Professor Ellis in June, when she criticized journalists, saying, ”We at the college do not know what public interest The Globe is trying to serve through a story of this nature.” Yesterday she said in an interview that she regretted that statement.
”When I first heard of this matter, I genuinely believed that it was erroneous, that it was an accusation that would prove to be false,” she said. ”I genuinely respect the right of the press to pursue the truth.”
Since The Globe’s article, the Ellis case has been a frequent topic of newspaper editorials and water-cooler conversation, causing many in the universities to re-examine their ethical codes and disciplinary procedures. While plagiarism, by students or scholars, is a common area of concern, what is said in the classroom is often subject to less scrutiny.
”It has provoked a conversation about the limits and the values of truth,” said Arnita Jones, executive director of the American Historical Association, adding that she had never heard of another case in which a professor lost an endowed chair ”for cause.”
Mount Holyoke said in a statement that Professor Ellis ”has agreed to step down from his endowed chair until such time as the trustees may wish to reinstate it.” While he can return to the faculty in the fall of 2002, university officials said it was unclear whether he would ever regain the chair.
Mary Burgan, general secretary of the American Association of University Professors, said the punishment seemed fair. ”The situation shows the danger of becoming the center of the discourse rather than having the texts and evidence be the center,” Ms. Burgan said. ”Teaching is, in some ways, like acting. We really worry when it becomes overdramatic and autobiographic.”
Mr. Ellis has long been one of the most popular professors on Mount Holyoke’s campus, in South Hadley, Mass., serving as a mentor to hundreds of students and, at various times, as chairman of the history department, dean of the faculty and even interim president of the college.
He had already announced earlier this summer that he would no longer teach the Vietnam course, planning instead to focus on his primary area of expertise, early American history.
In his statement yesterday, he said that during his suspension, ”I intend to find time for self-reflection and to begin work on a new book.”
Ms. Creighton said that Mr. Ellis would retain his office and library card during his yearlong suspension, but that she did not expect to see him on campus much before he returns to the faculty next year.
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Much Admired Polk State College Professor Forged Documents, Lied About His Doctorate
By Rahul Srinivas for Inquisitr
Students at the Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida are in a state of disbelief after it was revealed that the one of the most respected professors at the institution was actually a fraud and had forged his doctorate documents and certificates. The man everyone at the college looked up to until a few days ago is 55-year-old David Scott Broxterman. The professor was working at the Polk State College for over five years and his position required a doctorate degree. However, college authorities have only now managed to discover that “Professor” Broxterman had forged his doctorate documents to gain employment as professor at the college.
According to WFTS, “Professor” Broxterman was arrested on Wednesday. Charges of grand theft and cheating were reportedly filed against him. Polk State College is also suing him for wage fraud for the $258,760 that were paid to him over the course of his five-year employment at the college. Authorities might have never uncovered the fraud had it not been for a different fraud case that police were investigating against the professor. In this one, he was accused of having sold a worthless coin collection for thousands of dollars.
The former professor was known as “Dr. Broxterman” to PSC students. He claimed to have a doctorate in business organization and management which he received from the University of South Florida in 2007 and claimed that he had graduated with honors. After the fraud was detected, officials contacted the USF associate registrar Tony Embry who said that the professor had never been to the University of South Florida.
Apart from lying to people about his real credentials, the former professor had also made poorly forged copies of various documents to gain employment. These documents had glaring errors – including a few embarrassing typos all of which somehow missed the officials at PSC who were supposed to have checked his background before offering him the position at PSC.
One of the most glaring errors was in the diploma that was prominently displayed at the former professor’s office. It showed a black and white seal instead of the normal gold seal. The signature of the president of the University of South Florida was written as “Judith C. Genshaft,” while the actual name was “Judy L. Genshaft.” In another error, “board” was written as “baord”, according to WFTS ABC Action News.
Meanwhile, students at the PSC are concerned whether their class credits would be affected on topics that Broxterman “taught” them. One of the students of “Professor” Broxternman, Anthony Bates, told WFLA, “It’s just a shock that this man who taught me so much and has done so much for the school, is not who he says he is.”
That’s right — the former professor had built a solid reputation around him over the years and was much loved by all his students. On the website ratemyprofessors, he had received stellar ratings and comments from students. All of these point towards the fact that professor Broxterman certainly had great teaching abilities. He couldn’t however back it up with actual degrees. Many of his students are now wondering as to why the professor had to do this in the first place, because he could have easily gotten a doctorate with all his knowledge.
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