Friday, May 05, 2006

My Story: Dr. Jane Fernandes

My second year at Gallaudet University in the fall of 2000. The campus was thrown into chaos after an Phi Kappa Zeta off-campus party when we all arrived back on campus to find that someone has been murdered. The deceased is Eric Plunkett, a person I miss dearly. He and I are proud alumni of Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD) in Faribault.

Within days of the murder, Deb Skjeveland (her husband is a fellow Minnesotan), the coordinator of residence education at Clerc Hall sent an e-mail to specific Minnesotans (alumni of MSAD) to get together and talk about Eric Plunkett. As we gotten together, we agreed to her suggestion that we'd set up a scholarship in Eric's name and we agreed that this scholarship will go to any deserving incoming student from Minnesota. As the fall homecoming quickly approached, we had a booth to give out maroon and gold ribbons (MSAD colors) to the people that donated to the Eric Plunkett scholarship. The monies that we've collected were huge, we easily ambassed over the $25,000 needed to become endowed.

At the end of the semester, we were called into the Provost's ofice to meet with Eric's parents. Eric's parents thanked us for coming forward to work with the Provost for Eric and the scholarship. We all had a nice brief personal converstation and received a gift basket from them. I left the office stunned to find that Eric's parents were misled by Dr. Fernandes that she has initiated the scholarship and has seen to it that it has quickly become endowed. From that day forward, I never saw Dr. Fernandes as my Provost but as a person who is a cozener, when the credit should have been due to Deb Skjeveland, a real compassionate person who thought nothing of herself but for others. She is now a program manager for Camp Lakodia in South Dakota.

A cozener is not someone I'd want to have as our next President of Gallaudet University.

Correction: My apologies for the confusion. The PKZ party was in February of 2001 and the murder that happened was Ben Varner's death. The night that Eric Plunkett's body was discovered, I was at University of Maryland football game vs. Florida State University.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh another one? I have heard so many stories about her taking advantage of many things that were created by other people and those people often get no credits for it.