For Impostor Students, Old Habits Die Hard

By SHARE

Remember Azia Kim? The fake Stanford student who fooled dorm residents, teachers, and even the ROTC into thinking she was an enrolled member of the university community? Well, in all that hubbub, Paper Trail failed to report on Elizabeth Okazaki, who spent a good four years at Stanford attending graduate physics seminars, using offices reserved for doctoral and postdoctoral physics students, living in the lab—all with "no real reason to be there," according to the Stanford Daily.

After being banned from the Palo Alto campus, Okazaki apparently returned to doing what she does best. But it took UCLA only four months to realize that the woman who was able to receive affiliate status with the philosophy department was in fact the same person who deceived Stanford officials for so long, the Daily Bruin writes.

Okazaki's ruse was discovered after she "began exhibiting strange behavior," such as sleeping in classrooms and bringing her sick cat to the buildings, asking staff members for help in administering medication to the feline, which eventually died in a classroom.

The odd behavior, coupled with one staffer's accidental exposure to Stanford Daily articles, meant game over for the woman with the incredible "ability to so perfectly blend in," as the UCLA whistle-blower put it. "She seemed out of it but not completely abnormal."