Posted on: December 14, 2023, 03:02h.
Last updated on: December 14, 2023, 03:02h.
Troubling allegations are surfacing about the man who killed three UNLV professors last week. He made lewd comments when he was teaching earlier in North Carolina.
Anthony Polito, in 2016, went up to a East Carolina University (ECU) student, Kristin Marshburn, who was sitting in front of a classroom.
He said to me that if I wore a shirt that low cut for the rest of the semester, I’d be sure to get an A,” Marshburn, now 28, told NBC News.
Marshburn, one of only a few female students in Polito’s supply chain management class, called it a “bold comment.” She said she and many of the other students were shocked, according to NBC.
“I remember their faces just being appalled,” she said. “They looked sad for me.”
She reported the inappropriate comment to a dean’s office. A few months later, Polito quit his tenured teaching job.
Even though it’s now unclear if the comment led to his resignation, Marshburn said he never returned to the class after he made the explicit comment.
She praised the ECU administration for their response and remains confident she did the right thing in reporting him.
It’s not OK for our professors, or anyone, to make sexual comments, or about anything we’re wearing, the way that we look,” Marshburn told NBC.
A second former student of Polito’s also revealed to NBC that he made her uncomfortable, too, while she took his class at ECU. He sent her emails and texts daily, and showered her with gifts, she revealed. He also invited her to go with him to Las Vegas.
I felt preyed upon,” the unnamed woman told NBC. “It was just so bizarre.”
Several former students also complained Polito spent much of his lectures not speaking about supply chain management but talking about his many trips to Las Vegas.
Years later, on December 6, Polito shot and killed three professors at UNLV. He was shot dead by security guards on the Las Vegas campus.
The 67-year-old Henderson, Nev. resident had tried to get a teaching job at UNLV. But UNLV refused to hire him.
It was also revealed by Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill that Polito had a “target list,” which included names of professors at both UNLV and ECU. None of the three dead UNLV professors were on the list, nor was a fourth professor at UNLV, who was wounded and survived.
Praises for Victims
On Wednesday, UNLV held a memorial service for the three murdered professors.
They include Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, Patricia Navarro Velez, and Naoko Takemaru.
During a eulogy, a colleague and friend, Gloribert Roque-Melendez, recalled how Velez loved to cook.
“She loved dancing. She loved singing. She had a beautiful voice. Her smile and energy were contagious. She was brilliant. She was kind.”
Ashley Weckesser, a UNLV graduate student, recalled how Chang was helpful and supportive to students.
As a graduate assistant in his department seeking direction, I knew I could always count on his office door being open and on him being there. He was always there and always willing to help us.”
Also, Devon Whitaker, a UNLV graduate, praised Takemaru.
“At any given time of the day, you could go to her office about any issue, not just with academia but with any issue at all, and she would do her very best to help you through it.”