Amy Apodaca, an Army statistician, was forced to resign in January after it was revealed that not only did she not earn a doctoral degree from Yale, but her master’s degree was fraudulent, as well, Stars and Stripes reports.
She might have escaped attention, but for the vigilance of one whistleblower who experienced opposition and retaliation. A whistleblower reported suspicion about Apodaca’s degrees to contracting officer representative Dominiqiue Greydanus, who then turned around and slandered the whistleblower, calling her a mud-slinger and a troublemaker.
After the incident with Greydanus, the whistleblower got in touch with the deputy director of the Army’s Joint Trauma System, according to Stars and Stripes. Even though she has now been vindicated, the whistleblower refused to reveal her name for fear of being discriminated against in future employment.
When Apodaca was finally confronted by her bosses, she resigned, leaving a position in which she held secret-level security clearance to the military’s classified network. Her work consisted of publishing statistical analyses to inform doctors on best practices for treating wounded soldiers in war theaters.
Officials now have to spend time thinking about how Apodaca easily passed background checks. Perhaps most remarkable is that after medical journals were contacted in February to inform them that Apodaca did not in fact possess a Ph.D., the Army did not review her other claimed credentials, and so the journal removed the Ph.D. credential and substituted in a master’s degree at that time.
The Army now admits that Apodaca did not even have a master’s degree, and so will have to contact the medical journals all over again.
The only degree Apodaca actually earned was a B.A. in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She also claimed she earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering at the same institution, despite this not being the case. Her LinkedIn page also showed a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006. This was not true, either. Finally, she claimed to have earned a doctorate in applied statistics from the University of Maryland, as well as a Ph.D. from Yale. These claims were all false.
“When Mr. Greydanus was informed of the allegation, he immediately reported the information up the chain of command. Mr. Greydanus’ actions were appropriate and no disciplinary action was warranted,” an Army spokesman stated in response, not disputing the details of the exchange between the whistleblower and Greydanus.
When Apodaca resigned, she told co-workers it was for family reasons. Apodaca is now living in Scotland. The reason she flew under the radar for so long was that she officially was a contractor, and an Army spokesman said that it was the duty of the contracting company to screen for credentials.
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