Published on: December 14, 2023 at 03:02 h.
Last updated on: 14 December 2023 at 03:13 h.
Disturbing allegations are emerging about the past of a man who killed three UNLV professors last week. He made lewd comments when he was previously teaching in North Carolina.
Anthony Polito, in 2016, walked up to East Carolina University (ECU) student Christine Marshburn, who was sitting in front of the classroom.
He told me that if I wore a low-cut shirt for the rest of the semester, I would be sure to get an A. NBC News.
Marshburn, one of a few female students in Polito’s supply chain management class, called it a “bold comment.” She and several other students were shocked, according to NBC.
“I remember their faces were horrified,” she said. “They looked sad to me.”
I reported the inappropriate comment to the Dean’s Office. A few months later, Polito left his teaching job.
Although it is now unclear whether the comment led to his resignation, Marshburn said he never returned to class after he made the blunt comment.
She praised ECU management for their response and remains confident they did the right thing in reporting it.
“It’s not okay for our teachers, or anyone, to make sexual comments, or about anything we wear, or the way we look,” Marshburn told NBC.
A second former student of Polito also revealed to NBC that he also made her uncomfortable while she was attending his class at ECU. She revealed that he would send her emails and texts daily and shower her with gifts. He also invited her to go with him to Las Vegas.
“I felt like prey,” the unnamed woman told NBC. “It was very strange.”
Many former students also complained that Polito spent much of his lectures not talking about supply chain management but talking about his many trips to Las Vegas.
Years later, on December 6, Polito shot and killed three UNLV professors. He was shot and killed by security guards on the University of Las Vegas campus.
The 67-year-old Henderson, Nevada, resident tried to get a teaching job at UNLV. But UNLV refused to hire him.
Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill also revealed that Polito had a “hit list,” which included the names of professors at both UNLV and ECU. None of the three UNLV professors were on the list, nor was there a fourth UNLV professor, who was injured and survived.
Praise the victims
On Wednesday, UNLV held a memorial service for the three professors who were killed.
Among them are Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, Patricia Navarro Velez and Naoko Takemaru.
During the eulogy, her colleague and friend, Glorybert Roque Melendez, recalled how Velez loved to cook.
“She loved to dance. She loved to sing. She had a beautiful voice. Her smile and energy were contagious. She was amazing. She was kind.”
Ashley Wickser, a graduate student at UNLV, recalled how helpful and supportive Zhang was to the students.
As a graduate assistant in his department looking for guidance, I knew I could always count on his office door open and him being there. “He was always there and always ready to help us.”
UNLV graduate Devon Whitaker also spoke highly of Takemaru.
“At any time of the day, you can go to her office with any issue, not just with academia but with any issue at all, and she will do her best to help you solve that problem.”