THE PACE CHRONICLE

Nursing Student’s Failing Grades Accidentally Exposed by Professor

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Christina Bubba, Feature Editor

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The third year for nursing students involves vigorous exams, including a math clinical test. Pace students are allowed two attempts to pass this exam with a 90 percent or above. If not, they are not permitted to continue in the program. Junior Stephanie Simoes received the unfortunate news of her failing grade almost immediately after she handed in the exam.

Simoes only had two days to let this news sink in before her grade was emailed to every single student in the current junior Nursing class.

“My initial thought was ‘Wow how could this happen to me,’” Simoes said. “The Dean had apologized to me many times and initially I was hurt and embarrassed it happened, but I didn’t realize the extent of how serious it was until hours later.”

Associate Professor Carol Epstein sent out an email greeting the students on Jan. 23 and accidentally attached an excel spreadsheet with certain student’s confidential information. A note was next to Simoe’s name stating that she did not pass the second attempt of the math test. Other students who encountered issues with their grades were listed, as well.

The following day, Simoes received an apology phone call from Rhonda Maneval, the Executive Associate Dean for Academic Nursing. She explained the situation, but refused to forward Simoes the email when she had asked.

“IT was contacted to determine if the email could be recalled; unfortunately, that option was not available,” Dr. Maneval said. “Dean Feldman sent an email to each affected student reiterating the University’s commitment to student privacy, stating the Nursing Program’s mission and goals, and thanking the students for the professionalism they demonstrated thus far.”

“My initial reaction was to ascertain the facts of the disclosure and the students affected, so that we could remediate the issue,” Dr. Maneval said.

Since the email contained confidential information, it is in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

“I was upset hearing that, considering my information was on that email and I don’t even get to see it,” Simoes said.

An apology email was also sent out to all of the students who received the initial email. Everyone was asked to delete the email with the excel sheet immediately and to not forward it to anyone else. Simoes, however, did not receive the apology email.

The apology email that was sent out to nursing students. Simoes didn’t receive either email and had a peer forward the apology to her.

Professor Epstein tried to prevent the situation by contacting IT to have them take down the email, but it was too late. Regardless of the mistake, Simoes admitted to having a positive relationship with Professor Epstein, who tried to help her throughout the duration of the semester.

Simoes met with Dean Maneval to discuss the situation and she was able to view part of the initial email.

“I am very pleased by the response of our students who have responded with the professionalism and courtesy that is a hallmark of the Lienhard School of Nursing,” Dr. Maneval said.

Simoes will continue to study nursing for this next academic year and catch up on the two junior level courses. This semester, she is focusing on her psychology minor and taking health science courses.

Professor Epstein was contacted to comment on the situation with no response.

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About the Writer
Christina Bubba, Feature Editor

I am a junior Digital Journalism major with a minor in Public Relations. On campus, I am Feature Editor of the Pace Chronicle, a part of the Cheerleading...

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