University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 6

While conducting laboratory work on 8-16-00, I experienced a serious injury when the bottom of a four liter beaker collapsed into my right hand while transferring liquids (see pictures below).    As the bottom of the beaker collapsed into my right hand resulting in a severe laceration with arterial spraying of blood, the upper lip portion of the beaker broke into my left hand but somehow this second breakage did not result in a cut to my other hand.  I immediately went to student health services with the assistance of Pious Kurian who was nice enough to fashion a makeshift tourniquet out of a pipe cleaner and who subsequently drove me to the ER of Akron General.  The end result of this visitation was multiple stitches (ca. 10) and I was informed that I almost severed the tendons that control my thumb which would have resulted in permanent loss of movement.  With the assistance of the secretary at the time (Lavern Corn) I submitted an accident report form (see below) and after several days break I was back working.  When I reviewed the portion of the accident report form that was filled out by Dr. “Kennedy,” who was not present during the time of the accident, I noticed that everything he wrote was false.  When I approached Dr. “Kennedy” and informed him that he needed to resubmit this form he told me that he would do so; however, when I subsequently checked with Ms. Corn I found that indeed “Kennedy” never bothered to correct his lies.  Now I had concrete affirmation as to the integrity of “Kennedy.”

Despite my disappointment with “Kennedy’s” lack of integrity and ability to generate useful ideas (or even input) regarding my research project I continued to trudge forward.  As the year began to wind down I had conducted a few introductory experiments concerning POSS-PIB-POSS triblock materials but the physical properties were not up to “Kennedy’s” standards.  It wasn’t until later that I realized how to solve this problem but at the present time “Kennedy” requested that I no longer work on the triblock materials but instead generate yet more project ideas.  Then a stroke of luck seemed to occur.  By chance the new postdoctoral student, Stanislav Yankovski (aka Stas), happened to make an important breakthrough.  Stas had been mimicking work originally conducted by the Sawamoto research group on the aqueous cationic polymerization of reactive styrenic monomes (e.g. para-methoxystyrene) with scandium(III) trifluoromethanesulfonate {Sc(OTf)3} and was able to polymerize IB in aqueous media using this Lewis acid.  On 11-22-00, Dr. “Kennedy” offered me the option of working with Stas in order to complete the required research necessary for my degree.  I immediately leapt at the chance to do this as “Kennedy” informed me that the bulk of the work had already been conducted by Stas and all I had to do was simply replicate some of his earlier experiments and expand upon them slightly.  “Kennedy” kindly supplied me with a copy of Kotaro Satoh’s dissertation (the cover sheet and TOC below) and Stas gave me journal articles published by the Sawamoto group to read.  I eagerly began digesting this information and within a period of days I was working with Stas.  Unfortunately for me, this would be yet another bizarre twist in attempting to finish my Ph.D. in the “Kennedy” lab.  One that would be life changing…

Satoh Dissertation Cover & TOC