`Psychology Prof' Commits Fraudian Slip
Byline: Rebecca Nolan The Register-Guard
He pretended to be a professor at the University of Oregon to "make friends and feel important," according to police.
Now, Checklin Jonathan Vaifale, 35, is charged with misdemeanor criminal impersonation of a state employee for posing as a psychology professor for more than a year.
The Eugene man is actually a laid-off health care worker who hung around the UO campus telling people he taught a course called `Human Neuropsychology' in the psychology department, Eugene police officer Dallas Hall said.
He dressed professionally, carried a briefcase containing course files and spent hours using the computer labs at Straub Hall, home of the psychology department. He even offered one student a job as a research assistant, Hall said.
But Vaifale, who also has used the name Jonathan Vaifalc-Valdez, is not now and never has been a member of the university faculty. He has never taught a class there or attended school there. And he certainly was never in a position to hire a student for a job.
Instead, police think Vaifale was trying to get close to students.
While police have no evidence that Vaifale did anything other than lie, "he certainly hoped to socialize with students," she said.
Vaifale told police that he told more than 70 students he was a professor, Hall said. He focused on international students, students active in the gay and lesbian community, and members of the campus Hawaiian Club, the officer said. …