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Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Research & Policy Analyst

Begin forwarded message:

From: Elyssa Durant
Date: August 27, 2013, 3:34:52 AM EDT
To: “”
Cc: ed70 , ELyssaD , Stu Silverberg ,, “” Subject: Citation List – FYI :))



Cut paste hodge podge from new Book “UNWRITTEN” Val- see Post script. I need to edit (and clean) this on PC.

Wish I had one that worked. Deadline: Sept 1. Wish me luck.

The citations below are a quick bibliography of the Professor I mentioned earlier!

He is Harvard educated and has been teaching at Columbia Law and their Graduate school of Education for over twenty years.

He is brilliant, engaging and very approachable.

Professor Heubert works closely with my old department(s) and is one of the leading experts in the field and knows how (skewed) and biased evaluation methods can be especially for students with special needs.

When a child’s future or placement is involved, we call this high stakes testing.

It is not new and it is not an exact science.

This is where experts in sociology of evaluation, research methodology and qualitative statistics come in. We learn to look beyond raw data and use fancy words like meta analysis, T-scores, reliability, validity and dissect standardized testing and the institutions that use them to simplify their role as gatekeepers.

I am one of those people.

As a student.

As an educator.

As a advocate.

As a consultant.

I break rules and set precedent. I create policy and get people fired.

(Refer to testimony before the Governor’s Roundtable on TennCare May 1999.)

Another reason I just spent the last several hours writing this letter is to remind myself and my the people who agreed to supervise my research on autism and technology need to hear from me.

They need to know that I am not the person they once knew.

I am more than a person with a 3.93 GPA and an advanced masters degree from top ranked programs.

I am broken. I am broke.

I am twice exceptional and I am so very close to finishing my doctorate.

Don’t count me out just yet. I had to drop my coursework earlier this month because I simply don’t have the funds necessary to complete those last few credits I have been working on since I was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease and took a leave of absence my last year of my PhD program.

Jay, Gary, George, and my hero, Bob won’t be around forever and I want nothing more than to work with them; learn from them; finish what I started as the youngest student ever to be admitted into the Ed Policy program when I was 21 years old.

They are the best of the best and VERY good people to know.

I simply don’t have access to the resources I would need to take advantage of this opportunity to study with them before they give up on me.

Working on it.


So for now, I do a lot of free consulting pro-bono court cases, and boring Board type stuff since it keeps me engaged and helps me feel human.

My pet project d’jour is someone who deserves it.

A child on the spectrum who is not being treated with the respect and dignity he deserves at a small Midwestern elementary school.

The poor kiddo has been reading for years and is having trouble with his new school because they have already labeled him as a behavior problem simply because they are more concerned with a plaid T-shirt than focusing on his many strengths.

If things get “ugly” I want to you to know I am willing to use these connections, my experience, and my expertise to help (redacted) get the services he needs.

I am a decent person who has the misfortune of being pigeonholed and destroyed by bad health, bad adviser and bad luck.

I am the poster child for Lulz and AntiSec.

They recruited me to exploit my position with CyberSecurity firm and made my life a living hell.

They sell T-shirts with my Social on it and have hacked into my medical and academic records and posted my father’s home address and finances online.

They call him “Agent Daddy” and posted his law firm’s bank account online for #FuckFBIFriday.

For those who don’t remember, check my website June and July 2011, check my Eulogy.

They recruited me, then socially engineered more Elyssa’s that I received 65 identity alerts in one week.

They actively recruit people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. They sold ElyssaD T-shirts alongside Gary McKinnon T-shirts at DefCon.

This broke my heart. Then they wanted to “trade” me for Gary. As if I alone were responsible for the inhumane and unjust treatment Gary suffered at the hands of the US and UK governments.

I was very involved in the fight against extradition… then they found out my daddy was a fed.

Next thing you know, I saw rumors of my death, fake missing posters, fake nudes and worse circulated from Defcon to Cafe Press and even on Amazon.

I am a one of those “innocent victims” of the hacker community. I am an icon. I am a comic book character, a movie character and the muse for a novel and a screen play.

I am also a human being. And if you look hard enough, you will find NY Times best seller that was both inspired and dedicated to me.

My name is Elyssa.

I am the only living person with my name in the entire United States yet there is are dozens if not hundreds of fake accounts on a wide variety of social media claiming to be me.

They called my friends and threatened my family. They used my name, my personal (private) documents to blackmail, extort, sextort, exploit and ultimately destroy my personal and professional identity.

The news headlines just yesterday said the people who did this have been “neutralized” by the FBI. Lulz, AntiSec, and Anonymous.

Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy.


Those who know, know. Those who don’t, a quick google search will tell you everything “THEY” think you need to know.

I tell a different story because I was the one who refused to cooperate. I was the one who became the face of AntiSec and I was the one who revoked admin privileges from someone trying to hack the CIA. 33137.

I notified the authorities that I was asked to compromise my integrity by granting access to CyberWeapons to individuals who have since been investigated and arrested for hacking everyone from the SOCA to the CIA.

I pay the price everyday because the amount of disinformation and websites dedicated to destroy my credibility have gone viral.

I am not a hacker. I know nothing about CyberSecurity, but I know everything about how it can destroy a person. Personally, professionally, and then some.

Three years have passed since I was recruited to use my skills to pilot a program in CyberTerrorism.

Three years have passed and I have seven dead computers, 14 dead cell phones, and more enemies than I can count.

I tried on several occasions to go back to my roots. Academia. But I have been too afraid to tell this story to the people who remember me as a competent research analyst, gifted writer and “one of the four most brilliant policy analysts” to graduate with an advanced masters under Bob Crain’s gentle guidance.

I want to go back. All I need is the courage, support, and funding and I will gladly dedicate my life to doing what I do best. Defy the odds

I have chosen to address this “pseudo-application” to three individuals I would like to work with since I only have a small amount of coursework and research hours necessary to complete my degree.

George: has been a rock when I started my MA in 1995.

He has witnessed first hand my uncanny ability to crash the entire Columbia network simply by logging on or stepping into a computer lab. I take full credit for the Yahoo hack in May and the DDoS in September of 2011.

He has seen me at my best and my worst. He has listened to my Aspie logic and somehow “gets it.”

He has seen me laugh, he has seen me cry. And more than anyone else at ACIS knows how difficult and devastating this has been for me over the last few years.

He was my hero in Spring ’95 when he hooked first hooked me up with an e-mail address so I could use my very first PC (510 MB, DOS until I installed Windows 3.1 with 23 floppy disks) and used the internet for the very first time with a PCMCIA 14.4 modem back in 1995. He authorized an email account so I could turn in my work from my hospital bed at Columbia-Presbyterian.

He knows I have “issues” but he still takes my calls and seems to fully grasp just how critical technology and security have become in the world of academia. He is my go to guy for lighthearted jokes about computer meltdowns and security breaches.

Thanks, George. (gs52)

Gary: (gjn6) You were the first professor who demanded papers and book reviews electronically. Man, that was tough. I could barely use PINE and never quite grasped the whole attachment concept from VT100 terminal. But eventually, I got it. I recently came across my book review for Chapter 8 of Eckstein & Noah and several other papers I wrote for TF 6525. I was 22 and I was so thrilled to get a solid A with all those candidates in your seminar on Sociology of Education.

With my health failing, it was often difficult to sit for several hours in a small classroom on Saturday mornings.

You knew I had a spinal tumor, and that my glucose levels were far below normal. My hands would tremble as I tried to discreetly take a drink of my orange juice and medication without showing signs of weakness.

You never judged me or made me feel less than human.

When I was on crutches, you didn’t snarl at me for coming in a few minutes late.

You saw through my disability and allowed me to take breaks when my hands went numb.

To this day, I am unsure if you knew why I was so interested in taking that course that was far more advanced than my academic standing.

We discussed high stakes testing and bias. As someone who bombed the SATs but managed to kick ass on my boards and with an exceptionally high GPA, I understood “sociology of evaluation” all too well.

Professor Crain knew and just before he pseudo-retired we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the floor of his office and discussed in great detail what it was like to be “twice exceptional.”

I see things differently, and I am proud to say I earned that A. I still have the paper I wrote in case there are any doubts.

Jay: (heubert@exchange) We first met in Peter Cookson’s class. You were a guest speaker on, yes! High Stakes Testing. Your work impressed me so much that I went on to register for your seminar and was anxiously looking forward to traveling to New York City last month to immerse myself in a course I was dying to take.

I have always had an interest in Law and accepted a scholarship offer at Vanderbilt so I could spend a year studying legal ethics and public policy at their Law School.

Unfortunately, the program was dismantled my first year there and nobody bothered to tell me until I found myself with no Adviser and no program of studies. It was horrible.

Professor Crain (rlc- RIP) graciously extended an offer to come back to TC and told me not to worry about it since these things happen all the time. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt couldn’t pull their shit together and sued me for $7,000 after they sent my scholarship money to the wrong college. Held my transcripts and refused to honor my fellowship unless I agreed to reapply to a different department.

Seventeen out of the twenty core faculty members left. So did all of the students. One attempted suicide.

My “adviser” who was on sabbatical when I arrived didn’t bother to meet with me until the end of my second semester. He was known for erratic behavior and violent outbursts.

He wouldn’t work with me, but had a problem with HIS student working on a different grant. He told me I could not work with anyone else and refused to work with me or anyone else.

Despite all the rumors and obvious “personality conflict” I took a course with him my last semester at Vanderbilt.

Dave found teaching a small group of doctoral students was simply too “annoying” and he cancelled class for the ENTIRE semester giving us all incompletes.

The rest of the students went to the “acting dean” to complain about the outrageous situation and asked me to attend the meeting. I declined. I knew full well as his ONLY advisee I was damned if I did, damned if I didn’t.

I requested a formal leave of absence, but my adviser had other plans for me. You see, that incomplete that he gave me disqualified me from future grants and loans and he would sign off on my scholarship since he had no project for me to work on.

I was screwed.

He transferred to a different department and I had no recourse.

But Professor, as an attorney, I should add that countless people told me to sue the University. There is fine print that says, any loans are null and void if the University fails to offer the degree to which I was admitted.

I didn’t sue. They got to me first.

They sued me for $7,000 and put a hold on my transcripts.

SO, talk about a nightmare.

The school cancels BOTH my degrees (MPP and PhD) gives me a shitty adviser who never even filed the necessary paperwork for me to graduate since he was too busy to meet with me when he got back from sabbatical and the dean tells me I have to apply to new department after my leave of absence since mine no longer exists.

Here’s the catch! I have to send my Vanderbilt transcripts from Vanderbilt to Vanderbilt for my application to be reviewed. And they of course would not release the damn transcripts and ultimately did get their damn $7,000 from one of my accounts.

You all following this so far?

That is the state of education today. I am quite certain this is one of the most bizarre and unusual applications you have ever received…

I cannot afford to retake the boards (I scored in the 88th percentile, but ETS sent those to those to the wrong school also and Vanderbilt couldn’t redirect the scores to the right school. Same way they couldn’t transfer my scholarship money from the Graduate School to the Law School. Or the way they dropped my classes because they had me registered with two social security numbers and paid Masters tuition instead of the (more expensive) PhD tuition.

So I don’t think I’ll be able to provide a letter of recommendation and I do have one copy of a sealed transcript (with a nice big I in the last column) but I will provide a writing sample or two and hope that maybe, just maybe, you will consider me for a change in degree status using alternative methods of evaluation.

(And the rest is still unwritten)

Just me,




Let me know if you want his number or email.

Good luck! I

June 6, 2014

Elyssa D. Durant. Ed.M.
Research & Policy Analyst


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