Scholarship News

Game Show Champ Who Hacked College President’s Email Gets Probation


July 24, 2018 2:25 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Stephanie Jass, seven-time Jeopardy! winner and former history professor at Adrian College was put on probation for hacking the college president's email accounts among others. She admitted to one felony count of unauthorized computer access as part of a plea deal and was granted a delayed sentence.

Stephanie Jass, seven-time "Jeopardy!" winner and former history professor at Adrian College was put on probation for hacking the college president's email accounts among others. She admitted to one felony count of unauthorized computer access as part of a plea deal and was granted a delayed sentence.

Several years ago, in 2012, Jass' seven-episode "Jeopardy!" winning streak set a record for winningest female contestant. According to Michigan Live, Jass' Jeopardy! winnings totaled just over $164,000. Her education and position as a history professor no doubt significantly contributed to her success. Jass, however, after the 2017 hacking of her colleagues' and some students' email, is no longer employed at Adrian College. It was not clear whether she was fired or resigned.

During the spring of 2017, Jass allegedly gained access into email accounts that were not hers after a breakdown of the campus email system, which forced account holders to change their passwords immediately to get the system back online. Since Adrian College's president, Jeffrey Docking, was at a conference during the time of the breakdown, his assistant did not immediately reset his password, "for fear of locking him out of his account."

Nevertheless, just because "you accidentally leave your front door open, it doesn't give someone the right to walk in and steal what they want. She still stole my identity to log in," said Docking. Not only did Jass read his emails - she also downloaded thousands of them, both personal and professional. Then, she went into the vice president and dean of academic affairs' emails, as well as others. Docking further believes that she lacks "self-reflection" or "understanding of the gravity of the violation" as she did not ever issue a formal apology; she simply mouthed "sorry" on Friday in court. He found out about the hacking after another professor blew the whistle on her and told the police she believed Jass was downloading emails to gain leverage over others. Jass even had a document that listed "comments and problems" of faculty members.

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