How to get into Stanford: Climb in the window

Azia Kim was enjoying her freshman year at Stanford — until she was exposed as an imposter, the Stanford Daily reports.

Azia Kim was like any other Stanford freshman. She graduated from one of California’s most competitive high schools last June, moved into the dorms during New Student Orientation, talked about upcoming tests and spent her free time with friends.

The only problem is that Azia Kim was never a Stanford student.

Claiming a mistake by the housing office, Kim slept in the lounge of one dorm, then, complaining of a bad roommate, talked her way into a room. After two quarters, she moved to a different dorm with a roommate who slept most nights at her boyfriend’s room. Without a key, Kim kept the window of the first-floor room open so she could climb in and out.

Friends aren’t sure of her motive for sneaking onto campus and living a lie, but many speculate that she felt pressure from overbearing parents to attend Stanford — regardless of whether she was admitted.

Kim’s high school friends say she was a hard-working student at her very competitive high school but didn’t seem to have the grades to get into Stanford. They thought she was attending community college with the hope of transferring to Berkeley.

It’s not clear whether Kim told her parents she had a full scholarship or got them to put $50,000 for a year’s tuition, room and board in her own checking account.

Meanwhile, a non-student has been haunting a physics lab for four years, at times claiming offices, a locker, a room to sleep in and a seat in seminars. Elizabeth Okazaki, once a temporary admin, claims to be a visiting scholar in music — or possibly German Studies. The physics building manager won’t kick her out.

Update: Stanford is preparing a get-out-of-the-lab letter for Okazaki, who apparently has been propping open doors to get back into the lab. Equipment thefts have escalated.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Make her give back everything she learned.

  2. greifer says:

    it’s the culture that you pay for. MIT’s open courseware means anyone in the world can get the same academic and intellectual information that an MIT student can get, but going there is still worth the premium. Stanford’s another of these places where it’s the experience that people want–even mentally unstable people.

    “Ghosting” is a problem at many schools. You can’t tell the difference between students, boy and girl friends of students, or hangers on. Security issues will continue to be highlighted in the years to come. The university functions on a kind of trust that everyone belongs there, and that trust has been eroding for decades. Crime stats may make you think things are okay, but there’s a lot of seething underbelly in such places. It will get worse.

  3. Richard Nieporent says:

    Meanwhile, a non-student has been haunting a physics lab for four years, at times claiming offices, a locker, a room to sleep in and a seat in seminars.

    Rock bands and movie stars are passé. The new glamour profession is physics. We now have our own groupies!

  4. These people are to be pitied, not treated as security risks. At my university, everyone knew who they were, and they were tolerated as long as they didn’t cause problems.

  5. An interesting form of homelessness.

    Gotta be more stimulating than hanging out under a bridge.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I recall that during the People’s Park troubles at Cal, lots of the demonstrators were “Street People”.

  7. I read the news article. I was expecting it to be flawless but it wasn’t.

  8. Wayne Martin says:

    Odd people are not always harmless.

    Back in 1978, a mathematics graduate student at Stanford killed his faculty advisor with a hammer. It was reported in the press that he told authorities he killed his advisor as ”a political statement” against what he believed to be the university’s unfair treatment of graduate students. The student attended the university on and off for 19 years but was unable to obtain a doctorate in mathematics.

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I believe the guy was an electrical engineer. Most electrical engineers are odd.

  10. Ted Streleski was an unsuccessful graduate student in mathematics at Stanford who murdered his faculty advisor, Karel De Leeuw. Streleski was denied parole because he refused to promise to stay off the Stanford campus. He was released at the end of his seven-year sentence in 1985 and has stayed out of trouble since then, as far as I know.

    My husband’s an electrical engineer! Don’t dis e.e.s! Actually, my first husband was a student and advisee of DeLeeuw’s and thought he was a great guy, the most decent human being in the math department.

  11. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I be an EE too. What is the fascination you hold for EEs, JJ?
    Ted’s EE reg is still currnt, with a Frisco address.

  12. EEEEEEEE, this is freaky.


  1. Imposter…

    Some students believe Azia Kim did this because of parental pressures.

    Anyone see Kim getting a television, movie or book deal out of this? See she may yet be sucessful, just not in the way Ms. Kim’s parents planned or hoped for….