|Vol. 17, No. 4||Sept. 25, 1997|
Who's who on campus can be confusing when duos or occasionally trios share the same name. Playing the same name game can be a challenge-involving double identity, double takes, double speak and sometimes double trouble.
Probably the most unusual same names are Maryann Rapposelli, HN '83, Intercollegiate Athletic and Recreation Services (IARS), and her double Mary Ann Rapposelli, health and nursing sciences.
"I call her the 'real' Maryann Rapposelli because Rapposelli is her maiden name, and it's my married name so I haven't had it all my life," said Mary Ann Rapposelli, health and nursing sciences.
The confusion began when Maryann Rapposelli (IARS) joined the UD staff in 1988. After several mix-ups of e-mail, snail mail and phone calls, the two met and discovered they were distantly related, although Maryann's family was from Wilmington and Mary Ann's husband grew up in Maryland.
The biggest mix-up occurred when Maryann (IARS) was a volunteer for field hockey at the Olympics.
"I received a FedEx package, opened it up and realized I had her tickets to the Olympics and so I scrambled to get them to her on time," Mary Ann (health and nursing sciences) recalled.
It was an omen of the mix-ups to come. "Maryann was interviewed quite a few times by the Wilmington News Journal, especially after the bombing in Atlanta, and many people thought it was me," Mary Ann said. "I went to my doctor and he and his nurse were very excited to see me and hear about my experiences, but I had to break their bubble."
Ken Campbell, psychology, and Ken Campbell, political science and international relations, were both hired into the University Honors Program the same year. Campbell, psychology, was first, and heard from the program secretary that another Ken Campbell was being interviewed. "But they won't hire him," she jokingly reassured him, foreseeing a future of mistaken identities.
After they did hire the political science Campbell, it became sort of an ongoing joke-for instance, at freshman orientation for honors students, when Ken Campbell was introduced, both stood up.
E-mail is doubly interesting because of mix-ups, but according to Ken Campbell, psychology, convincing book publishers that there are two on campus is the real challenge. When they add one to the database, the other one is automatically removed, he said.
Linda Hughes, records, and Linda Hughes, educational studies, have gotten used to mix-ups. Hughes, records, said when someone calls her, "Prof. Hughes," that's a clue they have the wrong person; conversely, Hughes in educational studies is getting used to queries about checks and bills. The two have chatted on the phone but never met.
Mix-ups are a way of life for Mark Millers. Last year, three men on campus shared the name, including a visiting scholar who has since left. According to Mark Miller, foreign languages and literatures, the double M must have attracted several sets of parents as, ever since he started school, he has encountered others with the same name and mistaken identities are a way of life.
Mark Miller, political science and international relations, concurred. "In fact," he announced, "I think the other Mark Miller has my paycheck."
To confuse matters further, both have offices on the fourth floor of Smith Hall. "We get wrong phone calls, e-mail and students slip their papers under the wrong door. I have his telephone number and e-mail address prominently posted in my office so I can transfer his calls and messages," Mark Miller, foreign languages and literatures, said.
Since Malcolm Taylor, biology, is on campus and Malcolm Taylor, an adjunct professor in math, is off campus, there is less confusion, although they do receive each other's mail. The two have not met but as Malcolm Taylor, biology said, "It's not a common name, and I would love to meet Malcolm S. Taylor and compare notes someday because that was my grandfather's name."
-Sue Swyers Moncure