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Psychologist embellishes credentials, personal past

Ruth Teichroeb of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer studied university job records and found that Terry Tafoya, known across North America as a pre-eminent American Indian psychologist and a sought-after speaker for continuing education at schools such as Harvard University, "has scripted his own life, embellishing his academic credentials and past." The tribe he claims to be a member of says he is not enrolled with them. A speakers' bureau that books his appearances "recommends Tafoya as an expert on mental health and substance abuse issues — apparently unaware that Tafoya was charged in January with drunken driving after he smashed into two cars in his Capitol Hill neighborhood." While Tafoya's resume claims he earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Washington in 1985, verifying his academic credentials is almost impossible. "There's no record of his Ph.D. in the 1985 commencement book" and "Unlike most doctoral graduates, he has no dissertation in the university library." Tafoya appears at up to 100 events a year — most of them funded at least in part by public dollars.

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