Despite the battle scars she picked up in the line of duty, Stephanie Reahm of UNLV’s Division of Student Affairs said the tremendous effort that went into hosting the final Presidential Debate of 2016 was well worth it.
“I’m so proud of UNLV and Las Vegas and everyone involved,” said Reahm, whose regular job is serving as special assistant to Juanita Fain, vice president of student affairs. “I feel very much like we were ingraining ourselves into a huge part of history.”
As Fain’s right-hand assistant during debate preparation, Reahm served on three subcommittees for the Presidential Debate Campus Engagement Committee: the Executive Core Committee, the Rapid Response Team, and the International Debate Study Mission. The latter she co-chaired with Blake Douglas, senior director of alumni programs and events.
“I had a pretty unique role. I was really active as a go-to person to get questions answered, to get things paid, to get extra help, to get a quick response,” she said. “I was absolutely honored to be a part of all of it.”
The long hours weren’t a problem, said Reahm, who estimated putting in 10 hours a week on debate preparations beginning in October 2015. By January, the debate was taking about half her time, and in the month before the Oct. 19 event, it became a full-time assignment.
“It was a lot of hard work, but I would say it has been my favorite project I have ever worked on here, said Reahm, who celebrated her ninth anniversary at UNLV in August.
How does she think the debate went? “From what I saw and what I heard in the way of feedback, I think it was nearly flawless,” said Reahm who spent debate night working at the student watch event in the Student Union.
And the battle scars mentioned above aren’t metaphorical. They are painfully real. In early October, she fell, twisting her back and hurting her knee and hand. So during pre-debate crunch time, she had to push through some significant pain as she made sure the international delegates were greeted and the volunteers were decked out in official UNLV Presidential Debate T-shirts.
“Yes, I fell out of a cart. It wasn’t even moving. I got my heel caught on the floorboard of the cart (as I was) stepping out.
“It’s not even a sexy story,” Reahm said ruefully. “It’s a stupid story. “
But, according to Reahm, all worth it in the line of duty.