Mahwah Grad Working Behind-the-Scenes At Hofstra Presidential Debate
Student was chosen to be one of the campus's volunteers for the political event
As millions of Americans will be watching the town meeting-style presidential debate Tuesday night from their living rooms, one Mahwah High School graduate will have a much better view.
Kayla Engeman, a 2010 Mahwah grad and current junior at Hofstra University in Long Island, has been chosen as a student volunteer who will work as a production assistant Tuesday night for the live coverage of the highly anticipated second debate between candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
According to Hofstra’s website, about 300 student volunteers will be working on various aspects of the debate coverage Tuesday night, each being assigned to assist is a different area.
Engeman said she nabbed her spot as a production assistant for NBC’s coverage of the debate and post-debate programming from the university after working on a social media marketing project during a study abroad semester this summer.
In Rome, she and a group of fellow student travelers developed a social media campaign to promote Hofstra’s School of Communications.
“It got a lot of response, and someone back at school took notice,” Engeman said. Students who participated in that project were asked to help with the debate.
“It is very exciting to be a part of this,” the video and television major said. “There is definitely a buzz on campus. The school is doing a great job of getting as many people as possible involved and interested in the debate.”
Engeman said Hofstra has been preparing for this since last year – inviting political and journalism speakers to the college in preparation for the debate, posting signs and hosting events around campus to pique student interest, and even offering classes on Tuesday night’s debate.
“There is a lot of Hofstra debate pride,” Engeman said. “There is just an energy about it that’s very exciting.”
National news crews, she said, began arriving at Hofstra last week, and the university has been actively working on the logistics of hosting the debate since March. Engeman said she, like the other volunteers, will be getting a uniform and special credentials from the secret service Tuesday.
As for exactly what she expects for the debate, Engeman says she’s not really sure. “I don’t even know exactly what I’m going to be doing,” she said. “But, I’m looking forward to it.”
Check Patch for live coverage of the Presidential Debate Tuesday evening.