Two Hofstra University students from Seaford will get an opportunity Tuesday night to be apart of American political history when President Obama and Mitt Romney square off in the second presidential debate on the Nassau County campus.
Kaley Kalista and Ashley Negilia will be among the Hofstra students volunteering to help put on the big debate being held inside the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Hofstra also received an opportunity to host the final presidential debate in 2008 between then Senator Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Neglia, who graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset, will be acting as an usher during the debate, which will be in a town hall-style format moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley. There will be plenty on the line at Hofstra after Obama dropped behind Romney in the polls following his performance in the first debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
"When I heard about the chance to volunteer in the presidential debate, I knew I had to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity," said Neglia, a junior at Hofstra double majoring in English and History with a minor in Sociology. "I recognized Hofstra's hosting of the Presidential Debate may be my only chance to be a part of American history. Volunteering seemed like the best way to participate in one of the greatest experiences ever presented to me and to represent Hofstra the best way I can."
Neglia, who is a member of Radio Hofstra University (WRHU) where she hosts an indie music show on Monday nights, said she would ultimately like to become a college professor. She also serves as a tour guide in the Hofstra Office of Admissions and works at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.
Kalisia, who is currently a graduate student at Hofstra, will also be an usher in the Debate Hall as well as a stand-in for the town hall participants during set-up in the venue. The 2006 Seaford High School graduate also got to attend the 2008 presidential debate at Hofstra when she was an undergraduate student.
"This time is much more historic because we will be having a current president attending," said Kalista, who is studying Health Education as a graduate student in Hofstra's School of Education after earning her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the university in 2010 with a degree in Sociology. "I felt that volunteering would be a great opportunity to witness the debate."
Kalista is a former member of the Hofstra women's club rugby team and is now a member of Eta Sigma Gamma, a National Health Education Honor Society. Her career aspirations are to become a Health/ Physical Educator teacher in either middle school or high school and then possibly at the college level.
On Tuesday night, Kalisa and Neglia may see in person a moment that helps decides the 2012 race for the White House.