Ten years ago, Alyssa Reid landed her dream job: assistant director of the speech and debate team at James Madison University (JMU). She also became a faculty member of the School of Communication Studies, where she met a student named Kathryn Lese. Lese took Reid’s speech class in the spring of 2013. The two quickly became best friends. The following year, Lese graduated from JMU and accepted a graduate teaching position with the speech and debate team. The pair worked closely together as friends and colleagues, and traveled together for events.

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