September 8, 2023 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Reager has aligned her career to raising her children. She stayed at home with them until they entered K12 school, and then she began working a Dutch Fork Middle School so they could be on the same schedule. It was a great fit, and Reager found herself working in K12 public and boarding schools and universities ever since.
“I have loved working in education, and each position I’ve taken has been a step in a journey of developing more skills and expertise,” she says.
Reager arrived at the Arnold School in 2010 after joining the Office of Research as an administrative coordinator. During her seven years in this position, she supported the associate dean of research and the office’s various divisions and programs with activities such as expenditure tracking, travel, meeting logistics, workshops and special events.
Perhaps most notably, Reager played an instrumental role in moving 150 employees from three different locations (including the old Health Sciences Building) into the new Discovery Building – a process that began not long after she joined the university and lasted approximately 18 months. Working closely with architects, contractors, interior designers, university facilities departments and numerous Arnold School faculty and staff, she coordinated most details of this major move: space assignments, security access, signage, directories, conference room design, and more – all with minimal downtime in each department.
After working at the College of Arts and Sciences for a year, Reager returned to the Arnold School in 2019 – this time for the Department of Exercise Science. “I was incredibly happy to return to the Arnold School when this position became available,” she says.
In this role, Reager serves as office manager – supporting chair Shawn Arent, faculty, staff and graduate students. The biggest part of her job is coordinating the department’s two exercise science master’s programs (Master of Science and Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health). When Reager began her job in 2019, the department had twelve master’s students across the two programs. Four years later, they have 57 master’s students at the USC campus and another 20 students enrolled at their M.S. in Exercise Science program offered at Hamid Bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar.
"There are so many things that Barbara does behind the scenes that often go unnoticed. Her ability to pull projects together, incorporate input, and support the vision of the department make her a critical team member," says Arent. "She truly cares about the faculty, staff, and the students and seems to have a real pride about being part of exercise science as well as the Arnold School. And let’s face it: trying to keep me on track as my assistant has to be a full-time job in itself!"
For Reager, the best part of her work is the people. “We have the best administration, faculty, staff and students, and everyone is supportive, encouraging, positive, flexible and absolutely brilliant in their fields of expertise,” Reager says. “I’m proud to be at the Arnold School and feel privileged to serve and support those who work here.”
The Staff Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Arnold School's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.