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Mariia Diahilieva ’26 was a high school exchange student in New Hampshire when the Russo-Ukrainian War escalated in February 2022.
YOU BELONG………at Merrimack College!
Hear from a panel of current graduate students and alumni on their authentic experiences of belonging at Merrimack College. The discussion will be followed by a Meet & Greet, where you can mingle with panel members and other attendees with appetizers, beer and wine.
Meet the panelists:
Maria Carolina (Carol) Ferraz – Carol is a current Merrimack Graduate Fellow, and as a 42-year-old international student from Brazil, she has had to overcome difficult challenges, such as language barriers and adapting to a new environment. She now describes Merrimack as feeling like home and is a great person for other international students pursuing education at Merrimack to connect with.
Iolando Spinola – Iolando received his M.Ed. in Community Engagement from Merrimack College in 2018, where he felt supported and encouraged by the Graduate Students of Color community. Iolando’s career has flourished since his graduation and he is currently serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Brockton, MA, where he continues his passion of making a positive impact on his community.
Jennifer Enaboakpe – Jennifer is an international student from Nigeria and a current Graduate Fellow at Merrimack College with a passion for making learning accessible and inclusive. In her free time, she provides educational mentorship and support for over 280 university students in Nigeria and Uganda through Paideia Education and Development Resource Center, which is a virtual platform she co-founded.
Juan Jose Bernabe Perez – Juan is an alum of the Merrimack College Health and Wellness Management graduate program and currently works as a Regional Clinical Associate Provider Network Manager for Steward Health Care Network. As an Afro-Latino gay man and an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Juan proudly serves as a role model for Latino immigrant and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Isabel Fernandes – Isabel, who graduated from Merrimack College as a Double Warrior in 2022, was diagnosed with deafness as a child and has overcome many challenges while navigating life with a disability. In her future career in teaching, she plans to use her experiences of destigmatizing deafness and advocating for herself to create a better learning environment for all students.
Brent Wright – Brent earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education from Merrimack College in 2022. As a student, he held a number of unique identities, including being a first-generation college student, a father, an older graduate student and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Now, Brent is the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack and is a great resource for students seeking connection and support.