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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.
Phelps previously worked in the O’Brien Center for Career Development for a year to help Merrimack ramp up its internship and career preparation programs, under the leadership of Jay Caporale ’87, vice president of corporate and foundation engagement development and alumni relations.
“Stacey is distinctly suited to lead Warriors at Work,” said Caporale. “She has worked for 10 years advising and preparing college students for the workplace and successfully matching students with employers, nationally and globally. She is collaborative and resourceful.”
Warriors at Work strives to accelerate the networking process from the moment students step on campus, drawing on the connections of Merrimack faculty and alumni. As 170 freshmen from four majors make their way through the program — another 200 freshmen join next year — they will gain the industry knowledge, interview skills and career connections to land internships or co-op jobs as upperclassmen. Students participate in resume workshops, company tours, industry networking events and meetings with alumni mentors throughout their four years.
“This program is an opportunity to engage our alumni base, a true strength of Merrimack, who are excited and committed to helping the next generation of Warriors,” said Phelps who took the reins when Sendall went on sabbatical. “The plan is to have these students prepped and competitive, ready to make the most of their internship or co-op when the time comes.”
Phelps now oversees Warriors at Work with input from academic department heads and the provost’s office. She said it’s been exciting to see departments collaborating across campus to create events that meet the needs of Warriors at Work as well as other student groups. “I enjoy the enthusiasm and energy on Merrimack’s campus,” Phelps said. “My goal now is to build the infrastructure to scale this program each year as we invite new majors to participate. We want our employer partners to see the professionalism, grit and skills of Merrimack students on a larger scale.”
Phelps has also worked in career development at the University of Virginia in its school of engineering and applied science and at Gordon College. She earned an M.Ed. in counselor education, student affairs administration in higher education from the University of Virginia.