Meet Maggie Stalnecker, a 2023 graduate receiving her degree in Accounting and a Themed Inquiry in American History. Maggie began her journey at Chapman during the Fall of 2021 as a transfer student. When Maggie started college, Chapman wasn’t even on her list of possible places to transfer, however, she says “I’m so happy that I’ve ended up here, not just because of the personal and professional growth that I’ve experienced, but because of the people I’ve met and opportunities I’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Maggie made the decision to come to the Argyros School because of all the opportunities that she knew I would have here, both academically and for her future career path. “It became very clear that the dedication that the Argyros School has to their students, through the resources and availability, meant that I was going to be able to succeed here.”

Impactful Experiences

“I think my most impactful experience from my time at Chapman was making the decision to complete my education here, after doing my first few years of college at community college,” said Stalnekcer, who knew coming to Chapman meant moving to this new place called Orange County and taking a big step forward. “As a transfer student, I definitely felt like I had to hit the ground running, but I’m so thankful for my time here, and it’s had such an impact on my future.”

One of Maggie’s favorite moments at Chapman was the end of her first week in Fall 2021. “After I had been through the beginning of classes, settled into my dorm, and started to get into a routine. After everything of the few years before, from the pandemic to the frustration of the transfer process, I was able to take a moment and be proud of where I was. It was also a moment where I was excited for the future, and for everything that would happen during my time here.”

Campus Involvement

Maggie has been involved in several different clubs, including the Accounting Society. She says that “In the Accounting Society, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people within my major, participate in networking events, and build my professional knowledge and experience. I felt pretty behind in the job recruiting process coming to Chapman, so the Accounting Society events were key for me in learning and meeting recruiters.” During her junior year, Maggie felt like her participation gave her a lot of direction and helped her feel confident as she went through the job search process.

She has also participated in a few political clubs on campus, which she says gave her “the chance to meet people outside my major and connect with people who I have common interests with. It’s also allowed me to go to all different kinds of events, have some writing pieces published, and be involved in a lot of good conversations and debates.”

Advice for First-Year Students

Maggie’s advice to first-year students is to look for ways to get involved and take advantage of all the resources available. “Depending on what your goals are, there are a TON of ways to take advantage of what Chapman has to offer, whether that’s getting involved in a club, or using the career and professional resources. I was able to learn so much even during my shorter time here and set myself up for success after graduation.” And it’s true! There is a lot to take advantage of at Chapman and within the Argyros School. As Maggie says: “You just have to make sure you’re getting plugged in and connecting with the people that are here to help you.”

Additionally, Maggie says to “not be shy and try to make friends, whether it’s with your roommates or people in your classes!” She led on that this is something she was a little slow to do, and if she could give advice, it would be to “introduce yourself to whoever you can and get involved in anything that seems interesting, even if you just go to one club meeting to check it out. Sometimes finding your place requires a little bit of trial and error, but you never know where you’ll find that you fit in, or who you’ll meet there.”

Maggie’s Support System

“My family is a huge form of support to me, so even though I still have them, moving away and coming to a new place meant that I needed to form a support system here as well,” said Maggie. “Something that helped me right away was becoming friends with some of my roommates and having people to hang out and go do things with.”

Maggie said that someone who has been a big part of her Chapman experience is Lauren Ledesma. She went on to say “We’re both accounting majors and transfer students, so we’ve taken a LOT of the same classes…During those times, what started as having someone to sit next to in class pretty quickly became a real friendship.” This is one of the many reasons that Maggie’s advice to incoming freshmen (and transfer students) is to not be shy and make new friends because you never know if the person sitting next to you in class could end up being a lifelong friend.

There are two Argyros professors that have made a significant impact on Maggie’s Chapman experience, too. They are Professor Lacy Willis and Professor Hank Adler.
Professor Willis’ accounting classes are extremely challenging, but she says that it is “the way that she teaches the material and commitment that she has to her students that is very helpful in working through the class.” Stalnecker also said that “Professor Willis is always available to answer questions and give input and advice, whether it’s about class, job advice, or anything else.”

Maggie says that “Professor Adler’s tax classes have also been challenging, but the amount of experience he has that he shares through stories and examples makes the material easier to grasp and understand how it applies to the real world.” Like Professor Willis, Maggie says that “he’s always open to answering questions and providing advice and feedback, even if it’s outside his office hours or if you’re just stopping by his office.”

The six combined classes that Maggie has taken from these professors have been difficult, but she says that ultimately the way they teach and the dedication they have to their students have been extremely impactful, and their influence has helped her figure out which direction to take in this career field.


Maggie’s plans for the summer after graduation are to hang out with family and friends, work, and take a few road trips to places like Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon that she hasn’t been able to visit before. She’ll also be spending a lot of time studying for the CPA exam and preparing to start working full-time. Come Fall 2023, she will be starting work for Baker Tilly as an Audit Associate in San Diego. Congratulations, Maggie! We’re so excited to see where the future takes you!