As an attorney studying social work, Kara Guminski, AM '13, says she was attracted to situations that appealed to both her logical and emotional sides. "I wanted to know first-hand how what is happening in courtrooms is affecting real people in real situations. I chose the Clinical Practice Concentration for just that reason. I thought those skills would be complementary to my legal skills. In fact, my advocacy skills came in handy at my field placements with Rape Victim Advocates and Inspiration Corporation. Advocating for people who need services is similar to advocating for a plaintiff," Guminksi says.
But she goes on to say that she her electives were administrative courses because policy is a passion. "My friends say that for as long as they have known me, I've spoken fervently about how things need to change. I'm particularly interested in women's rights—which are really human rights—and human trafficking."
Guminski credits her parents with encouraging her to "educate [her] whole person." Attending high school in Northville, Michigan, Guminski says she was a "Jill-of-all-trades," with activities that ranged from varsity sports—swimming and golf—to Science Olympiad and choir. She then studied Organizational Development and German Language and Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law she taught herself Illinois law, passed the bar examination, and moved to Chicago. She still believes in educating her whole person; she loves the cinema, enjoys international travel, and owns stacks of books.
"When I was considering going back to graduate school, I realized that the friends I admired the most had a degree from one of the top three social work schools. From the moment I arrived at orientation I felt that I had found "my" people. My cohort has since grown very close. I love that SSA attracts intelligent, eager folks who really care about social justice," Guminski says.
To her surprise, Guminski says Washington Week was a highlight of her time at SSA. "Three of my best friends from my cohort talked me into going with them. I figured that as a clinical student it wouldn't really apply; but my eyes were really opened to what I can do with my SSA degree. All the alumni I met had interesting careers and were really cordial, and I'm keeping in touch with some of them," Guminski says.
Upon the recommendation of an alumna who works for the Center for Health and Gender Equity, Guminski applied to attend the Healthy Future Action Summit—and she was accepted. "I'm still so excited about what happened during Washington Week. If I could, I'd pack up and move to DC tomorrow. And then I got to go there again to attend the summit. Coming to SSA was the best thing I've ever done for myself," Guminski says.