Office of Alumni Engagement

Samantha Kulhanek

I graduated from Alma in:

2017

I studied:

Foreign Service and Spanish

My hometown when I was a student was:

Shelby Twp., MI

I currently live in:

Royal Oak, MI

What is your current career/professional role?

I graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in May 2020 and am currently in my first year of a two-year judicial clerkship with the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge at the Department of Justice.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is:

Traveling! From seeing the Taj Mahal in India with the Model U.N. team, to studying abroad in Spain, to traveling around Europe for spring term, I was fortunate to have many opportunities to travel during my time at Alma.

Statement about how Alma impacted your personal and professional life since graduating.

My time at Alma helped me find my passion for immigration law, and showed me how to turn that passion into a career. The experiences I had during those four years, as well as the relationships I built, have been instrumental in my professional life. My professors supported me and helped me get into my dream law school, and I was fortunate to have a fellow Alma alumna at the law school who became a friend and mentor to me. On a personal note, I am lucky to still have so many close friends from my time at Alma, and my fiancé is a fellow alum as well!

What current service and/or philanthropy activity are you involved in?

During law school I helped organize legal clinics where community members could receive free assistance with their naturalization applications. Now that I’ve graduated, I hope to continue finding different ways to serve my community.

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Whether you’re heading to grad school or entering the workforce, leaving college can be a difficult transition, so stay in touch with your Alma community and take every opportunity you can get. You never know when a fellow alum or professor might be able to provide guidance or help you make a connection.

What would you say to a prospective student and their family who was trying to decide if Alma was right for them?

I would say that Alma is a great place to pursue what you are passionate about. Both inside and outside the classroom, there are so many opportunities available to help you pursue your interests, you just have to be willing to do the work!

Why Alma still matters to me.

Alma helped get me to where I am today, so I am always happy to support current students in any way that I can.