Meet a Shocker: Samuel Paunetto


Samuel Paunetto spent 18 years as an ordained minister and theologian before deciding to earn a Master’s in social work. He plans to pursue a career in public policy advocacy.

Samuel is one of more than 3,500 students eligible for spring/summer 2021 graduation. Learn more about his time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad. 

What degree did you earn?

Master's in social work (MSW)

What led you to Wichita State to begin? 

After 18 years as an ordained minister and theologian, I decided to transition into a second career. My Master’s in social work led to a career that was close to my vocation as an active advocate for social change and liberation. 

How are you feeling leading up to graduation? 

Very satisfied by the support and guidance offered by the program and my professors. Excited about moving into a career in public policy advocacy. 

What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State? 

Understanding the importance of multi-level, multi-system thinking for social work practitioners and the ethical implications that come with it. 

What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it? 

Reading and writing in a language that is not my own (English). I overcame this challenge by expanding my reading hours and acquiring additional vocabulary.  

What are your plans after graduation? 

I plan to develop a career in public policy advocacy. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?  

Not being able to be on the campus really affected my learning curve. The face-to-face interactions have always been my preferred method of learning. 

What advice would you give other Wichita State students? 

To work hard, do not procrastinate and stay ahead of your workload.