Academics > Successful Graduates

Successful Graduates

French

Heidi Heaton

Heidi Heaton graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in French and minoring in secondary education. She was raised in Batavia, Illinois. Upon graduation from Coe, she moved to Columbus, Ohio, where her family also recently moved. In the fall of 2014, Heidi began teaching high school French at Dublin Scioto High School. She is now teaching five different levels of French, four of which are at the international baccalaureate level.

"I am incredibly grateful for the well-rounded education I received from Coe College. As a student within the Education Department, I learned to teach not only from our engaging classroom conversations, but also the hands-on experience I received from numerous opportunities to work and to learn alongside students of all ages. I began observing in classrooms and teaching from the moment I enrolled in my first education course, educational foundations. My professors at Coe, both in and outside of the Education Department, taught me that to teach also means to be a lifelong learner in every moment of each day. My teachers at Coe taught me the importance of engaging with students and understanding their passions in and outside of the classroom. However, it was not only my experiences in the Education Department, but my work in the Coe College Writing Center, the three years I served as a College Adjustment Peer Leader, the opportunity to work for the Upward Bound program on campus, and the quality of conversations and community that thrives on Coe’s campus that truly encouraged my enthusiasm and passion to teach. I look forward to making an impact on the lives of students the same way my education has profoundly influence my own values and future aspirations." - Heidi Heaton '14

Aminata Soumah Aminata Soumah graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors of Arts degree, triple majoring in public accounting, business administration and French. Shortly after graduation, she started working for HNI, the parent company of Hon and the second largest furniture manufacturer in North America. Aminata currently lives in Des Moines, working as a staff accountant for American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. She's also working on her master's degree, which she hopes to complete in 2015.

Christa Burdick spent a semester studying in Morocco and later completed an Honors' Thesis on the fragmentation of linguistic and cultural identity in postcolonial Morocco. She graduated with honors and received the department's award for the best Foreign Language Student. Since then, she has spent a year teaching in France, has applied to be part of the Americorps Program for a year, and plans on pursuing her Ph.D in cross-cultural psychology and doing research in Alsace.

Krista Geier studied French and music. Krista was in the Coe Honors Program, worked in the Coe Writing Center, and chose to participate in both the Newberry Semester in Chicago and a semester-long program in Caen, France, for her junior semester abroad. Krista currently works in the Children's Memorial Hospital Cochlear Implant Program.

Paul Venhuizen had a double major in French and physics. He was the winner of the Clark Merit Award during his senior year and was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Fraternity, Sachem (a senior male honor society), the International Club, and Student Senate. He worked at the Coe Writing Center and had been a Resident Assistant. Paul spent the spring semester of his junior year studying in Grenoble. He pursued honors work in physics. Paul received this a M.A. from Washington University and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in French Literature.

German

Martha Hughes

Martha Hughes graduated cum laude in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and German. During the 2012-13 school year, she taught English at a German gymnasium through the Fulbright Program. After returning home to New Mexico, she served as a community and global citizenship intern at Albuquerque Academy for the fall semester of 2013. She is currently back in Germany, pursing a Master of Arts degree in intercultural education, migration, and multilingualism at the University of Education in Karlsruhe. Alongside her studies, Martha gives private English lessons.

"Coe College gave me the flexibility to fully explore my interests, as well as foster new ones. Through its liberal arts-based emphasis on education, I became a well-rounded reader and a critical thinker. What I cherish most about Coe, aside from the lifelong friends I made there, are the professors who take the time to get to know their students personally. They spend considerable amounts of energy to support and encourage students in both academics and extracurriculars." - Martha Hughes '12

Danielle Maybee

Danielle Maybee graduated from Coe in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in German and religion. Danielle studied abroad in Landau, Germany, during her junior year and was so fascinated with the culture and lifestyle that she decided to move back after graduation. She is currently living in Landau and working on a Master of Arts degree in translation at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germersheim.

"I didn’t just receive a great education at Coe, but also became a part of a community. This friendly and familiar atmosphere provided me with a wonderful environment in which to learn and grow. My experiences at Coe, especially the personal interaction with my professors, encouraged me to question, discover and strive beyond what I thought was possible." - Danielle Maybee '12

When Chris Walk was a first-year student in German Composition and Conversation, his future plans were very open. When asked why he was studying German, Chris commented, "Learning a foreign language requires discipline, yet I believe it has brought out a wonderful part of my personality that I never knew I had before studying the German language. Undertaking a foreign language has made me more complete as a person." Chris is currently a Resident Counselor at American International School.

Spanish

Lindsey Schmidt

Lindsey Schmidt graduated from Coe in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in psychology and Spanish. She came to Coe from Gurnee, Illinois, just north of Chicago. In her time at Coe, she conducted research with Dr. Mike Baker and Dr. Nukhet Yarbrough. She completed an independent study and May term with Dr. Monica Fuertes-Abroix. She is currently living in Iowa City and attending the University of Iowa for graduate school, enrolled in the master's program in educational measurement and statistics. She will eventually earn a Ph.D. in the same program and hopes to become a professor in the future.

"At Coe, I developed close relationships with my professors, faculty members and fellow Kohawks. The entire Coe community is there for you. My professors had a huge impact on my time at Coe. It's because of them I hope to become a professor. They gave me all the tools I needed, and more, to be prepared for graduate school. They continue to support me and give me advice even though I am no longer on campus. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without their investment in my education. I know I will continue on to do great things because of education and experience at Coe. It is true - 'Once a Kohawk, Always a Kohawk.'" - Lindsey Schmidt '14

Alvon Reed

Alvon Reed graduated from Coe College in 2003 with a degree in Spanish. After graduating, he embarked on a career as a professional dancer that has spanned more than a decade. In his career, he was fortunate to work in television, film, stage and print. Alvon recently took a break from performing to attend the University of Iowa where he is an MFA candidate in dance with an emphasis in choreography.

"Coe College has played a significant role in my professional and personal development. Having built strong relationships with members of the faculty and staff, I constantly felt I was in an environment that was encouraging and demanded nothing short of excellence. I am very proud to be a Kohawk!"- Alvon Reed '03


Rachel Brandhorst worked on a triple major in business administration, Spanish, and an interdisciplinary concentration in international business. Rachel was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Fraternity, Alpha Omicron Pi, a member of the College Republicans, the Political Science Club, Student Senate, and was an ESP tutor. She had also been a member of the Armstrong-Douglas Board of Directors, a cheerleader for football, a Student Assistant and was the mascot, Charlie Kohawk, for a basketball season. She's currently the Assistant Vice President and Loan Officer at Farmers State Bank.
Garrison Buxton was a double major in Spanish and business administration, with a minor in economics. Garrison spent his junior year in Barcelona, Spain, studying at the University of Barcelona. While on Coe's campus, Garrison had been a Resident Assistant, was elected to Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and was a member of Sachem. He had also been involved in the International Club, was a member of the Residence Hall Board of Directors, and the Outdoor Activities Group.Garrison received his B.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma and is currently a visiting professor at Pratt University.
Matthew Giesey majored in Spanish studies and business. An outstanding music student, Matthew played the saxophone in the Coe College Jazz Ensemble. He has lived in Argentina and Costa Rica. Matthew is currently employed at Ferguson Enterprises as an Operations Manager.
Hilary Sloan majored in Spanish and sociology at Coe. Hilary studied in Costa Rica in order to increase her fluency and understanding of Spanish. She was captain of the women's soccer team and co-moderator of Equalitarians Supporting the Advancement of Women. Hilary also ran track, was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Student Alumni Association, and C-Club, as well as working in the Writing Center and as a Resident Assistant. Hilary received her M.B.A. at Texas A&M University and is now a Senior Consultant at Bearing Point.
Emily Vrabac double majored in Spanish and economics. During her tenure at Coe, she was Student Body Treasurer and Chair of the Senate Budget and Finance Committee and the Assistant News Editor for the Cosmos. Emily also worked at the Coe Writing Center, was President of the Residence Hall Board of Directors, a tutor for Spanish and economics, a member of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and a member of the Flunk Day Committee. Emily received her M.A. from the University of Kansas and is currently working at home.