Successful Graduates

Kristine Gift

Kristine Gift graduated in 2013 with a double major in history and religion. She grew up in Cedar Rapids, and she is currently living in Princeton, New Jersey. Kristine is a master's student at Princeton University in the Department of Near Eastern Studies where she studies 20th century Middle Eastern history, specializing in women's history and mandate-era Syria and Iraq. She also works part time in the rare books and special collections division of the Princeton University Library.

"My experience at Coe was one of mentorship, and this was key to my success after graduation. The good advice and unwavering support given to me by professors in the history and religion departments helped me develop strong research and writing skills, and they motivated me to apply ambitiously to graduate programs across the country. I am constantly using the skills I honed at Coe in my graduate studies at Princeton, and professors at Coe continue to be both friends and mentors." - Kristine Gift '13

Hannah Werner

Hannah Werner graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in history and English. After graduation, Hannah moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to pursue a Master of Arts degree in history at Marquette University, which she earned in May 2014. Beginning in August 2014, Hannah will begin a Ph.D. program in history at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"During my four years at Coe, I was privileged enough to develop invaluable relationships with my professors, who exemplified dedication and were crucial sources of encouragement. They fostered my writing and critical thinking skills both inside and out of the classroom, and always gave me the extra time and advice I needed to succeed at Coe and move on to the next level in academia. Without going to a small liberal arts college, I most likely would not have received the amount or quality of attention that I did. Any student who wants to flourish in the academic community should absolutely consider Coe for its talented and caring faculty and the strong support they will undoubtedly receive." - Hannah Werner '12

Brianna Wright

Brianna Wright graduated from Coe in 2010, majoring in history with a minor in religion. Brianna earned her master's degree in museum studies from The George Washington University in 2012. After working as a museum consultant in Washington D.C., she returned to Cedar Rapids in 2013 as the curator of the African American Museum of Iowa.

"Coe provided me the foundation to be successful after I graduated, both professionally and personally.  Professors were always supportive, while challenging me to move out of my comfort zone and develop the skills I needed to feel confident moving on to the next stage of my life.  The Coe experience will stay with me: in the friends that became family, the knowledge I gained in and out of the classroom, and the memories that I will always have." - Brianna Wright '10

Holly Corkery

Holly (Grieder) Corkery graduated in 2009, double majoring in history and economics. She went on to study law at the University of Iowa and graduated in 2012. She has practiced at Lynch Dallas, P.C. in Cedar Rapids since 2012, where she maintains a general litigation practice.

"The faculty at Coe are really exceptional. Not only are they experts in their fields, but they truly care about Coe students and take the time to get to know them. My professors wanted to see me grow and succeed both professionally and personally. Specific to my legal career, my academic experience at Coe - especially in the History Department - helped refine my critical reading and writing skills. Those skills were essential to my success in law school and I continue to utilize them each day. Coe is a special place and I am always proud to call myself a Coe graduate." - Holly (Grieder) Corkery '09

Megan Jack graduated in 2009, majoring in secondary education and history, and obtained teaching endorsements in psychology and political science.  Currently, she is teaching social studies at West Delaware High School in Manchester, Iowa.  In the future, Megan plans to attend graduate school to study educational leadership.

“My liberal arts education from Coe has been invaluable in my postgraduate endeavors. The small, personalized atmosphere allowed me the opportunity to work with outstanding professors one-on-one, as well as the flexibility to mold my major to best suit my career aspirations. The Coe College environment is one that encourages success, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of it.” - Megan Jack ’09

Marshall Smith

Marshall Smith graduated in 2006, triple majoring in history, religion and Asian studies. He is originally from Glen Ellyn, Ill. After graduation, Marshall spent time teaching English in Japan and studying at Cornell University. Marshall is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Japanese history and Japanese language/literature.

“As a graduate student, I could not ask for a better undergraduate experience. At Coe, I was able to develop close relationships with all of my professors, which undoubtedly gave me an advantage from the outset of my academic career. On top of the personal attention I received, the coursework was rigorous and pushed me to achieve. I came out of Coe with graduate-school level reading and writing abilities.  Undoubtedly, Coe prepared me for graduate school, but it also prepared me for life in the 'real world,' as I was able to navigate the working world in a foreign country, not an easy task." - Marshall Smith '06

Caleb Smith

Photo © Nick Vedros 2010

Caleb Smith graduated in 2004, majoring in history with a minor in religion.  Upon graduation, Caleb attended the Stockholm School of Photography and graduated in 2010. Caleb now works as a fashion and fine-art photographer in Stockholm.

“My Coe experience had a tremendous impact on where I am today.  Through Coe's liberal arts philosophy I was exposed to many different areas of study, such as theater and the fine arts, which eventually led me to pursuing a career as a photographer.  Above all it was the personal relations I formed with my professors that taught me learning and success isn't limited to a single subject, but rather how you approach each challenge." - Caleb Smith '04