Academics > Successful Graduates

Successful Graduates

Over a third of our math majors go on immediately to graduate school, and roughly another third earn secondary teaching certificates and proceed immediately to teaching jobs. The remaining third enter a variety of careers spread widely across business and industry. Our Mathematics and Computer Science majors have such attractive choices for immediate employment that relatively few enter graduate study. The list below gives a few of these possibilities:

  • Corey Large (computer science) is a manager at Investment Advisory Network.
  • Matthew Menzel (mathematics) completed a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Kentucky and has joined the faculty at Marietta College in Ohio as assistant professor of mathematics.
  • Melissa Shepherd (computer science and mathematics) is currently a homemaker.
  • David Feil (mathematics, French, and physics) completed a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Iowa. He is on the faculty at Carroll College in Wisconsinas assistant professor of mathematics.
  • Jamie Pilgrim (computer science and art) is a computer animator whose credits include The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. Jamie is currently the Senior Technical Director for Sony Pictures Image Works.
  • Daniel Pyatt (computer science) is a programmer for Arthur Anderson Technological Services in Sarasota, Florida.
  • Furrukh Fahim (mathematics, computer science and economics) earned a Master's degree from the University of Iowa. He is the President/CEO of Fahim Systems.
  • Jeffrey Pospisil (mathematics) teaches mathematics and coaches basketball at Cedar Valley Christian School.
  • Geci Karuri (computer science) has her master's and is currently the chief research manager at Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Ben Meyer (computer science and physics) is a post-doctoral researcher at Honter College after receiving his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.
  • Jennifer Hunt (mathematics and computer science) is employed as Senior Software Engineer at Rockwell Collins.

Successful Students

Mikaela Cashman

Mikaela Cashman graduated in 2014, double majoring in mathematics and computer science, with a minor in physics. She was involved in Math Club and served as president in her senior year. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Mikaela is in graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science with hopes of being a researcher in industry.

"A liberal arts education provides more than a diploma. You leave with a greater respect, understanding and love for the world. At Coe I not only developed relationships with peers from all different backgrounds, but with the faculty and staff as well. I was not just a number, but part of the Coe family." - Mikaela Cashman '14

Matt Burch

Matt Burch graduated in 2011 with a double major in computer science and sociology. After Coe, he began working in St. Louis at The Boeing Company as part of the Information Technology Career Foundation Program (ITCFP) before transitioning into a role as a software engineer. In December of 2013, Matt completed his master's in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis.

"College is a defining time in life, and Coe's liberal arts education broadens your view of the world while allowing you to explore different interests. The investment of the professors in your education and success helps you get the most from your college experience and prepare you for life post graduation" - Matt Burch '11

Thomas Britton

Thomas Britton graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in mathematics and physics. A native of Cedar Rapids, it was not a difficult journey for Thomas to enroll at Coe, as he had already taken a few classes at the college while a senior in high school, and providing the opportunity for him to become well acquainted with the campus and its faculty. Currently he lives in Syracuse, New York with his wife Meghan Britton '09.  He is pursuing a Ph.D. in high energy physics at Syracuse University. More specifically, he is part of the LHCb collaboration at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland.

"Coe is a small place full of opportunity. From the professors who both challenge and support you at every point in your college career to the student organizations that enhance your experience, Coe will make you better, if only you agree to step outside your comfort zone and seek out the opportunities that await." - Thomas Britton '09

Stephanie Beecher graduated from Coe College in 2008 with a double major in mathematics and psychology. She is originally from Dubuque, Iowa. After Coe, Beecher received her master's degree in student development in post-secondary education from the University of Iowa and was fortunate enough to make the transition from graduate student for Health Iowa (the health promotions branch of student health) to a full-time health educator.

"I am grateful for my education at Coe. If it weren’t for the excellent education and personal attention from staff and faculty, I really don’t think I would be in a job that I absolutely love." - Stephanie Beecher '08

Samuel Hegland

Samuel Hegland graduated in 2008 with majors in mathematics and physics, and a minor in computer science. After college he married Hayley (Bright) Hegland, also a 2008 Coe graduate. A native of Cedar Rapids, Samuel remained in the city following graduation and started working for Transamerica as an actuary. In August of 2013, he became a fully credentialed actuary with the designation FSA (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries). In the same month, he relocated to Bermuda for a two- to three-year work position, where he and his family currently reside. Once his time in that position is complete, he plans on returning to Transamerica in Cedar Rapids.

"People from small, private colleges are not normally prepared for the actuarial career field, but the education I received at Coe was much better than ‘normal.’ The attention provided by my professors, and the varying perspectives that they offered, really taught me to approach problems in a unique way. I no longer try to find THE solution. Instead, I try to find an array of solutions because my liberal arts background taught me that it's very rare to be 100% correct in the real world. The professors at Coe took the sciences and made them appear as an art form and not just a rigid set of rules. That difference has meant the world to me." - Samuel Hegland ’08

Jill Steffen graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in mathematics, minoring in religion, and earning a certificate to teach secondary education. She moved to Grinnell, Iowa, following graduation and teaches math at Grinnell High School.

“I loved my entire experience at Coe!  I was involved in several campus organizations and off-campus internships that helped in networking and relating to a variety of people. My professors in the math department made learning about math fun and challenging, and I was able to use my experience with them to bring those things into my own classroom. And I can't thank Career Services enough for all the help preparing me to enter the workforce.” - Jill Steffen '08

Sara Campbell

Sara Campbell, originally from Parker, Colorado, graduated from Coe College in 2005 with majors in physics, mathematics and computer science. Her physics research experiences at Coe encouraged her pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder. After defending her thesis on the nanomechanical properties of mineralized tissues, Sara accepted a post-doctoral position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Sara currently works on the development of electro-surgical devices at Covidien in Boulder, Colorado.

"Coe College provides an experience of a lifetime. Students are given the opportunity to expand their horizons and grow both personally and professionally. My numerous experiences at Coe shaped my career path while developing technical and leadership capabilities that have helped me to succeed." - Sara Campbell '05

Eric Hemesath was born and raised in Dubuque, IA, he graduated from Coe in 2005 with majors in Physics and Computer Science and a Spanish minor. After Coe, he was fortunate to be accepted to a number of graduate programs and eventually decided to go to Northwestern University in Illinois to pursue my Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering. During graduate school, he was able to conduct collaborative research at UC-Berkeley and the University of Birmingham in England. Hemesath successfully defended his thesis in July of 2010 on the atomic structure of semiconductor nanomaterials. In the fall of 2010, he moved to Portland, OR, to begin his career as a Senior Process Engineer at Intel Corporation where he is working on the development of next-generation computer processors.

“Coe College provides an excellent environment for young people to develop both personally and professionally. I have always been amazed by how much the administrators, professors, and staff truly care about the well-being of the students. Bring ambition, passion, and hard work to the table, and Coe can provide great opportunities." - Eric Hemesath '05

  • Joe White (computer science) was a member of the computer programming teams that qualified for the finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest in 1995 and 1996. Joe completed an honors project and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. When not at his computer, Joe could be found playing viola in the college orchestra.Joe is currently a Senior Programmer at Profit Star.
  • Aspen Large (computer science and business administration) was editor of the Acorn, Coe's yearbook, and a writer for the student newspaper, The Cosmos. Aspen was a member of the conference champion women's soccer team and earned academic all-conference honors. Aspen is currently a portfolio analyst for the fixed income department at Janus Capitol.
  • Susan Bye (mathematics and French) was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She served as a tutor for the Educational Support Program and was involved in jazz band and Physics Club among many other activities. Susan completed an internship at Aegon in the Corporate Actuarial Department and received her M.A. from the University of Iowa. She is currently a programmer at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
  • Ryan Kolpin (mathematics and computer science) was very active in athletics while at Coe. He was all-conference in track and football and was named Sports Illustrated's Small College Football Player of the Week. Ryan worked in the Coe Office of Admission on a work study grant and was also President of Tau Kappa Epsilon.Ryan later received his JD from Creighton University. He is currently the Cherokee County attourney from Kolpin Law Firm.
  • Beth Hayden (mathematics) has been active in theater productions both on campus and with the Cedar Rapids Community Theater. She works in Coe's Writing Center and as Departmental Assistant for the math department. During the spring of her Junior year Beth studied abroad in our London/Florence program, and then spent the summer in an REU program at Rutgers University. She will enter the Ph.D. program in at the University of Kentucky. She is currently a teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky.