Successful Graduates

Coe political science graduates have gone on to successful careers in government, law, business, journalism, teaching, and in many other fields of private and public service. Here are some examples of what Coe political science graduates are doing now:

Reid Galbraith

Reid Galbraith graduated from Coe in 2013, double majoring in political science and economics. Reid is currently living in Boulder, Colorado and entering his second year of law school at the University of Colorado. He is also working in the Appeals and Extraditions Division at the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

"Coe's professors and coaches have a unique dedication to ensuring that students are able to pursue a wide variety of interests, while pushing students to achieve all that they are capable of in their respective endeavors. It's a testament to their commitment and the culture of Coe generally that students are consistently able to thrive in graduate and professional programs across the country." - Reid Galbraith '13

Shayla James

Shayla James graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and Bachelor of Arts in political science. She is from Kansas City, but now resides in San Diego, where she attends UC-San Diego as a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in music. She is in the integrative studies program which promotes engagement with contemporary music activity and integrates multiple methodologies, experiences and resources. Her research interests are in critical studies and ethnomusicology. She is also a teaching assistant for world music and popular music undergraduate courses.

"The encouragement, support and knowledge I received at Coe from teachers, staff and peers aided me in becoming a highly motivated and conscientious student. Through teaching and tutoring opportunities at Coe, I gained the experience and confidence to be a successful teaching assistant in my first year of graduate school. Furthermore, I credit Coe's curriculum for giving me the ability to work independently, write papers and discuss concepts with other peers, as these are assets in graduate study." - Shayla James '13

Molly Adams

Molly Adams graduated in 2012 with a major in political science and a minor in history. A native of Lake Bluff, Illinois, she served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar working in areas of education and small business development. Currently, Molly is enrolled in graduate school at Columbia University in New York City pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree in international development.

"Coe College was a wonderful place for me to cultivate a deep passion for learning. The liberal arts curriculum along with supportive professors led me to participate in activities that I may not have otherwise." - Molly Adams '12

Katie Blanchard

Katie Blanchard graduated in 2010, double majoring in theatre and political science. Originally from Albuquerque, N.M., Katie participated in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program in Belgrade, Serbia.

“My time at Coe College not only helped to shape my future, but led me to the position I am in today.  My well-rounded liberal arts education, and majoring in two diverse disciplines, clearly helped me to develop broad perspectives and be comfortable living and working in a different culture.” – Katie Blanchard '10

Nick Mckenzie

Nick McKenzie graduated in 2010, double majoring in economics and political science with a minor in Spanish. He was involved in nearly every aspect of college life that Coe had to offer by studying abroad in Spain, playing collegiate baseball, and serving as treasurer of the student body. Currently, Nick resides in Kansas City and works for Cerner, a healthcare information technology company. He operates as an Integration Architect, consulting with hospitals and health systems across the country on software implementation, design and regulatory practices.

“Coe gave me the opportunity to become an integral part of the life of the campus. From the student senate to the athletics department to the coursework, I gained the confidence and skills to tackle the world after college.  Coe left its mark on me, and I hope to do the same in my career.” – Nick McKenzie ’10

Mitchell Lincoln

Mitchell Lincoln graduated from Coe in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science with a minor in economics. While at Coe, Mitchell took part in the Washington Term in 2007. Originally from DeWitt, Iowa, Mitchell spent his first year after graduation volunteering at a center for street children in Kigali, Rwanda. He has since moved to New York City to start a career working with underserved youth in the non-profit sector. He currently manages a program that empowers students using technology.

“Coe's political science curriculum includes a great balance of classroom theory and practical experience.  Whether studying local government and attending city council meetings or spending a semester in Coe's Washington term rubbing elbows with Senators and presidential candidates, the curriculum gives you the intellectual and practical skills you need to succeed after graduation.”  - Mitchell Lincoln ‘09

Caitlin Staebell

Caitlin Staebell graduated in 2009, with a major in political science and a minor in theatre. Originally from Glenwood, Iowa, she has been fortunate to call many places home. Caitlin had the opportunity to work for Senator Tom Harkin in Washington, D.C., and most recently lived in London where she earned her MFA in acting from East 15 Acting School. She is the co-founder of Glass Moon Theatre Company, through which the group took its devised play, "The Sacred Obscene," to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. Additionally, she is a co-creator with Infinite Experience Arts Company, and has shared "Welcome Home," an immersive theatre experience, in London and Leicestershire, England, and Black Rock City, Nevada.

"Coe embraced my restless spirit and has served as the foundation for my lifelong pursuits.  It was the place that gave life to my driving mantra, anything is possible. I was able to dive into the diverse opportunities provided by Coe, from interning in Washington, D.C., to studying theatre in London. With the guidance and understanding of my professors, I began the development of my acting craft, something I continue to strive for today. Coe unlocked my love of experience, which makes me excited for what is next to come." -  Caitlin Staebell '09

Jamie Richards

Jamie M. Richards graduated in 2007, double majoring in political science and Asian studies. Originally from Idaho Springs, Coloado, in 2005 she participated in the foreign exchange program at Nagoya Gakuin University in Japan and was heavily involved with the International Club, the Mock Trial Team, and the Political Science Club. After serving as an intern with Congressman Christopher Shays and Colorado State Senator Dan Gibbs, in 2009 Jamie found her way to the National Park Service. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Denver with a master's of applied science degree in environmental policy and management. She served as a park ranger at Joshua Tree National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park for six years and is currently a public affairs officer for Yosemite National Park.

"My liberal arts education at Coe provided me with the tools necessary to write well, evaluate a situation, think critically, and craft an effective argument. These skills have served me well working with members of Congress, the general public, and in grad school. The professors of the Political Science Department challenged me, encouraged me, mentored me, and provided me with opportunities to push myself. Being part of the global community that is the International Club has also been one of the most influential aspects of my life. My Coe experiences, both in and out of the classroom, have allowed me to embrace new experiences, languages, and perspectives. I carry the lessons I learned at Coe each and every day as I protect and preserve some of America's natural and cultural treasures." - Jamie M. Richards '07

Audrey Flemming

Audrey Flemming graduated in 2006, double majoring in political science and Spanish, with a minor in history. Originally from Neenah, Wis., Audrey now attends the University of Florida where she is a doctoral student of political science. Currently, Audrey is working on field research for her dissertation that focuses on the relationship between art and politics.

“My liberal arts education at Coe has been integral to the graduate school education I am receiving now, and I am confident will continue to be so in my lifelong education. The opportunities I had outside of the classroom at Coe further expanded my knowledge and altered how I perceived the ideas and circumstances I encountered. In addition to the courses and the opportunities afforded by Coe, the college also had professors who went out of their way not only to assist me in my education at Coe, but continue to do so even now, as they offer me advice to help me navigate my way through graduate school.” - Audrey Flemming ‘06

Kayla Goodfellow

Kayla Goodfellow graduated in 2005, double majoring in political science and writing, with a minor in German. Kayla then attended Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis, earning her Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 2008. She practiced law with the civil litigation firm of Threlkeld and Associates until 2013. Kayla currently handles professional liability insurance claims for Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. During her time at Coe, she worked as departmental assistant for the political science department. Kayla also completed an internship with the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. and studied in Landau, Germany for one year.

“Coe is a place where students like me learn to read, think and write. There are no skills more fundamental to a successful career. The political science faculty truly get to know students and help move them forward on their academic paths. Plus, they are really cool.” - Kayla Goodfellow ‘05

Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher, originally from Van Horne, Iowa, graduated in 2004 with a double major in political science and business administration. Following graduation, Jason attended graduate school at the University of Arkansas and received his master’s degree in public service in December of 2007. Currently Jason resides in Mobile, Ala., and is the director of marketing and business development for a non-profit fundraising division of RuffaloCODY.

"Coe shaped me intellectually and personally in ways I can absolutely see in my life today. I left campus prepared for a challenging graduate school program and immediately used my education in my work. Coe's outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and liberal arts curriculum were precisely what I needed to have a well-rounded understanding of the world while also squarely meeting the challenges faced in everyday life. I use my Coe education every day and always think fondly of my time on campus. I'm proud to be a member of the Coe community and never miss an opportunity to tell people where I went to college." - Jason Fisher ‘04

Mary Schlaphoff

Mary Schlaphoff graduated in 2004, double majoring in political science and German. After graduation Mary spent four years working for the federal government in foreign affairs in Washington, D.C. Currently, Mary is earning her MBA at the University of Washington Foster School of Business in Seattle.

“Two of the best things about my academic experience at Coe were the emphasis on writing, and the interest that professors took in their students. The writing skills I developed, as well as the mentorship and guidance that I received from great teachers, contributed to success in my career and in graduate school.”  - Mary Schlaphoff ‘04


  • Samer Abbas

    Samer Abbas

    Samer Abbas (political science and teacher education) attended Washington Term fall 1995, and presented papers at the Midwest Political Science Students Convention in both 1996 and 1997. He is now working with the General Accounting Office and conducting program evaluations for Congress.
  • Katie Blanchard (political science and theatre arts) was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Program grant in the spring of 2010. The grant will allow her to teach government classes in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Nicole Brock (political science, Spanish) became an AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer upon graduating from Coe. She is now a Program Associate for Indiana Youth Institute in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Charles Fromm (political science and English) J.D., New York University Law School, Attorney Advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Brandon Kendhammer (French and political science) spent a semester studying in Cameroon which led to a successful honors thesis. He also presented papers at the Midwest Political Science Students Convention in 2002 and 2003. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, and is now Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio University.
  • Stephanie Kroger (political science and English) worked for a national women's political group while participating in the Washington Term program. As a student at Columbia University Law School, she worked for a summer in India.She is currently an attorney at Andrews Kurth LLP.
  • Claire Rasmussen (political science and philosophy) spent her junior year studying at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington, and is now Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Delaware.
  • Janet Box Steffensmeier (political science and mathematics) received a graduate fellowship at the University of Texas for her honors thesis on federal welfare programs. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas and currently holds the Vernal Riffe Endowed Chair in political science at Ohio State University.
  • Lisa Thomas (history and political science) is Director of Public Safety for the city of North Olmstead, Ohio. She received a Ph.D. in urban studies at Cleveland State University.
  • Vaughn Vance (political science) graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and also earned a M.A. in public administration. While participating in the Washington Term at Coe, he was located in the White House. He was a Truman Scholar and also worked for the district offices of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Vaughn is now the Director of Government Relations at WEA Trust.
  • Sarah Whitaker (political science and classical studies) was one of four floor assistants who worked for Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole to coordinate the legislative work of the senators in the majority in Washington D.C. Sarah worked in Senator Dole's office as an intern during Washington Term after having been active in his 1988 Presidential Campaign in Iowa. She is now Senior Director of Government Relations for the National Retailers Federation.