Academics > Successful Graduates

Successful Graduates

A degree in psychology from Coe prepares you for success in the "real world." Many of our students continue their education at the graduate level: many others start a career immediately upon graduation. The knowledge you acquire while studying psychology will help you understand the way people behave and think, useful skills for almost any job. Our graduates pursue careers not only in psychology-related fields, but also in areas with more indirect connections to the science. The lists below represent a just a sample of our graduates' current activities.

Successful Students

Katelyn McAdam graduated from Coe College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Katelyn is now living in Iowa City and studying in the master’s in school counseling program at the University of Iowa.

"After transferring to Coe my freshman year, I instantly knew I had found my home. The smaller campus and class sizes were exactly what I had been looking for. The professors in the Psychology Department took me under their wings, and I not only had a great academic experience, but I grew an infinite amount as a person. I would not trade my three and a half years at Coe for anything - deciding to transfer was one of the best decisions I ever made. I know the excellent education I received at Coe will take me far, and the relationships I formed, with both peers and professors, will last forever." - Katelyn McAdam '13

A native of Chicago, Stefani Wright graduated cum laude from Coe in 2013 with majors in psychology and creative writing. She now lives in San Francisco, where she is studying to receive her MFA in writing at the University of San Francisco. Currently she is an editorial intern for the literary journal ZYZZYVA, and starting this fall she will be going to work on the online journal, Switchback, published through the MFA program at University of San Francisco. Stefani is also in the process of applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to study Linguistics at the University of London for the 2015-2016 school year.

"Something that shaped me that I didn't realize until after I graduated Coe was that I am not limited to focusing my career solely what my majors were. One of the perks of going to a liberal arts college is that I could take classes all across the board and as well as those in my field. Broadening my knowledge across the board deepens my understanding on my own field: I can discuss the psychology of words and the musicality of language and sound and things like that. Also the support system of people I met at Coe is everlasting! The people I met here truly are heartfelt and want you to succeed." - Stefani Wright '13

Grady Brown graduated from Coe in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in psychology and political science. After graduation, Grady stayed at Coe as an AmeriCorps VISTA, working in the Department of Service Learning and Campus Engagement. Grady is currently back in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, working at the state's education agency, focusing on low income schools with low academic achievement. In August 2014, he will head to the University of Virginia to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and, hopefully continue on for a Ph.D. in education policy.

"One of the great things about Coe is the small class sizes. This allows students to form a special relationship with the faculty and staff. The Psychology Department, in particular, has a great group of professors that truly care about students. How many schools can say that their faculty members invite students over to their house for a celebratory dinner? There is also a great research component integrated into the psychology curriculum. I was able to work closely with Dr. Yarbrough on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking during my senior year. This experience has paid dividends and will continue to do so as I head off to graduate school." - Kevin Grady Brown '12

Adnan Furniturewalla graduated from Coe in 2012, double majoring in psychology and business administration. While at Coe, he was appointed as the TA for Nukhet Yarborough's memory and cognition class in the spring of 2012 and successfully completed two semesters of research with the Sara Farell and Wendy Dunn in the Psychology Department. He was also inducted into the Psi Chi and Sigma Beta Delta honor societies. Adnan currently works as the Head of Business Development for LJ Hooker India, which is headquartered in Bangalore, India. He is the youngest person in the organization to be promoted to senior management position within 18 months of joining.

"Coe College has equipped me with critical life skills that I have carried with me into my adulthood and the workplace. I must credit the Psychology Department for helping me transform from a wide-eyed teen into a mature professional. My professors continue to be my mentors, encouraging me to think outside the box and always ask questions. My four years at Coe have been the most rewarding years of my life, both academically and personally. My diversity was appreciated, respected and nurtured both inside and outside the classroom by my Coe family, most of whom are still an integral part of my support system. Its true when they say 'Once a Kohawk, always a Kohawk!'" - Adnan Furniturewalla '12

Originally from Charles Ciyt, Iowa, Sara Ridder graduated from Coe in 2012 with a major in psychology and a minor in gender studies. Sara currently resides in Golden, Colorado, and recently finished her master's in industrial/organizational psychology from East Carolina University in 2014. After finishing her master's degree, Sara has decided to pursue a career in analytics.

"Without the Psychology Department's influence, I would not have found my passion for I/O psychology. Thankfully, I had knowledgeable professors who advised me about the opportunities an advance degree in I/O psychology could offer and now I am pursing my dream career." - Sara Ridder '12

Danielle Fischbach, originally from Eagle River, Alaska, graduated in 2010 with majors in psychology, english and secondary education. Danielle, currently, is living in Boston and working towards a master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. During the summer of 2012 she traveled to Rwanda to teach English through the arts at a primary school in Nyanza. This inspired the research for her thesis where she is studying the effects of expressive writing on PTSD and depression with Rwandan genocide survivors. She is currently interning at an outpatient mental health center and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies in the future.

"The psychology department at Coe fully supported me in integrating all of my interests into the field of psychology. I happened upon the field of expressive arts therapy during my junior year at Coe and the faculty helped me to design an honors thesis to further my education in that area. I felt fully prepared for graduate school and higher level research because of the education I received. As a result of the faculty's ongoing dedication and support I have been able to move forward in the field of psychology and pursue my passion." - Danielle Fischbach '10

Emily Ingalls graduated in 2010 with a major in psychology. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Emily currently resides in St. Louis, Mo. and is earning her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology at University of Missouri-St. Louis.  In addition to attending classes and participating in research, Emily also teaches an undergraduate psychological statistics laboratory course.

“The Psychology Department gave me a wide breadth of knowledge, and I’m able to communicate effectively with other psychology students outside of my specific discipline.  I found the faculty at Coe and in the Psychology Department to be incredibly helpful in all phases of the application process, from having conversations with me about my future goals, to crafting a successful application.” – Emily Ingalls '10

Megan Esch graduated with honors in 2010, double majoring in psychology and writing. While at Coe she was teaching assistant for Dr. Yarbrough's Memory and Cognition lab course and a member of Tri-Delta sorority. Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, she now lives in Iowa City where she is pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling and rehabilitation at the University of Iowa.

"The professors, students and staff that I met at Coe shaped me into the person that I am today. The professors in the Psychology Department became mentors and friends and I maintain close contact with them even after graduating. Coe College is a huge part of who I am and where I am going." - Megan Esch ’10

Willie Waisath, originally from Keokuk, Iowa, graduated in 2009 with a major in psychology. Upon graduation, Willie taught English as a foreign language in Madrid, Spain for one year. Willie currently resides in northern California where she works with the Children's Interagency Coordinating Council; an organization focused on positive outcomes for court dependents, prevention of domestic violence, child-abuse and neglect, and bullying. In the future, Willie plans to earn a master’s degree in public health.

“At Coe, I had the opportunity to work closely with talented professors who were universally passionate about their subjects and determined to share their love of learning. I was encouraged not only discover the world, but also develop the confidence and skill-set to make my mark on it." - Willie Waisath ’09

Nicole Wood graduated in 2009 with a major in psychology. Originally from Clinton, Iowa, Nicole is now studying at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where she is earning her Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology.

"The small class sizes and opportunity to form close relationships with the professors are two of the most valuable qualities Coe has to offer. Through relationships with my professors I was able to take advantage of many unique opportunities (e.g. research study assistant, teaching assistant, and job shadowing), which played a critical role in helping me identify my career goals and pursue continuing education in graduate studies." - Nicole Wood ’09

Sarah Wondra graduated in 2009 with a major in Psychology and minor in Theatre Arts. At Coe, she was involved in the Theatre, Music and Education departments, in addition to the Psychology department, and was President of Mortar Board Honor Society. While at Coe, she worked at Tanager Place as a Youth Service worker in the residential, pediatric mental health units. After graduation, she spent a year and a half in the former-Soviet Republic of Georgia, where she taught graduate students and middle-school students English and Academic Writing. In Georgia she also conducted research with a Social Psychology Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and independent Educational research with her husband, Nicholas Wondra, and climbed a 16,500 foot mountain. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado where she teaches intensive Psychology courses to Gifted and Talented students. She will soon travel to Cambridge, England for a Master’s program in Politics, Development and Democratic Education.

"The psychology faculty always supported me when I brought my interests in Theatre, Music or Education into projects for their classes, and I was able to get to know them fairly well, thanks to office hours and multiple courses with the same professor throughout my time at Coe. Because of the rigorous curriculum, and the chance to take part in research, I was well-prepared to jump into research with a Washington University professor after graduation. He was impressed by the extent of my knowledge in the field, and even willing to offer me co-authorship on his article. I know that the faculty support and great instruction helped me reach that, and I know it will serve me well in the rest of my career. " - Sarah Wondra '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

  • Linda Anderson is a school-based mental health counselor at Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School in Des Moines.
  • Heather Baum '01 is a marketing manager at City State Bank in Cedar Rapids, IA.
  • Meghan Beltman '05 is the Program Coordinator for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University.
  • Susan Brasser '92 is an assistant professor of psychology at San Diego State Univesity.
  • Melissa Chapman is the Lead Staff Evaluator at the Center for Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in 2008 from the division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations at the University of Iowa.
  • Dr. Kelly J. Clark '83 is Medical Director, Behavioral Health Services at CDPHP.
  • Brian Cook is a principal at Esquire Insurance in Des Moines.
  • Robin (Dunne) DeMuth '03 is a research analyst at the Vernon Research Group.
  • RaeAnnon Fairlie '07 works for the Arc of East Central Iowa at a daycare for disabled children and for the Cedar Rapids School District as a paraeducator in an autism classroom.
  • Alecia (Crowl) Fedewa is Assistant Professor of School Psychology at the University of Kentucky.
  • Andrea Fetzer '01 is a mental health associate with the Abbe Center for Community Mental Health in Cedar Rapids, IA.
  • Trent Heck '01 earned his MSW from the University of Iowa in 2009.
  • Amanda Hornaday '01 is a neuropsychology technician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Ellie Jensen '02 earned a Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2009.
  • Sarah Kiefer '99 earned a Ph.D in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois and is now an assistant professor at the University of South Florida.
  • Lacy Kolpin '06 is a high school math teacher in Knoxville, Iowa.
  • Brent O'Rourke '08 is a school phychologist at Grant Wood Area Education Agency.
  • Jill Rabe '02 is an administrative assistant at Silicon Valley Community Foundation in San Jose, CA. Jill earned a master's degree in zoo and aquarium studies at Western Illinois University.
  • Shara Stough '02
    Jake Schuller '02 is an associate with EF Education (Boston, MA), the world's largest private educational organization. He coordinates international travel for students and adults.
  • Lauren Sensenbrenner '06 is Marketing Coordinator at Van Meter Industrial Inc.
  • Stephanie Siddens '94 earned a Ph.D. in education at the University of Iowa ('99) and is now Assistant Director, Office of Early Learning and School Readiness for the Ohio Department of Education.
  • Paul Smiskol '00 is a research assistant with Manhattan Psychiatric Center in Guttenburg, NJ. Paul earned a master's degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
  • Michelle Smothers '01 is a police officer with the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
  • Kristie Speirs Neumeister '94 is an associate professor of educational psychology at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.
  • Melissa Stifter '01 is a case manager for CHOICE Inc, a human service agency in Winsted, MN.
  • Shara Stough '02 earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Behavior from the University of California-Irvine in 2009.
  • Tyler Thompson '08 is Organizational Effectiveness Project Coordinator at Van Meter Industrial in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Tonya Keefer Vitense '05
    Tonya Keefer Vitense '05 earned her Ed.S. from UNI and is now a full-time school psychologist for the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Iowa City.

Success in Graduate Study

  • Shamra Boel-Studt '03 is a doctoral student in the Social Work program at the University of Iowa.
  • Kim Brunius '07 is studying social work at Loyola University in Chicago.
  • Michelle Davids '03 is a medical student at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
  • Denton DeSotel '02 is attending the masters program in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Denise Eslinger '08 is a graduate student in the school psychology program at the University of Northern Iowa where she is completing Masters of Arts in Education and Ed.S. (Education Specialist) degrees.
  • Justine Erikson '10 is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Page Fineran '06 is studying Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis.
  • Laura Foster '08 is attending the I/O Psychology master's program at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Hallie Hottle '08 is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Emily Ingalls '10 is pursuing a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
  • Kayla James '10 is pursuing her masters degree in social work at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Ricca Klein '06 is a student in the Clinical PsyD program at Argosy University.
  • Megan Mozley '09 is pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She completed her service practicum experience with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).
  • Kate Olson '09 is pursuing a masters degree in social work through the program at the University of Minnesota and working as a youth counselor at a foster home for teenage girls going through substance abuse treatment.
  • Lisa Sadewasser '09 is a graduate student in the School Counseling program at the University of Iowa.
  • Tamara (Shafer) Woods '04 is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Iowa.
  • Benge Tallman '04 is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Iowa.
  • Mark Tawney '05 is pursuing a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Psychology.
  • Carrie (Woline) DeSotel '03 is a doctoral student in the Physical Therapy program at the University of Iowa.
  • Suzanne Webster '09 is pursuing a Master's degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Iowa.
  • Nicole Wood '09 is pursuing a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology at Bowling Green State University.

Distinguished Graduates

  • Jerrold Adams, '62 recently retired as Director and General Manager of Boston Communications Group. He was the president and chief operating officer of Iridium, Inc., a cutting-edge technology company that developed a hand-held satellite phone that can make phone calls from anywhere by directly communicating with telecommunication satellites.
  • Captain Matt Clark '95 is a research scientist in the neuroscience division of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring MD. Matt is conducting research on preventative treatment for nerve agents.
  • John Krumboltz, '50 is a professor of education and psychology at Stanford University. Dr. Krumboltz received the 2002 Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Knowledge from the American Psychological Association.
  • Diane Van Tasell '70 has devoted her career to assisting people with hearing impairments. During her tenure with the Department of Audiology at the University of Minnesota and as the Director of Advanced Research at Starkey Laboratory, she trained a generation of scientists in the most modern and advanced techniques of the field including important advances in the use of cochlear implants.