Academics > Successful Graduates

Successful Graduates

Recent Graduates:

Andy Decker graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in writing and psychology. Upon graduation, he worked as a part-time English lecturer at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing (creative nonfiction) at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, where he was also awarded a teaching fellowship.

“I am in awe of how many people I have already met or interviewed with who say, though they may not be familiar with Cedar Rapids, they are familiar with and in awe of Dr. Robert “Bob” Marrs, the Coe Writing Center, and Colere. The things we took for granted at Coe, such as the the student-run publications, the nation’s largest undergraduate writing center, and the annual writer’s colonies, are the envy of undergraduate and graduate writing programs alike, all in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.” - Andy Decker, '09

Kristy (Upah) Staker graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, triple majoring in public relations, writing and physical education with an emphasis in health and wellness. From May 2008 through June 2012, she served as the public relations coordinator, assistant director of parent programs, assistant volleyball coach, aerobics instructor, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes advisor at Coe College. Kristy is currently the community relations coordinator for Hy-Vee, assisting 14 Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee Food and Drugstores with marketing, social media correspondence, special programs and community-related events.

“My undergraduate education and athletic involvement, coupled with a variety of internships and volunteer experiences, prepared me very well for my job at Coe. Through my current profession, I’ve been exposed to several facets of marketing in a higher-education setting, including event planning, graphic design, news releases, web maintenance, and written and verbal communication with internal and external audiences. This extensive range of experiences has allowed me to embrace my liberal arts education and develop an even wider variety of skill sets.” - Kristy Staker, ’08

Dustin Floyd graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English and public relations, with minors in writing and classical studies. Shortly after graduation, he began writing travel books for Fodor's and Globe Pequot Press, focusing on his stomping grounds in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana. He lives in Deadwood, South Dakota, where he's president and managing partner of TDG Communications, an advertising agency with a staff of 17 creative professionals. The agency primarily works with clients in the travel, healthcare and nonprofit industries.

"I couldn't do my job without a liberal arts education. Well, I could, but I'd be really lousy at it. My Coe education has been a huge asset to me in the ad biz, where our primary job is to distill a brand's entire history and background into a story that connects with people. You can't do that effectively without being plugged into popular culture and know what's going on in the world. The liberal arts helps you learn how to do that - how to observe, how to process, and how to communicate effectively." - Dustin Floyd, ’03

Other Distinguished Graduates:

  • William Shirer: distinguished journalist and author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
  • Paul Engle: Rhodes Scholar and founder of the Iowa Writer's Workshop.
  • Shelby Steele: author of The Content of Our Character, one of the most influential books on race relations published in the past decade.
  • Dora Jane Hamblin: long-time contributor to Life magazine and author of Time-Life books.
  • John Logan: poet, short-story writer, and essayist (A Ballet for the Ear).
  • Ted Miller: editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and author of books on financial management.
  • Edward Gorman: a prominent writer, editor, and reviewer in the field of detective fiction.
  • Lori Sturdevant: newspaper editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  • Barbara J. Scot: author of The Violet Shyness of their Eyes and Prairie Reunion (a New York Times Book of the Year).