Students and alumni know Coe College's superb education, urban setting and stellar internship opportunities offer a tremendous bang for your buck. The Princeton Review knows it, too.
Coe has been included in the 2018 edition of "Colleges That Pay You Back" and earned a spot in the publication's elite list of Top 25 Best Schools for Internships. Ranked 23rd among prestigious institutions like Penn State, Harvey Mudd College and Notre Dame, Coe is the only college or university in Iowa to receive this distinction.
These honors come as no surprise to those familiar with Coe. Internships completed by students during their time at Coe often turn into job offers. In turn, 100 percent of students are either employed or enrolled in graduate school within one year of graduation.
"Although I am a public accounting major, I was fortunate enough to work in the Anesthesiology Department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the summer before my junior year," said Greg Linton '18. "My supervisor gave me high praise for my ability to excel. He even recommended I become a medical doctor and pursue a master's in business administration. I think that speaks volumes to the importance of a liberal arts education. I would not have had this internship if I did not attend Coe College."
"My internship experience at Planetary Resources showed me that I have the capability to take on a problem I may not think I am prepared for," said Dahlia Baker '18. "I used what I learned at Coe to problem solve in the real world."
Coe's location in the heart of Cedar Rapids provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates. Among them is Rockwell Collins, one of just three Fortune 500 companies in Iowa.
The Princeton Review also notes Coe's tight-knit relationship with alumni. "Once one Kohawk goes and finds success somewhere, they make sure to bring others along with them," the publication states.
It credits Coe's Center for Creativity and Careers and the Alumni Mentoring Program, which sets up one-on-one mentorships between alumni and current students, with providing excellent opportunities to prepare Kohawks for success.
"We are pleased that Coe has received further recognition as a national leader through the college's inclusion in this Princeton Review publication," Coe College President David McInally said. "It is particularly gratifying to see that Coe received special recognition for facilitating outstanding internship opportunities for students through the Center for Creativity and Careers, which enhances the value of a Coe education."
The center was established under A Bolder Coe, Coe's strategic plan initiative to emphasize the connections between liberal education and careers and between the college and the region known as Iowa's Creative Corridor. The center helps students gain real-world experience through internships, entrepreneurial activities, alumni networks, and more as they explore career options associated with each of Coe's majors.
The center has significantly expanded Coe's connections with regional alumni and leaders of businesses and other organizations in order to assist students with planning and carrying out projects, forming professional networks, and putting their Coe experiences to work in the wider world.
One such connection is with recruiting and staffing agency Aerotek, which currently employs eight Kohawks in its Cedar Rapids office and has hired two interns from Coe.
"The Center for Creativity and Careers has done an outstanding job of engaging both alumni and students," said Account Manager Chandra Hale Wiezorek '09. "As an alumna currently working in the Cedar Rapids area, it's been an amazing experience getting to work with students in a variety of different ways."
The Princeton Review has posted its school profiles for "Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck" at www.princetonreview.com/colleges-pay-you-back. The company is known for its school recommendations in many of its projects. Among them, Coe was also featured in The Princeton Review's "The Best 382 Colleges" 2018 edition.
Coe College has received nearly $1.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in renewed support for student-faculty glass research and new funding to provide scholarships for study in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
A $650,000 award through the NSF's S-STEM Program will enhance opportunities for qualifying students to pursue STEM fields through Nov. 30, 2022. Specifically, the STEMPath Program will provide scholarships for 14 low-income, academically talented first-year students who enroll at Coe this fall. Qualifying students will receive a $6,500 grant for each of their first two years of study, and an $8,000 award for each of their final two years of college, making each scholarship worth $29,000 per student over four years.
The NSF funding will also provide professional instruction for students from biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics specialists, more support for Coe's pre-orientation Bridge Program, additional tutoring and supplemental instruction, and the creation of a special living and learning community in campus housing especially for the cohort. In addition, the grant will facilitate faculty and alumni mentorships, increase academic coaching and accessibility support, and fund a full summer of paid research for the students in the program.
"I am very excited to see the college able to provide more resources to a deserving group of potential students," said WinSTEM founder and Physics Club President Dahlia Baker '18. "The grant from the NSF outlines the mentorship and community that Coe already provides to its STEM students, but it expands how many students our program is able to impact."
During the summer, participants in the Coe STEMPath Program will continue to build on their educational experiences with research, internship opportunities and development workshops. The ultimate goal is to improve first-year success, enhance overall academic performance, and encourage persistence of study in STEM fields to graduation.
"We are delighted to receive this award as it both recognizes Coe's historic leadership in supporting students interested in the STEM fields and our heartfelt commitment to keeping a high quality liberal arts education accessible for all academically talented young people, whatever their socio-economic status," said Provost Paula O'Loughlin.
The program is directed by professors Randy Christiansen (biology), Gina Hausknecht (associate dean for student academics), Mario Affatigato '89 (physics), Rick Eichhorn (economics) and Marty St. Clair (chemistry), as well as Academic Achievement Program Director Lois Kabela-Coates. In addition, other Coe faculty and staff representing STEM academic disciplines and other departments will provide essential support.
Coe also received a $636,000 award from the NSF to be used for student-faculty research on the science of glass over the next four years. With one of the leading undergraduate science programs in the country, the Coe Physics Department has now received NSF research grants continuously for more than 30 years. Since 2000, Coe has garnered nearly $10 million in funding from the NSF to support scientific research and equipment, as well as the renovation of Peterson Hall of Science.
Under the direction of physics professors Steve Feller, Mario Affatigato '89 and Ugur Akgun, the grant will be used to fund continued glass research at Coe through April 2022. The Coe Physics Department is known worldwide for working with undergraduate students in glass research.
Specifically, the grant will support Coe student-faculty research in glass on campus and in leading laboratories around the world. Coe students will travel to England, Japan, Italy and Brazil, The European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, known as CERN, and Fermilab – the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory – in Batavia, Illinois, over the next few years to conduct research. The students will subsequently present their findings at national and international conferences.
"Once again, we are extremely gratified by the ongoing NSF support for our glass research at Coe," said B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics Steve Feller. "This grant represents more than three decades of continued endorsement of our work by the NSF. Thanks to the grant, more than 40 Coe students and 10 high school students will be provided with extraordinary research opportunities over the next four years."
For students participating in glass research, the NSF funding provides a vital bridge between classroom learning and career exploration. "I feel that we often times get bogged down in our classes and only focus on the grade we will receive in that class," said Collin Flynn '19. "The focus in research is completely different. It is about working through problems, understanding ideas, and attaining results."
One of the anonymous NSF reviewers said the Coe physics faculty "have built one of the most successful undergraduate research and mentoring programs I have ever seen anywhere. In my own department the graduate students we have recruited from Coe College have gone on to be some of our most successful scientists and scholars—no doubt in part from the excellent preparation they received in the undergraduate research program at Coe College." The reviewer also said minorities and other underrepresented groups, including first-generation college students, brought into the scientific community by Coe physics professors "has had a high and lasting impact on the entire field of glass science."
For nearly 40 years, nearly 70 percent of Coe physics research students have moved on to graduate and professional school in a wide variety of technical areas including physics, biophysics, materials science, glass science, engineering, mathematics, actuarial science, architecture, chemistry, computer science and more. Over the past few years, Coe physics graduates have succeeded at many of the country's best graduate schools.
Coe is one of only a handful of small colleges in the U.S. to host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site, also supported by the NSF, which provides opportunities for students from Coe and other colleges across the country to conduct research in chemistry and physics. The $279,000 grant for the REU site was renewed earlier this year.
Two of America's leading environmentalists and social entrepreneurs, the iconic founder and owner of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard, and conservationist and founder of Blue Ribbon Flies Craig Mathews, will appear at the 15th Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum. The event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. The format for this event will be a moderated discussion.
Reserved seating is available here, or by calling the Coe Box Office at 319-399-8600 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ticket prices are $10 for the general public and $5 for students and seniors.
Committed to the philosophy that business must worry as much about the social bottom line as profits, Chouinard and Mathews are particularly dedicated to environmental action and awareness. In 2002, together they founded 1% for the Planet, a global network of businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Participating companies direct at least 1 percent of total sales each year to the organization's approved nonprofit partners. To date, the organization has more than 1,200 members and has raised more than $175 million to benefit the environment.
Yvon Chouinard is perhaps the most recognized name in the world of business sustainability after turning Patagonia into both a global success and model of corporate social responsibility. A top climber, his many feats in the mountains include the first ascent of the North America Wall in 1964 (with Royal Robbins, Tom Frost and Chuck Pratt), using no fixed ropes. Seeking a need for durable and quality built climbing equipment and clothing, Chouinard began making his own climbing gear. Word quickly spread among his friends, and before long, Chouinard began to put the pieces together for what ultimately would become an iconic company, Patagonia. Keeping Patagonia as a private, closely held company allowed Chouinard to recognize the financial success of the company provided the opportunity to also achieve his personal goals, and he committed the company to being an outstanding place to work, and to be an important resource for environmental activism. In 1984, Patagonia opened an on-site cafeteria offering healthy, environmentally conscious food, and started providing on-site child care, one of the first such efforts in the country. Two years later, Chouinard committed the company to "tithing" for environmental activism, committing one percent of sales or 10 percent of profits. This commitment included paying employees to work on local environmental projects so they could commit their efforts full time. He has recently turned his attention to sustainable food.
A Certified B Corp, Patagonia's mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. The company is recognized internationally for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $89 million in grants and in-kind donations to date. In 2016 alone, the company granted $7.1 million to 824 groups in 22 countries in support of environmental projects. In recognition of the company's efforts, Patagonia has received the world's most prestigious environmental awards.
Craig Mathews is a businessman, author and an award-winning environmentalist. He moved to West Yellowstone, Montana in 1979 and became the chief of police alongside his wife Jackie, who was a dispatcher. Shortly thereafter, they together opened Blue Ribbon Flies, a full service fly and guide shop in West Yellowstone. The shop is known for unparalleled customer service and relentless innovation, and is responsible for famous fly patterns like the Sparkle Dun, X-Caddis, Iris Caddis, Nature Stone Nymphs, Pops Bonefish Bitters, TDF Shrimp, Turneffe Crab, and many others. He is the author of numerous books, including "Simply Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara" written with Chouinard.
Together with his wife Jackie, Mathews has served on the boards of many regional and national environmental organizations and has been a tireless advocate and fundraiser for the preservation of the Big Sky Country and other wild places. Their work has resulted in numerous national recognitions including The Federation of Fly-Fishers' Lee Wulff Award for their conservation and environmental work, Trout Unlimited's conservationist of the year award, and recognition from the The Greater Yellowstone Coalition. But perhaps the greatest debt owed by anglers around the world to the Mathews results from their work to preserve access and preservation of the famous "Three Dollar Bridge" section of the Madison River.
Established by the late K. Raymond Clark '30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, legendary soccer player Abby Wambach, and leading commentator on race Jelani Cobb.
Three large Grant Wood mural panels have left the walls of Stewart Memorial Library and are en route to New York City. Coe is loaning the panels to the Whitney Museum of American Art as part of its exhibition entitled "Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables."
The 1930 oil painting "American Gothic," arguably Wood's most famous work, will be the centerpiece of the Whitney exhibit, on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago. Featuring many of Wood's classic paintings depicting the landscapes of rural America in the 1920s and 1930s, the exhibition will include approximately 120 works.
To commemorate the art leaving Coe's campus, the college hosted a special reception on Dec. 19 in the Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library, where 12 of the 14 works by Grant Wood owned by Coe are on display. Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of Galleries and Collections Ranelle Knight-Lueth shared her experiences working with the Whitney as well as the process of loaning artwork and how Coe College was chosen. Also speaking was Katherine Kunau, the associate curator of collections and exhibitions at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which is loaning 27 pieces for the Whitney exhibition.
"Coe's Permanent Collection rarely receives such recognition, and we are excited to have our Grant Wood mural panels be part of this exhibition," said Knight-Lueth. "It offers Coe and eastern Iowa in general the opportunity to share its artworks with a larger audience, and that's a very good thing."
The three Coe pieces joining the exhibition are part of a seven-piece mural set painted in 1932 and collectively called "The Fruits of Iowa," including "Boy Milking Cow," "Farmer with Pigs and Corn" and "Farmer's Wife with Chickens." Some of these works went to the Whitney in 1983 as part of a traveling tour, and will be making their second appearance this spring. The exhibition opens March 2 and continues through June 10.
Created in oil on canvas, "The Fruits of Iowa" collection was commissioned by Eugene C. Eppley for the coffee shop of his Montrose Hotel in Cedar Rapids. When the hotel changed ownership in 1956, the murals were lent to the college. In 1976, the Eppley Foundation graciously donated the murals to Coe.
"These were part of a larger mural work that he painted, but they are movable murals," Knight-Lueth said. "So people get to see his mural works in a more intimate, close-up setting."
After being carefully crated by specialists, the art left campus on Jan. 17, culminating a process that began with a visit by a Whitney curator in April 2016 and consumed hundreds of hours of phone calls and emails.
"It's been enjoyable and a lot of work," said Knight-Lueth. "It has been a learning experience in so many ways. I've done this before, but never on this scale."
Knight-Lueth will travel to New York to ensure the murals were transported safely while overseeing their installation at the Whitney at the end of February. She will return with Provost Paula O'Loughlin, Vice President for Advancement David Hayes '93, Robert O. Daniel Associate Professor of Art and Art Department Chair Andrea Kann, Senior Development Officer and Director of Planned Giving Debbie Green, and Director of Alumni Engagement Emily Ehrhardt for Coe gatherings scheduled for March 10-11.
The murals will return to Coe for reinstallation after the exhibition closes next summer. "For me, it will not be over until they're back on the wall at Coe," said Knight-Lueth.
In celebration of the college's participation in this exhibition, we invite you to join us for the following events:
Cost is $100 per person which includes the Whitney Museum admission, breakfast and private tour, as well as food and beverage at Santina.
RSVP by Friday, March 2. Space is limited. If you have any questions, contact the Alumni Office at 319-399-8561 or email email@example.com.
Fatima Elsheikh '19 and Lotukalafi Ahomana '19 edged Mary McCormick '19 and Sean Connolly '19 by a single vote – 365-364 – in a Jan. 22 run-off election to become Student Senate president and vice president for 2018-19.
In initial voting among four pairs of candidates, Elsheikh and Ahomana led with 44 percent of the vote to 19.9 percent for McCormick and Connolly. The other candidates for student body president and vice president were Constance Schlitter '19 and Tommy Brokaw '19, and Hayley Luna '19 and Collin Flynn '19.
Elsheikh is a neuroscience and biology major who is minoring in political science. The Cedar Rapids resident is heavily involved in Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and is also president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is active in various clubs and organizations on and off campus and has been working in healthcare for five years as a nursing assistant and phlebotomist. She's also a host of the new weekly talk show called "The Deadline" that is produced and broadcast by Coe students.
A history major from Marion, Iowa, Ahomana minors in classical studies and anthropology. He is a two-sport athlete as a member of Coe's football and track and field teams. He is a peer advisor in the Center for Creativity and Careers.
Elsheikh and Ahomana value inclusivity and hope to give students a stronger sense of control of their college experience by sharing information and encouraging feedback. They also want to make student identification cards more accessible throughout campus and useful off campus with partnered businesses. "We look forward to beautifying the campus of Coe College and maintaining an overall gleeful and gratified atmosphere across the tight-knit community that Coe encompasses," Elsheikh said.
Lured out of retirement by the chance to preach from the same pulpit as former Coe President Joseph E. McCabe, the Rev. Dr. Don Dempsey '65 served the past two summers as a preacher at St. Timothy's Memorial Chapel near Anaconda, Montana.
In 2016, Dempsey was asked by his friend and McCormick Seminary classmate Wayne Boulton if he would be interested in preaching at St. Timothy's for one Sunday in June. Dempsey accepted, in part because he knew McCabe loved to spend summers fly fishing, writing and preaching in Big Sky country after serving as Coe's president from 1958-70.
St. Timothy's sits at 7,000 feet overlooking Georgetown Lake and affords a full view of the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness area and beyond the Continental Divide with peaks more than 11,000 feet high. The chapel was dedicated and gifted in 1965 by the Crete Dillon and the John Bowman family of Sterling, Illinois, in remembrance of their son Timothy Dillon Bowman, who died in 1956 at the age of 18.
For 13 weeks each summer, St. Timothy's holds regular Sunday morning worship services as it serves an ecumenical ministry welcoming all. The Rev. Dr. Harrison Ray Anderson of Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago served as the chapel's first summer preacher from 1965-74. For the next 10 years, McCabe served as its summer preacher. From 1985-94, McCabe shared the summer preaching duties with the Rev. Dr. Calvin DeVries from the First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids.
In the late 1970s, McCabe began what has become the very popular St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival. Today, these Sunday afternoon music performances are offered for the enjoyment of fine music in a superb acoustical setting with a spectacular view of the Pintler Mountains and Georgetown Lake.
In 2016, Dempsey and his wife, Meg, spent 10 days at St. Timothy's. He returned to preach for five Sundays in 2017 and, were it not for ongoing health concerns, would be returning again this summer for a very meaningful experience.
"It is almost as if I can feel the spirit of all the ministers who preceded me at St. Timothy's, especially the presence of Joe and Peggy McCabe," Dempsey said.
Over the years the McCabes were good friends and mentors to Dempsey and his sister, Ruthanne Dempsey Schlarbaum '67, both while they were students at Coe and for many years thereafter.
On Dempsey's final Sunday at St. Timothy's this past July, he picked one of his favorite hymns to conclude morning worship. It was one of McCabe's favorites and, in fact, is the Coe College hymn, "O God Our Help In Ages Past."
Dempsey went on to graduate from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1968 and was a Presbyterian minister for 10 years serving churches in Indiana. During that time, he graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary with a doctor of ministry degree in pastoral counseling.
Dempsey worked in a variety of areas over the next 23 years, including two years at Coe as director of foundation giving, before returning to the ordained ministry in 2002. He spent 24 years as a pastor, including the last 14 years as an interim at churches in Illinois and Indiana.
He is now retired and living in Highland Park, Illinois. He remains active at Coe as a member of the Alumni Council.
At Coe College, most students will find their careers. Some will discover their sport, some will find their hobby, and yet others will find their social affiliations. Some Kohawks came to Coe and found one another.
As Valentine's Day approaches, the Coe College Alumni Office is again featuring those who submitted their Coe love stories. Click here to read about Coe Sweethearts.
Have you thought about the legacy you will leave? It's never too late to plan for the people and causes you care about. If you are thinking about the future and want to get started creating or updating your estate plan, we can help.
We would like to give you a free copy of Coe College's Wills Guide. This easy-to-use guide can help you gather the information you need, and also help you leave a lasting legacy to Coe. Click here to request your copy.
Mark your calendars, Coe's annual Day of Giving is Thursday, April 12. Want to get involved? Contact Coe Fund Director Mary Springer at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can spread Kohawk pride on April 12. Visit alumni.coe.edu/KohawkDay for unfolding details.