Felicia Owens  '15

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Creative Writing and Communication Studies

What activities are you involved in?
I am a consultant in the Writing Center and I am a PUB Live chair for the Student Activities Committee. I also work as a supervisor for telecounseling in the Admission Office.

Why did you decide to attend Coe?
Of the four or five campuses I visited during my college search, Coe was the only one that felt truly genuine in the way they reached out to me and introduced me to campus. I made a lot of friends when I visited overnight that I still hang out with today. I was on campus for less than an hour on Scholars Weekend when I knew Coe was the place I wanted to be. I sent in the deposit the day I got my scholarship letter and to this day that has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

What is the best part of being a Kohawk?
The best part of being a Kohawk is being a part of this amazing community. As a student, I have learned so much about past generations of Kohawks who have shaped our campus. Working in the Admissions office, I’ve also had the privilege to help bring new Kohawks into our family. I love knowing that I will always and forever be part of this community, that I am an equally important part of what Coe is and what it will become. We have a slogan on campus - "Kohawks Fly Together." It sounds cheesy, but those words are often shared during difficult times on campus. Seeing that around campus, on Facebook and Twitter, really reminds me that I am part of a family here, and we all step up during those times to make sure everyone is feeling the love of that family.

What do you remember most from your first year?
The first time I performed at Blindspot. I had been interested in spoken word poetry for the past year but had never actually read a poem for an audience. I was so nervous I practiced in every free moment that week, but when I got onstage everything was perfect. I got huge applause just as I was introduced even though the majority of the audience had no clue who I was. That's how Blindspot is, though - we are excited about everyone that performs, as we are celebrating their courage and talent, not necessarily the actual quality of the performance. People would clap and shout at lines of my poem that they liked (exactly how spoken word should be!) and when I was done the applause felt thunderous. I was floating for the rest of the night. I've read at Blindspot a few other times and every time I got that same applause, that same energy and excitement. That's what Blindspot is about, giving people the opportunity to share their talents and having the chance to celebrate them for that.

Describe your favorite interaction with a professor.
Meeting with my creative writing advisor, Prof. Gordon Mennenga, is always the best. He talks me through tough times when I can't get writing, and he always has a novel or story to share with me that directly connects to what I am working on. What I appreciate most is his broad understanding and view of the world. When I talked to him about internships, he suggested all kinds of things I could do with creative writing, including writing press releases for celebrities to get them out of sticky media situations! I never would have thought of that being related to creative writing, but once he mentioned that, it made perfect sense. I like that my professors don’t assume I have to take one path to be successful after college. They always have a flood of ideas and are cognizant of what really interests me.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Coe?
My advice would be to try everything at least once. College is the perfect time to explore new interests and ideas. Don't let your past mindsets hold you back; step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Either you will learn that a belief or preference is truly a part of who you are or you will discover a new talent or interest that you can now enjoy!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to read, write, watch movies, ride my bike, walk around downtown Cedar Rapids, play cards with my friends, talk about current events and dream about the future.

What is it like living in Cedar Rapids?
The community is very strong in Cedar Rapids. It feels like a very large, family-friendly suburb. I've been humbled watching this community come together to rebuild after the major flood and appreciate being able to celebrate with them as major community fixtures are able to open again and new features are added. NewBo Market is the best place ever and a good place to stop for lunch! I like being so close to the downtown area, as I am able to make it to all of the major community events and take advantage of cool places like the art museum which has free admission for all Coe students. I feel like I can find a lot of culture here without dealing with the anonymity of a big city like Chicago. My favorite thing to do is go to the farmer's market over the summer - it goes on for blocks and blocks, and there is tons of fresh produce and cool crafts. I'd stay here next summer just so I could go to the Farmer's Market over and over again!

What was the best part of being a junior?
The best part about being a junior is feeling very well established at Coe. I committed to my majors, I knew my professors in those departments very well and I felt confident in what I need to do in the next few years before I graduate. Nothing is set in stone, but look forward to the wide open opportunities that feel exciting rather than terrifying. Each new class brings something dynamic to the campus, so I enjoy seeing what new opportunities I will find on and around campus each year.

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