Hero: Coe Science Student

Successful Alumni


Coe's chemistry majors have gone on to become some of the most accomplished professionals in their fields.

Since 1985, 100 percent of chemistry majors who have gone on to graduate school have received a full ride. Overall, 75 percent of graduates go on to grad school in chemistry or professional school in a health-related field. They are routinely accepted into the top programs in the nation — Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech, Cornell, Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins. Around 25 percent of graduates enter the workforce as science teachers, regulatory agency professionals and in government labs. These are just a few of their stories.


Recent Alums

Sarah Anciaux

Sarah Anciaux graduated in 2011 with an American Chemical Society-certified chemistry major and a Spanish minor. Her hometown is Iowa City, Iowa, where she attended City High. She completed a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Minnesota and is an R&D chemist at Hach. In 2016, she was selected to play on the women’s team at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships in London.

“The opportunities presented by faculty summer research, hands-on activities in classes and Coe's connections with other colleges have greatly aided me during my time at Coe. These different experiences have allowed me to develop not only an amazing resume, but most importantly, to develop into a research-minded person. I know that I would not be where I am without the experiences presented to me by attending Coe, and my interaction with the Chemistry Department.” — Sarah Anciaux ’11


Amanda Sonntag

Amanda Sonntag, originally from Janesville, Wis., graduated in 2008, double majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. She received her dental degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"The experiences I had at Coe were undoubtedly the most challenging and rewarding of my life. I am indebted to the chemistry faculty for their rigorous curriculum and research program that provided me with an educational foundation that I will carry with me always." — Amanda Sonntag '08


Matt Sonntag

Matt Sonntag graduated in 2008, with a major in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. Matt earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Northwestern University and teaches at Albright College in Pennsylvania.

"Coe was instrumental in preparing me for my life after college. The faculty at Coe provided a stimulating environment for learning communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills. The chemistry faculty in particular provided an excellent foundation with regards to research and curriculum for pursuing my career goals." — Matt Sonntag '08


Matt Bream

Matthew Bream graduated in 2007 with a double major in biochemistry and general science. He received his medical degree at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in May 2012, did a urology residency at Case Western Reserve and currently practices in Cleveland, Ohio.

“In college you need to have your own drive to get something meaningful out of your education and set yourself up for a good career. I feel that the faculty at Coe brought this out in me and were also there to provide me with assistance and guidance on my journey.” — Matthew Bream ’07


Distinguished Graduates

S.D. Stookey '36

After receiving his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Coe in 1936, S. Donald Stookey went on to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then took a position at Corning Glass Works, where he remained for 47 years. His name appeared on over 60 patents with Corning, but his best known discovery led to the creation of CorningWare®

M. Jerome Sabacky '61

Jerry Sabacky graduated from Coe magna cum laude with a degree in chemistry in 1961 and immediately began a Ph.D. program in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois. Upon receiving his degree in 1966, he began his career in industrial research with Monsanto. His expertise in the synthesis of chiral ligands was quickly put to use as part of a three-person team working in the area of assymetric catalysis. The work led to the first commercially viable synthesis of a chiral molecule — the well-known Parkinson's disease drug, L-dopa. This breakthrough research was recognized in 2001 with a Nobel Prize for the team's leader, William Knowles.

R. Darryl Banks '72

Darryl Banks was a Rhodes Scholar and attended Oxford to do doctoral work in chemistry and biochemistry. After returning to the U.S., he moved into the world of environmental policy. His positions have included deputy commissioner for environmental quality at the New York State Department of Environmental Quality, director of environment and technology program and senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and associate partner at Sustainable Value Partners in Washington, D.C.