Successful Alumni

Hannah Wiles

Hannah Wiles ’17 majored in communication studies and minored in Asian studies and creative writing. She is a Fulbright recipient, teaching English in rural Thailand. She also is contracted by The World Food Prize Foundation as a research and archival specialist.

“The skills I gained from the Communication Studies Department have a universal appeal, able to be applied to a variety of career paths. I became a critical thinker, attentive to language and the ways it can be used to shape our world. The department also helped give me practical tools, such as professional writing techniques and public speaking preparation, which I later used as I applied for a competitive internship. Additionally, the communication department honed my writing skills. Too many students discount the importance of good writing.” 

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson ’18, a communication studies major, is pursuing a graduate degree in education at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He plans to become a pastor in the lutheran (ELCA) church. 

“All the faculty in the department deeply care about their students and will do anything in their power to help them succeed. I grew not only as a student, but as a person in my four years in this department, for which I am very grateful. I think communication studies as a secondary or tertiary major, or even as a minor, would be a great complement to any other area of study offered at Coe because the writing, speaking and analytical skills students learn equip them extremely well for other areas of study and future careers. I think it’s hard not to find reasons to take at least one communication studies course.”

Katie Wiedemann

Katie Wiedemann ’03 interned for the FOX news channel in New York City during her time at Coe. Born and raised in Dubuque, she is now a reporter, telling the stories of the people living in her hometown as part of the KCRG-TV9 News team in Cedar Rapids since 2004. Katie is always ready and willing to return to her alma mater and talk to students about her time here and her career.

Curt Menefee

Curt Menefee ’87 anchors FOX NFL SUNDAY. While a student here he offered his services to all the local TV stations and began by answering a call from John Campbell at KCRG. Campbell needed someone to carry his gear at the University of Iowa's spring football game, and Curt was hooked. After distinguishing himself at several media outlets, he joined FOX Sports in 1997 as a sideline reporter. Curt gave the commencement speech at Coe College in 2010 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Journalism.

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter ’83 went on to become president, publisher and CEO of Chicago Tribune Company, a position he has held since September 2008. Tony joined Chicago Tribune in 1994 as manager of circulation planning and analysis. Prior to joining the Tribune, he worked for the Audit Bureau of Circulation from 1984 to 1994, serving in a variety of auditing positions. He is a CPA and former president of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative.

Craig Struve

A native of Cedar Rapids, Craig Struve ’70 lettered in basketball and golf and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He enjoyed two careers over 38 years: the first half in the restaurant business and the second in the television business. That second half included 17 years in Vail, Colorado, where he went on to serve as director of TV8’s television operations. He was quoted in the Vail Daily, "I'd always wanted to be in the television business." Before leaving TV8 he was responsible for all television operations as well as a daily, award-winning, three-hour live show. He now spends his time golfing, skiing and promoting Coe College as a proud alum.