Learning a foreign language opens up whole new worlds — people to meet, places to go, books to read and careers to pursue.
Some careers use your language skills directly: teaching, international manufacturing, diplomacy, international business and development, publishing, translating, and working in the travel industry. But you also can pursue a career in medicine, law, journalism, government, nonprofit agencies or many other professional areas and have your work life enriched by your ability to understand other cultures in profound ways.
Foreign language students have participated in Teach for America and the Peace Corps and have taught English abroad in a number of countries. Many and have continued on to graduate programs in anthropology, chemistry, psychology, architecture, music education, law and accounting. Others have become writers, human resource managers, college admission counselors and artists.
Heidi Heaton graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in French and minoring in secondary education. She was raised in Batavia, Illinois. Upon graduation from Coe, she moved to Columbus, Ohio, where her family also recently moved. In the fall of 2014, Heidi began teaching high school French at Dublin Scioto High School. She is now teaching five different levels of French, four of which are at the international baccalaureate level.
"I am incredibly grateful for the well-rounded education I received from Coe College. As a student within the Education Department, I learned to teach not only from our engaging classroom conversations, but also the hands-on experience I received from numerous opportunities to work and to learn alongside students of all ages. I began observing in classrooms and teaching from the moment I enrolled in my first education course, educational foundations. My professors at Coe, both in and outside of the Education Department, taught me that to teach also means to be a lifelong learner in every moment of each day. My teachers at Coe taught me the importance of engaging with students and understanding their passions in and outside of the classroom. However, it was not only my experiences in the Education Department, but my work in the Coe College Writing Center, the three years I served as a College Adjustment Peer Leader, the opportunity to work for the Upward Bound program on campus, and the quality of conversations and community that thrives on Coe’s campus that truly encouraged my enthusiasm and passion to teach. I look forward to making an impact on the lives of students the same way my education has profoundly influence my own values and future aspirations."
Aminata Soumah graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors of Arts degree, triple majoring in public accounting, business administration and French.. She has since completed her CPA and MBA, and is Finance and Human Resources Director for Shelter House, a non-profit organization providing housing and supportive services to people experiencing homelessness
Christa Burdick spent a semester studying in Morocco and later completed an Honors' Thesis on the fragmentation of linguistic and cultural identity in postcolonial Morocco. She graduated with honors and received the department's award for the best Foreign Language Student. Since then, she has spent a year teaching in France, and is pursuing her Ph.D in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
Brendan Moore is a Ph.D. candidate in French literature at Emory University.
Martha Hughes graduated cum laude in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and German. During the 2012-13 school year, she taught English at a German gymnasium through the Fulbright Program. After returning home to New Mexico, she served as a community and global citizenship intern at Albuquerque Academy for the fall semester of 2013. She graduated from Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, completing a Master of Arts degree in intercultural education, migration, and multilingualism.
"Coe College gave me the flexibility to fully explore my interests, as well as foster new ones. Through its liberal arts-based emphasis on education, I became a well-rounded reader and a critical thinker. What I cherish most about Coe, aside from the lifelong friends I made there, are the professors who take the time to get to know their students personally. They spend considerable amounts of energy to support and encourage students in both academics and extracurriculars."
Danielle Maybee graduated from Coe in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in German and religion. Danielle studied abroad in Landau, Germany, during her junior year and was so fascinated with the culture and lifestyle that she decided to move back after graduation. She completed a Master of Arts degree in translation at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germersheim.
"I didn’t just receive a great education at Coe, but also became a part of a community. This friendly and familiar atmosphere provided me with a wonderful environment in which to learn and grow. My experiences at Coe, especially the personal interaction with my professors, encouraged me to question, discover and strive beyond what I thought was possible."
When Chris Walk was a first-year student in German Composition and Conversation, his future plans were very open. When asked why he was studying German, Chris commented, "Learning a foreign language requires discipline, yet I believe it has brought out a wonderful part of my personality that I never knew I had before studying the German language. Undertaking a foreign language has made me more complete as a person." Chris is currently a Resident Counselor at American International School.
Carrie London doubled the size of the German program at a high school in Waterloo, Iowa, before moving to her current position outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Her high school receives pupils from a German-immersion program taught by native speakers.
Nina Carlson won a DAAD scholarship to support her study abroad in Germany and a Fulbright to return there after graduation. She then completed a master’s degree in technical writing and is living with her partner in Wolfsburg, Germany, while working at a firm in Berlin.
Lindsey Schmidt graduated from Coe in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in psychology and Spanish. She came to Coe from Gurnee, Illinois, just north of Chicago. In her time at Coe, she conducted research with Dr. Mike Baker and Dr. Nukhet Yarbrough. She completed an independent study and May term with Dr. Monica Fuertes-Arbroix. She completed a master's degree in educational measurement and statistics at the University of Iowa, and is currently an investigative analyst at ACT.
"At Coe, I developed close relationships with my professors, faculty members and fellow Kohawks. The entire Coe community is there for you. My professors had a huge impact on my time at Coe. It's because of them I hope to become a professor. They gave me all the tools I needed, and more, to be prepared for graduate school. They continue to support me and give me advice even though I am no longer on campus. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without their investment in my education. I know I will continue on to do great things because of education and experience at Coe. It is true - 'Once a Kohawk, Always a Kohawk.'"
Alvon Reed graduated from Coe College in 2003 with a degree in Spanish. After graduating, he embarked on a career as a professional dancer that has spanned more than a decade. In his career, he has been fortunate to work in television, film, stage and print. Alvon completed an MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography, and is currently Dance Artist in Residence at Cornell College.
"Coe College has played a significant role in my professional and personal development. Having built strong relationships with members of the faculty and staff, I constantly felt I was in an environment that was encouraging and demanded nothing short of excellence. I am very proud to be a Kohawk!"
Garrison Buxton was a double major in Spanish and business administration, with a minor in economics. Garrison spent his junior year in Barcelona, Spain, studying at the University of Barcelona..Garrison received his B.F.A. from the University of Oklahoma, an MFA from Pratt Institute, and is currently the owner/founder of Ad Hoc Art, an “art gallery, community space, and creative fulcrum” in Vermont.
Raquel R. Brandhorst is an assistant vice president and loan officer at a bank. While at Coe, she did a business honors project related to the Hispanic community in West Liberty, Iowa.
Lorraine Martorelli earned a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Indiana University. Lorraine works at the University of Chicago's Center for International Studies as an area studies coordinator.
Chiraz Boutiba worked as a member of the Gulf War Compensation Commission of the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland, and is now in the Office of Humanitarian Affairs.
Andrea Purvis worked with Hispanics in the area of social services. She is now a migrant school liaison for Kansas City Public Schools.