E-news - April 8, 2022

Coe College E-News — Updates and information for alumni, parents and friends of Coe

Day of Giving Thank You

On behalf of all of us here at Coe, thank you for your investment in our students on our 8th annual #KohawkDay. Your continued commitment to their success is inspiring and we are extremely grateful. 

What we accomplished by coming together yesterday was truly remarkable. A special thanks to ALL of you who went above and beyond with an additional gift to Coe on Day of Giving, including our Board of Trustees who gave over $300,000 in additional gifts to the annual fund yesterday. Collectively, you and your fellow Kohawks gave critical dollars needed to meet extraordinary operating expenses and to support our students and our entire campus. 

Thank you for being a loyal member of the Kohawk family.

View our Results

#KohawkDay would not be possible without our Challenge Leaders, Social Ambassadors, alumni and friends - thank you for your support! 

Dr. Kharoti

Coe alumnus comes back to campus to share his story of bringing education to thousands in Afghanistan

Coe alumnus, Dr. Mohammad Kharoti, class of 1975, spoke in Coe College’s Kesler Auditorium on Wednesday, March 30.

Dr. Kharoti was the first in his town in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province to learn to read and write. Since graduating from Coe and then medical school, he has spent the last two decades bringing education to thousands in Afghanistan. 

Following an introduction by President David Hayes ’93, Dr. Kharoti shared his story about working with the Taliban leaders over many years to bring education to the Helmand Province village of 11,000 people. His passion for education was palpable as he recounted the details of his efforts and his drive to educate both boys and girls in his hometown village. His work started and continues today through the Green Village Schools, which he founded in 2001 with only 16 students.

The event was sponsored by the Committee on Diversity, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Muslim Student Association and the Office of Alumni Engagement. John Chaimov, associate professor of German, director of off-campus study, and associate director of international student affairs, coordinated Dr. Kharoti’s visit. 

“I enjoyed Dr. Kharoti's talk at Coe in 2006, so I have long admired his school-building project,” said Chaimov. “I was excited when the opportunity arose to bring him back to campus this spring. He is so passionate about his project and spices his descriptions with humorous stories and folk sayings that you can see how he can bring a Taliban leader to see things his way.”

Dr. Kharoti’s time on campus also coincided with the recent arrival of more than 200 airlifted Afghans to their new home in Cedar Rapids, affording him the opportunity to meet with several of them and offer hope to those just arriving to a place of strange language and customs.

Learn more about Dr. Kharoti’s work and journey at https://www.greenvillageschools.ngo/

Kids on Course Hayes

Coe welcomes nearly 50 middle school students to campus for Kids on Course Day

On March 30, Coe College welcomed the return of local middle school students through the Kids on Course program after a two-year hiatus. Approximately 50 students took part in a range of activities which included attending a class taught by college faculty, touring Coe's campus, and participating in an athletic or arts activity.  President David Hayes '93 welcomed the group and expressed gratitude for the resumption of the event and invited the students to make Coe their college during the day's activities. 
President Hayes also highlighted how Coe has partnered with Kids on Course and the Zach Johnson Foundation to offer the Coe Kids on Course Scholarship.  This scholarship provides a renewable award of $36,000 per year to eligible incoming Kids on Course Students who meet admissions and renewal criteria.  The first cohort of students eligible for the scholarship would begin their Coe education in the 2022-2023 Academic Year.
The event was led by C3's Office of Community and Engagement and received support from different groups across campus including individual Coe student volunteers, admission staff and student tour guides, the athletic department, and students from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and students and faculty from the art department.  
Joe Demarest, Director of Community and Civic Engagement, extended his thanks for both the ability to host the event and the willingness of so many to help make the day memorable.
"It was amazing to receive the level of support from those who made this day truly special for the students from Kids on Course. Between the efforts of the Kids on Course staff and everyone at Coe who played a role, we were able to provide a great experience for these children in our community and help them realize that their path to college may lead them to our doorstep," Demarest said.

Coe Wrestling Closes out Season at Division III National Championships

The Coe College wrestling team ended its season on Saturday, March 12 at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse on the final day of the NCAA Division III National Championships. Kaleb Reeves '22 and Will Esmoil '24, who both locked up All-American status the day before, earned top-four finishes for the Kohawks on the final day. Reeves, whose only loss came to heavyweight runner-up Dononvan King from Olivet, dominated all three of his matches en route to a third-place finish. He recorded two more falls on Saturday and picked up a major decision in the consolation semis to claim more bonus points for Coe. Esmoil suffered a defeat in his opening match of the day, going for a late takedown in the final period as he trailed 6-4 but his opponent Kyle Hatch from Wabash found the position and secured a fall with five seconds left in the bout. He bounced right back in the consolation bracket, picking up a 7-6 decision over Cooper Pontelandolfo from New York University to earn a spot in the consolation finals. Esmoil saw his excellent tournament come to an end in the third-place match, falling 9-6 to seventh-seeded Chase Schmidt from UW-Eau Claire. As a team, Coe finished with 37.5 total points, taking sixth place in the standings while Wartburg took home the team title with 79 points, one ahead of second-place Wabash. 

Coe students at GreatAmerica

Spring Break Externship Returns to Coe

After postponing many in-person events due to the pandemic, Coe’s C3: Creativity, Careers, Community Spring Break Externship has finally returned. Thirteen Coe students took on a three-day journey to utilize their break by engaging in various networking events with alumni and exploring multiple worksites in the Cedar Rapids area. Organized by the C3 & Alumni Office, this trip allowed students to learn about amazing careers and post-graduate opportunities. 

Starting on the first day, students attended GreatAmerica Financial Services in downtown Cedar Rapids which included an office tour and alumni Q&A panel with Derek Meier ‘08, Constance Schlitter ‘20 and upcoming senior Lilly Meade ‘22. The next stop featured some outdoor activity to gain knowledge of the sports industry with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. This visit was led by Coe alum Scott Wilson ‘91 who serves as the General Manager and the students had a great time. Shortly after, students enjoyed another site visit to the Czech & Slovak Museum to learn about multiple exhibits and join an additional Q & A panel with staff. To close out the evening students gathered at the Parlor City restaurant for a networking event to connect with many alumni including; Zoe Fredriksen ‘19, Mike Coulter ‘10, Nick Ludwig ‘11, Constance Schlitter ‘20, and Dale Todd ‘78, and this event was one of the top workshops the students enjoyed! 

The fun and excitement didn't stop there as students embarked on another engaging day with their first stop at the Cedar Rapids Eastern Iowa Airport where they learned about the interesting roles behind the scenes, including hearing from alum Kathy Bell ‘93. Up next, students headed to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance site and learned the importance of using professional platforms, such as LinkedIn, to find ideal positions from a Q&A staff panel featuring Coe alum Anne Laugen ‘91 who serves as the Membership Growth Specialist. Additionally, to get some fun in the sun, students headed to the Indian Creek Nature Center and learned about many careers in the outdoors from a presentation and worksite tour with Coe alum Nancy Lackner ‘96 who serves as the Membership & Development Coordinator. Lastly, to wrap up day two students engaged in another alumni networking event at Carlos O’Kelly’s with alums Aliana Tschida ‘19, Claire Tupper ‘18, Kevin Welu ‘86, Chris Young ‘85, Katie Dostal ‘99, Bob Untiedt ‘85, Elaina Kempin ‘89, Katie Crockett ‘18 and Derek Crockett ‘15. Students truly enjoyed this event as well and gained so much insight to take with them to their future careers. Finally, to close with day, three students were able to visit EcoLips and created a custom-made lip balm with a worksite tour and a staff Q&A panel with Coe alum Jen Johnson ‘98 within her current role as the Director of Innovation. 

This remarkable experience allowed students to grow and prepare for life after college without trepidation. 

“An example of what I learned from coming here was that the way to my future and to a job is not as clear cut or black and white as it seems to be. In the future, when I get rejected from a job or graduate program or anything, I will not lie down and give-up’’ said Maximo Bunay ‘24

“’This experience taught me to take advantage of any opportunities I get, and I also 
learned how businesses hire from several fields and not only from one specialization’’ said
Maggie Nansamba ‘25. “This program was truly amazing and we cannot wait to see what the next year brings!”

Pauline Huston Miller '43 celebrates her 100th birthday April 14

In her days as a Coe student, Miller lettered in field hockey and during her senior year was vice president of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, president of the Panhellenic Association and president of the Women's Athletic Association. She has stayed active with Coe as an alumna, returning for Homecoming and acting as the Class of 1943 representative. Until a few years ago, she created a newsletter for her class as well as the Class of 1942. She also has been a loyal donor to Coe ever since she graduated. 
Miller’s connections to Coe and Cedar Rapids run deep. Both of her older sisters, Mary Huston Stewart ’33 and Jane Huston Carson ’39, also went to Coe. Their grandfather, Charles D. Huston, served as mayor of Cedar Rapids from 1902-1905, as postmaster general from 1914-1921, and as mayor again from 1922-1923 and 1930-1931.
Nothing would make Pauline happier than lots of birthday greetings from fellow Kohawks. Wish her a happy birthday here!

Save the Date for this year's Homecoming!

Mark your calendars for this year's Homecoming celebration. Join us October 13-16 as we look to celebrate "Traditions Old and New in 2022". Watch for details on the official Homecoming page and make your plans to visit campus this fall.

Graduation Weekend | Coe College Class of 2022

Commencement for the Coe College Class of 2022 is right around the corner. View details about the ceremony and the plans being made to celebrate the newest class of Coe alumni!

Substitute teachers

Coe teacher education majors fill critical need as substitute teachers across Iowa

In the midst of teacher shortages across the nation, Assistant Professor of Education Sarah Kress ’99 believes the future of teaching is bright.

“You know you’ve done a good job when you look at your students and think I would want my own kid in their classroom,” she said. 

Recently COVID-19 has put an extra strain on teacher availability, so the need for subs has become critical. For the last several years, Kohawks studying teacher education have been substitute teaching in Iowa school districts following license requirement adjustments to help alleviate staffing shortages. And more Kohawks than ever before have heeded the call for help this school year.

With years of experience as an educator, administrator, and Coe faculty member, Professor Kress has experienced a high demand in letter of recommendation requests from students eager to make a difference and learn from expertise in the field. These letters verify students are over 21 years of age and are enrolled in the teacher education program, a requirement to apply for an Iowa substitute teaching license.

The number of Coe students willing to step up and help shouldn’t be surprising — Coe is one of Washington Monthly’s top 100 liberal arts colleges, a list based on contributions to the public good.

Emily Klostermann ’22 is among the six Kohawks substitute teaching this year. She has been substitute teaching in Linn Mar, West Delaware, and Maquoketa Valley school districts for the last several months.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some experience in the classroom and make some money. I also knew many schools in the area are struggling to find substitute teachers right now, and I wanted to help in any way I could,” Emily said.

Every Kohawk is guaranteed an internship, research, or off-campus study opportunity. This is especially true for students in the teacher education program. Coe’s curriculum incorporates the five school districts surrounding Cedar Rapids as Kohawks accumulate 120 hours of classroom experience before they even student teach. With 65 total schools nearby, the future teachers are gaining confidence and reaffirming their interest in the field of education. Yet, Coe students who are substitute teaching are exceeding experience expectations in more ways than one.

“Substitute teaching has provided an opportunity for me to really apply what I have learned in the classroom. For example, we talk a lot about classroom management in class, but that can be hard to replicate in a college classroom…On the other hand, I can now take what I have learned in substitute teaching and apply that to what I am learning in class, which is really helpful,” Emily said.

The average class at Coe is comprised of 16 students to support engaging lectures, conversation, and one-on-one attention from faculty. But, Kohawks substitute teachers are going completely solo for valuable real-world experience.

“In our field experience, students have a supervisor in the classroom when they student teach. But when they are subbing, they are leading those classrooms alone, so it is more experience with classroom management. Their confidence grows when they show themselves they can be leaders in the classroom and take charge,” Professor Kress added.

What started as a desire to help fill a crucial role in a time of need also is paying future professional dividends. For Emily, substitute teaching also has allowed her to explore different grade levels as an elementary education major pursuing a reading endorsement.

“It was very intimidating to put myself out there and try something new, but the more I did it and the more experience I built up, the more comfortable I felt walking into a new school or classroom. This hands-on experience has really helped prepare me for life after Coe,” she said.

Emily is set to student teach next fall —  but is already getting noticed by employers. It’s not a surprise. For the past decade, nearly 100% of grads are employed or in graduate school within a year of graduation.

“This opportunity has allowed me to make so many connections to professionals in the field. At many of the schools I have subbed at, the principals have come up to me and asked me when I am graduating because they would be interested in offering me a job. I have also been able to network with a lot of teachers and start building relationships with people who I might someday work with,” Emily said. 

Beyond watching Kohawks help fill a great need in Iowa, Professor Kress is simply proud to watch her Kohawks fly.

“I’m blown away with our students’ reflectiveness and resilience. They are both confident and humble. That makes for a phenomenal teacher and why I think the teaching profession is looking bright,” Professor Kress said.

Custom Coe merchandise pop-up store available now!

Have you ever wanted to customize your own Coe gear to show off your Coe pride? For a limited time, you can! In partnership with the official Coe Marketplace, we are excited to offer a special Coe pop-up store, where you can pick from a number of different clothing and logo options and make your own Coe-branded shirt. This store is available through April 15, so order your gear now!