E-News - December 2, 2019

Gazette Business Award

Coe College C3 wins Gazette Business Award

Coe's C3: Creativity, Careers, Community center has again earned recognition for serving students in innovative ways.

Coe, along with three other corridor colleges and universities, won a 2019 Gazette Business Award for its implementation and use of Handshake. Handshake is an online system designed to connect students, alumni and potential employers as they search for internship and job opportunities.

C3, a catalyst for the college’s designation as the #15 school in the nation for internships, began using Handshake in 2018 as a way to seamlessly connect Kohawks with internships and careers.

"We encourage all Kohawks to utilize the services of C3 and Handshake as early as their first term. Gaining internship and other experiences helps students build their skills, their resume and their Handshake profile so that employers can find and recruit them more easily," said C3 Co-Director Barb Tupper '89.

Handshake serves as a conduit for Kohawks to identify their career interests, apply for internships and jobs and read job-related student reviews. Kohawks also are able to seek advice from other students who have held jobs in which they are interested.

Handshake is used much like other career search engines, but the internships and jobs posted here specifically target college students and alumni. In addition to internships and careers, Kohawks use Handshake to apply for on-campus work-study and summer jobs.

Unique to Coe, the Coe Promise guarantees Kohawks will conduct research, study off-campus or complete an internship before graduating. As a result, year after year, nearly 100% of reporting graduates have been employed or in graduate school within one year of graduation.

Kohawk Startup Group Photo

Kohawk Startup event awards $10,000 in prizes to Coe students

Kohawk Startup, Coe’s second annual 24-hour entrepreneurship and innovation event, generated 35 aspiring innovators. Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Coe alum David Tominsky ’98 led the group through the entrepreneurial process from idea generation and business modeling to pitching and presenting.

The event began at 6:00 PM on November 8 and concluded at 6:00 PM on November 9. On Friday evening, ideas were pitched, teams were formed and research ensued. Throughout the day Saturday, teams received guidance from Cedar Rapids area leaders and worked through customer discovery and problem identification.

Thanks to generous support from entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Mark Harris ’85, cash prizes were awarded to the winning teams. First-place and $5,000 was awarded to team Nodey which pitched the idea of remote monitoring technology enabling the agriculture industry to make optimal decisions using real-time data about field conditions.

Second-place and $2,500 was awarded to team FullFilled with the concept of a data-driven social and gamified app connecting volunteers to nonprofits and nonprofits to donors.

Team Charlie’s Community Garden was the third-place and audience choice winner receiving $2,500. They pitched the idea of installing a hoop house to provide a direct supply of fresh produce to “The Nest,” Coe’s on-campus food and necessities pantry.

The top three teams will continue to meet with Tominsky for follow-up consultation and to expand their entrepreneurial spirit. With Tominsky’s entrepreneur-in-residence position, he will maintain a dedicated space on Coe’s campus for one-on-one entrepreneurial coaching, available to all current Kohawks.

Kim Peiper and Mary Schlaphoff

Alumnae duo creates online shopping tool with a social conscience

Kim Pieper ’04 and Mary Schlaphoff ’04 are putting their passion for social change to work in the form of Tribe, a tech tool that gives online shoppers insight into the ethics of companies from which they purchase.

Pieper and Schlaphoff met as roommates their freshman year at Coe and have been friends ever since. Schlaphoff introduced Pieper to the Political Science Club, which sparked an interest in politics that led Pieper to a 10-year career as a political strategist and inspired her to found Tribe. She had come to realize how much power big business holds in society, but also saw the ability consumers have to effect change. “When one person changes how they shop, they make a dent. If all of us change how we shop, we create a mass movement,” Pieper said.

Tribe is a browser tool that indicates to shoppers on Amazon.com whether a company tests its products on animals. When a Tribe user selects a product for purchase, a small box appears that shares animal testing information on the product manufacturer. Tribe then tells companies how much money their harmful practices are costing them as users switch to more ethically manufactured products.

Schlaphoff joined Tribe about a year after the company was founded and serves as the research director. With a background in marketing and communications, she also is heavily involved in marketing and product management.

To develop the product, Pieper and four other co-founders worked with a developer to verify their idea could be implemented. Pieper developed a business model and plan, and the team conducted a survey of 1,000 Amazon shoppers to determine whether there was a market for their product. After securing investments, the group began building Tribe. “As majors in philosophy, English, political science and German, managing a development team proved challenging for us at first,” Pieper and Schlaphoff noted. “But with the help of some mentors, we finally found our rhythm.”

Throughout the process, Pieper and Schlaphoff have relied on many skills they learned at Coe. Pieper credits Howard Hall Professor of Philosophy Jeff Hoover for teaching her to think outside the box and challenge typical views of systems and structures. “We tend to think of politics and nonprofit work as the means to positively impact our world, but I want to turn that thinking on its head and present a new means of activism that has trackable results,” she said.

As a former Writing Center consultant, Schlaphoff developed skills she now uses to create marketing content and communicate with investors and potential partners. Her background in political science also is invaluable in her role as research director. “I lean on my political science major to understand issues and think through ways of breaking them down to encourage meaningful change,” she said.

Pieper and her co-founders have big plans for the future of the company. Their goal is to have the largest database of information on businesses’ values, policies and practices. They also hope to partner with more nonprofits to help them share their information with broader audiences and build awareness for their causes.

Upcoming versions of Tribe will give users information about companies’ political giving, environmental practices and other important social issues. The team is currently working on adding a product recommendations capability and intends to make Tribe available on other popular sites such as Target.com.

To learn more about Tribe and add the tool to your browser, visit the company’s website at www.jointribe.us.

Coe Handbell Choir

Coe College to celebrate Christmas with Convocation and Vespers services

Christmas will be celebrated with the annual Christmas Convocation at 11:00 AM and Christmas Vespers at 7:30 PM on December 3, both in Sinclair Auditorium. The services will feature the Coe College Concert Choir and Handbell Ensemble.

Coe Concert Choir, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Jesse Bunge, will perform traditional anthems and Christmas music. The Coe Handbell Ensemble, directed by MacMillan Assistant Professor of Music Brett Wolgast, also will perform. Wolgast will accompany the services on the organ.

Both services follow the grand British Lessons and Carols tradition and are patterned after that of King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England. During the services, hymns and carols are used in place of psalms and canticles.

A beautiful perspective on the meaning of the Christmas season will be presented through the message of biblical scriptures and verses in carols and anthems. Both services will include the story of Jesus’ birth presented in lessons read throughout the service by Coe College Chaplain Melea White, as well as students, staff and faculty members. Participants will be invited to join in singing several of the Christmas hymns and carols.

The Coe College Music Department and the Office of the Chaplain are co-sponsoring the services. The college would like to thank Hy-Vee for providing refreshments. Both services are free and open to the public with refreshments following each service. If you are unable to attend either program in person, you can access the Christmas Convocation webcast at 11:00 AM on December 3 by clicking here.

Kent Herron in Aspen

Kent Herron invites alumni to Aspen

Doc Herron encourages alumni to join him March 15-19, 2020, for a grand reunion of a half century of Coe College skiing in Aspen! Doc has been skiing with his students in Aspen since 1972. He is excited about the opportunity to see all of them once more and celebrate old times as well as create some new memories. And he’d like to do it while he still can ski.

Details and registration will be available soon at alumni.coe.edu/events.

Coe International Club hosts 46th annual Culture Show

Traditions from around the world were on display at the Culture Show on November 2. Talented Kohawks showcased music, dance, fashion and more from their native cultures in a celebration of campus diversity.

Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin Headshot

Director of MIT AgeLab Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin to speak at Coe Contemporary Issues Forum

An expert in disruptive demographics, Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., teaches policy and systems innovation and was named one of Fast Company Magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” Dr. Coughlin will speak at the 17th annual Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday, February 18, at 7:30 PM in Sinclair Auditorium.

Dr. Coughlin’s research provides insights on how demographic change, technology, social trends and consumer behavior will converge to drive future innovations in business and government. This will be a great event for people of all ages planning for a successful future in an ever-changing economy.

This year’s event will be planned and hosted in partnership with Mercy Medical Center.

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319.399.8600, Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Established by the late K. Raymond Clark ’30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, legendary soccer player Abby Wambach, leading commentator on race Jelani Cobb, environmentalists and social entrepreneurs Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews and pioneering astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

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Share the Coe spirit during this season of giving

As we look toward the upcoming New Year, we know the generosity of those who invest in Coe College makes all the difference in our success. Your support means a lot to us, and during this giving season, there are many simple ways you can support our work and benefit yourself and your loved ones.

  • Make A Gift Today — If you want to make an impact and receive income tax savings, make your gift now and see the results of your generosity in action immediately.
  • Avoid Capital Gains — If you are concerned about preserving your cash resources, consider a gift of an appreciated asset. A gift of securities, business interests or real estate can provide you with significant income and capital gains tax savings, often exceeding the benefits of a cash gift.
  • IRA Charitable Rollover — People age 70½ or older who own an IRA can make cash gifts directly from their IRA to charity. For many people, this is the best tax-wise way to give. An IRA rollover gift will not be included in your taxable income and will qualify for your required minimum distribution.
  • Start New Income — Fund a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust with a gift of cash or appreciated assets and receive a lifetime income and generate a current income tax deduction.  You will also bypass all or a portion of the capital gains on appreciated assets and when you pass away, any remaining funds will come to Coe.
  • Leave A Legacy — There are many simple ways you can support Coe College through an estate plan. A bequest through a provision in a will or trust is one of the easiest gifts you can make. You can make a bequest of a dollar amount, a specific asset, or a percentage of or the residue from your estate. A beneficiary designation is simply naming Coe College as the beneficiary of an asset you own, such as a retirement account. Most people like the fact that these are revocable and can be modified at any time.
  • Blend Your Giving — For an even greater impact, consider a gift today of your IRA distribution, real property, appreciated assets or cash, and complement it with a gift in your will or estate plan. You benefit by seeing and knowing you are building a legacy that will grow.

There are many ways we can help you fulfill your philanthropic goals while enjoying tax savings and income advantages. Visit alumni.coe.edu/waystogive or contact our gifts specialist at 319.399.8542.

Send us your news for the Courier!

Spring Courier Class Notes — Do you have news you would like printed in the Spring Courier? Send us your submission by December 15 using the Update My Info form or by sending an email to courier@coe.edu.

World War II Alumni Stories — The Spring and Summer issues of the Courier will feature stories of Coe alumni who served in World War II to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. Alumni veterans of World War II or their family members are encouraged to share their stories to be reviewed and edited for possible inclusion in the Courier. Please submit stories and photos (if applicable) via email to courier@coe.edu or mail to:

Coe College Advancement Office 
Attn: Courier Submissions 
1220 1st Ave. NE 
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

The deadline for World War II story submissions is January 10, 2020.

Upcoming Alumni Events

December 7 — SAA Annual Children’s Holiday Party — The Coe College Student Alumni Association invites you to join them for its annual holiday party. The event is recommended for children ages 4-12, but all are welcome!

January 12 — New York City Alumni/Student Reception — Coe students participating in New York Term this spring will kick off their experience with a reception to connect with area alumni. Join us for this special event!