E-News - February 6, 2024

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

There’s still time to attend the 20th annual Contemporary Issues Forum

Coe College welcomes DJ Patil, first-ever U.S. chief data scientist, as the 2024 K. Raymond Clark Contemporary Issues Forum speaker. Patil will be on Coe’s campus Thursday, February 8, at 7:30 PM, and his speaking engagement in Sinclair Auditorium is open to the public, both in-person and virtually. Tickets are available at Coe’s online box office. The general public can purchase tickets for $10, while non-Coe students and seniors can purchase tickets for $5. Virtual tickets are also available to livestream the event for $10.

DJ Patil is considered to be one of the most influential data scientists in the world. He was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first U.S. chief data scientist and was tasked with making the U.S. Federal Government a data-driven enterprise, establishing nearly 40 chief data officer roles across an array of departments and programs. He helped establish new health care programs including the Precision Medicine Initiative and the Cancer Moonshot, criminal justice reforms including the Data-Driven Justice and Police Data Initiatives that cover more than 94 million Americans and led policy efforts related to national data. As an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow for the Department of Defense, he directed efforts to leverage social network analysis to anticipate emerging threats to the U.S.

In the private sector, Patil led product teams at RelateIQ, was a founding board member for Crisis Text Line which uses technologies to provide on-demand mental and crisis support and was a member of the venture firm Greylock Partners. He was also chief scientist, chief security officer and head of analytics and data product teams at the LinkedIn Corporation, where he co-coined the term “data scientist.” He has held a number of roles at Skype, PayPal and eBay. Until recently, he was the chief technology officer at Devoted Health, which aims to make health care easier, more affordable and more caring. Patil is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, where his research focuses on nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory and he has helped start a major research initiative on numerical weather prediction.

Patil was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, which is the highest honor the department bestows on a civilian, for his extensive work in national security initiatives. In 2014, he was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and he is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

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, pioneering astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, MIT AgeLab Director Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin, Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen, Negro Leagues Museum President Bob Kendrick and influential data scientist DJ Patil.

Coe Mourns George Henry

Coe College mourns the passing of campus icon George Henry

With heavy hearts, Coe College mourns the passing of George Henry ’49, an alumnus and beloved campus figure known amongst Kohawks and the greater community as “Mr. Coe College.”

For decades, Henry was the official campus photographer, and through this work created an incredible legacy that will be felt for decades to come through the images he captured during his 67-year career — images that continue to hang across campus as a tribute to his uncanny ability to capture both the routine and extraordinary events that shaped Coe.

“Many a Kohawk recognized that no event was truly a Coe gathering until George appeared to capture the moment with his lens,” said Coe College President David Hayes ’93. “He will be dearly missed by all those who had the opportunity to know him and see the world through his work.”

Henry began his time with Coe in 1941, with his education interrupted due to his dedication to his country during World War II. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 and served with distinction and valor as a B-24 bomber pilot until 1945. Although he majored in commerce and finance, he began taking photos for the Cosmos newspaper and yearbook, studying under Professor of Art Marvin D. Cone ’14. After graduating in 1949, he never left Coe.

In acknowledgment of his multi-decade role as the college photographer, the college archives were dedicated as the George T. Henry Archives in 1999. His generosity and that of his late wife, Kay, made it possible for the space to preserve his photographs, college publications, Coe-related artifacts and the history of the college. In his time at Coe, Henry photographed luminaries like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., United States presidents and foreign heads of state.

The significance of Henry’s service to Coe has been recognized further through the years. He has been the recipient of the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 1984, Alumni Award of Merit in 2004 and the Kesler Outstanding Service Award in 2018. Coe also bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts to him in 1998.

Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, he has also left a significant mark on this city and community. Henry shared his photographic talent with Theatre Cedar Rapids, capturing over 150 productions for posterity. He also was the longest-serving member of the Optimist Club, with membership spanning over 70 years.

George Henry’s Coe story: www.coe.edu/why-coe/legends-coe/george-henry

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Mike Coulter '10 and the INT-100 class

Kohawk alumni make a difference volunteering for Coe

Coe’s campus is continually busy, offering a range of events and experiences for students and the community. Many of these events are only possible through support from alumni giving back to their alma mater with their time and talent.

C3: Creativity, Careers, Community is one such area where alumni connections are essential. This spring’s Career Community events feature alumni panels offering their expertise on networking, negotiation and life after Coe. 

Colton Storla ’16 is an employee benefits risk advisor at North Risk Partners offering valuable insight. “I’m in a very complex industry of employee benefits but more specifically health insurance. I am always open to educate anyone and everyone on the topic,” said Storla. “I get excited about opportunities to educate other Coe College students on topics I wish I would have known more about back when I was there.”

Dominic Fails ’87 works in the media and entertainment industry in Houston, Texas. Not only is he volunteering with C3 this term, he is also a member of the college’s Alumni Council. “As a first-generation college student, I experienced the benefits of Coe College’s commitment to financially, socially and academically supporting students. The benefits and impact on me personally and professionally have been profound and longer-lasting than I ever could’ve imagined when I came to Coe at 17,” said Fails.

For Fails, volunteering is what being an alumnus is all about. “Engaging with Coe and current students is a way to not only give back but also see that the core of what Coe has always been still survives and thrives on the campus and in the students of today.”

Mike Coulter ’10 is a market director at Palmer Group, and he joined the INT-100 professional development course offered by C3 as a guest speaker, discussing the power of networking and utilizing LinkedIn to your advantage. The smiles on the class’s faces say a thousand words about his impact.

These are only a few stories, and opportunities to volunteer with Coe are endless! Alumni can express their interest to be a volunteer or to get involved with the Alumni Council

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Refer a Kohawk

Your time at Coe included some of the best years of your life, right? Help someone else have an amazing experience as a Kohawk, too!

If you know a student who might benefit from Coe's unique opportunities, please tell us: www.coe.edu/recommend_a_student. Children of alumni receive an annual $1,000 Legacy Award.


Former Kohawk football standout Seth Wallace ’01 named assistant head football coach at Iowa

Former Coe College football standout wide receiver and special teams star Seth Wallace ’01 was named the assistant head football coach for the University of Iowa Hawkeye football program this month. The 2001 Coe graduate has been a key figure in developing Iowa’s linebacking corps during his 10-year tenure with the Hawkeyes. During his playing days for Coe, he was a team captain and earned a pair of all-conference honors, leading the league in receiving in 2000. Wallace is the career leader in punt returns for the Kohawks, averaging 16.35 yards for his career, and led the nation in 1997 with 301 total yards. 
He also ranks inside the top nine in career punt returns, receiving yards, touchdowns and all-purpose yards. Wallace’s coaching career began with the Kohawks in 2001, serving as wide receivers and tight ends coach while assisting with special teams for two seasons. Coe set a single-season record for victories in 2002 with 10 wins, winning the Iowa Conference title while ranking 14th in the nation. The Kohawks ranked first in the league in total offense in 2002 and first in passing offense in 2001 with Wallace on the staff. Coe also ranked second in the nation in kickoff returns in 2001 and 11th and 2002. 
After serving as a graduate assistant at Iowa for three seasons (2006-2008), Wallace went on to help Valdosta State University win the 2012 Division II national title, serving as the defensive coordinator for three seasons from 2011-2013. Since rejoining the Hawkeyes in 2014, he has worked in a variety of defensive and recruiting roles, serving as the linebackers coach since 2016. Wallace has coached numerous NFL players coming through the program. He was named the assistant defensive coordinator in 2017, working with defensive coordinator Phil Parker. Wallace earned national recognition following the 2022 season, being named the national FootballScoop Linebackers Coach of the Year. 

Legends of Coe: Bill Quinby

Bill Quinby is a living legend of Coe! From growing up on campus to being on a Super Bowl officiating crew to leading Coe’s career and athletic departments, Bill remains an inspiration for Kohawks to this day.

Upcoming & Virtual Events

There are always ways for the Coe alumni community to be involved with Coe and events on campus. You can stream music events and athletic home games from wherever you are, and stay up-to-date on the Coe calendar to find other interesting and exciting events.

February 17: Coe Night at the Roughriders — Join fellow Kohawks for a fun night of hockey and conversations, and even the chance to ride on a Zamboni. Register now before tickets run out.

April 6: International Club Banquet — International Club is celebrating 50 years of being part of Coe’s campus, and their events are bigger than ever. Alumni are invited to save the date and take part in this year’s banquet. Share your interest in attending, and keep an eye out for information to follow.