E-News - May 19, 2023

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

Commencement for the Coe Class of 2023

On May 7, Coe recognized the achievements of the Class of 2023 in the annual graduation ceremony. Degrees were conferred for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science in Nursing on the Stewart Memorial Library quad. Mimi Daoud ’23 served as the student commencement speaker, and the college welcomed back Andrew George ’07 to impart a message to graduating seniors. Watch the above video to experience the weekend for yourself, and check out the forthcoming summer Courier for more.

Dr. Meira Kensky earns ACM fellowship

Dr. Meira Kensky named an inaugural ACM Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow

Joseph E. McCabe Professor of Religion and Director of Advising Meira Kensky is one of 10 faculty across Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) institutions to be designated as an inaugural Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow. Funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, the ACM Mellon Academic Leadership Fellows Program is meant to familiarize humanities faculty with academic leadership at the highest level through immersion in the workings of upper-level academic administration on their campus. Leadership development is a central priority of the ACM’s current strategic plan.

The ACM describes the fellows as "tenured ACM faculty who have demonstrated leadership capabilities, a commitment to diversity and inclusive equity, and the potential to have a transformative impact through leadership at their current or future institutions." This two-year term begins in June 2023.

“Coe is extremely appreciative of the support that the Mellon Foundation and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest are providing to advance Dr. Kensky's work in this critical area,” said Coe President David Hayes ’93. “She is very deserving of this honor. Her presence and leadership on campus is excellently aligned with the goals of this worthwhile opportunity.”

Kensky is the author of Trying Man, Trying God: The Divine Courtroom in Early Jewish and Christian Literature, which was the inspiration for a conference on “The Divine Courtroom in Comparative Perspective” at Cordozo School of Law in New York. Currently, she is working on her second book, Go To Hell: Vicarious Travel with Peter and Paul in Earliest Christianity, under contract with Wm. B. Eerdmans, and a second book for Mohr Siebeck, Isopsychos: The Figure of Timothy in Early Christian Literature.

She was the recipient of Coe’s C.J. Lynch Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013. In fall 2018, Kensky was in residence as a teaching fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago as the co-director of the Associated College of the Midwest’s Newberry Seminar in the Humanities.

“I am honored to have been chosen as an inaugural ACM Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow,” Kensky said. “This will give me the opportunity to meet and learn from my peers at other liberal arts colleges and to work on implementation of our new academic core, especially as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. I am extremely grateful for the important work the Mellon Foundation continues to do in recognizing scholarship and leadership in the humanities and the vital role humanities scholars play in academic institutions. I look forward to being able to continue my close work with academic affairs here on campus and to continue to serve the Coe Community.” 

As contributors to senior leadership discussions, each Fellow will lead a discrete project or portfolio of responsibilities as identified by the host college’s senior leadership team.

Information used in this article was provided by the ACM.

Coe best in Iowa for accessible professors and career services

Calling alumni business owners

The Office of Advancement is excited to launch a new alumni-owned business directory later this summer. They want to include as many alumni businesses as possible to create a robust resource for the Kohawk community and entrepreneurs. If you own a business, take a few quick minutes to fill out this form with the necessary information about your business. For any questions, please reach out to alumni@coe.edu.

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Coe nationally ranked again as a Best School for Internships

For the sixth consecutive year, Coe College has been named a top private college in the country for internships. The recognition comes from The Princeton Review, which also named Coe as one of the Best Value Colleges for 2023.

Coe comes in at #12 on the Best Schools for Internships list in the private college category, and is the only Iowa college or university to be ranked. Nationally, Coe is one of just five private colleges or universities to be recognized in this category six years in a row. The Best Value Colleges list was released April 25.

Only 209 colleges in total were recognized by The Princeton Review for meeting its best value criteria, placing Coe in the top 7% of four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the country.

This annual review names the public and private colleges that have earned the highest return on investment rating—a score the company tallies using more than 40 data points including academics, affordability and career preparation.

In its profile, The Princeton Review cites Coe students who praise the college’s breadth of resources, classroom environment, academic rigor and emphasis on experiences like internships before graduation. 

“Connecting students with meaningful experiences not only solidifies what they’re learning in the classroom, it provides a head start on building their resume and expanding their emotional intelligence in the workplace which will be attractive to employers,” said President David Hayes ’93.

The Princeton Review releases an additional series of rankings each summer. In the most recent summer release, Coe’s career services were ranked #17 in the nation. C3: Creativity, Careers, Community assists students individually with career exploration, networking, interviewing, application critique and identifying volunteer opportunities. The department is uniquely situated within the college’s Advancement and Alumni Office, creating quick connections with alumni who have positions for Kohawks in their organizations. 

The Princeton Review also ranked Coe’s faculty as the #20 Most Accessible Professors in the Nation last summer.

Coe guarantees each student access to an internship, research or off-campus study before graduation. The Cedar Rapids metro area provides hundreds of internship possibilities, but Coe students also engage with national companies and organizations like Google, Corning and FOX Sports. Nearly 100% of Coe graduates are either employed, in grad school or engaging in service within nine months of graduation.

“It’s always been a campus wide effort to deliver the best education and opportunities for our students, and these continuing accolades help reinforce that our student-first approach is impactful and noticeable,” Hayes said.

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It's always a good day to give to Coe

An essential part of ensuring the life-changing experience of a Coe education are the investments of our community. Every dollar given to the Annual Fund supports the greatest needs of the college and impacts students directly. Help Coe carry the momentum of the academic year by making your investment before June 30. There is never a wrong time to give, and thank you for your continued investment and support!

Ringing the Victory Bell is a tradition like no other at Coe. It unites students through ringing the bell as an incoming student and again before they cross the stage at commencement. Hear seniors Trinity Bias, Gabrielle Buckridge, Anh Nguyen, Kaleb Reeves and Andrew Sloth describe their perspective on this tradition of excellence. To learn more about their stories, visit the Coe College Vimeo to view their senior profiles.

Westin Hansen

New York internship proves there is a professional path for all area of study combinations, even the eye-raising ones

Art history and data science typically evoke opposite images. One of ornately framed canvases… the other an endless string of code and numbers.

When you tell people these are your two areas of study, the combination apparently also produces some puzzled reactions.

“Whenever I tell people about this combination, I get a lot of confused looks and statements regarding their wide variety,” said Westin Hansen ’23.

Hansen talks about this combination because she has minors in both art history and data science in addition to her business administration major at Coe. This past term, she leaned into all those areas as an intern with Goodman Taft in New York City during Coe’s New York Term. The company acts as an art advisory and curatorial firm.

Her job title with Goodman Taft was database management intern which entailed a variety of responsibilities that intertwined art and data. She handled gallery preview communication, research emails and was in charge of the AirTable database, which is where all past, present and future exhibitions the company is involved with are organized and tracked.

“I am directly learning about arts advisory and curating, database management and maintenance, exhibition tracking, professionalism and capitalizing on my organizational skills,” Hansen said.

Hansen said she had a feeling there would be a professional niche for her interests and skills. She turned to C3: Creativity, Careers, Community to help her sharpen her resume and cover letter in preparation for the right opportunity. C3 is uniquely positioned in Coe’s Office of Advancement to facilitate professional relationships.

In Hansen’s case, the C3 advisors who work with students from particular majors added an extra level of professionalism to her application materials, she said.

So, when Hansen saw the opening for Goodman Taft on the New York City Foundation for the Arts page, she was ready to pounce. The opportunity was even sweeter because she had dreamed of living and working in New York City since high school. The opportunity to go on New York Term was actually the deciding factor in Hansen’s college decision. Coe sponsors off-campus study terms in both New York and Washington, D.C. which help Coe fulfill its promise to provide 100% of students with an internship, research or off-campus study experience.

“Working in New York City — in what I see as almost the most ideal internship that I could have landed — has really helped me to focus on my future and take myself seriously. A sort of intangible learning outcome has been the development of my self confidence,” Hansen said.

Goodman Taft’s Manhattan location is ripe with networking opportunities and the experience gained and connections she made with the small team at Goodman have already led to a sharper focus on her future. She now knows she wants to concentrate on an art management role in a public setting, ideally a museum.

There is another benefit to her experience as well — it’s much easier to explain how art history and data science can go together.

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Upcoming 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.