E-News - November 8, 2023

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

Kohawks celebrate the 50th annual Culture Show

This year marks a special milestone for Coe College’s International Club with the 50th annual Culture Show. The evening was filled with performances from talented students from around the world, a fashion show, global cuisine and a celebration of culture. Check out the highlights in this video.

Save the date for Giving Tuesday

November 28 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy. Last year on Giving Tuesday, our generous donors raised over $40,000 to support students at Coe. We invite our Coe community to give in support of students, faculty and staff — your gift allows the college to continue to offer exceptional experiences to the Kohawks on campus. Your donation changes lives! 

We have several challenges and match opportunities to make your gift of any amount go even further on Giving Tuesday. Don’t want to wait until November 28 to give? No problem! Make your gift today.

Be Significant Podcast hosts

Two alumni helping others to “Be Significant”

This is a tale many Kohawks know well, but with a twist.

You come to Coe, meet some of the most intriguing, intelligent and passionate people you’ve ever come across and become lifelong friends. You spend years — even decades — after graduation meeting up and laughing over your best Coe stories like you were students again.

So it is for Matt Rogers ’97 and Beth Cook ’98. They were in the same friend circles at Coe, worked together briefly and remain close friends to this day. Beth takes biannual trips with Matt’s wife, Karen Numoto ’97. Telling Coe stories turned into sharing career chronicles and life lessons. Their twist, though, was sharing stories with their circle of friends wasn’t quite enough.

These professional triumphs, leadership experiences and connections could help others. This realization led them to start a podcast entitled “Be Significant.” Although Matt and Beth held no grand ambitions at the beginning, the podcast is starting to take off. They are both beginning to realize its potential impact, a familiar tale from their time at Coe.

In high school, both fell in love with Coe’s campus on recruiting visits. Beth was an accomplished diver with Division I offers, but wanted a more balanced college experience. Matt was a legacy Kohawk that at one time was hesitant to attend Coe because his siblings had claimed the campus as theirs years prior. He came around and agreed to a campus visit, though, when a spot on the basketball team opened up. His brother Tim Rogers ’82 and sister Beth Brockman Rogers ’83 were grads, and Tim went on to teach economics at Coe.

“It took about 30 seconds to fall in love with the campus, the students and the people. I was in. All the sudden it was not my brother and sister’s college, it was mine,” Matt said.

While students, both Matt and Beth chose to be as involved as possible on campus and began to realize their own potential — Matt even served as student body president.

As the years after graduation passed, Matt and Beth were building their professional experiences. Matt coached basketball and mentored, while Beth held human resources leadership positions with large corporations. Strong leadership has impacted both of their lives, and sharing stories about the people who have helped them gain success turned out to be the origin for their podcast.

“We were reminded about our similarities, our passion for strong leadership, what a good leader can do for an individual and what mentoring can do for an individual. You can learn something from anybody,” Beth said.

That’s what they themselves are trying to accomplish with each episode of Be Significant — continued learning about leadership and managing pivotal moments that present themselves in a lifetime. They hope their listeners learn something as well, or at least are inspired to mentor or seek mentorship.

The title of their podcast itself is a source of inspiration. After graduating from Coe, Matt encountered a speaker who said to remove “success” from your vocabulary and replace it with “significance.” The idea is that significance is performing under pressure and owning what you do in your life.

“We both thought that ‘Be Significant’ was transcendent,” Matt said. “We want to show that people can come from anywhere and achieve great things.”

So far their roster of guests has demonstrated just that. They discuss life and leadership with figures from their own lives, including a doctor, COO, secret service agent and fellow Kohawks like Amy Sands ’98 who went from growing up in a small town to a booming career in Manhattan. The Be Significant podcast has had more than 5,000 listeners for its first 26 episodes, a response that both Matt and Beth describe as “overwhelming.”

Challenges have presented themselves so far, but they have been far from insurmountable. There’s the technical side of producing a podcast where Beth has taken the lead, as well as the logistical challenge of coordinating when both hosts and their guest have the time for an interview over Zoom. Matt resides in Colorado and Beth lives in Chicago.

In their own professional lives, Beth is the vice president for human resources at Engie Impact, a global company that helps other organizations implement the change and transformation required to achieve decarbonization goals. She has also started her own consulting business (www.HRUnbiased.com), where she supports, among many things, executive and leadership coaching as well as facilitates team building to meet strategic business goals. Matt launched a coaching and recruiting business, Significant Coaching (www.significantcoaching.net), LLC in October and published a book in September, titled “Significant Recruiting: The Playbook for Prospective College Athletes.” His work and writing is centered on advising families going through the college recruiting process, as well as being a resource for colleges to develop recruitment and program building strategies. Each remains dedicated to the podcast, as it has enriched their own lives with continued lessons on topics like active listening, inclusivity, risk-taking and team-building.

“We’re trying to help develop leaders at all levels. Leaders can impact an organization from any level holistically. These lessons we’re learning can help make anyone great,” Beth said. “We’re getting fantastic conversations and people are talking about things that are significant to our world.”

The Be Significant podcast can be found on major podcast platforms, including Apple and Spotify. Episodes generally run around an hour.

The community and camaraderie they found at Coe is still dear to both. Beth served as the alumni council president and both continue to be astonished by the number of Kohawks who are willing to connect and help.

“You don’t get that everywhere. Coe’s an amazing college,” Beth said.

Carter Maske ’24 shares his Coe story. Carter spent a life-changing summer interning at FOX Sports, thanks to help from C3: Creativity, Careers, Community and an exclusive opportunity made possible by alum Curt Menefee ’87

Coe alumni are recognized for their achievements and expertise

  • Danielle Hollingshead Land ’18 was interviewed by CNN about the potential impacts of saltwater intrusion in New Orleans on corrosion of lead pipes. Danielle is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University.
  • Heather O’Brien Lander ’01 was promoted to Lieutenant at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the first woman in the agency’s history to have been promoted to that rank.
  • Jodi Bauer Stepanek ’00 and her husband, Derek, were recognized by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance for the impact their family-owned business, Northtowne Cycling & Fitness, has left on the community. The Stepaneks received a BRAVO Award at the Good Morning Cedar Rapids! annual recognition program.
  • Ken McMartin ’73 was honored with the Career Achievement Award from the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT), the highest award in the field, this fall. Ken has been a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at Louisiana State University since 1980. 

Recent Couriers 2022.jpg

Courier Class Notes deadline December 1

Do you have news you would like to include in the spring Courier? Send us your submission by December 1 through updating your information or by sending an email to courier@coe.edu.

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.

November 22-24: Thanksgiving break — The Advancement Office will be closed. Students will be on Thanksgiving break from November 20-24.

November 28: Giving Tuesday — Support current and future Kohawks by participating in this annual online giving day.

December 3: Coe goes to the Wizard of Oz — Kohawk alumni and families are invited to attend the Wizard of Oz at Theatre Cedar Rapids, so reserve your tickets before they’re gone.

December 22 - January 1: Winter break — The Advancement Office will be closed. Students will be on winter break from December 15 - January 9.