E-News - October 5, 2022

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

The dedication of the Center for Health & Society was a significant moment for Coe's campus. The experience was almost "surreal" for David and Janice McInally, Coe's 15th President and former First Lady for whom the Center is named.

"It is really an honor," said Janice. "We wanted to do something to give back to the wonderful students and faculty at Coe.To see it and to see our names on it is incredible, knowing how it will affect campus life, the future of Coe and its students. It's truly a humbling experience and we are so grateful."

Reinvigorating the Coe College Internship & Career Fair

The end of September saw yet another way that C3: Creativity, Careers, Community connects students with the Coe community: the annual Internship & Career Fair. After participating in virtual fairs for the past two years due to COVID, Coe has returned to an in-person career fair that is better than ever. Sixty invited employers set up shop in the Kohawk Arena, a new location, to help over 150 students of all years and majors learn about career opportunities during and after college.
There is no better way to help Kohawks chart the path from student to employee than utilizing the alumni network who has already gone through the experience. Over a dozen alumni, long-term employees and recent grads alike, represented varying industries at the fair. For each alum, there was a consensus: it was great to be back at Coe.
“I’ve come back to Coe before to speak on panels or to classes, but never something like this,” said Constance Schlitter ’20, accountant for GreatAmerica Financial Services. She interned at GreatAmerica while a student at Coe, and she was excited to share her experience transitioning from internship to full-time position with students starting to enter the search for a career.
For Nate Joens ’13, Commercial Lines Underwriter for UFG Insurance, the career fair was an opportunity to open the eyes of students to new ideas. “I was never interested in insurance as a student, so it’s great to be able to help students figure out that insurance isn’t boring and learn about what we do.” Being back at Coe for the afternoon allowed alumni in the area to not only visit their alma mater, but more importantly make connections with students that could provide networking experience or even a future coworker.
“I love it,” summed up Anne Laugen ’91 of the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance.
The new space and renewed in-person energy were not the only new elements of this year’s career fair. For the first time, C3 partnered with TRIO to ensure that the event was accessible for all participants. TRIO is a federally funded grant program that promotes academic excellence and personal development in historically underserved student populations, including those with limited financial means, first-generation college students and/or disabled students. The event promoted accessibility in its physical space, accommodated sensory needs and provided a guided experience to give students the tools to feel confident and secure when navigating the fair. This partnership with TRIO allowed the event to serve more students and ensure they can take advantage of the many opportunities C3 and the Cedar Rapids community have to offer.

  • Career Fair

    Career Fair

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Young Alumni Trustee nominations now open!

Have you ever thought about giving back to your alma mater by being part of the Coe College Board of Trustees? If you are a member of the classes of 2020, 2021 or 2022, now is your time! A Young Alumni Trustee was an initiative of the Board in the ’70s. To contribute fresh and recent perspectives, the current Board of Trustees is renewing this position to serve a two-year term beginning in fall 2023. 

Graduates from the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 are eligible to be considered as a candidate for the Young Alumni Trustee position. Self-nominations and nominations of others are welcome! The Young Alumni Trustee must meet the following criteria and be:

  • a Coe College alumni from the past three graduating classes,
  • able to demonstrate active participation in the campus community during their time as a student, and
  • able to demonstrate a collaborative spirit and willingness to serve and work for the good of the college.

Nominations close October 31. During November, all nominated candidates will be invited to fill out an application for the position. Candidate review and selection will occur during the winter and spring to appoint the Young Alumni Trustee by June 2023. Please share the names of deserving individuals with us today by completing the nomination form.

There’s still time to RSVP for the Presidential Inauguration

On behalf of the Coe College Board of Trustees, you are cordially invited to attend the inauguration of David Hayes ’93 as Coe College’s 16th President at a ceremony and reception. The celebration will take place on Friday, October 28 in Sinclair Auditorium with a reception to follow in Stewart Memorial Library. To learn more about the event and RSVP, visit our Inauguration website. We hope to see you there!

Meet your 2022 Phonathon callers

The 70th year of Coe’s Phonathon is in full swing! Student callers are dialing alumni, parents and friends to talk about their Coe experiences, provide updates about what’s happening on campus and share how the Coe community can support the college. Get to know our student callers from their bios below, and if you get a call from 319.399.8507, be sure to answer so you can speak with one of them!

If you’ve already talked with a caller and made a Phonathon gift this year, thank you for your support!

Michaela '23

Michaela ’23

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Major: History
Involved in: Coe Alliance, Residence Life, Greek Life
Favorite thing about Coe: I love how small the Coe community feels but is full of opportunities and people from all over the world.
Plans after graduation: After Coe, I plan to get dual Master’s degrees in Religion and Counseling and become a high school guidance counselor. I also might pursue a PhD in Religion.


Eric '24

Eric '24

Hometown: Kibi, Ghana
Major: Kinesiology
Involved in: Student Senate, Soccer, Living Environments Committee
Favorite thing about Coe: Accessibility to great student resources on campus!
Plans after graduation: Pursue internships in physical therapy and rehabilitation and then go to graduate school.

Parker Bohnen

Parker '25

Hometown: Harvey, Illinois
Major: Film Studies
Minor: Creative Writing
Favorite thing about Coe: I like how the professors I’ve had at Coe really care about what I’m doing even beyond classwork.
Plans after graduation: I want to get an internship and become a film director.

Trevor Frantz

Trevor '25

Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
Major: Psychology
Involved in: Crimson Singers
Favorite thing about Coe: The vast network of established individuals from all over the country.
Plans after graduation: Start off on the journey to a successful career one step ahead of the competition!

Sarah Giese

Sarah '26

Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
Major: Biochemistry
Involved in: Women’s Golf, Archery, other clubs I don’t yet know about!
Favorite thing about Coe: The inclusivity and tight-knit community is my favorite part about Coe.
Plans after graduation: I plan for graduate school at the University of Iowa to receive a master’s or doctorate in genetics.

A shot of the Sinclair Steeple through pine trees

Coe rises 10 spots in Washington Monthly’s College Guide and Rankings

Coe College continues to climb the ranks of liberal arts colleges which contribute to the public good, coming in at No. 78 in Washington Monthly’s annual liberal arts colleges ranking. This is an increase of 10 positions compared to last year, and a jump of 49 positions over the last two years.

Washington Monthly ranks colleges based on three broad categories that all tie back to improving the lives of students and the world around them: social mobility, research and promoting public service. In releasing the rankings, the publication states they are “a new definition of higher education excellence, one that measures what colleges do for their country, instead of for themselves.”

Coe’s placement on the list aligns with its mission to prepare students for meaningful lives and fulfilling careers. Coe is the second-highest ranking Iowa college (Grinnell College) on the list, and also was named to Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” list in the Midwest.

“We put our students’ well-being — personally and professionally — at the forefront of all we do. It’s important they understand how they can enhance others’ well-being as part of that focus,” said Coe President David Hayes ’93.

Coe’s efforts to provide superior student support and connections to the community have been integral to creating an atmosphere where service and contributions to the greater good are an important component of the educational experience.
At the forefront is C3: Creativity, Careers, Community, an on-campus center that connects students to community and civic engagement opportunities in addition to being a resource for career guidance and internship placement.

“An integral part of a liberal arts education is development as an active and educated citizen,” said Hayes. “We want to see our students grow and also create positive, community-driven social change.”

Coe students have volunteered or interned with organizations in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area like Willis Dady Homeless Services, Habitat for Humanity and Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. There are 25 featured community partners, and Coe students contribute more than 20,000 hours of community service each year. Additionally, Coe is continuing to make investments in campus infrastructure and programming that will create more expansive opportunities for students to impact the broader community and society:

  • The David and Janice McInally Center for Health & Society will help train students to join the health care industry, improving physical, mental and emotional well-being across society.
  • The Office of Student Success & Persistence mentors students in the transition from high school to college, creating a more equitable assimilation plan.
  • NetVUE grants allow faculty to engage with students to find their purpose and meaning in life beyond a career.

“We are honored to be rising in these rankings and remain dedicated to demonstrating the importance of community engagement for our entire campus community,” Hayes said.

JaMarcus O'Banner

Coe connections lead senior to secure competitive financial advisor internship

JaMarcus O’Banner ’23 has big dreams and an even bigger heart. While many students begin their college days eager to experience new adventures, JaMarcus stepped foot on campus focused on one goal. He was going to work hard on the football field and in the classroom to pursue a career as a financial advisor to make a positive impact in people’s lives. 

The Chicagoland native witnessed the financial struggles of his community. His parents practiced smart money habits because they wanted JaMarcus to have access to all the opportunities they didn’t have. JaMarcus learned from them and wants to pass down his knowledge to those who struggle with financial illiteracy. 

“Financial literacy provides freedom. I want everyone to smile and know their house and food are secure,” he said. 

JaMarcus is double majoring in economics and business administration. His summer has been booked with a college financial representative internship at Northwestern Mutual in Cedar Rapids. The interview process was a demanding and competitive multi-step process. With each interview, JaMarcus received a new task, and in total, he led a market survey and earned two licenses to work with life, health and disabilities insurances. 

“It’s no joke. They are one of the top in the country after all,” he laughed. 

The process of being named an intern at Northwestern Mutual all started last spring. JaMarcus shared his career goals with one of his mentors on campus, Instructor Kathy Welsh. She introduced him to C3: Creativity, Careers, Community Director of Careers Nanci Young. 

C3 cultivates and manages Coe’s robust network of alumni, employers and community partners eager to provide Kohawks with civic engagement, volunteer, internship and job opportunities. This work is nationally recognized by The Princeton Review — Coe ranks 10th in the Best Schools for Internships category and 20th for Best Alumni network among private schools. 

Soon after meeting with JaMarcus, Nanci coordinated a meeting to connect him with employees at Northwestern Mutual which resulted in the opportunity to pursue this internship.

“It’s a technical position and they talked about getting hands-on to get a feeling on what it would be like to work as a financial advisor. They talked about their values and those values aligned with me,” he said. 

In his role, JaMarcus meets with prospective clients to discuss their financial goals. And with the help of his colleagues, JaMarcus leads the process of creating a financial plan for each individual client. 

He does all this while staying true to the lesson he learned from his favorite management class at Coe. 

“Ultimately, to be successful is to care about others. Listen with your heart instead of your ears,” he said.

Girls at Coe Table

Kohawks begin vocation exploration their first year 

As the new academic year at Coe College begins, students are getting into the rhythm of classes, clubs, studying, time with friends and talking about dream jobs. For first- and second-year students, those conversations are carrying even more weight. 

A core group of faculty and staff from a variety of departments are collaborating with Coe’s C3: Creativity, Careers, Community center (C3) to engage students in finding their purpose and meaning in life beyond a career. Ben Peterson Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies Martin St. Clair and Associate Vice President for Advancement Barb Tupper '89 are leading the initiative.

For the last three years, the two have secured grants from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a national network of colleges and universities advancing vocational exploration among undergraduate students. Last fall, Coe College was awarded a $50,000 Program Development Grant to implement a pilot First-Year Seminar curriculum (specifically focused on helping students explore and set personal goals), a sophomore experiential opportunity practicum and continued faculty and staff retreat professional development. Activities within all NetVUE grants are supported by the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Foundation, Inc.

“It fits our liberal arts mission. We already explain to students why we want them to take courses outside of their major. We want them to think about what life looks like outside of work. And when we add discussions about meaning and purpose, it is a nice fit to what we are doing at the college as a whole,” Tupper said. 

First-Year Seminar is a required course to help first-year students transition to college and Coe. Assistant Professor of Psychology Sam Brown worked with other faculty to create curricular materials last fall focused on helping students make meaningful decisions concerning professional and personal goals. The new curriculum is serving as a pilot program in several First-Year Seminar classes before potentially expanding to all first-year students. Brown’s background in vocational psychology centers on researching the career development of adolescents and young adults. 

“First-Year Seminar will continue to help students transition into college life by providing fundamental skills and academic support. We are adding these discussions to get students to explore their horizons. We want them to get involved on campus and in leadership possibilities. It’s about helping them start to think of their life,” St. Clair said. 

Tupper noted the grants and collaboration with NetVUE also align with the mission in C3. The staff specializes in getting students out of the classroom and into real world experiences. These opportunities are emphasized through volunteering, community engagement and internships. Coe has been ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the top 25 best private colleges in the nation for internships five years in a row, and currently sits at No. 10 among private colleges.

“We see this as helping students find themselves as a whole person and not just a career. Ultimately, our goal is to integrate these vocational teachings into academic advising,” St. Clair said.

New this year is a retreat and practicum experience for sophomores called Sophomore Exploration, Engagement and Development (SEED), developed by C3’s Director of Community Engagement Joe Demarest. SEED will expand mentorships, externship and job shadows for students by engaging Coe’s active alumni network — the 20th Best Alumni network in the nation among private colleges and universities according to The Princeton Review. 

Tupper and St. Clair say the program is open to all sophomores to participate with an emphasis on students who are underrepresented, student-athletes and those who completed the pilot First-Year Seminar last year. 

“Sophomore year is critical for decisions, and we don’t want to stop the momentum we built in their first year. We want to encourage faculty and staff to share their experiences with students to show how careers and job searches aren’t always linear. It can take many paths,” Tupper said. 

To help students navigate these conversations, faculty and staff have participated in professional development seminars and retreats throughout the past couple years. They have focused on the meaning of vocation and collective action needed to empower students in their studies, community and interests. 

“We have been really impressed by the response of faculty and staff to this collective and ongoing project. It has created a renewed sense of community on campus and has allowed us all some space and time to share stories of how we each found — and continue to find — our own meaning and purpose, all of which will in turn help our students,” Tupper said.

September’s Crimson & Gold Visit Day was full of smiles and energy! Spots are still open for the October 22 Crimson & Gold Visit Day, and you can register a future Kohawk you know at www.coe.edu/visit.

If you know of any high school students who might be a good fit at Coe, it’s easy to refer them to our Office of Admission! Once you do so, we’ll take care of making an introduction.

Coe College Sign

Your good decision just got better

Gift annuities have always been a great idea. But when you fund one at new, higher rates, something that has always been good just got better.

How does a charitable gift annuity work?

  • You transfer cash or property to Coe College and in exchange, we promise to pay fixed payments to you for life. 
  • If rates change in the future, you will not have to worry, because the rate you lock in today is yours for life.

Gift annuities give you:

  • An income tax deduction this year for part of the funding amount.
  • Possible capital gains benefits when you fund one by transferring stock. 
  • Payments for one or two lives. When you fund a gift annuity for two people, such as you and your spouse, payments will continue at the same rate, in the same amount, for as long as either of you live. Rates are different from one-life annuities but are still attractive.
  • Benefits to Coe College.  After a lifetime of payments to you (or you and your spouse), all funds remaining in your gift annuity support Coe’s mission.

For more options and even higher payments, ask us about a deferred gift annuity. By waiting a few years for your first payment, you can receive an even higher payment rate. No matter what type of gift annuity you fund, in addition to the tax benefits, you will have the unparalleled satisfaction of knowing the benefits you receive also help Coe College. 

If you have any questions about charitable gift annuities, please contact Debbie Green at dgreen@coe.edu or 319.399.8592. For more information about planned giving, visit our website at https://coelegacy.org/.

Important dates for upcoming events

September 12 - October 20: Phonathon — Watch for a phone call from 319.399.8507 and have a conversation with one of our student callers who would love to talk to you about how you can support Coe!

October 13: Students of Color Career Workshop — This career event put on by the student organization Multicultural Fusion will provide life advice from alumni and professionals about how to transition into the workforce as a person of color. If you are interested in speaking to students or participating on a panel, email Nanci Young at nyoung@coe.edu.

October 13 - 16: Homecoming: Traditions Old and New in 2022 — We are looking forward to celebrating Homecoming with you this fall! Make plans to reconnect with your classmates and friends while celebrating traditions, cheering on our football team and reminiscing about your years at Coe.

October 25: Marquis Series: Nobuntu — This female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. To learn more and sign up for tickets, visit the Marquis Series page.

October 28: Presidential Inauguration of David Thomas Hayes — Celebrate this milestone with us and learn more about the events of the weekend.

November 17: Coe night at the Minnesota Wild — President Hayes will be gathering with fellow Kohawks for a reception and Minnesota Wild hockey game and we'd love to see you there. If you are interested in getting more information about this event, please let us know.

November 23 - 25: Thanksgiving break — The Advancement Office will be closed. Students will be on Thanksgiving break from November 21 - 25.

November 29: Giving Tuesday — Share your gratitude for what Coe has done for you and support future Kohawks by participating in this annual online giving day.

December 23 - January 2: Holiday break — The Advancement Office will be closed. Students will be on holiday break from December 10 - January 10.