Chelsea Crain Lensing returns to Coe as ‘the next Mickey Wu’

Chelsea Crain
Assistant Professor 
Chelsea Crain Lensing ’14

When fellow Coe students asked Chelsea Crain Lensing ’14 why she chose to pursue a doctorate in economics, Chelsea routinely replied she wanted to be “the next Mickey Wu.”

Retired George R. Baker Professor of Stead Department of Business Administration and Economics Mickey Wu taught at Coe for 40 years. He also established the Spellman Memorial Fund, Birkey Investment Fund and the women’s varsity soccer program.

“To me, he represented a faculty member who had been at Coe for a long time and made such an impact on the college, department and students,” Chelsea said. “So I told my friends, almost jokingly, I want to be the next Mickey Wu.

“It just so happened that Mickey was retiring the year I graduated with my Ph.D. He is the reason I went to grad school. And starting this August, I am the next Mickey Wu. It all worked out, and I couldn’t be happier.”

At a small private college like Coe, students develop meaningful relationships with faculty. Professors routinely spend time outside the classroom assisting Kohawks with internship, job and graduate school applications.

Chelsea is looking forward to switching roles and building relationships as an assistant professor in Coe’s Stead Department of Business Administration and Economics this fall. An Indianola, Iowa, native, Chelsea now lives in Cedar Rapids and enjoys playing golf. She completed her graduate work at the University of Iowa in May 2019.

As a high school student, Chelsea resisted the idea of attending a small liberal arts college in Iowa but changed her mind after a campus visit.

“I instantly fell in love with [Coe], the people and the atmosphere,” Chelsea said. “Everyone is so genuine and truly cares. The faculty cares about the students; the students care about each other … and Coe has an outstanding academic record. It was an easy decision for me. Once I visited Coe, I never looked back.” 

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