Coe’s art and pre-architecture program helps recent grad design a bright future in prestigious graduate program

Jeremy PhamArt faculty and students alike were drawn to contemplate the sight before them, a 3D model of campus with sleek modern angles and curves representing a Coe of the future. It was  breathtakingly beautiful. Jeremy Pham ’22 was the architect presenting his creation as part of his senior art exhibit. Without question, everyone knew Jeremy would be soaring to success and after graduating from Coe, he’s already doing just that.

Jeremy is in his first semester at one of the county’s most prestigious graduate programs in architecture – the University of Pennsylvania. The use of robotics in the curriculum made the program his top choice. Afterall, his passion for robotics began at Coe.

He first tapped into modeling technology when he signed up for a class that focused on using design software. His advisor, Robert O. Daniel Associate Professor of Art Jen Rogers ’03, encouraged Jeremy to take it one step further and use the 3D printers in Stewart Memorial Library (a perk to having a MakerStudio on campus). He was so eager to learn more, he decided he wanted to implement the software into his senior exhibition project which took a full year to complete.

“I decided I wanted to portray Coe as a way to show my appreciation for our campus and school,” he said.

It wasn’t the first time Jen helped Jeremy step out of his comfort zone. With help from C3:Creativity, Careers, Community, Jen secured Jeremy an internship with Driscoll Cabinet and Furniture Makers in Downtown Cedar Rapids. The experience introduced Jeremy to woodworking and new machinery.

“Jen is a really great person. She inspired me in different ways. From her work, her stories and working process, I learned to be an artist and a professional. I learned about working consistently and meeting deadlines,” he said. 

Coe’s pre-architecture program, the interdisciplinary approach to academics and supportive faculty were all factors that guided Jeremy to enroll at Coe. As a small child, he was drawn to observing interesting buildings and architecture during family vacations to Singapore and Japan. And to Jeremy, the ability to study a variety of fields and learn about different cultures was an extra bonus of a Coe education for a career in architecture.

Jeremy declared art and art history as his majors, but was equally exposed to courses in areas like psychology, communication studies and sociology.

“It’s a liberal arts college and that helps students experiment with different topics. I got a well-rounded education from Coe. I always knew I wanted to do architecture and knew Coe was the best fit for me,” he said. 

In March of 2022, Jeremy was in a class lecture when he noticed an email with Congratulations as the subject line. All his hard work had culminated in an acceptance email from the University of Pennsylvania. Needless to say, he couldn’t pay attention for the rest of the class period.

“I was in class so I couldn’t yell. I texted my mom. It means a lot to me to get recognized by a really good school and a competitive program. It’s a dream school for many students so it is an honor. I feel really confident about what I achieved at Coe. I was prepared well. I’m determined to become a licensed architect,” he said.

With over 60 areas of study taught by award-winning professors and a ranking of 10th in the nation for internships among private colleges (The Princeton Review), you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find your passion. Schedule an on-campus or virtual visit to learn about Coe’s academics at


Loading Conversation