Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Three Greenlee School professors to retire


By Chris Mackey
Greenlee Web Team writer


For three Greenlee School professors, the end of the semester can’t come fast enough.

At the end of spring semester, Greenlee students and faculty will say goodbye to Steve Coon, Dick Haws and Tom Emmerson. They will be honored at a retirement reception 3:30 p.m., April 26 in the Memorial Union's Campanile Room.

Steve Coon
Associate Professor Steve Coon. Courtesy photo.

Steve Coon

Steve Coon, associate professor and coordinator of the electronic media studies emphasis, said Iowa State’s early retirement plan was a good opportunity to move on in life.

“Retirement is an opportunity to try new things,” he said. “Not so much stopping what you’re doing.”

When summer hits, he and his wife, Beth, are planning to move to Tucson, Ariz., where Coon said he will do the things he hasn’t had a chance to do while teaching. He hopes to travel with his wife, tackle some writing projects and relax.

He said he wants “to be able to sit down during the middle of the day and read a book without feeling guilty.”

But just because he’ll be in Arizona doesn’t mean Coon won’t be a part of the School. He wants to stay involved with some of the things that he hopes will be happening in the future, such as an international internship program.

In what he hopes is the start of such a program, Coon took two students to Brazil for a week in February to gain some experience and to visit universities that might become exchange institutions.

“Life is a real adventure, so go for it,” Coon said smiling.

Dick Haws
Associate Professor Dick Haws. Photo by Greenlee Web Team photographer Jeanne Chapin.

Dick Haws

About three years ago, Associate Professor Dick Haws, who coordinates the print journalism emphasis, decided that it was time to do something new with his life. However, he too says he is not really retiring, just moving on.

Haws plans on spending his free time with his family and his writing.

He has some elderly relatives, including his mother, in Nebraska, and his daughter and her young twin daughters in Des Moines.

Haws plans to work on freelance writing projects, including some columns and opinion pieces.

He also hopes to stay in touch with the School, especially with the Iowa State Daily, of which he has grown proud. If asked, Haws said he might return to teach a course now and then, but that won’t be anytime soon.

Tom Emmerson
Professor Tom Emmerson goes over "The Associated Press Stylebook" with a student. Photo by Greenlee Web Team photographer Chris Hurd.

Tom Emmerson

Professor Tom Emmerson has been planning on retiring for two years.

Unlike Coon and Haws, he doesn’t have any real projects or plans laid out. He and his wife, Linda, have a flat in London they plan on settling into and a daughter who is currently in New Zealand.

He said there is about a 10-year-window for travel that they’ll probably take advantage of. If the School asks, he might teach journalism history again, but not reporting classes. Emmerson said he’ll miss being involved with the School.

All three professors agreed on several points. Not one will miss grading papers or attending meetings. They are tired of the snow and cold.

And they all said they’d most miss interacting with students and observing their creativity and enthusiasm.

While they are missing the students, the students and faculty will be missing them.

“I’m no longer going to have three people I can harass,” said Associate Professor Lulu Rodriguez with a laugh

Last updated: April 2, 2004

-- Fri, 2 Apr 2004 --