Staff Profile: Forest Goodman

In the basement of Sierra Nevada College’s Prim Library, members of the information technology department work in cozy cubicles crowded with wires and keyboards, lounging comfortably in office swivel chairs.

Photo: Marissa Thomson
Forest Goodman is the IT Coodinator at Sierra Nevada College.

Forest Goodman is a part of the IT team. With his button-up shirt and black-rimmed glasses, he pushes carts of computer parts, delivers cables, and solves students’ tech-related issues at the IT helpdesk.

“SNC is like a second home to me,” Goodman said. He’s been working in the department for eight years.

But Goodman’s history at SNC spans years beyond his time as faculty. Before occupying his position as IT coordinator, Goodman was a student at the college, studying English with a minor in the fine arts.

His wife, Melissa, was also an English major at Sierra Nevada College.

“It was SNC that brought us together,” Forest said. They each graduated with a degree in English in 2011, and were married in 2014.

Despite his interest in English, Forest acquired experience with technology through servicing his own personal computer. “I had no issues looking up directions for what to do,” Goodman said, “or just opening the computer up and tinkering with the hardware.”

When he found himself in need of a job senior year, Goodman inquired about positions in the IT department and started as a student worker in 2010.

As a student, he was tasked with building computers and installing operating systems, answering the phone and troubleshooting.

Goodman said the skills he learned studying English aided him in emails and communication.

In 2011, Goodman was promoted to staff, which involved greater responsibilities, including understanding the policies and procedures required of all staff members. But for the most part, Goodman began his position as faculty performing the same tasks he was responsible for as a student worker. He said the transition from student to staff was fairly seamless.

Since joining the SNC community as a student in 2005, Goodman has increasingly recognized the importance of  the school’s IT infrastructure. “As the years go by, technology becomes more complicated and more entwined with our everyday lives,” he said.

Steve Hamilton, computer support specialist in the IT department, agrees that technology at SNC has become more advanced since he first joined the school eight and a half years ago. Hamilton said that “newer computers, faster computers, and better software” is making life easier across the SNC community.

Hamilton also said that members of the department are always there to lend a helping hand. Goodman is “always reliable and helpful,” Hamilton said.

Goodman most looks forward to the people he works with.

“They’re people you can rely on, people you’re comfortable with and people you can be friends with. Everyone has each other’s back,” Goodman said. “You couldn’t really ask for better coworkers than at SNC.”

He is similarly impressed by the natural beauty surrounding the school.

“If I have to decompress for a few minutes, I just walk down to the creek,” Goodman said. “I do that on a regular basis. It’s always helped me clear my head.”

Goodman has lived in Nevada all his life, but his first time experiencing the Lake Tahoe environment was during his first visit to SNC. Before studying English, he lived in Winnemucca, a small rural mining town in the arid Nevada desert.

After high school in Winnemucca, Goodman joined the Marine Corps, but he soon became sick with pneumonia. He said the training was intense and he couldn’t handle the physical demands. Just two months into basic training, he was discharged.

“I didn’t know what to do with my life,” Goodman said.

His best friend’s mother mentioned that she had earned her teaching credentials at Sierra Nevada College, so he decided to take a look at the school. “I came here and it was like magic,” Goodman said,“I‘d lived in the Nevada desert, but this was completely different.”

Now Goodman lives in Carson City with his wife, Melissa. They enjoy movies, hikes, video games, and dinner together.

Goodman said the most satisfying part of his work is knowing that he has made a difference in the lives of students.

He enjoys seeing them progress from freshman to graduation, preparing to enter the world and make it a better place.

“Anyone who is able to attend SNC is very fortunate,” Goodman said. “It’s an amazing place to go to school and to work—it’ll change your life.”