Wife, mother, student — Jen Forbes is a mentor for GSU students

Nuha Abdessalam, Phoenix Staff Writer

For some at GSU, she’s the delightful woman behind the front desk greeting you with a “hello” or sharing a brief yet enchanting glance that lets you know, “it’ll be ok; it’s a new day, you got this.”   

A mother of three, a wife, and currently enrolled as a student at GSU, Jen is involved as GSU’s peer mentor and a graduate assistant mentor and occupies the role of an admission ambassador.   

Jen shares all the many challenges students regularly face.    

“Programs like Center for Junior Year (CJY) are a saving grace for students,” Jen said. “The center is intended to break down roadblocks for students. CJY is one of my motivators in wanting to pursue higher education in English, hopefully continuing to provide solutions that assist students in being as successful as possible.”   

Jen has found herself in that very situation; life continues, unexpected circumstances arise, and having institutions care for the success of their students left an impact for Jen to want to help further be a part of ongoing continual student engagement.  

Forbes remembers when life at home was anything but easy; balancing being a mom, wife, daughter, and having family members undergoing health situations, made it, so Jen felt maybe enrolling at GSU at the time wasn’t ideal. Jen recollects how empathetic and understanding mentors of GSU’s CJY were being, adding, “there are solutions and ways the department will work with a student in devising a realistic plan to keep you on track and successful. Providing these resources and helping to ease a student, in showing support by curating a plan that works and accommodates to prevent someone from thinking they’re alone, they/we aren’t.”   

Forbes highlights the initiative and dedication of the staff that showed support during a trying time of whether or not to depart. Having been supported by staff’s assistance encourages Jen to continue higher education and determine how much more involvement she wants, including peer mentoring students and doing work for Admissions.  

Due to COVID, Forbes substituted for Nancy Maurer’s position, who decided to take time off in caution with COVID lingering.  

Forbes took on the Graduate Assisting Admissions role in place of Nancy this past August 2021. She continued to follow GSU’s Nancy’s motto saying, “Nancy is the heartbeat of the GSU. I try to continue providing students and those who come to campus with GSU’s welcoming spirit and provide the most accurate information.”  

“My goal is to have students or whoever walks in be seen and welcomed, and most importantly to help assist and guide.”   

In addition to a busy schedule, Jen shares her love and passion for reading and writing. “I read an insane amount of books and enjoy writing Christian poetry as well as creative writing thrillers and suspense.”  

While Forbes has not sought to be published just yet, her concerns of achieving that are for the future. In the meantime, with her focus on completing GSU’s Graduate Program in English.  

“The support and connections I received through a challenging time from GSU helped me finalize a plan of action with the support of GSU’s staff in accommodating a program that worked, made me feel heard, received, and cared for. I want to continue being that aid of support in helping students structure a proper plan to succeed. We have each other’s backs.”  

For further inquiries on getting proper assistance with academic challenges, visit GSU4U.