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Students enjoy being in Nancy Forrest’s math classes because she breaks down hard concepts and problems in a way they can understand. Her students know that she truly wants them to succeed.

“GRCC students are a joy to work with,” said Forrest. 

Forrest helps students relate to math and overcome their challenges in the subject by celebrating with them that mathematics is the foundation of everything. She also focuses her teaching around the knowledge that math can bring with it more challenges than simply solving an equation. “If students don’t like math it’s often because they felt embarrassed about incorrect answers in the past,” said Forrest.  Her goal is to help them understand that it's okay to make mistakes during the learning process.

Forrest learned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in environmental studies from University of Rochester.

Teaching math to college students was not how Forrest started her career. “I started out in the field of biology and switched to mathematics,” said Forrest. “At the high school level I taught biology, physical science, earth science, chemistry, and physics. I love all the sciences.”

Looking back to teaching during the pandemic, Forrest enjoyed the opportunity for roommates, family members and pets to join the virtual classroom and even faculty meetings. “My cats got to put in their two cents during my Zoom meetings,” she said. Looking for opportunities in any challenge is one of many characteristics Nancy shares with her hero Abraham Lincoln. “Lincoln is my hero because of his integrity, compassion, intelligence, wit, sense of humor, and service to others,” she said.

You can experience Forrest's enthusiasm for all things math when you watch a video she created for her online students called The Number Tau, or her GRCC Mathematics Seminar PI, My Favorite Number. Or, take one of her classes and you may get to learn about Mole day, or how the Chinese abacus has been used to calculate and record numbers for over nine hundred years. You will find Nancy teaching MA 107 Intermediate Algebra, MA 108 Trigonometry, MA 110 College Algebra, MA 131 Precalculus, MA 133 Calculus with Analytic Geometry l, MA 134 Calculus with Analytic Geometry ll.

Nancy Forrest
(616) 234-4276
215 College Park Plaza Building