Erika Forrest-Martin

Client Strategist

AKA “Fun Forrest-Martin

Erika comes to Spark451 with 14 years of experience in the field of education. This University of the Arts Unicorn graduated with a degree in fine arts and art therapy, but made the transition to higher education a few years after graduation. She’s worked with many different types of students: undergraduate, graduate, adult learners, high schoolers — and even pre-k through 8th grade during her stint as an art teacher! In Erika’s most recent role at Flagler College, she single-handedly launched and managed a graduate admissions program for the school’s first master’s program while still managing their primary undergraduate territory and copywriting for all undergraduate and graduate email communications. She loves using her versatile experience and creativity to help Spark451’s partners find solutions that help them meet (or exceed!) their enrollment goals.

In her free time, Erika can be found with her two daughters and husband — who keep her pretty busy. But when she has some time to herself, she uses it to send memes to her friends or work on her art pieces. She’s also passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, and college access. For the past six years, Erika has served as a mentor in the Take Stock in Children program, helping to support underrepresented students through high school, college preparation, and the college admissions process.

What do you love most about working in higher education and why?

I am a firm believer that education is for everyone, and that everyone has their own unique path. I love getting to be a part of the process of illuminating the path so that more students have access to an education that will not only change their lives, but potentially the whole world!

What higher-education/industry event do you enjoy most and why?

For on-campus events, Admitted Student Days are always my favorite. The energy at these events is palpable, you can feel the excitement from students and families as they approach this milestone in their lives. As for industry events, I love attending NAGAP conferences because the sessions are always so helpful, and the smaller size of the conference is conducive for meaningful connections.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?

Not quite advice, but when my husband and I were in Jamaica, we often heard the saying "There’s no such thing as problems, only situations.” I love this because it reminds me to shift my perspective when confronted with a problem. It doesn’t have to be negative or intimidating!

What is something most people don't know about you?

I’m a huge astrology nerd. Most people just know their sun sign, but once you dive a little deeper, it’s so interesting to unravel all the intricacies. It’s freaky how accurate it is sometimes!