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Alumnus enjoys position at U.S. Department of Justice


Chris Goodell ’13 always loved to read and write, but it wasn’t until his freshman year at MCLA, when he took an introduction to news writing course, that he realized he could make a career in the writing, editing and publishing field.

Now he works for Forfeiture Support Associates – a contract company that provides support staff for government agencies across the country. He’s stationed at the United States Department of Justice in the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS).

A technical writer in the Policy and Training Unit’s training team, Goodell’s job is a combination of editing, layout, graphic design and some website work.

“I work on AFMLS publications – both print and online – which include things like books, guides, manuals, newsletters and brochures,” Goodell said. “These serve as guides and training resources for other federal agencies, and state and local law enforcement agencies across the country. I also help maintain AFMLS’s intranet website, which includes daily postings of the latest asset forfeiture and money laundering news.”

Goodell not only enjoys the creativity his job allows, but the variety of projects it offers.

“One day I might be editing a memo related to new policy or legislation. The next day I may be designing the cover of a new publication or brainstorming ways to improve our website,” he explained. “I am able to use and hone a variety of skills to stay sharp, and the work is rarely boring. It is very rewarding working for the federal government and knowing that I play a part, however small, in helping the country operate.”

As an MCLA student, Goodell never dreamed his English/Communications degree – with concentrations in journalism and professional writing – would take him to a position within the U.S. government.

“My goal was always just to use my skills and experience to be successful in doing something I enjoy. I feel my current job fits very well with those skills and experiences, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this career path takes me,” he said.

Goodell’s English/Communications professors had a “huge” impact on his experience at MCLA.

“I took many different types of writing classes, from news writing to public relations to creative writing. I also explored classes in other areas such as literature and film, which were more out of my comfort zone, but incredibly memorable and rewarding, nonetheless,” Goodell said.

“The curriculum was structured in such a way that I could focus on one particular area of interest while still gaining diverse experience in other subjects. Nearly all of my elective credit hours were spent working in various capacities on staff of The Beacon, including as a writer, editor, designer, and eventually editor-in-chief,” he added.

Goodell supplemented that experience with classes such as “Sports Literature,” “British Literature,” “Introduction to Psychology,” and a history travel course to Ireland (pictured above) during his senior year.

“The coursework and support of professors helped me develop into a much stronger writer and editor, and introduced me to the same principles and design software that I use in my job today,” he said. “The range of available courses helped to broaden my experience and abilities.”

Goodell said that MCLA is a place where students can get the most out of their time and money.

“MCLA was the perfect blend of individually focused academics, along with a strong sense of community and social opportunity,” he explained. “I felt more than prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.”