Catching up with...Joan Thompson

Publication Date

“I never imagined as a nurse that I would have a job where I could bring my dogs to work,” says Joan Thompson, an RN at Wicker Wellness Center. But that’s exactly the case, since Thompson is the proud mom to energetic Labrador retrievers and therapy dogs Margot and Mally. Margot keeps Thompson company at the wellness center throughout the day while also offering companionship to students. The more excitable Mally mostly attends special events such as flu clinics (ever since purloining a sandwich off an employee’s desk).

Joan Thompson loves to travel. Here, she's trying to befriend a donkey in Inishmore, Ireland.

Joan Thompson loves to travel. Here, she's trying to befriend a donkey in Inishmore, Ireland.


Thompson grew up on Long Island and received her bachelor of science in nursing from Hartwick College. She has worked in hospitals in Cooperstown and New York City, as well as San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband, Michael Goldstoff, lived while he was in the Air Force. The couple raised their four children in Niskayuna; their youngest is a student at Villanova University. When not on the job or tending to canine needs, Thompson enjoys a host of hobbies, including gardening. She also loves to travel.

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: One of the first things I do is check my extended family Group Me. We have 18 people in three different states and across three time zones, and I love to hear what’s going on with my kids, siblings and in-laws. Sometimes I even learn things that are going on with my husband!

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES: My all-time favorite book is “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant. Even though I have read it many times, I still find myself blubbering at the same spot every time. Those who have read it probably know what I’m talking about.

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED: A phrase that I find myself using over and over is “sleep on it.” Sometimes if something is weighing heavily on me and I sleep on it, it doesn’t seem as bad the next day. Also, if I’m having trouble making a decision, a good night’s sleep helps me to organize my thoughts and solve the problem.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: Definitely Jackson’s Garden. I toured the garden years ago with a group of fellow Master Gardener volunteers. I couldn’t believe that I had lived here for years and never knew it was there. I love seeing the garden in all the seasons; it changes so quickly. It’s like stepping back in time seeing the Ginkgo tree or more than 100 peonies that were thought to have been planted by Isaac Jackson, a mathematician in 1830. When Jackson was suffering with health issues, he was told by the college president to plant a garden to make himself feel better, and now, almost 200 years later, the garden continues to make people feel better.

GO-TO BREAKFAST: I’m not much of a breakfast person, so usually it’s a banana and coffee – lots of coffee.

NETFLIX OR AMAZON: Probably my favorite series to date is “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix. I could not get enough of the Rose family and their hysterical one liners. It’s one show I would like to go back and re-watch. My most watched network is HBO. I loved “Mare of Easttown” and “Succession.” I’m not usually attracted to shows with themes of power, politics and money, but I got sucked into the dysfunctional characters of “Succession.” Give it a try!

FAVORITE PODCAST: “This American Life.” Each episode has a theme and tells different stories of everyday people related to it. One of my favorites was about summer camp. The length is also perfect for my dog-walking loop.

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: I’ve always thought it would be great to be able to play the guitar. My three sons all play, and I love to listen to them play and sing together. It amazes me when I hear them learning a new song. Being as non-musical as I am, I stick to singing in the car, when I’m driving... alone.

BEST PART OF YOUR DAY: The best part is after the dishes are done at night and I have time to sit down with my husband and relax. Usually we catch an episode or two of one of the series we’re watching. If he isn’t home, I have been known to resort to such mindless shows as “Selling Sunset” or “Below Deck.”

LITTLE KNOWN FACT(S) ABOUT YOU: I love tennis. I’ve been playing weekly for over 20 years. I’m not very good, but I play with three close friends. It’s great exercise, and we laugh a lot. It’s one of my favorite hours of the week.