The Center for Green Schools launched the Green Schools Fellowship program in 2011 to place sustainability officers in school districts around the country. More and more school systems are realizing that they need to put more focused attention on resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental literacy; and these important topics get the dedication they need when sustainability is someone’s job.
Our fourth Green Schools Fellow, Kristen Trovillion, is taking that job and running with it. She began work in Grand Rapids Public Schools in September as one of our newest USGBC staff. Though she’s new to us, she brings a wealth of experience with her. She was, however, able to take some time out of her busy first few days on the job to tell us a bit more about herself.
Name: Kristen Trovillion
Position: Center for Green Schools Fellow
How long have you been on staff? Just one month!
How do you get to work? Carpool with my husband
Your hometown: Almont, Michigan
Fill in the blank: We are _________. Committed!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Wendell Berry, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, John Muir
If you could be a superhero, who would you be? Captain Planet—so cliché, but true!
What keeps you awake at night? All too often, it’s my toddler. Otherwise, it’s my to-do list.
What are you currently reading? The World Until Yesterday, by Jared Diamond
Favorite book/movie/TV show/band? Bringing Nature Home, by Doug Tallamy/O Brother, Where Art Thou?/Parenthood/Decemberists
What’s your typical day like? I haven’t found a typical day yet, but I tend to spend my day engaged with district staff and community partners, assessing the district’s strengths and opportunities to further sustainability. It’s great!
What’s your favorite part of being on staff? I love the network of diverse yet similarly passionate folks. They are an invaluable resource—both as a support system and wealth of technical knowledge!
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? We can go further when we approach a project, idea, partnership from a place of “yes.” A negative mindset can be so unnecessarily limiting.
What’s your most memorable professional experience? Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, I was tasked with representing my agency at a city-wide public meeting—on my fourth day on the job! I had to field all sorts of questions about recycling, urban gardens, and bike lanes before I had even gotten my office unpacked. Talk about a trial by fire!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Be kind! It’s simple, yet so important.
What are you most excited about in the green building industry? I love that the green building industry is evolving and changing constantly. There is a continuous push to do better and be better. It’s both rewarding and challenging to be a part of this community.