Sara Trunzo graduated from Unity with a major in Environmental Writing and two minors in Horticulture and Human Ecology and Sustainable Development, and served in various roles at the College, most recently as the campus Food and Farm Projects Coordinator. Currently Trunzo is the Farm Viability Project Manager and the Director of Veggies For All at Maine Farmland Trust, an organization that works to protect farmland and keep farming in Maine viable and vital. Veggies For All is a food bank farm that grows vegetables, works with local hunger relief agencies to distribute food, and provides produce to food insecure neighbors in central Maine. Unity College is a vital partner in this work.
When Trunzo visited Unity, she remembers thinking it was the perfect mix of scenic and real, active and quiet. She recalls that unlike other schools she looked at, there wasn’t the feeling of a constructed experience to “sell” her, and that meeting the welcoming students and excited faculty sealed the deal.
Unity’s culture of service, humanity, and responsibility taught her to master a variety of basic professional skills, but more than that, gave her the willingness to bring those skills into unknown territory and innovate. She appreciated that while at Unity, she was able to learn, work, and play “outside the box”, and that the care and attention from faculty members instilled in her a sense of an invested collaborator.
Trunzo feels that there was a real sense of practice to her education that serves in designing her approach to food security. An example of that is her work as a student on coordinating logistics, partnerships, outreach, and resources for a number of disaster relief trips. Those trips honed planning and management skills and also defined her career in two specific ways: Trunzo adopted the idea that whatever field she entered, she would be far more effective if she enjoyed and felt passionately about the work; secondly, those experiences helped her recognize the intersection between most environmental and social justice issues and inspired her to work in that space.
Critical thinking, processes and systems, communication, information literacy, collaboration, scientific building blocks, leadership, facilitation—Trunzo maintains that Unity gave her these tools, and that she uses them every day to solve problems in her work and community.