Hi, my name is Whitney Crooks and I am thrilled to be Red River College’s new Sustainability Coordinator. I’m really looking forward to getting to know and working with all of you. I bring with me a fair amount of experience and a lot of enthusiasm! Here is a little bit about me and how I came to be here.
Environmentalism has always been a part of me and my life, however until about 10 years ago, I had no idea that you could turn that passion into a career! In University, I originally studied sciences, earning a BSc in Mathematics and Physics and an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
I enjoyed my studies, but quickly learned that I didn’t want to be a meteorologist. I began looking into my options and found the Masters in Environmental Studies program at York University. In this program, I found my place and I earned my MES with a focus on community engagement around environmental issues.
Although I intended to go to school and come straight back home to Winnipeg, I spent eight years working and volunteering in the Toronto environmental non-profit sector. I worked with some amazing people on a lot of interesting projects and really got to struggle with many of the challenges non-profits face today. One of the projects I was fortunate to work on was the innovative Live Green Toronto Community Animation Program where I worked with community groups and organizations to help them build their capacity to design, raise funding for, and implement successful community-led environmental projects.
My daughter, Lucy, was born in 2013 and my husband and I realized the value of having family nearby (not to mention affordable housing) so we packed up and moved back to Winnipeg a year later.
Since returning to Winnipeg, I have been reacquainting myself with the local environmental sector. I did some contract work with Green Action Centre, and have recently joined their Board of Directors. Most recently, I worked as Outreach Coordinator for the University of Manitoba’s Office of Sustainability engaging students, staff and faculty in a wide range of sustainability initiatives and programs.
Of course, my life is more than school and work. In my spare time, I like to knit, sing, and garden. My next project is to learn to quilt, so if you’re interested in learning with me let me know!