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Student Spotlight: Nick Trombley

When Nick Trombley speaks, people listen.

He is at once confident and unassuming, sure of his message and willing to listen to other perspectives. While there are many words that might describe Trombley, I’ll stick with just one: leader.

During his first semester, Trombley joined the YACHT club for his service learning, and he immediately fell in love with the mission of the club, which he describes as “trying to live out the Gospel tangibly by sharing food and friendship with the people society rejects.” After he finished his service learning during his first year, Trombley continued to make weekly trips into the city with YACHT before becoming a club leader as a sophomore. To hear him tell it, the friendships formed in the city benefit both city-dwellers and club members alike. “The highlight of my four years in YACHT has been knowing this couple, Wayne and Ellie. I just approached them one day and started talking to them, and I gave them bread. Throughout the conversation I found out that Ellie needed new clothes for a job interview, so I gave her money for that, and she got the job!” he remembers. “I’ve had a lot of good friendships in the city, but that sticks out especially.”

Last semester, Trombley stepped down as a YACHT leader in order to devote time to his current internship with the Humane League. Through this internship, he develops programs and initiatives on Eastern’s campus to increase awareness of animal rights issues. This semester, Trombley has coordinated the “pay-per-view” activity outside the Walton Dining Commons, where he pays students a dollar to watch a four-minute documentary of factory farm animal abuse. He also pioneered the Meatless Monday campaign, partnering with Sodexo for a meat-free classics line every Monday. In April, he will host a screening of “Cowspiracy,” a documentary that connects animal agriculture to environmental sustainability.

When asked about the purpose of these initiatives, Trombley responds that he seeks to promote stewardship of the created order that God declared good. “In Genesis, God places humanity in charge of the created world,” he says. “It’s our responsibility to keep it good and beautiful. We see God through the world around us, through the trees, the water; people marvel at beauty and connect to God through it.” On the relationship between environmentalism and spirituality, he observes, “It’s impossible to be a Christian without being an environmentalist, and it’s impossible to be an environmentalist and eat meat three times a day.”

What’s next for Trombley? After he graduates in May with dual degrees in Accounting/Finance and Economic Development, he will travel to Malawi on the new study abroad program as an assistant to sociology professor Dr. Mtika. Eventually, he hopes to earn his CPA and pursue accounting work in an urban community. “I’ve finally come to a place where I can recognize the beauty in small things and the truth that in seeking change, we need to start small and pursue reciprocity,” he notes. “We have just as much to learn from people as we have to give.”

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