Caroline Drogin is our engagement manager for the Islands and joined the Trustees in March of 2023. As the weather warms and the ferries fill, the Trustees is preparing for our exciting lineup of summer engagement events and programming. We wanted to take the chance to introduce you to the friendly face who will be leading many of these summer experiences.
What brought you to The Trustees?
I’ve been enjoying Trustees properties on Martha’s Vineyard since I was a baby – my parents would bring my older brother and me to Long Point Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the pond and the ocean. When I decided to make a career shift in fall of 2022, I applied for The Trustees Islands Engagement Manager Position. It looked like a great opportunity to work outside, work with people, and share in the mission of The Trustees.
Prior to joining the Trustees what were you doing?
I was a public librarian and received my Master of Information and Library Science with a focus on academic libraries, diversity and inclusion, and public libraries in May 2020 from the University of Maryland’s iSchool. I’ve also worked as an elementary Montessori teacher, a dishwasher, a landscaper, an academic librarian, a museum intern, a babysitter, and a copy editor. I was working as a children’s librarian on Martha’s Vineyard from October 2021 until joining The Trustees in March 2023.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
Many things! I love knitting (currently working on a silky summer top), sewing, reading (mostly sci-fi or environmental non-fiction), playing Dungeons and Dragons, swimming, and hiking.
Do you have a favorite property?
It’s hard to pick, but I have a special fondness in my heart for Wasque. My favorite memory is swimming with my friends and enjoying a perfect beach sandwich while watching osprey fishing and oystercatchers hunting for soft shell clams.
What are you excited about that The Trustees is working on?
The DBIE work and commitment energizes me. It feels powerful to work with an organization that centers diverse cultures and viewpoints, and is open to hearing constructive criticism about how they complete their DBIE work. I feel like I can bring my full self to work and there are resources to share that with others.
When it comes to engagement, what are you most passionate about or interested in?
Reaching groups that haven’t been reached before. In the library world, part of my work was reaching, connecting, and retaining patrons who didn’t know all they had access to at their local library. In my engagement work with The Trustees, that means reaching people who don’t know about Trustees properties on island; people who think they “don’t like nature”; and people who want to learn about the world around them but don’t know where to start.
What are your priorities in your new role?
My training as a librarian gave me the skills to help people easily find and understand different kinds of information. Through my work, I discovered I’m committed to customer service and community outreach. I believe when people can easily find, understand, and share information, they become active participants in the community. When people feel connected to their community, they want to improve it for other people. When people want to improve it for each other, it makes me want to continue to improve it for everyone – and that all starts with how I deliver customer service and community outreach through my programs.
If someone had no idea what our properties on the Vineyard are like, what would you tell them?
They’re diverse! They’re breathtaking! They connect to each other in surprising ways! They’re the highs and lows of glacier movement, endangered wildlife, and New England ecosystems! They can’t be missed and they won’t be forgotten!
If someone asked “Why should I come to a property or event?” what would you say?
Each property is so different that I would highlight what makes that property special to me: the beautiful cliffs and vistas at Menemsha Hills and the Brickyard, or the dynamic breach at Wasque; or the incredible flora and land use history of Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge. I know from my experience as a librarian that people respond to my energy – when I share my enthusiasm, they send it straight back to me.