By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog
Monica Rowand is one of the brightest, young stars in the Green-Sports world as she helps to lead the University of Louisiana’s (Lafayette) athletic department’s burgeoning sustainability efforts.
Despite Monica’s youth, her story is rich and deep, so much so that we’re dividing the interview into two parts. Today’s Part I delves into her lifelong love affair with sports, her discovery of Green-Sports at UCLA and her work with Dave Newport and University of Colorado-Boulder’s powerhouse Green-Sports program.
In tomorrow’s Part II, we move with Monica to 1,200 miles to the southeast to Lafayette, LA to find out what she and the University of Louisiana’s sustainability department are doing to green the Ragin’ Cajuns athletics department.
GreenSportsBlog: Monica, you’ve done so much important Green-Sports work and you’re not yet 30. When did you start, when you were in middle school?
Monica Rowand: Well Lew, I wanted to work in sports for as long as I can remember, baseball specifically. In fact, when I was a little girl I knew the exact job I wanted…
GSB: …Which was?
Monica: To manage the Los Angeles Angels, or Anaheim Angels as I grew up calling them!
GSB: I’m dating myself by saying I grew up calling them the California Angels! Why not aim high?
Monica: Exactly! And that Angels job is still in my plans. But Green-Sports really started for me while I was an undergrad at UCLA…
GSB:…Recently named the number one public university in the country!
Monica: I know! Anyway I started out as a business economics major but then switched to geography and environmental studies.
GSB: Why did you switch?
Monica: Good question. I had first gotten interested in the environment in high school when I saw “An Inconvenient Truth.” Then at UCLA I signed up for a Global Environment class to, if I’m being honest about it, take care of a science requirement.