Virginia Tech names sustainability coordinator, announces sustainability commitment value

Virginia Tech Dining Services has named Rachael Budowle as its new sustainability coordinator to coincide with the announcement of a new sustainability commitment and value statement.

In her new position, Budowle will work with Housing and Dining Services to implement, manage and support sustainable projects that uphold the new sustainability value statement recently added to Dining Services’ guiding principles. The statement announces Dining Services's commitment to "promote a sustainable dining and food system at Virginia Tech and therefore in the greater community," and proposes to work toward this goal by "promoting healthy eaters, ecological stewardship, waste reduction, diversion, the local economy, social justice and animal welfare."

"Improving and increasing our sustainability initiatives has been a goal in Dining Services for the past year. The new guiding principle will further support these initiatives," Budowle said in a press release. "Determining how to develop a sustainable dining and food system will be a consideration in each decision we make."

Projects that Budowle will manage include trayless dining, composting and developing the student garden. She also hopes to implement waste reduction and diversion measures such as promoting reusable materials and donating excess food to local food pantries.

"In order to develop successful sustainability initiatives, we need to promote customer support and understanding first," Budowle said in a press release. "I hope to provide more information on all of our initiatives, particularly those that involve choices for the customer."

Budowle holds a master’s degree of science in animals and public policy from Tufts University and a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in biology from Virginia Tech. Most recently, she worked as the community programs coordinator for the office of waste reduction and recycling with the town of Blacksburg, Va., where she implemented and coordinated a recycling plan for local public schools, apartment complexes and businesses. Budowle also teaches the Earth Sustainability Core Course Series at Virginia Tech as an adjunct faculty member.