Andy Sarjahani of Fayetteville, Ark., has been named sustainability coordinator for Dining Services, a department within the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech.

Sarjahani joined the Dining Services team in September. He came to Virginia Tech from Sap Bush Hollow Farm, a grass-based livestock farm in West Fulton, N.Y., where he was an apprentice.

As sustainability coordinator, Sarjahani will be focusing his efforts on sourcing local and sustainable food supplies for Dining Services along with setting up a program to compost food scraps and other paper products. His other projects include working to remove Styrofoam from the dining centers by switching to either reusable containers or compostable ones made with corn/potato starch, creating a campus garden to grow produce for use in the university’s dining centers, finding sources to convert used fryer oil into biodiesel, and diverting excess production to America’s Second Harvest.

“These students are the future, and this institution has a fairly large obligation to catalyze a paradigm shift,” said Sarjahani. “Virginia Tech’s mantra is ‘Invent the Future.’ It would be a disservice to allow people to exist here for four years without educating them on what sustainability entails.”

Sarjahani received a bachelor of science in dietetics and a bachelor of science in engineering in exercise physiology/biomechanics at the University of Arkansas in 2007. He completed a dietetic internship at Virginia Tech in spring 2008 and holds a leadership position within the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association.

Written by Melanie Harris.

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