Virginia Tech Housing and Dining Services has named Rachael Budowle the unit's new sustainability coordinator.

In her position, Budowle will work closely with Housing and Dining Services to find ways to further develop a sustainable dining program at the university.

Budowle, who holds a master of science in animals and public policy from Tufts University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in biology from Virginia Tech, brings a wide range of experience to her new position as sustainability coordinator. Most recently, she worked as the community programs coordinator for the office of waste reduction and recycling with the Town of Blacksburg, helping to implement and coordinate a recycling plan for local public schools, apartment complexes, and businesses. She also consulted with a committee focused on creating a downtown area recycling program, and helped to organize various backyard and community composting efforts.

In addition, Budowle has spent time working with livestock at the Massachusetts Audubon Society Drumlin Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as time working at the Natick Community Organic Farm in Natick, Mass. Budowle also teaches in the Earth Sustainability Core Course Series at Virginia Tech as an adjunct faculty member.

"I'm excited to continue the sustainability initiatives that Dining Services began last year,” says Budowle. “The sustainability coordinator position will allow me to combine my interest and experience in waste reduction and diversion issues with my interest and experience in local and sustainable food issues."

While Budowle says she plans to support and develop Dining Services’ ongoing sustainability initiatives, including trayless dining, composting, sourcing local and sustainable foods, and developing the student-supported garden, she also says she plans to work on other 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,” says Budowle. “I hope to provide more information on all of our initiatives, particularly those that involve choices for the customer.”

To learn more about the sustainability initiatives of Virginia Tech Housing and Dining Services, a department within the Division of Student Affairs, visit their website.

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