Environmental Sustainability Intern Named and Solar Dok Installed

Chelsea Rozek of Novi, Michigan, has been named to the 2012 class of environmental sustainability interns for ARAMARK at USF.

ARAMARK partners with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to identify applicants such as Chelsea, who demonstrate strong conservation leadership. SCA, a national leader in conservation, has significant experience recruiting and hiring environmental interns.

Now in its second year, the ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Internship program will host nearly 20 interns at ARAMARK locations across the country. The program meets a growing need for employees who possess a practical understanding of environmental initiatives, plus fundamental business knowledge. It also provides young professionals with real life experience and creates an awareness of the role environmental stewardship can play in all jobs.

Rozek is working at USF Dining/ARAMARK in Tampa, FL where she will be the Sustainable Food Purchasing Intern and will serve as a key resource in supporting and advancing ARAMARK’s commitment to environmental stewardship at dining locations across the Tampa campus. Her main project is to design and implement a process for tracking sustainable food purchases campus-wide. Other job duties include conducting waste audits, propose composting options and to develop an awareness campaign to educate the campus community on benefits of sustainable eating and procurement.

According to the most recent Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating SystemTM (STARS), which is a transparent, self-reporting tool for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability progress, 15 percent of USF Dining/ARAMARK food expenditures are spent on sustainable food. According to STARS this includes food and beverages that meets one or more
of the following criteria: Grown and processed within 250 miles of the institution, and/or is Third-party certified (USDA Certified Organic, Marine Stewardship Council Blue Ecolabel, Food Alliance, Fair Trade, Certified Humane Raised and Handled STARS® was developed by Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community. Participating in STARS offers many benefits for institutions at all stages in their path to sustainability.

"We are committed to partnering with our clients to develop and implement innovative programs and initiatives that help them reach their sustainability goals," said USF Dining/ARAMARK Resident District Manager, Tom Williamson. "The new sustainable food purchasing intern will help us to streamline the tracking process of all food purchases so we are able to effectively communicate our sustainable purchases."

USF Dining/ARAMARK’s newest sustainable initiative, an idea from a previous intern from the USF Office of Sustainability and through the Student Green Energy Fund, is the installation of a Solar Dok umbrella at Champion’s Choice dining hall. The Solar Dok is a self containing power charging station, made from recycled materials, that generates and stores electricity for use day or night for true "Off-the-Grid" Green power! The Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) is a student-generated $1 million annual fund used towards energy-saving projects at USF. Since its inception this past fall, SGEF has awarded $585,725 to save over 5,000,000 Kwh annually. The purpose of the SGEF is to move USF towards carbon neutrality by 2070.

"We’re so excited to be receiving our first Solar Dok, an ingenious invention that converts sunshine into electricity for students to charge their computers, phones, and other devices, while they dine at Champion’s Choice. USF students are always ‘on the go’ and so I think this addition to the USF dining experience will be much appreciated. We are very grateful to USF Dining for showing their creativity and working with the Student Green Energy Fund to make this new solar station a reality. We hope that more of these stations will be installed elsewhere on campus so more students can take advantage of this path-breaking technology," said Director, Office of Sustainability, Christian Wells.