Meet the Past Sustainability Interns

Meet Our 2012 Interns

The 2012 class of ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Interns focused on multiple aspects of environmental sustainability—purchasing, energy and water conservation, building operations, and waste management—while helping to implement a variety of initiatives including increasing sustainably sourced foods, reducing energy use at ARAMARK client locations, minimizing food waste at its source, composting excess food waste, and minimizing use of bottled water. Several interns have been hired into permanent positions at ARAMARK, incorporating environmental practices and infusing corporate responsibility into jobs such as Purchasing Manager and Registered Dietitian that are not thought of as “traditional” environmental jobs.

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Megan Brandt

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern
Lake Crescent Lodge, Olympic National Park
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Megan is assisting with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification, developing a guest awareness program around ARAMARK’s sustainability program and increasing our waste stream diversion from landfills.  

Background: At Gonzaga University, Megan collaborated with her peers and professors to write the education portion of the Climate Action Plan (CAP).  As a part of the campus sustainability committee, Megan worked with Sodexo to educate students about the sustainable food choices available on campus. Megan volunteered at Gonzaga’s Campus Kitchen, which is a program that reduces waste by collecting extra food and preparing meals for the homeless. This practice of recycling food is part of her commitment to bettering her community through eco-friendly solutions. Megan’s work at Beacon Hill Catering and at the HF Bar Ranch, gave her valuable skills to meet the needs of her clients.

 

Kathryn Davis

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Providence School District
ARAMARK Education

Kathryn is responsible for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced food, and improving recycling rates for the district.

Background: Kathryn graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment from The University of Florida.  While studying, Kathryn made connections within the College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Office of Sustainability, as well as many student-run sustainability organizations on campus. During her four years at the university, Kathryn worked for three different Gator Dining (ARAMARK) locations, including Freshens Smoothies, Gator Corner Dining Hall, and Graham Oasis Convenience Store and Grill. 

 

Kaitlin Finan

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Denali National Park
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Kaitlin is assisting with the National Park Service, ARAMAR Staff and customers to reduce the amount of disposable water bottles in the park and assisting with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

Background: Kaitlin graduated in May 2012 from UNC-Chapel Hill with a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography and a minor in Sustainability Studies. She was the Vice President of the nation’s first environmental honors fraternity (Epsilon Eta) and was a member of the Environmental Affairs Committee of Student Government. Kaitlin also interned at UNC’s Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling for three semesters where she was in charge of an environmental themed competition between dormitories called “Green Games.”  Kaitlin studied abroad in the Galapagos Islands for a summer.

 

Caroline Gorham

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

University of North Carolina - Wilmington
ARAMARK Higher Education

Caroline is responsible for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced products, increasing the waste diversion rate and researching potential solar powered coffee cart to bring to UNC-W.

Background: She attended the University of Florida where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a focus in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. Throughout her college career, Caroline participated in many extra-curricular activities including student organizations, internships, and study abroad.  Caroline completed a Marketing Internship at Ball Horticultural in Chicago, Illinois. Caroline also completed an internship with the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability. Since graduation, has gained experience in the public sector in two different local governments and gained experience in the private sector with a privately funded, fast-paced start-up.

 

Sache Jones

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Spelman College
ARAMARK Higher Education

Sache is responsible for increasing the waste diversion rate, for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced food and awareness.

Background: Saché Jones is a recent graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and a minor in Spanish. While at Spelman, She has been a member of several environmentally minded campus organizations such as Environmental Task Force, Roots/Sustainability Task Force (a community gardening group), Hunger Task Force, and Green For All (GFA) College Ambassador Program. As a member of these organizations she has been able to take an active role in the movement within the immediate Southwest Atlanta community. In the future, she plans to pursue a degree in agroecology using her degrees to establish and maintain a grassroots method of sustainable development.

 

Cara Kukuraitis

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, Glen Canyon National Park
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Cara is assisting with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, increasing recycling rates through employee training and auditing, bottled water elimination and greening the employee dining room.

Background: Cara graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs with a focus in Public and Environmental Management and a minor in Environmental Science.  During her time at school, she raced on a bike team for IU’s Little 500 bike race and studied abroad at Oxford through the IU at Oxford program.   Cara also participated in the Washington Leadership Program where she lived and studied in Washington D.C. while interning at the environmental office of the headquarters Marine Corps.  After college Cara backpacked throughout Europe and lived and worked on a self-sustaining farm in Switzerland through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  When back in Chicago, Cara began teaching environmental education programs with The Conservation Foundation.

 

Meagan Lak

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Asilomar Conference Grounds
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Meagan is assisting with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, food management fundamentals implementation, and waste stream management.

Background: Meagan is a native Californian who got her start at the Culinary Institute of America’s Certificate Pastry Arts program.  After working as a chef, she realized her true calling was for the environment.  She switched gears and received her BA degree in Environmental Studies from University of California Santa Cruz in 2010.  She completed internships with The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems on the 25 acre farm on the UCSC Campus where she learned about organic production methods.  She also took part in a restoration project at Garland Park with the Big Sur Land Trust, restoring the native vegetation.  Over the past two years she has been participating in a project studying Mt. Lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounding area. She participates in hikes and trail clearing with the Sierra Club Monterey chapter, and is an advocate for Heifer International.

 

Ye Lin

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle, North Carolina
ARAMARK Business and Industry

Ye is responsible for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced products and increasing the waste diversion rate.

Background: Ye Lin earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Economics and Management from Renmin University of China in 2009 and has Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University. Her career interests include energy modeling, data analysis and sustainability management. Ye has background experience in various projects, such as air quality, climate change, energy conservation etc. and intern experience in World Wildlife Federation further expanded her interests and skills, also made her decide to get higher education in Duke University. During her time at Duke, she participated in Duke Energy Club to get insights about the real world in energy market besides coursework, and attained plenty hand-on experience in various clad projects and master’s project.

Sarah McElroy

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Denver Regional Office
ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment

Sarah is responsible for researching and implementing best practices aimed at reducing waste and increasing waste diversion rates in stadiums and arenas across the country.

Background: Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and a Spanish minor and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver.  During her undergraduate career, Sarah had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, and upon graduating, she received the Moras L. Shubert Award, given to one senior each year for outstanding achievement.  Outside of school Sarah participated in the DU chapter of Net Impact and volunteered with the Greater Good Academy, an eight week triple bottom line business plan course for low to middle income entrepreneurs.

 

Bill Pennington

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Business Dining Client
ARAMARK Business and Industry

Bill is responsible for achieving Green Restaurant re-certification, managing and building partnerships to source locally grown food.

Background: Bill has a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Science from Rutgers University and currently working on his Masters in Business and Science with a concentration of International Agriculture from Rutgers University. Bill has received several academic awards which include numerous Dean’s List recognitions and academic scholarships.

 

Chelsea Rozek

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

University of South Florida
ARAMARK Higher Education

Chelsea is responsible for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced products, waste stream diversion and student awareness of sustainability initiatives.

Background: Chelsea graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a double major in Program in the Environment and Asian Studies in April of 2012. Chelsea respective specializations were aquatic ecology and Japanese studies.  Chelsea is in the Japanese National Honors Society for her Japanese language skills, and has studied abroad in Japan for a semester.  Related to her environment major, Chelsea studied ecology at the University of Michigan Biological Station over the summer, and during her freshman year, Chelsea was in the residence program called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

 

Kira Sargent

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Trinity College
ARAMARK Higher Education

Kira is responsible for increasing recycling participation on campus, creating an energy engagement program and engaging students, faculty and staff in resource reduction.

Background: Kira graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in Architecture from the Washington University in St. Louis and with a Master of Science in Urban education from the University of Pennsylvania. During her undergraduate career, Kira studied abroad in Iceland and interned at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Kira was a Danforth Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was recognized as an outstanding student in environmental science, and graduated summa cum laude. Kira’s senior thesis was on integrating renewable energy into large scale infrastructure projects, using the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant in Boston as a case study. After graduating, Kira joined Teach for America in Philadelphia to better understand how our society functions in a more holistic way. For the past two years Kira has taught middle school math and science at both a public and charter school.

 

Christopher Stevens

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern, Big Meadows and Skyland Lodges

Shenandoah National Park
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Christopher is assisting with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, starting a composting program, waste stream management and bottled water elimination.

Background: Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Management from the University of Maine and a Masters in Regional Planning from the University at Albany (SUNY). During his time at Albany, Christopher served as the Student Representative to the Upstate chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). Beyond academic interests, Christopher has offered his services to the Historic Albany Foundation (New York), as a member of the organizations architectural salvage crew. In the summer of 2011, he volunteered extensively with Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land And Nature), a local land trust in Upstate New York, as a Community Planning - Green Infrastructure Outreach Coordinator to the communities of Saratoga County.

 

Adam Will

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Florida Gulf Coast University
ARAMARK Higher Education

Adam is responsible for waste stream management, for tracking and increasing the procurement of sustainably sourced food and customer awareness.

Background: Adam is currently working on his Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Environmental Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. During high school, Adam was enrolled in a public school program called the Academy of Environmental Science.  Adam has volunteered at Salvation Army, Calusa Nature Center, Habitat for Humanity (Citrus County, FL), Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park (Homosassa, FL), The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP, Crystal River, FL) and Academy of Environmental Science.

 

Bryan Zingmark

SCA and ARAMARK Environmental Sustainability Intern

Virginia Commonwealth University
ARAMARK Higher Education

Bryan is responsible for increasing awareness of ARAMARK’s sustainability program on campus, integrating initiatives with VCU Go Green, sourcing local and sustainable products and increasing the waste diversion rate.

Background: Bryan is a recent graduate from the University of South Carolina with degrees in Management and Marketing, and a minor in Environmental Studies. Bryan is passionate about the environment and sustainability. His coursework focused on the triple bottom line approach to business solutions, and strengthening his capacity for environmental leadership. Bryan has held leadership positions in student organizations where he helped lead initiatives transforming his university towards a more sustainable environment. Bryan’s senior year at South Carolina he served as President of Net Impact, a sustainable business organization which focuses on the advantages of promoting “Good Business” solutions. Bryan’s education and leadership experience has better equipped him with the ability to develop and communicate innovative and sustainable solutions. Also this past year Bryan was nominated by his peers and school faculty, as an Emerging Leader recipient.

Meet Our 2011 Interns

ARAMARK’s 2011 class of 10 environmental interns recently completed their 6-month positions at locations ranging from remote National Park sites on the Olympic Peninsula to leading-edge businesses in New York City, Texas and California. Despite the differences in geography and business sectors, each intern had the opportunity to immerse themselves in an incredible learning experience. Read about the projects and experiences of the environmental interns, including the three who were hired into permanent positions at ARAMARK.

 

Paul Loesch, Energy Management, Baylor University, TX

“I am working on putting together a comprehensive handbook that will include temperature standards, hours of operation, operation of lighting and appliances etc. This handbook will be a platform for communication between energy managers and faculty and students. It will also serve as a source of accepted best practices for techs in the field.”

Paul has accepted a position with ARAMARK as an Environmental Compliance Officer, Baylor University

 

 

Michael Seaman, Environmental Management System, Asilomar Conference Center, CA

“This Internship has been a great experience, and I have been getting more responsibility and more work. We have a big deadline for an Environmental Management System (EMS) certification, but I am beginning to see things happening on a much larger scale. It has been helpful to be on team Environmental Stewards calls, and to be a part of the process of bigger projects and developments.”

Michael has accepted a position with ARAMARK as the Purchasing Manager, Monterey Bay Aquarium
 
 

Tabitha Beasley, Client Garden, National Business Dining Client, NJ

“The client garden continues to progress, we have harvested over 350 pounds of vegetables and herbs since the garden began producing this spring. I’m about to start working on the Half Year Pantry Green Stats, which involves tracking what is ordered and served, and analyzing the overall impact the green strategies put into place at this account are having.”

 

Ila Galanti, Sustainable Dining, University of Chicago, IL

“I have created a concept featuring a local salad once a week at the salad bar. I have worked with the managers and chefs to determine what produce we can get locally and based on that have created a prepared salad. I am working on creating signage with nutrition information to promote the salad, and the fact that it is made with local ingredients.”

Ila has accepted a permanent position with ARAMARK as a Registered Dietician, University of Chicago
 
 

Jared Dial, Environmental Management System, Lake Crescent Lodge, WA

“I have executed three formal trainings for our Environmental Stewardship Programs to a total of about 80 managers and staff at the property. Learning how to effectively give formal trainings was a first, but I tapped into my previous experience leading Interpretive tours for the National Park Service.”

Rodica Kocur, Composting Program, University of Michigan, Ross School, MI

“I’ve had a great deal of opportunity for professional development. I’ve been working closely with both people in the Office of Student Life and some of Ross’ media crew. My quest to find a way to reduce waste stream contamination through an education program meshed perfectly with their program goals.”

Leah Chapman, Sustainable Dining, University of Florida, FL

“I am loving this internship. I love coming into work every day and I feel like I am making tangible changes and real differences in the food at UF. We are close to achieving our goal of becoming Styrofoam-free and I am close to having incorporated one or two new local growers into our food system.”

 
 

Abby Ray, Sustainable Dining, JPMorgan Chase, NYC

“I was able to move the needle forward significantly in terms of JPMC-NY’s sustainability efforts. I drove composting and recycling programs at two facilities and initiated a recycling program at another while using an easy-to-grasp color-coded system. Over three months at just one of those facilities, we were able to keep 35 tons of compost and 58 tons of recycling out of the landfill. Sustainability is now a part of the conversation at these accounts more than ever before.”

 

 

Kevin Mattson, Waste Management, Anaheim Convention Center, CA

“The waste diversion and measurement project at the Anaheim Convention Center has been a success and a pleasure to work on. With the specific goal of accurately recording the amount of waste and recyclables each month, we are now better positioned to identify waste diversion strategies and to track progress at the Anaheim Convention Center. That is an exciting development for the ARAMARK at the Anaheim Convention Center.”

 

 

Laurel Greyson, Carbon Foodprinting, New York University, NYC

“I have learned a lot about how to navigate a large corporation and the steps involved in making a real sustainable change in how people eat and make food choices. This was invaluable experience for me as it relates to both my personal and professional interests and vision for a sustainable food system.”
 
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