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Melissa Reynen, Dining Services by Bon Appetit

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

By Hannah Perlman, 2010

Stepping into her Benson office, one might wonder how Melissa Reynen can retain her sanity crammed into a cubicle stacked high with file drawers, storage boxes, and every other sort of knick-knack imaginable.

“I really like working on campus," said Reynen, Marketing Director for Santa Clara's Dining Services. "It’s challenging and there’s lots of variety…the best part is that I’m doing so many different things; the worst part about that is that I’m doing so many different things.”

Reynen’s position entails everything from Dining Services’ menu publications to the promotion of sustainability initiatives like reusable to-go containers. She describes her project management strategies as “a work in progress; it works really well and then I’ll change it.”

Brandon Farmer, a member of the Dining Services Advisory Board said Reynen’s work “pulls her in many directions.” Farmer described their collaboration on the reusable Eco-Tray project as just that—“she doesn’t necessarily put ideas on the table and throw them at people. She is more into taking feedback and then putting that into use,” said Farmer.

Thanks to Reynen's efforts, along with several other campus organizations, the Eco-Tray has started to catch on with students and staff. Still, she admits her efforts don’t always yield immediate success. According to Lindsey Cromwell, Santa Clara's Sustainability Coordinator, the pair have been working together to raise awareness about the new composting program on campus, but students have yet to make it a daily habit. The goal-oriented Reynen said trying and finding ways to educate students about the compost and recycle program is an ongoing process.

Tags: Food, Profiles



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