Sustainability Coordinator for Dining Services

Over the past couple years, Virginia Tech Dining Services has made huge strides towards a more sustainable Dining Program.  We’ve implemented a composting program throughout the entire Dining Program that has consistently diverted hundreds of tons of waste per year.  We’ve created a Local, Sustainable and Organic venue at Owens Food Court called the Farms & Fields Project.   We’ve established, in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm which grows produce specifically for Virginia Tech Dining Services.  We’ve hosted local harvest meals, and we’ve introduced reusable bottles to our Dining Centers.

None of this could have been done without the efforts of Virginia Tech Dining Services’ past Sustainability Coordinators.  Andy Sarjahani, Rachael Budowle and Elena Dulys – Nusbaum have all left their own imprint on Virginia Tech Dining Services’ Sustainability Initiatives.

I’m here to pick up where my predecessors left off.   My name is Rial Tombes and I am the new Sustainability Coordinator for Virginia Tech’s Dining Services.   

I graduated this past May from Virginia Tech with a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning and a minor in Civic Agriculture and Food Systems.  My interest in Sustainable Food Systems first emerged when I took a class called Earth Sustainability as an undergraduate.  Since, I have worked on an organic vegetable farm and organized several campus events to raise awareness about sustainability and food. 

 I look forward to helping Virginia Tech Dining Services continue to lead the charge for a more sustainable dining and food system.  I am excited to work with students, faculty and staff as we incorporate sustainable dining initiatives into the culture of the Virginia Tech Community. 


Rial Tombes

Sustainability Coordinator
Virginia Tech Dining Services

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