Think You Know How Long It Takes for Lettuce to Decompose in a Landfill?

As part of National Nutrition Month’s theme of “Go Further with Food,” we are shedding a light on food waste and how to prevent it. Did you know that about 30 to 40 percent of the food produced in the United States gets thrown away? And, food that gets thrown in the trash ultimately makes its way to the landfill, which is the absolute worst place for it.  Food in landfills decomposes without oxygen, creating methane, a gas 23 percent stronger than greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. While some of this methane is converted to energy, a lot of it goes into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

So what can we all do to make a difference?  We can start composting, meal planning better, or making more trips to the grocery store for less. There are so many ways that we as individuals can lessen food waste.

This blog is going to give you six tips for getting creative when you cook. These food hacks will help your grocery haul go further, save you money, and help reduce food waste in your own life.

(Before we move on though, it takes 25 YEARS for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill. Now if that’s not terrifyingly motivating, we don’t know what is!) 

Invest in a Blender

rice(2)If you like to buy fruits such as strawberries, blueberries or kiwis each week, you know they don’t stay fresh for long. After just a few days, berries can start to mold and kiwis can get a bit mushy. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to using up fruits and vegetables before they go bad: freeze your imperfect produce (before it gets moldy) and blend it into a delicious smoothie for breakfast.

To make smoothies, you’ll need fresh or frozen fruit and a liquid like milk or juice. Some people like to add yogurt, protein powder, peanut butter, or spinach to their smoothies for a healthful boost. Try this recipe for a Triple Berry Smoothie, or blend up this Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie for a treat. If you have access to a juicer, you can also juice fruits or vegetables to make a refreshing and healthy beverage. You can even make some juices in the blender — for example, this yummy recipe for Green Juice.

Go Bananas

Bananas often come in a large bunch. Even if you eat one a day in your cereal, it’s tough to enjoy them all before they start to turn brown. Don’t throw them out, though! Do some baking. Banana bread is actually better if you use bananas that have turned brown or are starting to soften. The very ripe bananas you bought last week are not just easier to mash — they also taste sweeter because more of their starch has converted to sugar.

Try this recipe for Triple Chocolate Banana Bread. Bring it to your next study group and watch everyone, well, go bananas. Not into baking? You can also freeze leftover bananas and use them as a substitute for ice in your smoothies. Just peel them and store in a plastic freezer bag.

bananaFAST FACT ABOUT RIPE BANANAS: The dark spots on ripe yellow bananas produce a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) that destroys cancerous tumors. So don’t toss out those dark-spotted nanners! Eat them up for their anti-cancer qualities!

Stock Up on Stock

Flu and cold season got you down? Sipping on some hot soup may be just what you need. Making your own stock is a great way to use up leftover veggie scraps and meat, too. If you like to buy pre-made rotisserie chicken, follow this recipe for Leftover Roast Chicken Stock. Just like mom’s!

Make Fried Rice

riceOrdering Chinese takeout for a late night of studying or a busy week ahead is a delicious treat. But what do you do when all the orange chicken is gone and you’re left with a bunch of white rice? Turn it into fried rice, of course. This easy recipe for Fried Rice from Leftovers uses frozen vegetables, eggs, and soy sauce. It makes enough so you’ll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, too.

rice(1)Preserve Your Herbs 

If you love to cook, you probably see a lot of recipes that call for fresh herbs. Unfortunately, it’s tough to come up with creative ways to use up a bunch of extra rosemary, sage, or oregano after using the required tablespoon or teaspoon. Here’s a fun idea: Combine leftover herbs with melted butter or olive oil and freeze them in small portions in your ice cube trays. The next time you are cooking in a sauté pan or pot, just toss in a herbal cube for an instant infusion of flavor.

Embrace the Nine Lives of a Loaf of Bread

Bread is another common household food that often gets thrown out after it starts to get stale. That’s a shame, because there are many delicious ways to enjoy the entire loaf. While it’s still fresh, pack yourself a sandwich or two. Bring them with you to the library or to enjoy after class. That way, you won’t have to spend money or worry about where you’re going eat.

After your bread starts to harden a bit over the weekend, whip up some French toast. Finally, stale bread doesn’t need to go directly in the bin. Turn on the oven and make homemade croutons. You’ll impress your roommates the next time you’re all in the mood for salads.

We hope these tips will help you become a better food steward! Hungry for more ways to Go Further with Food?


Join Dining Services at the National Nutrition Month Extravaganza: Go Further with Food Sampling Event and Healthy Eating Fair on Wednesday, March 28, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm!

In Rangos 2 and 3:

Sample dishes prepared by campus chefs that Go Further with Food. Cast your vote for the most delicious and creative dish and you will be entered for a chance to win these cool prizes:

  • Fitbit Flex
  • Powerbeats 3 Wireless Headphones
  • Bose Wireless Speakers,
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

Peruse the healthy eating resource fair to:

  • Learn to balance movement and nutrition to promote health. Stop by with your questions about nutrition and fitness!
  • Promote well-being, reduce stress and help you thrive through mindfulness! Learn more about Be Well initiatives on campus with Angie Lusk.
  • Learn about recycling and composting on campus and at home with Sustainable Earth.
  • Take an active part in your personal well-being by using the wellness resources on campus, presented by the Staff Council Wellness Committee.

In McKenna/Peter:
Attend FREE 30-minute workshops:

11:30 am: Meal Planning 101
Presented by campus registered dietitians
Do you want to make more healthful food choices, while saving time and money? This interactive workshop will teach you tips that take the stress out of meal planning and reduce food waste with six simple steps for weekly meal planning.

12:30 pm: Creative Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home
Presented by Chef Trevett Hooper, Legume Bistro
An average of 25-30 percent of the food we bring into our home ends up in the trash. Learn to take proactive steps to reduce the food you waste when shopping, cooking, and storing food.

1:30 pm: Composting 101
Presented by Barb Kviz, FMCS Environmental Coordinator
Are you curious about composting, but not sure where to begin? CMU’s Environmental Coordinator Barb Kviz will share composting basics, including the benefits of composting, methods of composting, and ways that you can begin to compost at home.

Hope to see you there!

Meet Up, Fuel Up: Carnegie Mellon Community Thrives at Campus Coffee Shops

We all have our favorite on-campus coffee shop to grab that perfect cup of Joe. Whether you prefer a cold brew, a latte, or a double-shot, a stop at your go-to coffee place is all you need for a quick pick-me-up. For Carnegie Mellon students, campus coffee shops go beyond just serving up hot drinks and caffeine — they provide a place for community.

Two local Pittsburgh coffee shops with locations at CMU are particular standouts for offering a buzzing social atmosphere and a place to host a study session, catch up with friends, warm up from the cold, and fuel up for the day ahead.

La Prima Espresso

La Prima Espresso Company, one of Pittsburgh’s most acclaimed coffee roasters and espresso bars, has a location right here on CMU’s campus. Nestled in the lobby of Wean Hall, La Prima serves up a full menu of caffeine to keep you focused during lectures, study sessions, or tests.

La Prima is open from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday, and 8 am to 4 pm on Fridays. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday, so if you really love their coffee, plan to visit their other locations in Pittsburgh.

La Prima can get busy between classes, as it serves some of the best (and only certified organic) espresso on campus. There are tables in the area, making it a great spot to meet up with friends to study or to simply relax. Or you can grab an iced coffee or treat to go and take it outside to study or catch up with friends when the weather is nice.

La Prima Renovation: Summer 2018

La Prima will undergo a renovation this summer. The entire Wean Hall lobby will undergo a major facelift to improve the overall customer experience with new and flexible furniture, visible coffee production, smarter queuing, and more grab’n’go and bakery options.

La Prima Coffee Sampling: Tuesday, February 20

Don’t miss the special La Prima Coffee Sampling on Tuesday, February 20, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in Wean Commons in the Cohon Center. Stop by to learn more about this locally-rooted business and taste samples of three free-trade, certified organic roasts from South America, Africa, and Indonesia.

Tazza D’Oro

Tazza D’Oro, located in Rohr Café in Gates Hillman, has been brewing up cups of gold in Pittsburgh since 1999. The Carnegie Mellon Tazza café boasts several tables where you can catch up on studying while enjoying a delicious panini with your latte.

Tazza D’Oro is open from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. They are closed Saturday and Sunday but have a new location in Highland Park where you can get your coffee fix on weekends.

CMU students are big fans of Tazza because its menu of sandwiches, croissants, flatbreads, and salads features ingredients that are locally sourced, showcasing how much the community surrounding Pittsburgh has to offer. The mushroom flatbread is a favorite among the vegetarian crowd, and meat lovers enjoy the chicken panini. And don’t miss out on the gluten-free donuts from Gluten-Free Goat or the vegan chia pudding – delish!

Check out the slideshow to see where some of Tazza’s local ingredients come from:

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As for the Rohr Café setting, you can’t find a better place to meet up with a group or study on your own. The high-top seats at the window are ideal for knocking out some solo work or finishing a term paper on your laptop, while the tables with their signature colorful chairs are perfect for meeting with a group to study or socialize. (Or, perhaps, taking a nap between classes.)

Tazza D’Oro featured at February DSAC: Wednesday, February 21

Each month of the academic year, Carnegie Mellon students and staff and Dining Services staff come together to discuss a wide array of campus dining topics – from upcoming renovations, to cuisines offerings, to programming ideas. This month, DSAC will be hosted on Wednesday, February 21, at 5 pm at Stever House in the first floor Reading Room and Tazza D’Oro will be providing the food … and coffee. Don’t miss out! 

ScottySIPS Reusable Mug Program Offers Discounts on Coffee at La Prima and Tazza D’Oro

Coffee Mug icon_BlackWho knew? Sign me up!

With the purchase of the ScottySIPS Reusable Coffee Mug ($17.99), enjoy $2 discounts on hot drip coffee at La Prima and Tazza D’Oro’s on campus locations. You can enjoy $1.00 discounts at other on-campus locations – find out where.

At Carnegie Mellon, campus coffee shops go beyond just serving up caffeine — they provide a place for community.

Where’s your favorite campus spot for coffee?

Plant-Forward Eating at Carnegie Mellon

Students on college campuses across the country are eating up the plant-forward movement. Good thing, too, because eating more plants, and fewer meat and dairy products, not only makes for a healthier you but also a healthier planet.

Vegans, Vegetarians & Plant Forward – What’s the Difference?

Different from vegan or vegetarian eating, a plant-forward diet doesn’t exclude meat—rather, it simply makes plants the focus of one’s diet. So, for example, at dinner time, the plant portion of your meal—the salad or grilled veggie, let’s say—takes up more space on your plate than the chicken parm, pork chop, or strip steak.

CMU Loves Plants, Students & the Planet

“Offering more nutrient-dense menu choices is better for student nutrition,” says Director of Dining Services Pascal Petter.

Carnegie Mellon Dining Services embraces the plant-forward approach as part of its program because student health and wellness is a number one priority—and also because it recognizes the role the food industry plays on environmental impact and sustainability.

“As we continue to shape the dining program on our campus, specifically in relation to health and wellness, we know that offering more nutrient-dense menu choices—fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes—is better for student nutrition, ultimately impacting our students’ academic performance, social and emotional wellness, fitness goals, sleep patterns, and so much more in their day-to-day life,” says Director of Dining Services Pascal Petter. “Additionally, our program is committed to a more sustainable approach to food service operation. In fact, all leaders in this industry need to have a seat at the table to make a true impact on the health of our communities and our planet.”

Plant-Forward & the Environment

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, dairy cows—and their manure—emit enough greenhouse gases to contribute considerably to global climate change. Moreover, if manure is handled improperly, it can degrade local water resources and compromise ecologically significant areas. And here’s a pretty staggering statistic: according to the United States Geological Survey, one quarter pound hamburger requires 150 gallons of water to make.

Plant-forward eating attempts to lessen the harmful environmental impacts that result from mass meat and dairy product production.

Plant-forward eating attempts to lessen the harmful environmental impacts that result from mass meat and dairy product production. Purchasing and eating local fruits and veggies lessen that impact even more. But the change really takes hold when a majority of diners treat meat and dairy as sides instead of the main dish.

This past summer, Carnegie Mellon’s Dining Services Director Pascal Petter and Dietitian and Nutrition Educator Jessica Tones, as well as CMU chefs from CulinArt Group, joined other universities and industry leaders, including Stanford University and Google, at the fifth annual Menus of Change conference, which focuses on nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility and food service. Established by the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Menus of Change initiative offers practical, actionable solutions that help food services organizations transition to plant-forward dining experiences, decreasing their environmental footprint through water conservation and more.

“Menus of Change inspired us and our CulinArt chefs to re-craft some of our menus and to create plant-forward menus at new dining locations that just opened at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year,” says Tones. “I also walked away from the conference with a renewed awareness of the importance of compost and recycling options in an effort to reduce food waste on campus, so I make sure that these options are always available during our campus dining events by way of student groups who focus on the environment and sustainability issues.”

CMU Food Day at the Rangos Ballroom in the Cohon University Center.

Dining Services celebrated National Vegetarian Month with a Best Vegetarian Dish on Campus sampling and competition. In addition, campus partners hosted information tables on various wellness and sustainability topics and the CMU community shared their love of plant-based foods with a fun, interactive photo booth. “We were excited to highlight our dining vendor’s most delicious plant-based offerings, while sharing resources for nutrition, health, wellness, and sustainability on campus,” says Tones. “The response to the event was overwhelming, and it was a powerful opportunity to shape the future of food on campus by engaging the community in the discussion.”

CMU Plant-Forward Initiatives

Plant-forward is not just better for the environment—it results in less processed, tastier foods that are rich in nutrients. And the proof is in the pudding at CMU!

Nourish, CMU’s allergen-friendly kitchen, is now certified by Kitchens with Confidence.

As The Tartan recently reported, CMU Dining Services is taking steps to encourage plant-forward eating on campus. Nourish, CMU’s new allergen-friendly kitchen, features a menu free of the most common allergens and plenty of plant-forward options like vegan coconut chia pudding, a quinoa crunch bowl with white bean hummus and kale, and house-made vegan sesame “cheese.” Additionally this fall, Garden Bistro opened in Resnik as a 100% vegan food service station that offers sandwiches and made-to-order sauté bowls. Carnegie Mellon Café now offers smoothies and smoothie bowls, and finally, Evgefstos, the Cohon Center’s vegetarian and vegan location, makes custom and signature “superfood” bowls Monday through Friday.

Next year, the Tepper Quad marketplace will open to the community to feature “AVI Pure,” an entirely new standard of cuisine focused on a modern and holistic approach to food that ensures minimal impact to the environment. “The AVI Pure at Tepper Quad will offer a dining marketplace that is social, collaborative, and healthy in its approach to food, the community, and the environment,” says Petter.

What is your opinion on the plant-forward eating movement? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Carnegie Mellon Leads the Way with Allergen-Friendly Eating

From making new friends to exploring new activities and figuring out what you’re really passionate about, college is one of the most exciting times of your life — especially at Carnegie Mellon! While navigating and exploring your new home away from home, the last thing students should have to worry about is issues related to food allergies. As universities around the country become increasingly sensitive to students’ dietary concerns, Carnegie Mellon Dining Services is taking the lead on this weighty and prevailing topic with Nourish, an allergen-friendly kitchen that opened this fall.

Allergen-Friendly Food Full of Taste

Nourish features a menu that is prepared entirely without gluten and the eight ingredients most likely to cause allergic reactions: eggs, wheat, dairy, soy, tree nuts (except coconut), peanuts, shellfish, and fish. Nourish is operated by CulinArt Group and led by Executive Chef Victor Schmidt, who has been serving allergen students at Carnegie Mellon for eight years.

“Chef Vic has poured his passion for food and his allergen expertise into the Nourish menu,” says Director of Dining Services Pascal Petter. “It’s a diverse and delicious menu that our entire campus community can enjoy.”

Prepared and sealed in a dedicated kitchen to ensure safety commitments to guests with dietary restrictions, the menu features a wide variety of made-to-order and grab-and-go foods, including sandwiches, salads, bowls, pizza, burgers, and hot entrees. There are also a number of unique vegan and plant-based offerings that can be customized to nourish sampleplease any palate.

Students, faculty, and staff can place their orders for pick up at Nourish, located on the second floor of the Cohon Center, using GET Food via the app or online from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Additionally, grab-and-go menu items are available at a number of on-campus locations: Carnegie Mellon Café, Entropy+, Rothberg’s Roasters II, Heinz Café, and Maggie Murph Café.

Campus Dining Meeting the Needs of Students

Food allergies aside, students tend to have stricter dietary preferences than the general population. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report, they’re more likely to follow special eating plans, including vegan, vegetarian, or semi-vegetarian (e.g., pescatarian) diets. The report also notes that 49 percent want to avoid meat and animal products in their meals.

“While accommodating dietary preferences has long been one of our dining program’s primary objectives, providing delicious, nutritious, allergen-friendly meal options to students unable to tolerate certain foods or ingredients is just as important to our program and the university,” says Petter.

Allergic reactions can present serious health risks and can even be life-threatening. A study at the University of Michigan found that while 47.7 percent of students with food allergies reported that they maintain a prescription for emergency medication including self-injectable epinephrine, only 6.6 percent of these individuals reported always carrying this device.

Foods can cause adverse reactions other than allergies, too. For example, people experience intolerances or sensitivities to food that cause a range of digestive issues, which can result in secondary conditions such as migraines, chronic fatigue, inflammation, skin problems, nutrient malabsorption, and severe nutrient deficiencies. Many of these individuals do not produce the enzymes necessary to break down certain types of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, including dietary fiber or sugars. Students with these reactions may need to eliminate many of the same types of food that the Nourish menu is designed to address.

nourish sampling
Students enjoying their first taste of Nourish during a tasting event.

“Even minor health issues can take away from a student’s college experience and journey,” says Jessica Tones, Carnegie Mellon Dining Services’ nutrition educator and dietitian who joined the team last fall. “Carnegie Mellon is committed to reducing this source stress for our students by offering safe, delicious, and convenient food options. That’s why opening Nourish for this academic year was a number one priority for me and for our dining program.”

Serving Safe Foods on Campus

For students with severe food allergies, even the tiniest exposure can produce an adverse reaction. That’s why designated food preparation areas and equipment are required to ensure their safety and health; for instance, cutting boards used to slice bread should chopping vegnever be used to chop vegetables, and separate refrigerators and food storage areas are needed to avoid unintentional cross-contact.

Equally essential is staff training: even common allergens have many aliases — like semolina for wheat and casein for dairy — so food service employees need to be aware of alternative names. Training should also emphasize accurate labeling and communication with students who have allergies.

Carnegie Mellon is excited to offer allergen-friendly dining with Nourish. These safe, delicious meals will make eating on campus easier for students with dietary restrictions, who often feel like an invisible group. Going to college is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be enjoyed to the fullest — without worrying about food allergies!

Carnegie Mellon Dining Services wants to hear what you think of Nourish. Share your feedback here!

Carnegie Mellon Dining Plans: Low in Stress, High in Nutrition and Convenience

Dining Gets It – You’re Busy!

As a Carnegie Mellon student, you’re busy. You have class in an hour, a paper due tomorrow, and a midterm exam next week. On top of everything else, you’re hungry, so it’s hard to concentrate. But your next meal isn’t exactly what you want to be thinking about. So, what are your options?

You could put off eating until after your classes, run to the grocery store, buy ingredients, and cook a nutritious meal at your apartment or residence hall. Of course, by the time you’ve done that, you’ve lost at least two hours of what might have been productive work time — and you could be in for a long night ahead. Alternatively, you could grab a couple of snacks, which will energize you for a while … until you crash and burn a few hours later. With deadlines approaching, the last thing you need is to feel sluggish. There’s got to be a better option, right? There definitely is.

Nutrition Is Paramount to Success

“As a college student, your mental and physical health is as important as your education and extra-curriculars. In fact, nutrition is essential to success,” says Jessica Tones, dietitian and nutrition educator for Carnegie Mellon Dining Services. “Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods has been linked to improved cognition and mental functioning, in addition to lower stress levels, lower rates of chronic disease, and lower incidences of mood disorders. Having a dining plan helps you nourish your body consistently throughout the day.”

Of course, the problem is that stress and poor nutrition often go hand in hand: stress or lack of time leads to poor food choices, which in turn leads to a diminished physical and mental state that further increases stress in a vicious cycle. This cycle can be hard to break, but Carnegie Mellon’s dining program is designed to provide students with, convenient meal options for every palate.

A Healthful and Convenient Way to Eat on Campus

CMU’s dining plans offer a range of options and choices for students throughout their time as an undergraduate student or graduate student. They offer convenience for students who live or spend a lot of time on campus because dining locations exist on nearly every part and corner of campus. Additionally, investing in a meal plan removes the stress of figuring out where your next meal is going to come from, making it easier to take care of yourself (and treat yourself) when you’re busy or stressed.

Community Dining Plans

community plans no background (2).fw
Carnegie Mellon’s Community Dining plans offer undergraduate and graduate students a mix of meal blocks and flexible dollars per semester. Traditional Dining Plans, which are required for first-year students and function on a biweekly basis, are also available for undergrads and grads.

Students Say It Best

But don’t take Dining Services’ word for it: many current students enrolled in meal plans rely on them to stay healthy — and end up being pretty happy, too.

Current student Russell Holbert (left) not only loves his CMU dining plan but also Au Bon Pain (ABP) and Bri, who is part of the ABP team, as indicated by this photo he posted on the To Dining With Love Facebook page on Valentine’s Day. Thanks for all the love, Russell!

Russell Holbert, a soon-to-be-senior studying music, said this about his meal plan: “I love having a meal plan! It let’s me be social while eating my meals and helps me attend more events on campus. I don’t worry about finding time to shop and cook. It’s been such a convenience being able to get food where and when I want it, and it has helped me maintain commitments around campus at any time of day.”

After all, mealtime shouldn’t just be a study break. It’s an opportunity to explore campus, socialize with friends, and even meet new people. And with the extra time afforded to Russell by having diverse food options at his fingertips, he can take advantage of everything Carnegie Mellon has to offer, including extra-curriculars and special events.

Kanisha Vaughn, a junior studying psychology, echoed Russell’s sentiments: “I personally like having a meal plan because I like the convenience of being able to get food on campus, especially at times when I’m on campus late or need to grab quick food in the middle of the day. I would love to be able to cook regularly, and I did try it for a while, but I often get home late at night, and once I’m in my dorm room, I usually don’t want to have to cook — in fact, I usually just want to go directly to sleep. So it’s nice knowing that if I have the time and desire to cook, I can; but if I don’t have time to cook one week, I don’t have to force myself to take the time out to do so, since I have a meal plan.”

Dining Is Here to Serve You!

At Carnegie Mellon University, dining plans vary based on students’ needs and interests; they’re flexible, so students can get the most out of their meal plan. With more than 30 locations across campus, you’ll never have to eat at the same place twice in a row (unless you want to), and you’ll always have access to a satisfying meal, whether it’s an early breakfast or second dinner late at night. Chances are, you’re already busy enough — don’t let meals stress you out even more!

Learn more about your meal plan options today!

Getting to Know Michelle Mirabella

Michelle Mirabella is the Housefellow for Boss House, McGill House, Welch House, and Henderson House. She also serves as the Coordinator of Community Standards and the Integrity-Process Advisor for the university’s Disciplinary Committee. A Carnegie Mellon alumna, Michelle graduated in 2010 with an undergraduate degree in professional writing and a music minor. She earned her master’s in higher education administration and student affairs from New York University.

She’s excited to back at her alma mater working within a community that helped shape her as the person she is today. Let’s learn more about Michelle!

How did you come to join CMU?

I applied to Carnegie Mellon for my undergraduate and was accepted in spring of 2006. I graduated four years later and then worked as the Acting Housefellow for Boss and McGill for a year after graduation. After five years working at other institutions – both domestically and abroad – I’m excited to be back!

What’s awesome about the Welch, Henderson, Boss, and McGill communities?

Welch, Henderson, Boss, and McGill come together to form the WaHBaMily. All four houses are intimate in size and engender a sense of family. Welch House is a quiet living space, Henderson House is wellness focused, Boss House is globally themed, and McGill House is an all-women’s residence.  All four houses are mixed class. As a cohesive WaHBaMily community, we can delve deeply into topics germane to our house identities while sharing a residential experience.

What makes you most excited about being at CMU?

The students. Students at Carnegie Mellon are uniquely passionate and pointedly interdisciplinary in their approach to challenges.

What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?

The beauty of intentional gratitude; I have seen this exemplified by RAs and CAs throughout my time as both a student and professional at Carnegie Mellon. This concept goes further than supporting one another, than appreciating one another. It is genuine gratitude for someone that allows you to support and appreciate them in return. This strikes a special place in my heart.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

Language and language learning. I speak Spanish as my second language and dabble in Portuguese and Italian. I have also taught English as a foreign language. I am fascinated by the language learning process and how language shapes our experiences as we move through the world.


All-time favorite book.

I don’t do favorites unless you ask me my favorite number.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My paternal grandmother when she was 26 years old. I’d love to have had the chance to talk with my grandmother before she was a Mirabella.

You’re stranded on a desert island – what three things would you love to have with you?

A water desalinator, a huge box of flares, a journal/pen combo to document.

Connect with Housing & Res Ed!

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