This month’s employee spotlight features Quin Wolters (BS ’23), Harvest Table Culinary Group’s sustainability coordinator for Wake Forest University.
In this newly created position, Quin manages ongoing sustainability goals for Deacon Dining. Tracking and mitigating pre-consumer food waste, managing compost and recycling, and increasing locally sourced ingredients and plant-forward dining options are just some of the responsibilities and strategies that she oversees.
Quin, who studied mathematical economics and environmental studies, is bringing her Wake Forest education—and all of the experiences her education afforded her—to the role.
“During my junior year, I lived and studied in Copenhagen and I learned a lot about sustainability,” Quin says. “Sustainability is much more ingrained in the culture there than here in the US, and this experience inspired me to make sustainability a core part of my career path.”
When she returned to campus for her senior year, she took on the Sustainable Dining Carbon Reduction Internship, a role that worked in partnership with the Harvest Table team and Wake Forest’s Office of Sustainability. She focused her efforts on improving the compost program at North Dining Hall. In addition to working closely with management teams and employees, Quin developed and improved compost-related communications and training.
To Quin, this internship not only inspired personal and professional growth—it brought her back to Wake Forest after graduation.
“It’s a new position, which is really exciting,” she says. “It shows that Harvest Table is carving out a task force designed to uphold sustainability in their practices.”
So far, Quin likes how tangible and dynamic her work can be. Whether it’s talking to different stakeholders, trialing different approaches, or entertaining new programs and initiatives, Quin is able to see the impact of her work. She also really enjoys working for a creative company.
“Harvest Table seeks culinary excellence and a large part of that is seeking unique products,” she explains. “During my third week in the role, I was able to go on a tour of one of our suppliers’ test kitchens. It was awesome to watch the chef construct fantastic dishes featuring special products from vendors that we will use in the future.”
As Quin reflects on her accomplishments so far, she is quick to imagine areas where she can deliver improvements.
“My ultimate goal is to create a culture of sustainability consciousness in the kitchen. The training and operating procedures are a foundation to make it as easy as possible to do the right things, but creating an atmosphere where sustainability isn’t a burden but inherent to our culture, is the end game.”
To reach this goal, Quin points back to herself.
“I can set strong precedents,” she adds. “And I like the idea of giving back to the place that gave me so much, and I hope to improve the school for future generations.
Quin Wolters (BS ’23) is the sustainability coordinator for Harvest Table Culinary Group at Wake Forest University. Originally from Connecticut, Quin is a graduate of Wake Forest University where she studied mathematical economics and environmental studies. She is also an avid hiker and tennis player.