Inspired & Inspiring: Ruth Solomon '19


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Ruth Solomon ’19 came to JWU for the Culinary Arts program because of her love of food and cooking. But, by the end of her time at JWU, she chose to pursue a new love — sustainability.

During her first weeks at JWU, Solomon discovered Student Activists Supporting Sustainability (SASS) and decided to join. She earned an A.S. in Culinary Arts through the College of Culinary Arts and then continued on to earn a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management through the College of Hospitality Management.

“I definitely feel inspired by some of the classes I took. Overall, JWU has been such a good education because there’s so much variation,” she said. "There are so many amazing professors and teachers here.”

But, an internship at Hope’s Harvest RI, a gleaning initiative for food rescue and recovery, cemented her decision to pursue a career in sustainability and waste prevention rather than food service or culinary arts.

“Leading up to that internship, I had started realizing that there’s a lot of waste, particularly with food,” said Solomon. “Once I did that internship, it really changed my perspective on what I wanted to do with food, because you can’t work with food without waste.”

She also represented JWU several times at the annual Students for Zero Waste Conference, a national conference that brings together college students to discuss and learn more about sustainability and environmental justice efforts. It was at that conference where she first found her mantra: Waste is just resources in the wrong place.

“That’s how I live my life,” she said. “I do what I can and try to inspire people around me. Everyone is at a different level of knowledge about sustainability, and that’s okay. We don’t all have to be perfect, we just all have to do something.”