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In the News

Binghamton University Dining Services offers student-employee opportunities, training
May 07, 2018

randy trainingBinghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is one of the largest student employers on campus hiring nearly 200 on an annual basis. 

Students work in a variety of positions including dish room staff, dining area support, and food station attendants. A first job for many students, it means an entirely new experience among a diverse cultural population. 

When Randy Kellar, the current BUDS human resources manager was hired back in October 2016, there was no formal training program for student employees. 

“Shortly after my arrival on campus, it was brought to my attention that there was no formal orientation program for student employees,” said Kellar. “I began to work with SEAT (Student Employee Advisory Team) committee members and management to develop a comprehensive new hire orientation for students focused on overall corporate requirements and health and safety. 

Starting in September 2017, every new and existing student employee underwent comprehensive orientation and training – the same orientation and training regular full- and part-time staff experience, including food safety and allergy training. 

Kellar began hosting focus groups with student employees, specifically one student manager and two regular student employees from each dining location, to better understand job performance needs. 

After the focus groups, student managers helped consolidate station-specific training and created "how to" or a check list for set-up, what to do while working an open station, and how to close-down. Station maps were designed as well. For example, each item in the deli well is assigned a number that corresponds to a meat, cheese or condiment so the student can recognize it. 

Upon immediate completion of a five-hour training, respective managers/trainers meet student employees and provide a tour of the specific dining location where they will work and to meet their fellow staffers. Then, at a later scheduled time, they have an additional four-hour training at each station in the designated dining center. 

“When I first started as a BUDS student employee in 2015, there was no formal training prior to my first shift,” said student manager, Maggie Chen, class of 2018. “However, the extensive, new training program is mandatory for all BUDS student employees at the beginning of each semester. I appreciate all the information presented to ensure we’re aware of work expectations and responsibilities.”

Binghamton University unveils enhanced Gifts from the Garden
May 07, 2018

GFTGA newly enhanced vegan station by Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) offers student 600,000 possible meal combinations. Unveiled by BUDS at its recent RU Green? Event at CIW Dining Center, the new and improved Gifts from the Garden is the latest plant-based addition to the ever-growing vegan and vegetarian movement on campus. 

"With over 600,000 possible combinations, you would have to eat there three times a day for 950 years to try them all," said Executive Chef Rich Herb. Gifts from the Garden features sizzling salads, grain bowls, and tacos for which students choose from greens, grains, plant-based proteins, and dressings. 

Spencer Bruce, vice president of Academic Affairs for Mountainview College Council writes, "All of you down in CIW are making some delicious food for us to enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions. Thanks so much for offering this updated station, I'll be stopping down a lot more often. Keep doing the amazing work that you do, I really appreciate it!"

Zany for Zoodle Bowls at Binghamton University
March 29, 2018


Zoodles are making quite a stir at Binghamton University, demonstrated by a recent sell-out pop-up station at Cake & Eggs in the MarketPlace on campus. 
Zoodles are veggies “spiralized” into long strands, perfect as a pasta replacement. They replace high-calorie, low-nutrition items and introduce new flavor combinations.
Ideal vegetables for zoodling include zucchini, summer squash, carrots, beets, sweet potato, butternut squash, cucumber, eggplant, and apple. 
Executive Chef Kara Perez, who had a zoodle tool at home, decided to craft a zoodle menu for students to support the campus’ ever-expanding plant-based menus. 
A student group tabled nearby the pop-up station to show fellow classmates how to zoodle their own vegetables, promoted the special menu, and talked about the importance of plant-based dining and its role in the sustainability initiatives on campus and around the globe.
“Zoodle bowls at Cakes & Eggs were a great, healthy addition at the Marketplace,” said Sarah Schoenfeld, a Binghamton University junior. “I loved how there was more than just zucchini as an option for the noodles and how the vegan-friendly protein options were delicious and meat-free. I think the station inspired a lot of students to think about healthy and tasty ways to get vegetables into their own cooking and daily meal plan.” 
The station, open from 3pm to 7pm, sold-out serving 207 zoodle bowls which equates to about one bowl per minute, a new record for the campus’ pop-up stations.

Binghamton University chefs receive American Culinary Federation CEC® certification
March 29, 2018

BING ChefsBinghamton University Dining Services today announced Chefs Charlie Williams and Sam Pfaffenbach have earned Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation.

The certification awarded by the American Culinary Federation to esteemed chefs who are responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or food service establishment.

Certification shows employers that a Certified Executive Chef® has reached a benchmark of skills and culinary experience with high standards for food preparation. It shows working knowledge of culinary nutrition, food safety and sanitation, and supervisory management has been demonstrated.

“Sam and I both began working on the certification process in August and completed our certification in late December. It was probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done professionally,” said Executive Chef of Catering Operations Charles Williams, CEC. “Our road to certification included extensive online training, countless hours practicing and perfecting our dishes and skills, a week-long culinary boot camp hosted at Liberty University, a week of practice and critique leading up to our practical exam, a 100-question written exam, and a 3 ½ hour practical cooking evaluation. The process seemed overwhelming and unmanageable at times, but that’s why it was so personally rewarding for Sam and I once we became certified.”

The certificant is in control of their professional development and career, and this increased quality, knowledge, and motivation is passed on to other staff. Certification reassures consumers that the food they eat is prepared to the highest standard.

“I am very proud to represent our dining program and bring back the skills and knowledge I acquired while becoming an American culinary federation Certified Executive Chef to the Binghamton University campus,” said Williams.

The assessment for certification practical testing is divided into four general areas: Safety and Sanitation Skills; Organization; Craftsmanship Skills; and Finished Product Skills.

“Certified Executive Chefs as part of our dining program lends credibility to the professionalism we strive for every day at Binghamton University,” said Director of Auxiliary Services Pete Napolitano. “I’m proud of Chef Charlie and Chef Sam for their dedication to take the time to learn, grow, and develop their skill sets.”

The CEC® is a mark of excellence and distinction in the culinary industry and is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.

Part of the Sodexo Universities East Coast initiative, Chefs Williams and Pfaffenbach were nominated by Senior Vice President Carty McMullen and Resident District Manager James Ruoff.

BUDS debuts dynamic menus and dedicated days for tacos and burgers
January 29, 2018

Tuesdays and Thursdays just got more exciting at Binghamton University – that is if you like creative tacos and burgers.

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is debuting new pop-up concepts in the MarketPlace featuring Taco Tuesday and Burger Thursday on an ever-changing menu. 

“We keep things new and fresh on campus so our students don't get stuck eating the same sandwich or salad every day,” said Executive Chef Kara Perez. “I’ve worked with the culinary team to create a diverse mix of menu items that could appeal to anyone. We’ll offer the ‘bun-less’, the ‘meat-less’, or the ‘extreme burger’, for example. We're injecting fun into our food.”

Menu plans include street tacos, meatless tacos, Baja and Korean tacos, waffle burgers, falafel burgers, raman burger and salmon burgers to name a few.

Grant awarded to Binghamton University on-campus food pantry
December 18, 2017

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has awarded a one-time $1,000 grant to Binghamton University’s on-campus food pantry, Bear Necessities.

The pantry is overseen by the Dean of Students Office and supported by Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS). BUDS General Manager Tom LaSarso and Community Liaison Lori Benson entered the submission for the grant. 

Many students come to campus with limited resources and little experience managing their needs. Hunger makes it difficult to study, sleep, or engage in academics and social activities at the same level as peers. If students' physiological needs aren't being met, it ultimately decreases the chances of meeting their full potential and their overall experience at Binghamton University. 

The mission of the Dean of Students Office is to provide opportunities and experiences that support student learning and personal development, as well as to help students with issues affecting their academic and personal life at Binghamton University. The Bear Necessities Pantry is one way to uphold the mission and assist students. 

"As a person who suffered from food insecurity as a college student, when I heard the university had a pantry, I was instantly interested,” said Qiana Watson, Case Management Coordinator for the Dean of Student's Office. “I know how hard it is to decide between buying books and buying food. Often times, I went without food.”
Watson said she wanted to be a bridge to help students avoid having to make that decision.

“Coordinating the pantry operations and seeing how it has positively impacted students brings me so much joy,” said Watson. “We are very grateful for this grant from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation as it will go a long way to support our efforts.”
During the 2017/18 school year, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is helping to fund 80 backpack food programs and 15 on-campus food pantries in communities across America.

Guest chef program showcases culinary talent at Binghamton University
December 13, 2017

Campus chefs at Binghamton University get the chance to showcase talents and engage with students, faculty and staff during an on-going Guest Chef program in the Chenango Room. 

Executive Chef Rich Herb was a guest chef this past semester who prepared a house-smoked Mexican stuffed bell pepper with a smoky heirloom tomato sauce.The dish featured products from College-in-the-Woods Dining Center, Binghamton Acres campus-grown produce, and Mento Produce of Syracuse.

Another recent guest was Executive Chef Sam Pfaffenbach, CEC who made grilled rack of lamb over boursin cheese mashed potatoes served with sautéed rainbow chard, mint demi-glace, and micro mint.

"I enjoy the opportunity to depart from my daily routine and directly interact with Binghamton University students, staff, and faculty,” said Executive Chef Pfaffenbach. “It brings a smile to my face seeing people savor the flavors I put together for them. I also love working with the amazing staff at the Chenango Room."  

For the Spring 2018 semester, guest chefs will include Executive Chef Jim Paul on February 8 and Executive Chef Thomas Dello on March 15.

BUDS Dietitian featured on Readers Digest Avocado Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water
December 06, 2017

avocadoJulie Lee, MS, RD, at Binghamton University shares this easy breakfast option to fuel your morning. The combination of healthy fats from the avocado, protein from the egg, and complex carbs from the toast breakdown slowly, providing you with a steady stream of energy to get through the morning. Add any fresh veggies you have on hand—tomatoes, leafy greens, sprouts, or bell peppers. Here's how you can enjoy eggs at every meal!

Top Binghamton University students break bread for the holiday
December 06, 2017

The Binghamton University Scholars Program is a selective, four-year honors tract for students of exceptional merit. Several years ago, these students created Scholars Thanksgiving, a special dinner encouraging comradery and a chance to connect prior to the autumn break.  All Scholars, the top two percent of incoming students at Binghamton University, are required to live in Newing dormitories (Broome and Endicott) during their freshmen year. These students develop strong connections and many decide to remain in the Scholars Learning Community as upperclassmen.
Benefits include housing priority in the freshman year, priority registration for classes, small classes that are limited to Binghamton University Scholars and meet General Education requirements, and project-centered courses with opportunities to work closely with faculty members. 

In the early years when the program began, the scholars cooked Thanksgiving dinner in the dorm kitchens. As the program grew, now with nearly 450 scholars included, new cooking accommodations were needed. 

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) volunteered to open its kitchens and expertise to Scholars Thanksgiving. BUDS provides the Thanksgiving recipes and the students cook and clean alongside BUDS staff, learning how to work in a professional kitchen.

“Scholars Thanksgiving is always one of the Scholars events that I look forward to the most,” said Samantha Palladino, Binghamton University School of Management '19, public relations coordinator for Binghamton University Scholars Council. “Since the Scholars Program is filled with so many diverse students, it is heartwarming to see us all come together to celebrate and share in our special, tight-knit community. It is also really nice to see all of my peers work together to create a meal with the BUDS staff, I think the students value the BUDS staff so much more after being able to temporarily walk in their shoes and see how essential they are to campus life.”

Katherine Bouman, assistant director, Binghamton University Scholars Program said, “Preparing a meal for more than two hundred people is an incredible task.  It's great to see our students working with BUDS staff. It's really wonderful to see everyone come together as a part of the Scholars Family to produce this large-scale event and celebrate our sense of community. 


Binghamton University Employee Credits University For Helping Him Quit 30-Year Smoking Addiction
December 06, 2017

Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga honored over 20 local businesses and organizations for their efforts in making the community smoke free.  They were recognized Thursday for the Great American Smokeout, an annual event put on by the American Cancer Society every November to encourage smokers to either quit, or make a plan to quit.  Approximately 22% of Broome County residents smoke, 8% higher than the rest of the state.  While quitting is hard, the businesses and organizations recognized are doing all they can to help their employees quit.  One in particular, Binghamton University, was the reason behind a 30-year smoker finally putting cigarettes in the past.  Mike Kulik, 63, works at BU Dining as a Production Lead, and has been a smoker since the age of 23. “If you can’t quit the first time, try again like I did. I’m on the right road where I will not start.”  Kulik has tried to quit ten times, but the nudge that made a difference came from his employer when they announced the campus would be smoke-free.  “I’m there for a good 10 hours straight, so being smoke-free you have to think about well how am I gonna have a cigarette? So it was just much easier for me to quit than try to find ways around the system.” BU notified workers a year in advance, and started a campus-wide smoking cessation campaign where they offered free nicotine patches and counseling.

“I don’t figure out my day of when I’m gonna have my next cigarette. Financially, I’m saving well over $300-$400 a month. I feel better, I get up in the mornings and I don’t smell like a cigarette. There’s a lot of good benefits by not smoking.”

Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga’s major goal is to keep cigarettes out of the hands of young adults.  “95% of smokers start before the age of 21, so if we can focus on preventing tobacco initiation, and then supporting those who are current tobacco users, it’s very important to help decrease tobacco use.” - Deborah Medzef, Central New York Regional Center for Tobacco Health  If you’re looking to quit smoking but don’t know where to start, call the New York State quit line for free counseling at 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit

BUDS marks record-setting sales for vegan dining event
November 17, 2017

As part of World Vegan Month in November, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) experienced record-setting sales in its Chenango Room which hosted an all-vegan dining event.

The vegan event is the highest grossing event at Chenango Room to date serving 333 students versus an average of 227 on a typical day. 

Dining services also created a plant-based pop-up Cakes & Eggs station in the MarketPlace in University Union.

“World Vegan Month is a time to recognize how far the vegan movement has advanced and to show how easy and beneficial a vegan lifestyle can be,” said Casey Slocum, marketing manager. “The success of our event at Chenango Room proves the popularity of the vegan movement right here on campus.”  

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is supporting vegan students, as well as many other dietary accommodations such as Kosher and gluten-free.

For the second straight year, the University made A+ for the dean's list on Peta2's Vegan Report Card.

The most significant and on-going commitment to vegan dining is a new partnership with New Jersey-based York Street Market brand by Lorenzo Food Group through which Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is now offering even more gluten-free and vegan options on campus.

The vegan and gluten-free options can be found in various retail locations in the MarketPlace, all three Jazzman's locations, ITC and the Hungry Bearcat in the Events Center. The new offerings join the existing vegan station at College In the Woods and pre-packaged items already available throughout retail and resident dining.

Students can now choose from an even more extensive menu, including:

Gluten Free Turkey & Swiss

Gluten Free Tuna

Gluten Free Chicken Salad

Gluten Free Ham & Swiss

Vegan Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Vegan Garbanzo Salad

Vegan Crunchy Kale

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Tray

Vegan Buffalo Wing Dip

Gluten Free Chicken Milanese Salad

Gluten Free Chicken Cheddar Wrap 

Gluten Free Veggie Wrap

Gluten Free Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich

Vegan Chicken Deluxe

Vegan Pesto Hummus Sandwich

Vegan Soba Noodle

Vegan Avocado “Bacon” Wrap

Vegan Falafel Bites

Freshman wins free meal plan from Binghamton University Dining Services
September 27, 2017

Binghamton University Dining Services made one freshman’s parents very happy.  First year student Jack Murphy is the Taste of Community Dining grand prize winner of a $2,500 Spring 2018 meal plan. 

"His father Tom and I thrilled for Jack that he won the grand prize- and really just for eating,” said his mother, Alison Murphy. “It's such a nice bonus for us that we don't have to worry about how he'll be eating next semester - he'll be eating well at all the dining halls.  What a gracious gift to be given from Binghamton Dining Services."

During welcome week, “A Taste of Community Dining” opened all four dining centers to students, providing a custom tour, complimentary samples of dishes served, and a chance to win prizes including the meal plan. Campus dietitians attended the event to answer health and wellness questions and address any concerns about food allergens. The event gave freshman and other new students an idea of what to expect when they come to eat at the dining halls. 

“I'm not really good with words, so if you'd like something about my win it'd probably be better to get an answer from my mom because she and my dad are paying for pretty much everything, so they probably have a lot to say,” said Murphy. “And if I were to say something, I guess I would just say it's pretty crazy to win $2,500 just to look at the dining halls.

Binghamton University Dining Services names new catering director and manager
September 27, 2017

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) today announced it has promoted Joe Laskaris to catering director.

Laskaris oversees a staff of forty and directs campus-wide catering services averaging 75 weekly events.

Filling Laskaris’ former position as catering manager is Nicole Cerratani who comes to BUDS from Vestal Hills Country Club where she served as food and beverage manager.

Cerrantani works closely with catering customers on menu development for campus-based events.

“We are excited for the future of our catering department,” said Tom LaSarso, general manager of retail operations. “The experience that Joe and Nicole provide to the University is overwhelming. Joe, already a fixture on campus, is well known for providing quality services. Nicole has a reputation for stellar presentations at her previous employment. Together, our catering department is in great hands.”

Campus dietitian recruits nutrition peer educators among Binghamton University students
July 07, 2017

Alexa Schmidt, registered dietitian with Binghamton University Dining Services, is leading the charge to recruit students as certified nutrition peer educators. A six-hour course teaches these students to spread healthy messages to peers on eating well in college and beyond.

The program is offered in partnership with the Health and Wellness Studies Department on campus.

“We kicked off the course last Spring semester with rewarding response,” said Schmidt. “Thirty students signed up for the course and we had a waiting list for more. We will definitely offer the program again for the 2017-2018 academic year.”

Course topics include nutrition basics, healthy eating on campus, sports nutrition, eating on a budget, nutrition “hot topics”, and special diets. 

Certified Nutrition Peer Educators complete the training program and an exam that qualifies them to help educate their peers on basic healthy nutrition guidelines and practical approaches to eating well.

As promoted in the related recruitment campaign, the role of certified nutrition peer educators is to share accurate nutrition information; teach strategies for eating healthy on and off campus; teach decision-making skills that people can use to create a balanced diet; increase awareness of various campus activities where students can have fun and learn about healthy living; provide resources that are available for students who need additional assistance; and to correct myths and misperceptions about healthy eating and fad diets.

“The goal is that nutrition peer educators promote strategies for healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits through educational outreach programs and health leadership initiatives,” said Schmidt. “These programs will help further Binghamton University’s vision for a healthy campus through building a culture of healthy lifestyle choices.”

Binghamton University Dining Services caters 40th annual black-tie gala
June 28, 2017

The Binghamton University Forum celebrated forty years this month high atop campus at the Appalachian Collegiate Center catered by Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS).

“The forum dinner is an annual dinner hosted by the forum foundation in early June,” said Charles Williams, Executive Chef of Catering Operations. “Our dinner guests are from both the campus and the community. I really enjoy this event because it gives our whole culinary management team the opportunity to work together and showcase our skills. We have an extremely talented culinary team on campus. We don’t always work as one team, but when we do, the results are impressive. This year we partnered with Binghamton University Acres campus garden and harvested some ingredients for our salad and vegetarian offering. It was a very rewarding experience for us all.”

Binghamton University Acres Farms student interns and Acres Manager Sean Cummings all joined forces with BUDS to harvest pok choy and spinach for the Forum Dinner for 200 attendees.

“The Binghamton University Forum, in my opinion, is the most lovely event we do on campus each year,” said Joe Laskaris, BUDS Catering Manager.  “Guests are sophisticated, well educated in food trends, and very diverse. The ladies are in gowns and the gentlemen in black tie.  Over the years we have come to know many of the guests, and it is always a pleasure to welcome them to our beloved campus. I consider it an absolute honor to be part of such a great event hosted by the Binghamton University Foundation.”

Dinner selections were based on feedback from a campus-based tasting held earlier this Spring.

“The evening kicked off with a reception that included beautifully displayed and carefully crafted hors d'oeuvres,” said Marketing Manager Casey Slocum. “We also featured delicious sushi from Thai Time Restaurant in downtown Binghamton. Dinner was a senses-evoking dining experience. Thank you to our amazing Catering team - from the wait staff to our culinary experts.”

Binghamton University Dining Services staff compete for best recipes
June 26, 2017

With the goal of creating an inclusive environment for employees, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) held a recipe contest among its staff during the Spring 2017 semester. 

The recipes will be published in an employee cookbook to be gifted to the BUDS staff at the annual welcome back meeting in August. Registered Dietitians Alexa Schmidt and Julie Lee will be including practical tips for healthier cooking.

“Employees submitted many wonderful recipes and a short story about the recipe,” said Lori Benson, community liaison. “Our recipe committee reviewed and selected winners by categories for the best story. Winners were given a hot air popcorn popper.”

At the welcome back meeting, each winner will prepare their recipe for all employees who will then vote for the favorite. The employee with the most votes will receive a pressure cooker.

“I love having a collection of other people’s favorite recipes to start some new traditions for my family to hand down to their children and grandchildren,” said Megan Gorski, retail manager. “I can’t wait to see the finished cookbook.”

Initial winners include:

Appetizers and Beverages: Buffalo Chicken Dip/Ben Forse

“I developed a dozen delicatessen salad and dip recipes for Maines Food & Party Warehouse retail stores.  This recipe is my favorite ‘game day’ dip to prepare for my friends.  This dip recipe is still prepared and sold by Maines in Binghamton, Syracuse and Scranton.”

Soups & Salads: Salad Dressing for Mixed Greens/Junietta Brooks

“My Aunt always made this dressing. No matter what greens you use with this dressing, it was the best.  My children and grandchildren would ask for this dressing each time we have salad.”

Vegetables & Side Dishes: Vegetable Medley/Kathy Swearengin

“I do not cook. One Christmas I decided to try this recipe and everyone liked it. I get asked to make it often.”

Main Dishes: Slow Cooked General Tso’s Chicken/Christopher Daniels

“Everyone loves General Tso’s Chicken, but going to a restaurant is expensive. Well, now you can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost and all the flavor you love.”

Breads & Rolls: Grandma’s Potato Donuts/Penny Eldred

“Grandma had 16 children. There are 65 cousins. I don’t ever remember a time when she didn’t have something baked for all drop-in visitors. These donuts were our favorites. My Mother made them for my children as well.  Now, the recipe with my Mother’s handwriting sits framed on my baking table, ready for me to make for the fifth generation.”

Desserts: Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting/Tracy Sager

“I remember watching Grandma make this cake.  It seemed like she stirred for hours while we waited to be her tasters. This recipe was in my Grandmother’s favorite recipe book. She made it once a year when we went on vacation to Lake George.”

Cookies & Candy: Welsh Cookies/Megan Gorski

“This is my Great-Grandmother’s recipe from Wales. It is my favorite cookie of all time. When I was little, my Grandmother made them every time I visited.”

This & That: Chex Mix Snack/Luz Gonzalez

“Enjoy this snack while watching a movie. My grandkids love making this snack with me. They enjoy helping me.”

Congratulations to Kara Perez, Executive Chef – Universities Customer Experience NATIONAL winner for May 2017!
June 15, 2017

Contact: Diane Minenna.Last Updated: June 13, 2017

News from: United States | On-site Services


Using your time and talents to help others is commendable.  Doing so and having a lasting, positive impact on surrounding communities is praiseworthy!

Kara Perez, Executive Chef II, at Binghamton University worked with CHOW (a local food bank) to design a cooking program.  Broome Eats, Dining on a Dime is a brand new interactive program developed by CHOW and Binghamton University Dining Services to teach low income families how to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals on a shoestring budget.

Each family attended a weekly class, taught by Kara, for four consecutive weeks. Each week a different day part was taught. Kara began week 1 with breakfast, week 2 was lunch, week 3 was dinner, and the final week was a snack. All family members were encouraged to attend, including children 5 years old and up!

The class began with discussions on food safety, meal planning, grocery shopping, and how to utilize left-overs. Next they created the meal as a group and finally they sat together to enjoy the meal they prepared.

At the end of the four-week program, each family took home a recipe book and the kitchen tools they used during classes so they could put their newly-learned skills to use.

This program will run continuously throughout the year.

By partnering with CHOW and St. Michael’s Church, Kara is teaching life skills to families all over the county. Her ability to make all the families feel welcome and give them a sense of belonging to the community has been immeasurable.  Kara's direction and involvement in this project has brought recognition to Binghamton University’s commitment to help the community and help stomp out hunger.

Benefits include:
• nutritional information
• improving community relationships and helping fight hunger
• cook skills
• shopping tips
• food safety
• proper cooking techniques / skills
• how to read a recipe

See comments below from Tom Lasarso, Director of Retail Operations:

We are thrilled to have Kara’s talents presented in a way that benefits our community. Kara has eagerly taken on a project to teach cooking classes with families from CHOW programs. This program called Broome Eats, Dining on a Dime is designed to teach low income families how to plan, and cook meals with nutritional value on a limited budget. A series of four classes is held in which Kara has prepared every detail, from a recipe binder to HACCP instruction and how to shop will be taught. Kara’s enthusiasm and passion for such a program makes her the perfect candidate to spearhead this community effort. 

Thank you, Kara, for all you do and for your contributions to the communities surrounding Binghamton University.  You are truly an ambassador for Sodexo and the Stop Hunger initiative!

BUDS and CHOW launch community-based cooking class series
June 07, 2017

A new community-based program series developed by CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is teaching low income families how to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals on a shoestring budget.

Called “Broome Eats: Dining on a Dime,” the month-long weekly class is taught by Binghamton University Dining Services Executive Chef Kara Perez, assisted by Julie Lee, Registered Dietitian with BUDS.

“Many people didn't grow up with home-cooked meals so they don't know where to start in healthy cooking for their own families,” said Perez. “My hope is that this program will open the door for people to get some hands-on experience cooking nutritious and delicious meals they can incorporate into their daily lives. As the children in this program grow and become adults, they will have a skill to carry with them.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring all family members, including children 5 years old and up. In each class, families are given the opportunity to prepare a nutritious meal and learn how to duplicate that meal at home. At the end of each class, the families sit down to enjoy the meals prepared.

Food for each class is provided by CHOW, an organization that distributes two million pounds of food annually to community members in need. 

“When I first heard about the Dining on a Dime Program I could not wait to get involved,” said Jack Seman, CHOW Program Director. “Witnessing families come together to cook healthy, affordable meals has given me a newfound gratitude for my work and the work of everyone in the emergency food network. The incredible partnership with BUDS is what has made this such a success. We at CHOW® look forward to the continuing of this program and others like it.”

The classes are held at St. Michael’s Church at 296 Clinton Street in Binghamton and feature discussions on food safety, meal planning, grocery shopping, and how to utilize left-overs. At the end of the four-week program, each family is given kitchen tools to take home so they can put their newly-learned skills to use. 

“It's been amazing to partner with CHOW and St. Michael's because they have the connections to the people that can truly benefit from this program,” said Perez.

Binghamton University sets records in fight against food insecurity
May 30, 2017

Food insecurity – a lack of access to affordable, nutritious food – is a grave issue at many colleges and universities across the country. Hunger makes it difficult to study, sleep, or engage in academics and social activities at the same level as peers.

The campus community and dining services team at Binghamton University are working hard to eliminate this plight.

Since Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) launched a Food Recovery Network (FRN) on campus in 2014, the program has grown exponentially.

Maya Yair, a student who has since graduated was responsible for initiating the local chapter at Binghamton. The College-in-the-Woods dining hall was the original test site for a partial semester with 8,078 pounds collected.

“I believe that we have a duty to serve others and our environment,” said Saurabh Gupta, current and fourth president of the Food Recovery Network at Binghamton University. “As a huge amount of both labor and resources goes into the production of our food, these efforts should not be wasted by carelessly throwing food away. Through FRN, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the food that is on my plate and empathy for humanity.”

Yielding a record setting 38,864 pounds of food in this semester, recipients of the food are longtime partners Volunteers of American (VOA), CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), and Bear Necessities, a campus-based pantry created to provide a variety of food and personal care items for Binghamton University students in need.

The nearly 40,000 pounds of food collected almost doubles the previous highest total of 23,964 pounds.

“My experience is that the Food Recovery Network numbers have increased significantly due to the increased awareness and passion for this project from our employees,” said Executive Chef Rich Herb, BUDS. “We have heard nothing but positive feedback from every employee who has become aware of this mission to eliminate food insecurity on campus.

Binghamton University Dining Services and Campus Recreation host 11th annual health fair
April 18, 2017

For the 11th year, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS), in partnership with the Department of Campus Recreational Services, hosted a comprehensive health fair on campus, showcasing food vendors, community businesses, non-profit organizations and allied groups in celebration of National Nutrition Month.
"This year's Health Fair focused on an integrated and holistic approach to health and wellness,” said Alexa Schmidt, registered dietitian with Binghamton University Dining Services. “We provided attendees with a taste of everything we offer at Binghamton University. This includes our strong sustainable partnerships, variety of dietary accommodations, new food options, nutritional assistance, culinary expertise and more. We are thrilled to come into our second decade of this valuable event for both the campus and our local community.”

More than 70 vendors, including the BUDS Wellness Team, were on hand to showcase products, offer helpful information, and provide food, beverage samples and fun giveaways.

“The BUDS wellness team consists of an employee from each unit,” said Community Liaison Lori Benson. “We are a resource for our coworkers promoting and providing wellness information. Our table at the Health Fair focused on daily portion sizes for fats, grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables and proteins.”

The 1,045 attendees participated in free health screenings, guided meditation sessions, fitness demos, the BARK-9 therapy dog program, facility tours and drawings as they learned how to incorporate health and wellness into their daily lives.
“Wellness plays a significant role in the retention, satisfaction and success of Binghamton University students, faculty and staff. It is our priority to create and promote a culture where healthy choices are the easy choices,” said Cindy Cowden, senior associate director for campus recreation and chair of B-Healthy: the Healthy Campus Initiative. “The Health Fair is a great community event that offers a comprehensive look at wellness and what it means to live a balanced lifestyle, both on campus and off. We look forward to our continued partnership with both Binghamton University Dining Services and our community partners.”

Binghamton University student wins Sodexo’s national EPIC Adventure sweepstakes
April 14, 2017


Binghamton University student Violeta Arteaga was selected as one of 15 lucky winners in the EPIC ADVENTURE National Prize Sweepstakes by dining services partner Sodexo.


EPIC ADVENTURE is a resident dining promotion designed to engage students, foster interest in the dining program, and showcase culinary talent.


For the promotion, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) held an EPIC Seafood Safari. In addition to MSC certified fish, BUDS featured its new Fresh Fish Wednesday at Chenango Room, which includes Red’s Best, a Boston based seafood wholesaler which aggregates catch directly from over 1,000 small, independent New England fishing boats annually. 

"Arlene, the sweetest Sodexo worker in the CIW dining hall, handed me a flyer and told me to sign up for the EPIC sweepstakes,” said Arteaga. “I took her advice and signed up not expecting to win at all. After completely forgetting I signed up, I opened up my computer to find an email telling me I am a winner of the sweepstakes. Something that took me less than 10 minutes to complete, was the best surprise I had in a long time!"


The BUDS management team personally presented the prize Arteaga selected, a $575 Cabela’s® Paddle Board Package gift card.

Service in the snow: Binghamton University dining halls open during state of emergency
March 24, 2017

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is receiving great praise from students, faculty and administration for its seamless service during winter storm Stella which blasted the East Coast this month.

The Binghamton area received over 31 inches of snowfall.  

Over the course of the two-day blizzard, BUDS served 21,137 meals, obtained safe accommodations for 42 employees, and engaged student volunteers as line servers in place of cooks.

“Binghamton University Dining Services was amazing during the storm and even ordered extra food that was delivered Tuesday morning, enough to last until Saturday," said Ryan Yarosh, Binghamton University director of media and public relations in a post-storm blog."They then rented hotel rooms across the street for the dozens of food service workers who could not get home.” 

In a video message to employees, Resident District Manager Jim Ruoff thanked his team for their dedicated service.

“We did over 20,000 meals on Tuesday and Wednesday and kept three dining operations open – and we couldn’t have done it without you,” said Ruoff.

Binghamton University Dining Services helps make University Union a center for student engagement
January 26, 2017

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) in collaboration with other campus departments continues to expand the number of events held inside the MarketPlace to increase student engagement at the University Union.

The MarketPlace features diverse food venues including local restaurants, a student-run operation, and national chains.

“The MarketPlace is the center of campus with a perfect view of the Peace Quad,” said Marketing Specialist Casey Slocum. “We want it to be a place students not only want to eat, but to study, relax, connect with other students, and create memories.”  

By all accounts, the increased promotion is working. The Marketplace sales volume from Fall 2016 has increased 11 percent from previous Fall semester and 29 percent from all of 2014. 

BUDS to date has hosted “Taste of the MarketPlace” during Welcome Week in August, trivia nights, Taco Tuesday, a Halloween Glow Party, a winter luau, and “Meet the Manager” activities including decorating a giant gingerbread house during the holidays.


“We have a robust calendar mapped out for Spring 2017, including a regular occurrence of ‘Meet the Dietitian’ tabling with Registered Dietitian Julie Lee, more trivia nights, open mic nights, and a ‘Treat Yourself” night on Valentine's Day with local BOCES students giving manicures and hair styling, plus smoothie face masks and food specials,” said Slocum.


An RUGreen sustainability-focused event is scheduled for Saint Patrick’s Day and a “Battle of the Chefs” salsa-making competition will take place in May in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Binghamton University Dining donates nearly 10,000 meals to the hungry
December 16, 2016

A coordinated effort by Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) and students helps fill a bus with 7,125 pounds of donated food which converted to nearly 10,000 meals.

The program was a comprehensive initiative spearheaded by BUDS that involved numerous campus departments and students. Results benefited students in need on campus and hungry families in the community. Non-perishables as well as fresh produce were donated. 

“We also hosted an internal contest for our cashiers - those who were able to sell the most non-perishable items for donation received a $25 gift card as well as a gift card of equal value donated to the food bank in their name,” said Marketing Coordinator Casey Slocum.

BUDS placed food barrels in multiple dining locations for the week-long drive, where students, faculty, and staff could purchase and drop in donation items. Additional facets of the drive included a campus department challenge in which the department with the most donated items won a $500 catering credit and a student group challenge in which the group with the most donated items a won pizza, wings and ice cream party for 100 people. 

Binghamton University Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) helped establish a program which allowed students to bring in two or more non-perishable food donations and their qualifying parking citations were excused. 

“The overall collaboration of this initiative was inspiring. TAPS let us borrow one of their green buses for twenty-four hours, let us decorate it, fill it -  and they even drove the bus to the food bank for us,” said Slocum. “The Dean’s team was also on hand to assist our student employees with collecting all of the campus department and student group donations on the last day of the food drive!”

Some of the produce donated was bagged by students and was given to seventy-five families in need as identified by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

"We have a very generous student body who donated food items to go to the local community CHOW, as well as Bear Necessities, which is our on-campus food pantry," said Dining Services Community Liaison Lori Benson.

CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, feeds the hungry of Broome County - where Binghamton University is located - through a network of over 30 food pantries and 35 soup kitchens and community meal programs. CHOW distributes about 2 million pounds of food each year. The Bear Necessities Pantry provides a variety of food and personal care items for Binghamton University students in need.

"I think we are overwhelmed this semester with the amount of food donated and the students, faculty, and staff have a heart for the people of this community and on their campus and it's really cool to be a part of it," Benson continued.

The campus food pantry is often overlooked by community members, because many don't realize the struggle college students may face.

Partnerships aglow between student groups and Binghamton University Dining Services
November 15, 2016

A campus-based Halloween Glow Party hosted by Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) at the Marketplace highlighted strong partnerships with student groups.

Incorporating trick or treating, live music, Halloween inspired food specials, a glow-in-the-dark selfie station, health promotion and prevention tabling, BUDS partnered with REACH (Real Education About College Health) peers who tabled on safer sex and healthy relationships.

The AOD (office of Alcohol and Other Drugs) outreach team featured a Perfect Pour bar serving up glow-in-the-dark mocktails.

“We want to make the MarketPlace a destination, a place to gather with friends and enjoy activities, not just a great place to eat,” said Director of Retail Operations Tom LaSarso. “By partnering with other departments, we draw more attention to campus life and services.”

According to LaSarso, dining services is planning a “Winter Luau” after Thanksgiving and is seeking campus student group involvement.

“Our management team is also looking ahead, to the spring semester and planning activities,” said LaSarso. “Some will feature our dietitian with nutritional information. Any student collaboration will be welcomed.”

Binghamton University named Ocean Hero by Marine Stewardship Council
November 09, 2016

Binghamton University has received the Ocean Hero Award by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“It is a great honor to have the Marine Stewardship Council recognize Binghamton University for supporting our ocean ecosystem,” said Pete Napolitano, Director of Auxiliary Services. “We are proud to be a part of an organization whose mission is to safeguard our seafood supplies for future generations. Ocean-to-plate traceability is very important to our students.”

One of twelve campuses nationwide given the honor, Binghamton University received the Ocean Hero Award for its outstanding environmental leadership and support of the MSC and its mission to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. 

“We applaud Binghamton University’s contributions to healthy ocean ecosystems. By serving MSC certified fish and seafood in its facilities, Binghamton University is ensuring there will be plenty more for tomorrow,” said Maggie Beaton, Commercial Manager - Americas.

Binghamton University achieved MSC Chain of Custody certification in 2014 in its resident dining facilities assuring their customers that the seafood purchased there can be traced back to a certified sustainable fishery. It is the first Sodexo campus dining program in New York to achieve MSC certification and the first SUNY location to attain certification.

Recognized as the world’s leading certification program for sustainable, wild-caught seafood, the MSC works with leaders within the fishing industry and seafood supply chain.

An MSC ecolabel on a seafood product means that it is sourced from a sustainable and well-managed fishery and is traceable from ocean to plate. Close to 10 percent of the annual global harvest of wild-capture fisheries are MSC certified.

Battle of the Chefs Video
November 09, 2016

Battle of the Chefs Fall 2016.

Global Chef Australia
December 05, 2016

Global Chef Rachael Swain of Australia traveled to Binghamton University for two-day culinary event at C4 Dining Center and then ITC (Innovative Technologies Center) to prepare a lunch hosted by Brian Rose, Vice President for Student Affairs and Jim Ruoff, Resident District Manager, Dining Services.   

“I can definitely say that going into the event, I had no idea what the food was going to be at all,” said Iris Chan, Binghamton University '18. “It was so nice to be able to walk into C4 and see all the decorations and everything going on. The food looked great, and I really appreciated being able to try new things from different countries and cultures.” 

Chef Rachel Swain was born and raised a country girl in the west of Victoria, Australia, where everything was homemade and homegrown. At 19, she traveled throughout Australia for 12 months. After her Australian excursion, she traveled abroad, backpacking her way around the world. While in London, she became a chef, learning from some great experts like Jamie Oliver and Genaro Contaldo.

"Events like these really show how global the students at Binghamton and Dining Services really are,” said Ronald Cheung, Binghamton University, ‘17. “The Australian dishes I tried were unlike anything I've ever tasted before, and so delicious. Honestly, the food at the dining halls always tastes amazing."

The Global Chef event showcased Australia with music and entertainment including a costumed kangaroo, Digeridoo player Tyler Sussman, a live DJ playing Australian hits and Australian trivia, an outdoor boomerang contest, Australian Outback selfie station, and staff adorned in “Australian” gear throughout the dining center.

Binghamton University chefs again win Broome County’s Fresh Food Face Off
October 13, 2016

Broome County’s best chefs competed again this year in the 7thannual Fresh Food Face-Off, a friendly cooking competition using locally grown products and ingredients. As part of the competition, each restaurant is given a list of surprise items in a basket that come from local farms to use in their dish.

Chefs Sam Pfaffenbach, Rich Herb and Kara Perez of Binghamton University Dining Services took the People’s Choice award with their Southern Fried Baby Bella Mushroom filled with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and topped with a Roasted Garlic Cream, Sautéed Kale, and Roasted Beet and Maple Syrup Foam for dessert. 

Chef Pfaffenbach said the award was "humbling." This year is the dining services' sixth time competing in the Face Off, and they have never gone home without an award in at least one of the categories.

"It's fantastic to be a part of this competition representing Binghamton University Dining Services and Binghamton University," Pfaffenbach said. 

“It was my first year participating in the event,” said Chef Perez. “I got the chance to meet a lot of interesting people and try a lot of delicious food from the other vendors.  There was a great team atmosphere.  It was just icing on the cake that we won the Taste of Broome County award.  I would definitely love to be a part of that event again in the future.”

The event is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives and communities through partnerships and collaboration that put experience and research knowledge to work.

Second dietitian joins Binghamton University Dining Services
October 03, 2016


With the growing number of students with food allergies and specific nutritional needs, Binghamton University Dining Services welcomes Julie Lee, MS, RD CDN, a second registered dietitian to the team. The move supports the University’s mission to become the healthiest campus in the nation.  

Lee supports the campus along with Alexa Schmidt, RD to enhance the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff on campus.

They provide nutrition consultations, guest lectures, nutrition programs, education materials, and special diets (i.e., celiac disease, food allergies). 

Lee earned her Bachelor’s in Dietetics and completed a Combined Masters and Dietetic Internship program through SUNY Oneonta. A registered dietitian since 2012, Lee was named “Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year” in 2015 for New York State.

“The campus environment has already proved to be dynamic and ever-changing, which is exciting,” said Lee. “I think it will give me endless opportunities to do what I love including counseling students, providing wellness programs and cooking demos. I most look forward to having a positive impact on the health of college students that will benefit them throughout their adulthood.”

Embracing diversity in Binghamton University Dining Services
October 03, 2016


Juan and Zori Medina immigrated to the United States in 2010 and have worked for Binghamton University since their arrival.

It was always their dream to live in America and become citizens.

Originally from Venezuala, they opened their first restaurant there in 1993. Seven years later they leased it and moved to Spain where they opened a Venezuelan fast food restaurant.

“We managed it very successfully for ten years until we had the opportunity to immigrate to the United States in 2010,” said Juan Medina.

Medina, now a retail manager at the MarketPlace, began at Binghamton University Dining Services as a cook. 

“After three years, I applied for a lead position at the MarketPlace on campus,” he said. “This opportunity showed my passion for food service and took me to the next level when I decided to apply as a retail manager in May 2016.” 

Zori Medina began as a cashier at College In The Woods and is now lead supervisor at Einstein Bros Bagels on campus. 

Medina cites learning English as one of the biggest challenges he and his wife faced and took classes at American Civic Association. 

The Medinas are now American Citizens and enjoy participating in the democratic process by voting in local and federal elections. They have family in Venezuela and a daughter who lives in Germany. Their son is a Binghamton University alumnus who resides in Connecticut.

Student-founded, student-run food concept now full time at the MarketPlace
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University alumnus Sung Kim is running his own food station on campus in partnership with dining services.  The concept, called Chick-N-Bap, features his take on a staple New York City street-style chicken over rice dish along with his own Korean recipes for a more unique and diverse offering

When Chick-N-Bap originally opened on campus as an experiment, it was available two days a week with a limited menu. Diners responded immediately and they sold over 300 plates in the first 3 hours on the first night.

Now the concept will be open six days a week with a selection of marinated chicken, seasoned rice and shredded iceberg lettuce with options for white, green, barbecue and/or hot sauce.

"Bap" in Korean means "rice" or even "a meal".

Kim graduated Binghamton University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Management.

“The experience I gained post-graduation played a vital part of developing the foundational skills to run this business,” said Kim. “Being a management consultant for over two years helped me develop the hard-skill and soft skill sets that you could only gain from experience.”

As a senior in college, Kim took the $250 in his bank account and invested it all into R&D to create the chicken over rice dish close to what he tasted in Manhattan.

“Luckily, I was able to succeed within the budget with a seal of approval from my housemates,” said Kim. “Stars lined up when President Stenger came to speak in one of my classes. I had already created a business proposal to pitch to the university and the dining services team, so I immediately followed up to him via email along with the attachment.”

According to Kim, President Stenger responded within the day, saying that he loved the idea of creating a partnership between school, Binghamton University Dining Services, and the students with a focus on food.

“We started operating in Hinman Night Owl initially on Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm to 3am, which we never got to fulfill because we always ran out of ingredients by midnight,” said Kim. “We averaged around 600 platters there.”

“We then moved to the MarketPlace to operate on Wholly Habaneros station on Fridays and Saturdays, averaging 1300 platters, which led to an additional operating day on Thursdays, averaging 1800 platters. Finally, during the month of July in 2016, we signed the contract with Binghamton University Dining Services to take over the station and do full-time operations,” said Kim.BV

Food Recovery Network
October 03, 2016

Learn more about our Food Recovery Network.

Binghamton University Dining Services Gives You a Taste of the MarketPlace
October 03, 2016

Our 1st Annual Taste of the MarketPlace happened Tuesday, August 23.  It featured free samples from many of the MarketPlace venues including the grand opening of Hissho Sushi.  Students, Faculty, and Staff had the opportunity to meet our new Registered Dietitian, Julie Lee, along with our Retail Executive Chefs Kara Perez and Charlie Williams.  

Binghamton University dining staff welcomed with engaging orientation
October 03, 2016


The management team of Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) welcomed its nearly 350 staff members onto campus this August with an engaging day-long orientation to demonstrate employee appreciation. 

Community Liaison Lori Benson helped coordinate the event.

“We spent a lot of time carefully preparing the agenda for this meeting,” said Benson. “It was important to make sure we included information to help our employees at work, as well as to provide a fair that focused on benefiting their personal lives.  We wanted the employees to walk away feeling welcomed, appreciated, excited, inspired and confident.”

After a continental breakfast reception, the day began by recognizing employees who went above and beyond last year.  The orientation introduced a welcome and staff recognition video, and training on safety, food allergens, and customer service.

“Combining learning with fun, the fair included a photo booth, prizes and raffles and an amazing spread for both breakfast and lunch,” said Casey Slocum, marketing coordinator. “We also provided all employees with uniforms featuring our brand new dining services logo.” 

BUDS partnered with other campus departments to present an informational fair. The fair offered blood pressure screenings, CHOW (food bank) volunteer sign ups, parking stickers, wellness tips from the campus registered dietitian, and vendor booths with samples.

Campus Recreation and EAP highlighted free health and wellness programs for employees. 

United Health Services provided information regarding smoking cessation to help prepare employees for the University-wide tobacco-free policy slated to be implemented on August 1, 2017.

“I found the information very helpful and I loved the information fair,” said Tanya Rosario, wait staff at the Chenango Room on campus. “The photo booth was beyond fun and a good way to bond with co-workers.”

A year in review from the BUDS directors wrapped up the day.

Binghamton University Dining Services partners with Student Affairs to thank student employees
October 03, 2016

This past semester, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS), Student Affairs and the Campus Bookstore collaborated to give all student employees on campus a "thank you" party for their hard work throughout the year. Student employees include resident assistants, food service workers, tutors, peer advisors and facility staff in several student buildings. 

Speakers at the event included University President Harvey Stenger, Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Rose and a student employee at the birthday themed party.

"It amazes me how much our students accomplish in the course of a semester - they go to class, do their homework, participate in clubs, and hold important campus jobs," said President Stenger. "We are lucky to have such energetic and engaged students on our campus."

Vice President for Student Affairs Brain T. Rose said “Binghamton University exists primarily to provide educational services to our students. However, students themselves are broadly and intimately involved in providing the very services from which they benefit through the thousands of student employees and volunteers who work in our offices every day.” 

During the event created by BUDS, the Division of Student Affairs took an afternoon to acknowledge students for their dedication to their campus responsibilities. 

“Binghamton’s reputation is in part driven by the academic talents of our students,” said Rose. “It is also driven by the great work provided by those same students in so many of our offices.  We intend to make it an annual rite to thank those students who work with us and extend our appreciation to the staff and to our campus partners who did such a fantastic job hosting the inaugural event.”

The Student Employee Appreciation day event menu included cupcakes featuring designs used for the popular resident Cupcake Wednesdays, fresh fruit wedges and crudité with assorted dips, and infused waters.

Community Liaison Lori Benson worked with the University to create special buttons which read “Our student employees rock!” with the Binghamton “B” logo.  Dining Services and the University also gave out phone card holders featuring the logo.

"I had good conversations with my supervisors and managers - it was nice to not be working and just hanging out with them,” said Graduate Student Saurabh Gupta, System Science & Industrial Engineering major. “The candy bar and cupcakes were amazing and the raffle activity was fun. I believe that a little appreciation can make someone’s day. It is very good to know that our hard work and efforts are valued.”

Binghamton holds first BHealthy-in-the-Woods event
October 03, 2016

‘A healthy attitude is contagious’ was the concept for the B-Healthy in the Woods event at College-in-the-Woods dining center at Binghamton University.

For this resident dining event, Binghamton University Dining Services partnered with multiple campus departments and student groups to meet University President Harvey G. Stenger’s goal of being the healthiest campus in the country, as well as fulfilling the commitment to a Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

“Most importantly, this event highlighted the plethora of available campus dining and activity options for students,” said Marketing Coordinator Casey Slocum. “The ultimate goal was showing students that making the healthy choice can be the easy choice.”

Dining Services worked closely with the University’s B-Healthy Committee, a group dedicated to the campus-wide well-being initiative for individuals and the environment, to ensure that all aspects of wellness were represented by creating interactive and educational stations. 

Students were greeted by health and wellness ambassadors and were encouraged to take advantage of the customizable offers, including a Make-Your-Own trail mix bar, a D.I.Y. Vegan Soup station, and a healthy makeover of student favorites. Contributing to the fun atmosphere was a DJ with nutrition trivia, a smoothie bike and hula-hoop troop.

“My favorite part was seeing all the different alternatives available at the different stations, especially how nice everything is set up; it’s very woodsy and festive,” said Health & Wellness Ambassador Luisa Ferreras.

Health & Wellness Ambassadors are students that on-campus registered dietitian Alexa Schmidt, works with to educate students on healthy eating habits for lifelong health. They were present in the dining halls during the week this past semester and at various events throughout the term.

“BUDS has been working closely with the B Healthy initiative to enhance wellness offerings throughout our dining centers,” said Schmidt. “National Nutrition Month was a great time to partner with campus groups to highlight many of the initiatives that extend beyond great tasting healthy food and that often take you ‘in the woods’ on a hike through the nature preserve, or a climb on the ropes course, or bike ride on the trails to name a few. We knew the event must be held at the College-in-the-Woods Dining Center. “

Science meets cuisine at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University students looked on as campus chefs used spherification techniques, liquid nitrogen and flavored foam to create flash frozen dishes faux caviar, deconstructed desserts, powdered food and foam.

Student employees donning the lab coats and safety goggles  - also worn by the chefs – shared free samples of savory buffalo chicken wing bites, vanilla panna cotta with assorted berry caviar and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

The buffalo chicken wing bite was composed of crispy chicken skin, hot sauce, marinated carrots and celery, topped with a blue cheese foam. 

The berry caviar that sat atop the vanilla panna cotta was constructed using a fruit liquid, consisting of fruit mixture and sodium alginate, and instantly spherified when dripped into a mixture of water and calcium chloride.

“Liquid ice cream was dripped into liquid nitrogen to instantly sphere and freeze into small, colorful ice cream balls, served on a spoon,” said Marketing Coordinator Casey Slocum. “Students loved watching these samples be made in the demonstrations led by the campus chefs.”

In addition to the free samples, students could also purchase deconstructed strawberry shortcake and individual vanilla bean cheesecakes with cranberry fruit spheres on top. The deconstructed strawberry shortcake dessert consisted of pound cake powder, strawberry foam and a vanilla sphere.

“The Molecular Gastronomy event was great; not only was it fun to watch but it was even better to eat,” said Sodexo Future Leaders Intern Jenna Rice.  

3rd annual Academic Culinary Challenge at Binghamton University engages campus
October 03, 2016

Faculty and staff of Binghamton University came together this semester to compete in a culinary competition judged by a panel of students. 

Six teams battled including Residential Life, University Communications and Marketing, Alumni, Campus Pre-school, Office of Research Advancement, and Center for Training and Development. A chef from dining services was assigned to support each team. 

Student judges included co-chairs of the Hinman Community Council, Student Culinary Council and videographer for Binghamton University Theatre Department.

Baxter the Bearcat was at the event along with Assistant Athletic Director Dave Simek who served as emcee.

Local vendors and partners were on hand with free samples and information for students, including Lupo’s, Purdy & Sons, General Mills, Marine Stewardship Council, local CHOW Executive Director Mike Leahy, Boar’s Head, Best Bagels in Town, Mento Produce, and Health & Wellness student ambassadors.

"We had a blast! Our chef was top notch and can't wait to win it all next year,” said Binghamton University irector of Media & Public Relations Ryan Yarosh '02.

Health and wellness focus for STOP Hunger food drive at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

Each semester, Binghamton University Dining Services holds a semiannual STOP Hunger food drive that supports the local Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) and Binghamton Universities Bear Necessities food pantry.

The most recent drive incorporated a health and wellness component in support of Binghamton University’s BHealthy campus-wide initiative.

“For one week each semester, we place collection bins in all four resident dining centers and in the Binghamton University MarketPlace,” said Marketing Coordinator Casey Slocum. “We make available non-perishables students and campus community can purchase to donate in the bins. This time, we added a way students could donate fresh, healthy apples.”

By purchasing a voucher for one dollar, three pieces of locally sourced fruit were donated to CHOW. Students signed and placed pledge vouchers on the wall to demonstrate their support. Vouchers purchased at all locations were tallied and the fruit was purchased in bulk for donation.

“It was awesome to see students and faculty alike donating food to such a deserving cause,” said Binghamton University student Randy Swyers, Class of 2016. “There were mountains of food piled in our donation bins at the end of the day. I also found the fruit voucher drive to be both creative and encouraging.”

Swyers said that since college students are usually low on funds, it was refreshing to see such an affordable program offered. He said the large displays made from all of the donation certificates provided tangible proof of how generous the student body can be.   

This recent drive garnered over 4,000 pounds of food for CHOW and Bear Necessities.

“We want to engage students in this important food drive and to show that health and wellness are on the forefront of our programs – and this was a great start!” said Slocum.

Cultural Dining Thrives at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

Diversity is the pillar of Binghamton University and this has translated into much success for the newly launched Culture & Food Series: Culture @ Chenango.  

The series is collaboration between Binghamton University Dining Services, the Multicultural Resource Center, and student groups. The campus Multicultural Resource Center reaches out to student groups. 

The student groups then provide the dining team at Chenango Room with recipes native to their ethnic background and everyone works together to create delicious menus and educationally diverse events.

“Our most recent event this semester was Japanese and Thai fusion for Asian Empowerment Week,” said Unit Marketing Coordinator Casey Slocum. “We worked with three student groups; Binghamton University Japanese Association, the Asian Student Union and the International Language Association. It was a tremendous success.” 

According to Jose R Artiles, Class of 2016 who works at the Multicultural Resource Center, the recent event was the most successful of the entire year.

“The Chenango Room was full of people throughout the whole day,” said Artiles. “Everyone that I spoke to enjoyed the different types of food available to them and the background information the different organizations provided for the event.”

The dining team and Multicultural Resource Center plan to roll out the series again for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“The Asian Empowerment Week edition at Chenango is a successful example of collaboration between students and staff on campus,” said Binghamton University student Mengdai Sun. “I am so glad that this event will continue in the future to introduce profound cultures to more people.”

Binghamton University Dining Services hosts sustainable seafood event for students
October 03, 2016

Students at Binghamton University recently enjoyed a tasty lesson in sustainable seafood – to choose responsibly caught fish, that is handled with care and can be traced right back to a sustainable source. 

In collaboration with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the dining team hosted a campus event serving students MSC-certified fish and presentations on the importance of buying and eating sustainable foods.

Binghamton University achieved Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification in 2013, becoming the first State University of New York (SUNY) campus to attain MSC certification. The comprehensive traceability program assures students that their seafood purchases can be traced all the way back through the supply chain to sustainable fisheries.

The focus on certified sustainable seafood is in line with the strategic plan of Binghamton University Dining Services to promote global citizenship and ethical sustainability, with the MSC certification being yet another milestone. 

MSC Commercial Manager Maggie Beaton was on hand to engage students, joined by Kelly Shimkus of Sodexo, Northeast Region SEED champion and chair of Sodexo’s National Sustainable Seafood Committee.

A stress fish giveaway featured a QR code to the Marine Stewardship Council website.

Auxiliary Services Director Pete Napolitano was a big motivator to get the certification and is an advocate to increasing the amount of MSC certified seafood served on campus.

“Binghamton University works with Marine Stewardship Council to promote healthy options for our student customers while helping to protect and sustain our oceans from over fishing and destroying our natural resources which is a key concern to Binghamton University Students,” said Napolitano. "Our Student Culinary Council has made this an important issue and we are proud to work with our students to help attain this goal.”

Lunar New Year Celebration
October 03, 2016

On Monday, February 8, 2016, Hinman Dining Center held a Lunar New Year Celebration in collaboration with the Multicultural Resource Center and various student organizations. The entire dining center was decorated in red paper lanterns, traditional celebratory images of inscriptions that indicated wealth, happiness and longevity. 

Our recipes for this event featured those by Global Chef Chengliang Yuan, along with submissions from Binghamton University students themselves. Some menu items included fried rice, chicken Sichuan, sweet and sour pork, crispy pork spare ribs, dumplings in broth, steamed scallops and string beans. Students and staff alike raved about the deliciousness that was this menu! 

Students that attended the event enjoyed an array of Asian cuisine and entertainment provided by the Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera. There was also a performance by Sulpoong, a Korean Percussion student group, who played traditional instruments and music appropriate for this event. 

It was a pleasure to work with various campus partners and student groups to make this event happen and we look forward to collaborating again soon!

Melting pot dining at Binghamton University as Culture@Chenango launches
October 03, 2016



In a tasty collaboration between Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo, the Multicultural Resource Center, and student groups, a new dining series begins.   

The campus Multicultural Resource Center reaches out to student groups. The student groups then provide the dining team at Chenango Room with recipes native to their ethnic background and everyone works together to create delicious menus and educationally diverse events. 

“On behalf of our Multicultural team, we thoroughly enjoy partnering with Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo to create our Culture and Food Series affectionately known as Culture@Chenango,” said Tanyah Barnes, M.Ed Interim Assistant Director, Multicultural Resource Center. 

“Sodexo has been so supportive and responsive to our students’ desires to create a little slice of home right here on campus. I especially appreciate that our dining staff embraced the idea and surprised us by dressing in themed attire and helped to decorate for the special events.  I am looking forward to continuing the partnership and creating more phenomenal Culture and Food Series events in the coming semesters,” said Barnes. 

The student groups involved are present at the special event to help educate guests about the food, from where it originates, and why it’s important to their heritage. 

“I was blown away with the delicious menu and it was amazing to see campus departments, student groups and dining services work together to bring such a great event to life at Chenango Room,” said Binghamton University Accounting Major Mark DiBiase who will graduate in May 2016. “The Hispanic Heritage event in October, Diwali event in November, and Kosher event in December will definitely all go down as some of my favorite events that I have attended while at Binghamton University. I can't wait to see what awaits us at Chenango Room this upcoming semester.” 

According to sales figures for Chenango Room, this year was the best on record which can be greatly attributed to the multi-cultural series.

“Good food, good service, and good management are the combination to success!” Chenango Room Chef Mike Kulik, who helped deliver the authentic recipes for each event.


Chef Sam Binghamton University Video
October 03, 2016

Meet Sam Pfaffenbach, the chef manager of the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center Dining Hall.  Follow him in the kitchen, where he shares his culinary journey and inspiration.  For Pfaffenbach, food is playful and ever-evoloving!

Binghamton University Dining welcomes new chefs
October 03, 2016

Kara Perez      James Paul

Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo today announced the arrival of two new chefs to the campus team – Kara Perez and James Paul.

Chef Perez arrives to Binghamton University from Texas Tech University where she led and managed 150 food service employees while overseeing day-to-day back-of-house university dining hall functions.  Perez played an integral role in the opening, organization, and growth of new residential/student dining facility and in the re-opening and menu development for the busiest residential dining hall on campus. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Dallas, Texas.

“I am so excited to be joining Sodexo at Binghamton University,” said Executive Chef Kara Perez. “I encourage student feedback and suggestions as we are here to create a top quality dining experience for everyone. I look forward to collaborating with the students over the coming months and years.”

Chef Paul has over fourteen years in the culinary field, most recently serving as executive chef for formal catering at Corning Incorporated where he oversaw all aspects of a two million dollar catering operation. Paul trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. 

Binghamton University kicks it old school with an ultimate throwback party
October 03, 2016

All four resident dining centers at Binghamton University took a trip back in time this semester with an ultimate throw back party for students, celebrating the 1980’s and 1990’s. 

The evening was a big success yielding over 4,500 meal transactions for dinner.

Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo decorated the dining halls, brought in a DJ, hosted dance contests, trivia games, and provided a colorful collection of fun items like plastic guitars, Rubik’s Cubes, and sunglasses.  

Students dined from a thematic menu that included “Rugrats Herb Crusted Roast Beef”, “Oh Snap! Sautéed Kale”, “Miami Vice Rice”, “Total Eclipse of the Quiche” and “We Built This City on Summer Squash.”

“Themed events such as Ultimate Throwback are important for many reasons, one of which is to break the predictability of resident dining but more importantly for our community to have fun,” said Jim Ruoff, General Manager. “Students danced to Boy George, played asteroids and watched Walter Cronkite on the news while feasting on a pretty cool throwback menu.  It also generated successful collaboration with other campus departments and student groups.”

Binghamton University student contest renames concourse snack bar
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University Events Center is the premier Division I Athletics and multipurpose facility at Binghamton University. The arena opened in 2004 and is adjacent to the Bearcat Sports Complex.

The Events Center is currently in the midst of concourse updates and one of those updates included naming the eatery that is managed by Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo

The dining team held a contest for students to submit name ideas for the eatery.

The winning name was “The Hungry Bearcat” created by student winner, Lisa Cadogan, a junior majoring in English. She received a swag bag full of dining and athletic goodies. 

There were over 100 name submissions.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the student’s daily lives and was honored to have my name used in some of the café name submissions for our Name That Eatery contest,” said Doug Thomas, supervisor at the Hungry Bearcat and recent recipient of the “Bearcatitude” award given by the Binghamton University Student-Athletes.

Sodexo at Binghamton University Supports Hunger Walk for the Ninth Year
October 03, 2016

This semester, more than 500 people, students included, walked the Binghamton University campus to alleviate hunger in Broome County.

For the ninth year, Binghamton University Dining by Sodexo partnered on the event donating a picnic for participants.

“Our partnership with Binghamton University Dining Services is essential to fighting hunger in Broome County,” said Michael Leahey, director of CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, which feeds the hungry of Broome County through its network of over 30 food pantries and 35 soup kitchens and community meal programs.

“The Hunger Walk is both our largest opportunity to educate the community about food insecurity and to fundraise,” said Leahey.

In Broome County, there are more than 30,000 people that live in poverty.

All sources of emergency food assistance combined distribute just about 3 million pounds of food annually. Each dollar raised provides 4 meals. Every 1.2 pounds of food donated creates one meal. CHOW distributed approximately one million meals in 2014. Approximately 40 percent of those meals went to children.

“We collect on average between 1000 and 2000 pounds of food annually at the walk,” said Leahey.

Throughout the year, Binghamton University Dining Services helps CHOW address food insecurity by holding food drives, and partnering in food recovery efforts and assists with local events like the Potato Posse's effort to break a world record by making the largest single batch of mashed potatoes. The dining team ensured that the food was safely prepared and that the potatoes went to local soup kitchens for use.

Food Management Editor’s Note: A personal touch
October 03, 2016

Becky Schilling, Food Management Editor-in-Chief

Following up on my customer service theme from last month’s Editor’s Note, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of attention and dedication I noticed from several college operators during a recent group discussion at NACUFS. Every year, Food Management hosts a small roundtable of university operators to discuss the challenges and success stories in the industry. You can read snippets of the roundtable conversation here, with more to be posted online in the coming weeks. That discussion of problems many face at colleges was fascinating.

Last month I wrote about the unforgivable lack of service at a flashy airport eatery. At NACUFS, my faith was restored by college operators who excel at providing a level of service that borders on heroic.

To start the conversation I asked each of the operators to name some of their more difficult challenges. The operators each said some of the usual suspects—labor struggles, food price increases, meeting the demands of an increasingly picky customer base—but two of them mentioned cases that no one in the room had been challenged with before.

Every foodservice operator, from a K-12 cafeteria line employee to a fine dining server, is faced with the increasing amount of diners with food allergies. Jim Ruoff, resident district manager with Sodexo at Binghamton University, however, shared a new baffling twist.

“Students are coming with wheat allergies, nut allergies, and we need to address them now,” he said. “We had a student come to us at orientation with an airborne nut allergy. How are we going to address that? We might have to shuttle him food, but that’s what we have to do now to address these very important matters on our campus.”

You could see from the looks on the other operators’ faces that they were trying to figure out just how they would deal with this particular wrinkle on their campuses.

The other, how-would-we-approach-this moment, came from Sheryl Kidwell, residential assistant director at the University of Kansas. She was faced with questions that relate to a religion called Jainism, whose practitioners are strict vegans. It’s far more complicated because they do not eat root vegetables or, in some cases, anything that’s been in the ground. Some will eat fruit that has fallen off a tree, but there can’t be any damage to the ground or insects or anything. “We’re like, ‘Whoa,’” said Kidwell.

In both cases, neither Ruoff nor Kidwell had developed a concrete plan to address these concerns, but they were determined to find a solution. I was so impressed that both operators faced the problem head-on, essentially saying, “It’s a challenge, but we’ll work with the customer and make sure he or she has a positive, safe dining experience with us.”

The easy way out would have been to say, “Perhaps it would be best for you to find somewhere else to eat or make your own meals,” but these operators didn’t. And it’s not like they are sitting around with time on their hands—Binghamton has 17,000 students and Kansas has 27,000. The focus on providing individualized service is what makes these operations special, and keeps their customers coming back year after year. Are you as committed as they are?

“Home of the Best Chicken Tenders on Earth” to open at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

Tully’s Good Times, a sports lovers paradise with locations throughout New York State, will enter its first venture into the college/university market.

Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo will welcome a dedicated Tully’s Good Times location on campus late this summer. 

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Binghamton University and Sodexo,” said John Paul Giamartino of Tully’s Good Times. “Thanks to this new partnership, Tully’s Chicken Tenders will be available to students right on campus. Expanding our business into a university menu offering is a new venture for us and we are very happy about this great opportunity.” 

This is the second partnership the University has cultivated with a popular local, family-owned restaurant.  The first was Moghul, a restaurant serving fine Indian cuisine, which opened on campus last year.

Students can look forward to Tully’s sports-centric menu including “the Best Chicken Tenders on Earth.  As of March 2015, Tully’s has sold 151,269,437 of these tenders.

The Student Culinary Council at Binghamton University whole-heartedly approves of the new addition and will be on hand for the official opening planned for August 27.

“I think it's fantastic that we are bringing another local restaurant on campus,” said 
Gabbie Malhotra, Binghamton University Class of 2016, president of the Student Culinary Council. “Tully's is such a staple of Binghamton University that I have friends who have graduated and come back to Binghamton every year just so they can have Tully's chicken tenders. So it's amazing that BU students will now get to have the Tully's experience without even leaving campus.” 

Established in Batavia, NY in 1991, Tully’s Good Times are locally owned and operated, sports-themed, casual dining restaurants with a family atmosphere. With ten locations throughout New York State, Tully’s is proud to be a staple of life in Central & Western New York and the Southern Tier. 

Tully’s features a unique, extensive menu, great drink specials, more than 80 TV’s per location showing all sports all the time, outstanding customer service, huge portions, low prices and game rooms to entertain the whole family. For more information, including our full menu, list of locations, gift cards and directions, visit

Sodexo Chefs at Binghamton University Win People’s Choice in Fresh Food Face-Off
October 03, 2016

On August 18, Broome County’s best chefs competed again this year in the Fresh Food Face-Off, a friendly cooking competition using locally grown products and ingredients.

Chef Sam Pfaffenbach, Chef Charlie Williams and Chef Thomas Dello of Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo took the People’s Choice award with their Whiskey Smoked Brisket with a Blueberry & Charred Jalapeno BBQ Sauce, accompanied by Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Corn Relish, Spiked Peach Tea. A vegetarian selection was also available.

The event was held in Cutler Botanical Gardens in Binghamton, New York. Local dignitaries served as culinary judges and guests vote for best presentation.

The event is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives and communities through partnerships and collaboration that put experience and research knowledge to work.

New BHealthy Box Lunch at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

There’s a whole new look inside and out of the box lunches at Binghamton University. 

In support of the campus-wide “BHealthy” initiative, Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo has redesigned the look and ingredients that go into each box meal for catered lunches.

Brightly labeled with the “Healthy options matter!” slogan and the University’s BHealthy logo, current box lunch options include a mixed green salad with grilled chicken, a hummus, avocado and vegetable wrap, and Boar’s Head turkey and sharp cheddar on a multigrain roll. 

Options will change based on seasonal ingredients.

Sandwiches are wrapped in sporty Bearcat paper and each box also contains baby carrots, fresh fruit and a piece of chocolate.

The new box lunches were designed by Sodexo’s on-site registered dietitian, Alexa Schmidt, who works to enhance the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff on campus. 

“Healthy options matter and we want our new students and families to enjoy nutritious and delicious meals no matter where they eat on campus from boxed lunches, to resident dining halls, to our Marketplace, and beyond,” said Schmidt. “It is important to provide healthy options and educate our current and future students on how eating well will impact them in and out of the classroom.”

Rebecca Lobo speaks at Binghamton University Women’s Athletics Luncheon
October 03, 2016

The Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Association (BBAA) recently hosted the 10th Annual Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon presented by M&T Bank on April 27 at the Binghamton University Events Center.

Held each year to recognize the achievements of Binghamton University’s female student-athletes, the luncheon also raises funding for scholarships awarded to female student-athletes at Binghamton University.

The featured speaker was arranged through the generous support of longtime athletics sponsor and university partner, Sodexo Education Services and the lunch was attended by 550 guests and catered by Binghamton University Dining Services.

This year, former Olympic Champion and WNBA standout Rebecca Lobo was the featured speaker. Currently, she is an analyst on ESPN.

During the luncheon, Lobo emphasized the importance of her mother, the late RuthAnn Lobo, whose strength and support not only allowed her daughter to pursue an athletics career, but enabled Rebecca to take part in memorable experiences off the court, as well.

For example, Lobo shared a story about jogging with President Clinton. She was unable to attend the customary White House visit with her champion teammates after winning the 1995 title because she was preparing for the Olympic team. So Lobo was invited to later take a morning run with the president in Washington, D.C.

From 1991-95, Lobo was a four-year standout with the Connecticut Huskies. She was a two-time, first-team All-American and finished her career with 2,133 points. In her senior year at Connecticut, Lobo led the Huskies to a perfect 35-0 season and was named the Naismith Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year. She was also named the 1995 Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

In 1996, Lobo was a member of the U.S. Team that captured the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics.

When the WNBA was formed in 1997, Lobo was assigned to the New York Liberty. In that first season, she was named second-team All-WNBA and was selected to the league’s inaugural all-star game. She played six more seasons in the WNBA before retiring in 2003.

Lobo’s basketball career was capped off by her 2010 induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Lobo is the latest of an impressive group of guest speakers who have come to Binghamton for the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon. She is preceded by Jennie Finch (2014), Shannon Miller (2013), Amanda Beard (2012), Julie Foudy (2011), Kara Lawson (2010) and Jessica Mendoza (2009).

Since 2006, the Celebrating Women’s Athletics Luncheon has raised more than $180,000 to support the BBAA Women’s Scholarship Fund.  The scholarships were established in 2007, and are awarded annually to two deserving female student-athletes. The luncheon began in 2006, with just 75 attendees, and is today one of the Athletics Department’s primary fundraisers. In 2014, more than 500 guests attended the event.

Luncheon attendees had the opportunity to meet current Bearcat student-athletes and coaches from the women’s teams and heard them speak about the role athletics has played in their development, careers and life. In addition, guests had the chance to bid on several auction items with all proceeds going toward the BBAA Women’s Scholarship Fund.

Binghamton University STOP Hunger drive collects 1,800 pounds of food
October 03, 2016



Binghamton University Dining Services hosted its semi-annual STOP Hunger Food Drive.  Collective efforts resulted in more than 1,800 pounds of food to benefit local CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and the Binghamton University Food Pantry, Bear Necessities. 

Donation barrels are placed at various locations on campus for a week, twice a semester.  Students have the ability to purchase items in these various dining locations and, in turn, donate them. 

Binghamton University Dining Services also holds a campus department challenge and student group challenge to see who can collect the most donations.

This semester, Binghamton University Information Technology Services (ITS) won the challenge. The student group challenge winner was Alpha Kappa Psi for the second semester in a row. 

“When donations started accumulating, you could feel the excitement in the air,” said a spokesperson for ITS.  “Everyone was chipping in. When our final tally was announced, 357 items, the students organizing this event said we donated three times as many items as any other department or organization.”

Many students come to campus with limited resources. Hunger makes it difficult to study, sleep, or engage in academics and social activities at the same level as peers. 

CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, feeds the hungry of Broome County through its network of over 30 food pantries and 35 soup kitchens and community meal programs. CHOW distributes about 2 million pounds of food each year. The Bear Necessities Pantry provides a variety of food and personal care items for Binghamton University students in need.

“Over the past year we've worked collaboratively with various offices, departments, faculty and staff to supply our Bear Necessities Food Pantry with items students' need to meet their foundation of basic needs,” said Jazell J. Johnson, MS, CHES Program Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Students. “There are about 120 distinct students who've accessed the pantry and we wouldn't have been able to assist them without the help of initiatives such as the ‘STOP Hunger Food Drive’."

Johnson continued, “We are so thankful for the continued support and generosity of Sodexo which helps us continue to uphold our mission of supporting student success inside the classroom, outside the classroom, and to advocate for our students. Thank you on behalf of the Office of the Dean of Students and the students we serve.”

Binghamton University Chef Wins Silver at NACUFS Northeast Culinary Challenge
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University Dining Services adds another feather in its cap as Chef Sam Pfaffenbach wins a silver medal in the NACUFS Northeast Region Culinary Challenge. 

“This year’s competition was intense and all of the competitors brought their ‘A’ game,” said Chef Pfaffenbach. “I am happy to have won a silver medal for the Binghamton University community. Representing Binghamton at the NACUFS conference was an honor.” 

The event took place on March 18 in Providence, Rhode Island in conjunction with Brown University, RISD, University of Rhode Island, and Johnson & Wales University. Chefs from across the region displayed their skills using buffalo flank steak, the mandatory protein for the 2015 conference.

Chef Pfaffenbach prepared buffalo three ways: Pan Seared Buffalo over Wild Mushroom and Sweet Pea Risotto with an Allumette of Golden Beets and a wild mushroom sauce; Buffalo Tartare over an Heirloom Tomato and Pickled Radish Salad garnished with a Radish Sprout Salad; A Buffalo Bouillon. 

The Culinary Challenge recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services.

Winners of each of the association's regional culinary contests square off at the national conference for gold, silver, and bronze medals before a live audience of college and university foodservice managers and industry suppliers. 


Binghamton University Toasts Sodexo Dining Staff Longevity
October 03, 2016

In a recent ceremony at Binghamton University, a number of Sodexo dining services team members were recognized by University leadership and peers for the work they do and their long-time dedication shown on campus.

Perhaps one of the most impressive tributes to a member of the dining services team was given by Binghamton University president Harvey G. Stenger.

“When I first came to Binghamton, someone told me I had to meet the most valuable person on campus,” said President Stenger. “I wondered who it might be—one of our illustrious faculty? One of our Council members? The provost or another vice president? And the person to whom I was talking laughed—‘oh no—it’s Pawel!’”

Pawel Nowacki is director of Director of Catering for Binghamton University on campus for a quarter of a century.

“There are very few people on campus who are as well-known—or as well liked as Pawel,” said President Stenger. “He makes everything Sodexo-related go like clockwork. As President, I know that I can count on him—and the Sodexo staff, to ensure that our events—from a simple meal in my office with a donor, to a large-scale event hosting 500 community members, to sporting events with thousands of fans—will be conducted with professionalism, with care, and an attention to detail that makes everyone feel welcome and celebrated.”

President Stenger continued, “In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve always been able to count on Pawel—I implicitly trust his judgment and welcome his advice. Because of his efforts, Sodexo at Binghamton has become one of the leading institutional food service organizations in the country, respected both for its innovations and for its efficiency. I want to thank Pawel for his years of service to Sodexo and to the University—his work has really made the campus shine.”

Sodexo dining services team members recognized for over thirty years of service include Juni Brooks, Val Evantisky, Joyce Haines, Earl Luedecke, Phil Caricchio, Barbara Gilmore, Carol Hinkey, Maria Skinner, and Carl Tiffany.

Employees at the twenty-five year mark include Lori Benson, Peggy McManus, Pawel Nowacki, Joanne Hatala, Laura Milspaw, Kathy Swearengin, and Carl Zimmer.

For the past two decades, the following dining service employees have demonstrated their dedication to Binghamton University, including Linda Anderson, James Clark, Emma Judd, Harold Brown, Tammy Coroa, Joe Laskaris, and Clarissa Sheldon.

Todd Bates, John Enright, James Hinman, Sharon Gabriel, Dori Kahabka, Kevin Casselberry, Sharon Gabriel, Tom Klensk have proudly served the University for fifteen years.

For the following dining team members, this year makes one decade on campus: Ken Antalek, Dottie Carr, Steve Chuklosky, David Montgomery, John Stepneski, Jenni Vansteenburgh, George Weidman, Ben Bunnell, Debbie Casselberry, Karen Michalak, Mark Rosenberg, Mike Tiffany, Patricia Virgilio, and Donnie Williams.  

This makes five years for Alicia Allen, Mary Ellen Blakeslee, Linda Cage, Evan Christie, Tracey Foster Burts, Susan Jones, Michael King Sr., Brian Kovach II, Marilus Made, Dorothy Mulvihill, Joe Shattuck, Tina Tuma, Wes Beltran, Chantel Braxton, Summer Cave, Sharon Day, Ben Jason, Donna King, Heather Knape, Deborah Lance, Tara McPartland, Mark Pringle, Ani Tchorlian, David Wellwarth.


Ninth Annual “Commit to B-Fit" Sodexo Health Fair at Binghamton University Doesn’t Miss a Beat
October 03, 2016

  Health Fair 1
Drumming with others is scientifically proven to improve mood, relieve stress, increase mental focus and support social connections.  That’s why Binghamton University Dining Services featured Jim Donovan, award-winning educator and multi-platinum recording artist from the band Rusted Root, and his interactive World Drum Circle for its ninth annual Health Fair. 

The Commit to B-Fit Health Fair, which drew record attendance of over 1,000 participants, was held in partnership with Binghamton University Department of Campus Recreation. 

Aligned with the University’s B-Healthy campaign, the health fair supported the collaborative effort across Binghamton University's divisions to cultivate a culture that is supportive of individuals and groups in pursuit of their optimal potential.

“We were excited to partner with Sodexo again this year to host the Health Fair in the Recreation Center,” said Cindy Cowden, senior associate director for campus recreation. “Being in the center allows us to expand the activities offered, and provide an invaluable, comprehensive health and wellness experience for participants." 

In recognition of National Nutrition Month, more than seventy-five vendors showcased products, offered helpful information, giveaways, and provided food, such as Sodexo's station featuring fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh ground nut butter.

“Leveraging partnerships with key campus entities such as Campus Recreation is a dynamic way to engage our campus and community,” said Alexa Schmidt, Binghamton University Dining Services dietitian. 

Attendees participated in free health screenings, exercise sessions, cooking demos, facility tours and drawings as they learned how to incorporate health and wellness into their daily lives.      

Binghamton University Dining Services provided a sampling table serving Thai Citrus Beef Stir Fry, accompanied by its full nutritional information, and manned a Smoothie Bike station where students cranked out healthy drinks as they pedaled.


Binghamton University links with renowned upstate NY-based sausage maker
October 03, 2016

The Lupo Family has been selling spiedies in the Binghamton area for over 50 years. Spiedies, (pronounced "speedies"), are marinated cubes of meat cooked on a skewer. Originally from Italy, this delicacy has long been a staple in the Broome County area of New York State. 

Thanks to an exclusive partnership, Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo worked closely with the Lupo family to design a recipe exclusively for the University.

The new 4-ounce chicken, feta and spinach sausage links will be officially introduced on March 9 during a campus promotion featuring free samples and a meet and greet featuring Sam Lupo and his famous Lupos Chef Mascot.  The student body will have the opportunity to name the sausage during a contest in which the winning entry, judged by the Student Culinary Council, will win $100 and a Lupos Gift Box.

“It is a privilege to work with Sodexo in developing the new sausage,” said Sam Lupo, owner and founder of Lupo’s Spiedies. “As a local food manufacturer, not only is the local business connection important, it is an honor to be associated with Sodexo and Binghamton University.” 

Sam Lupo is a longtime supporter of Binghamton University and partner with Sodexo. An integral part of the University community, Lupo has volunteered by working concessions at hundreds of Bearcat games, sampling his spiedies to thousands of students during events and, most recently, providing grilled spiedies and sausage to 4,000 incoming freshman at each of the past three picnics.

When the campus culinary team wanted to develop a sausage link specific to the University, Lupos was the one and only choice. Binghamton University Chef Charlie Williams was passionate about creating a menu item for the new grill menu which features local specialties such as NY-state grass fed beef burgers, free range chicken sandwiches and hand dipped tenders. Lupos chicken Italian sausage was on the menu. Chef Williams wanted students to have a dish to call their own - so began the process. 

Chef Williams chose ingredients that were natural, flavorful and represented the “Bearcat Spirit.”  After several recipe attempts, the culinary team agreed on a chicken sausage with spinach and feta – and ideal fit with the University’s colors of green and white.

The campus chefs then provided Lupo with the base recipe and he produced several batches until everyone finally agreed on the perfect sausage.

The Lupo family line of products includes Spiedie Marinade, Lemon Garlic Marinade, Beef Marinade, Buffalo Style Marinade, Southwest Grill Marinade, Chicken BBQ Marinade, Pork Marinade, Southwest Smokin' Hot Marinade, and Italian Marinade.

For those not able to enjoy spiedies locally, Lupos ships nationwide. Visit


#RUGreen @Binghamton University?
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University is a sustainably sound campus. From MSC-certified seafood, a thriving student-run Food Recovery Network, and intensive recycling program, to eco-friendly chemicals, energy savings initiatives, and local/regional food purchasing, Binghamton University is indeed green – and becoming greener by the day.

As a celebration of these successes, and to highlight the importance of a green and healthy lifestyle, Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo hosted #RUGreen last month. The entire campus was invited to join in an indoor Mindful Walk to the Binghamton University MarketPlace where attendees enjoyed special foods and activities.   

“We featured ‘green’ specials to teach students about their health benefits, talked with campus groups and organizations about health and wellness, and tested ‘green’ knowledge for a chance to win a ‘green’ prize,” said Alexa Schmidt, Sodexo’s dedicated registered dietitian on campus.

The Mindful Mile indoor walk was headed by Women’s Basketball Coach Linda Cimino, Baxter the Bearcat and The BU Zoo, who provided healthy tips along the way. 

Binghamton University is one of twenty colleges and universities across the country involved in the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The partnership is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as honorary chair of the PHA.

The University is dedicated to student health and wellness as evidenced through its newly renovated Rec Center at the East Gym and Simple Servings program in the dining centers.


Binghamton University Food Recovery Network Thriving Thanks to Students & Strategic Partners
October 03, 2016

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Last semester, Binghamton University students from various student groups helped recover 8,078 pounds of food for the needy. That translates to about 10,771 meals based on 12-ounce portions. 

Recent statistics show that this semester, students are recovering even more - an average of 1,400 pounds of food per week. 

The student-founded Food Recovery Network chapter on campus has forged strong relationships with Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo, CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), and the Volunteers of America. 

Volunteers of America Upstate New York (VOAUPNY) has been serving the Binghamton community since 1896, providing much-needed programs to help those less fortunate.

VOAUPNY has a range of services including emergency shelter services for men, women and families (we are the only family shelter in Broome County that accommodates families with fathers and with male children over the age of 8); transitional housing for homeless veterans; transitional housing for NYS Parolees; re-entry services for Federal Prison inmates transitioning back into the community and permanent supportive housing for homeless disabled men and homeless families. 

The food that is received from the Food Recovery Network is crucial in our vision to feed the hungry in the Binghamton area,” said William L Hughes, Food Service Manager for Volunteers of America Upstate New York. ”Without the food recovery network feeding so many people would be much more difficult than it already is. The Binghamton VOA feeds nearly 4,000 meals a month – or close to 48,000 meals each year.”

According to Hughes, the partnership between VOAUPNY and the Food Recovery Network has proved central to their mission and directly benefits those most vulnerable and underserved in the local community. 

“The quality of food that is received through the Food Recovery Network is excellent, and we are able to provide hot nourishing meals to individuals and families who have often gone without for quite some time before coming into our homeless shelters,” said Hughes. “Prior to our relationship with Binghamton University and their dining services team, finding organizations to help with food donations seemed to be an endless task.”

“Through CHOW, we were introduced to Binghamton University Dining Services and Sabrina Scull of the Food Recovery Network and we began with one pick per week. Today we are picking up food four days each week. We are proud to be a part of this type of community partnership,” said Hughes. 

Binghamton students and Binghamton University Dining Services are helping feed the hungry within their own community. In addition, all food recovered is diverted from landfills avoiding enormous waste.

“I am so grateful that the Sodexo staff, the student community, and local organizations are so devoted to the work the Food Recovery Network does. I cannot wait to see how it expands this semester,” said Sabrina Scull, current president of the FRN chapter at Binghamton University. 


Binghamton Chef Wins Big at National Management Conference
October 03, 2016

 Chef Sam Wins

Binghamton University’s own Chef Sam Pfaffenbach has won first place in Sodexo’s company-wide Battle of the Chefs Competition at this year’s Management Conference in Florida. Chef Pfaffenbach’s dish,Ponzu marinated chicken breast over Thai fried amaranth with stir fried vegetables,showcased his talent with food as well as his understanding of what constitutes a satisfying entrée from a customer perspective.


Each chef’s dish was evaluated on five criteria: serving method and presentation; portion size and nutritional balance; creativity, menu and ingredient compatibility; and flavor, taste, texture and doneness.


“It’s a huge honor,” said Chef Pfaffenbach. “The competition was tough, but I wanted to represent the campus division and Binghamton University properly. I brought my “A” game!”


Sodexo’s annual management conference includes managers and chefs from all divisions of the company’s North American operations: campus, government services, healthcare and corporate dining. Chefs are chosen by division to compete in a cook-off for the company’s ultimate culinary superiority. This year, the campus division had more than 500 chefs from which to choose a representative and selected Chef Pfaffenbach for his fearless culinary style and competition experience.


Chef Pfaffenbach’s win at the management conference comes on the heels of a bronze award for his culinary efforts at this year’s NACUFS competition.


“The Binghamton community has long known how talented Chef Sam is,” said Binghamton University Dining Services General Manager Jim Ruoff. “It’s great to see him getting national recognition as well. We’re proud to have the best culinary talent in the company at Binghamton University!”



Binghamton University student launches ‘Food Recovery Network’ chapter on campus
October 03, 2016

Food Recovery Network pic
The proverbial ‘waste not, want not’ is an ever-expanding mantra at Binghamton University.

Thanks to student Maya Yair, the campus has launched a local chapter of the Food Recovery Network.

Food recovery --- the practice of preventing surplus foodstuffs from being dumped in the trash – takes numerous forms and provides a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits. The highest and best form of food recovery involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to people in need.

Before the launch of the food recovery program, unused food was added into compost. 

“While this is certainly better than throwing it in the garbage, the Food Recovery Network takes leftover food one step further and donates it to local homeless shelters,” said Chef Rich Herb of Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo.

After testing the program this past Spring in one community dining room, Binghamton University Dining Services will be expanding it to all four community dining rooms in the upcoming academic year.

Approximately 800 pounds of food have been donated by the end of the Spring 2014 semester. The program is still underway this summer on campus.

By implementing this food recovery program, Binghamton University is reducing the amount of material that enters into the waste stream, providing nutritious meals for hungry people in the community, and lessening the environmental burdens associated with agricultural production, food disposal, and waste.

Binghamton University MarketPlace welcomes popular local restaurant
October 03, 2016

Moghul station
Things just got spicier for Binghamton University students as the campus welcomes Moghul Fine Indian Cuisine and Tapas Bar, a popular local Indian restaurant to campus.   


Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo partnered with the Vestal, New York-based restaurant showcasing a successful local business in the newly renovated 15,000 square-foot retail dining facility. 


“We are so pleased to have a community partner such as Moghul on our campus,” said Binghamton Director of Auxiliary Services Pete Napolitano. “This program supports our diverse menu offerings for students while demonstrating our commitment to be the premier public University. Moghul offers a superior product and is a favorite among our students, faculty and staff.”


Moghul’s signature dishes include Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Vindaloo, Lamb Pasanda, kabobs and a healthy list of vegan dishes, vegetarian options, and Halal meats.

Newly opened with the start of semester, Moghul is receiving rave reviews from dining guests.


"As owners of a local restaurant, it is a privilege and honor to be on the Binghamton University campus,” said Adnan Khan, owner of Moghul Fine Indian Cuisine and Tapas Bar.  “This partnership is building a stronger community."


Coca-Cola Freestyle Refillable Cup Program at Binghamton University
October 03, 2016

Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo established its Coca-Cola Freestyle refillable cup program at the opening of the new campus MarketPlace in January 2014.  The new refillable cups, as well as reusable custom Bearcat mugs, have an RFID chip that allows them to be programmed for refills. The new system uses RFID to monitor, track and maintain dispenser operations. Students are able to purchase a reusable mug with a rechargeable RFID chip in it, and either a package with a certain number of “fills” or unlimited package for the entire semester.  “I think the freestyle machines are very interesting,” says Jillian Shotwell, a Binghamton University senior. “I have seen a ton of students with the reusable cups, and think it is very cool that different Binghamton University programs are able to advertise on the cups … I really hope the reusable cups are able to expand beyond the MarketPlace, especially as an environmentally-focused student.”  Each freestyle machine offers 100+ flavors including Seagram’s Sparkling Seltzer Waters, Powerade, Fanta and Dasani flavored waters. And, water refills are free, with or without an RFID cup.

Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo established its Coca-Cola Freestyle refillable cup program at the opening of the new campus MarketPlace in January 2014.  The new refillable cups, as well as reusable custom Bearcat mugs, have an RFID chip that allows them to be programmed for refills. The new system uses RFID to monitor, track and maintain dispenser operations. Students are able to purchase a reusable mug with a rechargeable RFID chip in it, and either a package with a certain number of “fills” or unlimited package for the entire semester. “I think the freestyle machines are very interesting,” says Jillian Shotwell, a Binghamton University senior. “I have seen a ton of students with the reusable cups, and think it is very cool that different Binghamton University programs are able to advertise on the cups … I really hope the reusable cups are able to expand beyond the MarketPlace, especially as an environmentally-focused student.” Each freestyle machine offers 100+ flavors including Seagram’s Sparkling Seltzer Waters, Powerade, Fanta and Dasani flavored waters. And, water refills are free, with or without an RFID cup.

RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2017
August 09, 2017

RobecoSAM - Gold 2017Sodexo earns highest marks in RobecoSAM’s “Sustainability Yearbook” for tenth straight year!

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, reinforces its position as one of the most sustainable companies in the world by earning Gold Class distinction in RobecoSAM’s annual “Sustainability Yearbook 2017”. For the tenth consecutive year, Sodexo has been ranked as the top-scoring company in its sector for its excellent sustainability performance.

[ RobecoSAM Gold 2017 News Release ]

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