Dawn Aubrey, Associate Director of Housing for Dining Services, since March 2. 2012. Aubrey, who joined University Housing in 2006 as senior assistant director of Dining Services, had been serving as an interim associate director of Housing for Dining Services since May 2011.
University of Illinois Dining Services comprises Catering and Dining for residents, non-residents, faculty, staff and guests. As director of Dining Services, Aubrey is responsible for eleven locations including six residential dining halls and five a la carte/retail locations, as well as, large events such as the annual Freshmen Convocation meal (serving 8,000 students). She has overseen the successful opening of the Student Dining & Residential Programs (SDRP) Building’s dining operations in fall 2010. Ikenberry Dining Hall, located in the SDRP, is the largest non-military dining facility in the United States. In fall 2008, she oversaw the opening of the $12 million renovation of Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls’ dining hall.
During her tenure at the University of Illinois, Aubrey has instituted a number of sustainability measures. As the first Big Ten institution to implement completely trayless dining (all dining halls were trayless by fall 2010), U of I Dining Services has reduced waste by 55 percent and food purchases by $1.6 million. Aubrey worked to establish a partnership with the University of Illinois Sustainable Student Farm, creating a composting program that supports the farm, creates a closed food loop, and utilizes the farm’s fresh produce in an effort to increase locally produced ingredients in dining hall menus. As a result, Dining Services received an A for the green report card in 2011.
“We must become more than fiscally responsible, we must be competitive; and we must be fiscally creative with our resources in order to provide the food service our students expect,” Aubrey said. “Meals serve a variety of purposes, no longer simply nourishment or body fuel but a multi-faceted event with virtually unlimited possible choices.”
Aubrey’s previous work experience includes stints at the University of Maine, University of Pittsburgh, David & Elkins College and the University of Maryland Medical System. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of Notre Dame (Baltimore), an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and a doctorate of business administration from Warren National University. Aubrey is certified as a food management professional, executive chef and a culinary administrator. See below for award and professional association highlights.
Commodity Volatility is the New Normal, On Campus Hospitality, March 2013 and Crisis Preparedness for University Dining, Campus Dining Today, Spring/Summer 2012 are the most recent articles written.
Eating Smart By Being Tray-less, On Campus Hospitality, August 2014
Confessions of Dawn Aubrey, Food Service Director, November 2014
2014 College Power Players, Food Management, September 2014
Association Membership & Award Highlights
- NACUFS President-Elect, 2014-2015; NACUFS President, 2015-2016
- ACUHO-i Member
- NACUFS Member
- Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana Member and President-Elect
- Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana Foundation President
- Altrusa International Rookie of the Year, 2013
- A Recipient of Girl Scouts of Central Illinois Women of Distinction 2014
- ACF Member, National Chapter
- Food Service Magazine Food Service Director of the Month, November 2014
- Guinness World Book of Records, World’s Largest Smoothie at University of Illinois Freshman Convocation, 2011
- Guinness World Book of Records, Most People Husking Corn at University of Illinois Freshman Convocation, 2012
- Guinness World Book of Records, Largest Serving of Salsa at University of Illinois Freshman Convocation, 2013
- Guinness World Book of Records, Largest Jar of Spread at University of Illinois Freshman Convocation, 2014
- NACUFS-Loyal E. Horton Honorable Mention, Residential Dining Special Event 2013
- NACUFS-Loyal E. Horton Silver Award, Catering On-Line Menu, 2013
- NACUFS-Loyal E. Horton Honorable Mention, Catering On-Line Menu, 2014
- NACUFS – Sustainability Awards, 2nd Place, 2012
- Green Report Card Grade A, 2011
- NACUFS – Loyal E. Horton Grand Gold, 2011
- NACUFS – Loyal E. Horton Gold Award, 2006
- NACUFS – Nutrition Month Special Event Gold Award, 2012
- NACUFS – Nutrition Month Special Event Gold Award, 2005
- NACUFS – Catering Online Menu Silver Award, 2013
- NACUFS – Residential Special Event Honorable Mention, 2013
- PETA Top 10 Most Vegan Friendly Campus, 2010, 2011, 2012,
- PETA 2nd Place, Most Vegan Friendly Campus, 2015