By Amory Fischer
VRG 2013 Scholarship winner
I am writing to report a successful year of college that could not have happened without your scholarship support. Please accept my thanks again. Here is an update of my work.
Academically, my current college GPA is 3.94 and I am on the path toward graduating a year early. I took my major’s introductory course, Environmental Policy and Planning, and found it to be a perfect fit for my interests.
During the spring semester, I successfully conducted a campaign to encourage Virginia Tech Dining Services to provide more vegan and vegetarian options. Options have flourished in the past decade, including an entire buffet devoted to vegetarian food, so instead of a confrontational demand for better choices, I decided on a thank you letter reading “Thank you for improving Vegetarian and Vegan options! Please keep up the good work!”
I worked with the newly forming Animal Rights @VT club (I am the vice president), the Environmental Coalition, and Peta2, the college branch of the PETA. We gathered 782 signatures via text message for the Director of Dining Services, Mr. Ted Faulkner. During Earth Week @VT, we gathered signatures and Vegetarian Starter Kits on the school’s “Food Day.”
After this, I met with Mr. Faulkner on April 29th to give him the letter. During this meeting I gave him a gift of Vegan in Volume, a cookbook published by the Vegetarian Resource Group and donated for the cause by Peta2.
Mr. Faulkner was very appreciative of the gift and the thank you letter. He said, “Sometimes people in my department look at how we strive to get better and at how we’ve improved and say, ‘We’ve achieved good, we’re done.’ I will take this letter to them as a reason to keep working.” He also asked and I accepted to be the point person for student volunteers on a panel for testing new vegan and vegetarian options in the upcoming year.
Other bits of work: Along with this campaign, I am helping form an Animal Rights @VT club, who did a screening of the movie BlackFish on May 5th. We plan on continuing the campaign for vegetarian options as well as starting to work with animal shelters in the fall. I am the rising Vice President of the Soil and Water Conservation Society @VT. This year the group attended educational forums about sustainable agriculture and built no-till soil displays. I wrote, submitted, and gained approval for a “Green Request for Proposal” of $27,000 to install water bottle refilling stations around campus to reduce plastic bottle use. This was through the VT Office of Energy and Sustainability, for which I will be an intern next school year. I am also actively involved with Ballroom Dance @VT, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, and the Environmental Coalition (I was a State Lead organizer for Power Shift 2013). This summer I will be working as the Lead Organizer for the Solar Schools Initiative, a program to install solar power on all of Albemarle County schools. Best wishes! – Amory Fischer, Environmental Policy and Planning, Virginia Tech class of 2016, VRG 2013 Scholarship winner
VRG also received this note from Nora Allen RD,a previous VRG scholarship winner. She recently volunteered to exhibit for us at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association. Nora said said,
Thank you for the opportunity to represent an organization I am passionate about! And of course, being a great source of evidence based information for my patients and fellow practitioners. I would not be a dietitian without your help!
For information about the next college scholarship contest, please see
Donations towards VRG scholarships and internships can be made at www.vrg.org/donate