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Jessica Davis fights for what she calls the “ultimate solutions.” By educating students and faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), they learn about the world-saving habits they can build. Driven by her unfailing passion, Davis serves as the Director of the Office of Sustainability at IUPUI.
Davis maintains productive relationships with IUPUI and Campus Facility Services in order to reform the large metro campus. Where there was once over 300 outdoor trash receptacles scattered across campus, fewer than 20 remain. In a separate initiative, she sparked widespread change in offices by replacing desk-side waste bins with recycling bins. These new bins, numbering in the thousands, are bagless and have small compartments for waste.
Throughout her countless experiences, Davis has mastered the art of giving back. She always strives to leave a place better than she found it. Now that she works in the education sector, she has a deep respect for the power of a community, no matter the size.
“There’s almost thirty thousand students and another seven thousand faculty and staff. We’re bigger than a lot of cities in the state of Indiana, so we operate like a small city,” she says.
Davis sees a golden opportunity in working at a college campus. While many students arrive at college with little to no experience with recycling, in four years they can witness and participate in the sustainability efforts launched by Davis’ office. Her art of giving back goes so far as to educate others to do the same. Much of her responsibility lies in teaching students the world-saving habits that will change their lives for the better.
Not only is her office making IUPUI a cleaner institution, but they are also creating a more valuable experience for students.
“Every dollar that we can save is a dollar we can spend on a student,” she says. “Eliminating waste helps us be able to serve our student population better.” This is the academic mission of the Office of Sustainability. She adamantly believes that everyone, individual or institution, has a choice when creating waste – even the choice to not create waste.
Written by Holland Cluff