The Office of Sustainability is pleased to welcome Jade Chalkley as the university’s third Sustainability Fellow. Jade, who is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, joined the office in August 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Florida Gulf Coast University, and worked extensively on sustainability projects during her time as an undergraduate. She has interned with the Association for the Advancement of Higher Education. As Sustainability Fellow, Jade helps plan, implement and evaluate office programs and events such as Food Day and the Green Grove Gameday Recycling Program and is also working to develop the office’s first diversity and sustainability plan. Additionally, Jade serves as a mentor for interns and students working to advance sustainability on campus.
Student intern Kathryn Rensing interviewed Jade to learn more about her interest in sustainability and to find out how she’s liking her new position in Oxford.
What sparked your interest in sustainability?
Jade: My interest in environmental education started as a child, but my interest in sustainability and higher education started with my college experience with a class I took as a freshman. Since then, my experience and involvement on campus really enhanced my understanding and appreciation of sustainability, especially on college campuses.
What do you find most enjoyable about the UM Office of Sustainability?
Jade: What I find most enjoyable about sustainability at Ole Miss is probably our office atmosphere. Everyone here genuinely cares and makes sustainability a priority in their life. We are not just preaching sustainability but trying the best we can to live more sustainably as well. I have also really loved working a small amount in all of the different programs the office offers like composting and game day sorting.
What is your favorite or most memorable environmental project?
Jade: During my time in college, my most memorable project was probably working with our orientation program and being able to get incoming students excited about sustainability on our campus. It was a lot of fun because I got to talk to new people each day about programs I was excited and passionate about. This was one of the areas I felt like I was able to make the biggest impact and get students involved and it was really rewarding to see throughout my time how that interaction shaped those students.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Jade: My favorite thing about living in the South so far is Shipley’s Doughnuts.