Indian- American management student Jayashree Balakumar, a graduate supply chain management student at Naveen Jindal School of Management, UTD (University of Texas, Dallas) was declared winner of the 2023 Earth Fair Poster Competition, organized by the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Research and Innovation as part of the annual Earth Fair festivities at UTD.
In her poster, Balakumar marked the dangers of chemicals from household pharmaceuticals in the domestic water supply. She explained that people are accustomed to flushing drugs they don’t want down the toilet, the chemicals from which, get into waterways and, eventually, they get back into the food chain. They often affect at-risk populations, such as young children, pregnant women and the elderly.
As part of her project Balakumar presented solutions for reducing chemicals from pharmaceuticals in waterways which include expanding the existing standard for controlling hazardous energy sources in the U.S., educating people on the proper way to dispose of household pharmaceuticals, implementing separate collection of pharmaceuticals and expanding water testing standards.
Commenting on the win, she said, “Winning opened many new doors and possibilities for me that I hadn’t considered. I’ve come into contact with people and possibilities I didn’t know existed. I’m very excited about what I can do.”
Balakumar obtained a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management from the Jindal School in 2022 and is employed in procurement and supply chain management at Johnson & Johnson. According to her bio she served as the president and co-founder of the National Retail Federation Foundation at UT Dallas.