Jasdeep Khaira: champion on and off the field

You might call Jasdeep Khaira a jack of all trades, fair trade that is.

A senior from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the list of places you could find him is long and varied. On campus, he works as a senior interviewer, serves as the secretary of the Denison Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG), and as a member of the Denison Student Athletic Advisory Council (DSAAC). He’s also the captain of the Denison University Men’s Soccer team. Soccer is one of the things that brought Khaira to Denison, and he’s spent much of his college career looking to give back to the place that gave him an opportunity to do what he loves.

After three and a half exciting years on the hill, including scoring the game-winning goal to send Denison Men’s soccer to the conference playoffs for the first time in seven years, he’s in the home stretch.

In addition to a full plate of extracurriculars, Khaira is pursuing an environmental studies major.

“Environmental Policy and Decision Making class is one of my favorites, due to how it helped me conceptualize how policy relates to environmental issues,” said Khaira.

He also credits Professor Kaplan as being instrumental to his academic success; helping him, as he said, navigate the maze that is college.

“The freedom to formulate my own opinions and learning effective ways to problem solve is what I’ve most enjoyed about the program,” said Khaira.

His innovative senior project bears testament to this mindset.

Khaira’s penultimate goal and senior project is to help Denison become a ‘Fair Trade University’- a designation that schools can receive for adhering to set goals revolving around committing to Fair Trade products and educating others on the benefits of Fair Trade.

With a few other students, (Summer Aldred ‘20, Eric Brown Jr. ‘18, Abby Radnitzer ‘18, Shelby Tour ‘21 and Jordann Kea ‘20), Khaira started a Fair Trade Committee, hoping to reach the following five goals: situating Fair Trade products across campus, educating the campus and community on the benefits of Fair Trade, and sourcing Fair Trade products in campus events.

His final objective is to get a Fair Trade resolution signed by President Weinberg, showing the school’s commitment to sustainable and responsibly sourced products and qualifying the school for the designation.

Khaira attributes his inspiration for this project to the fact that his uncle is a farmer in the Indian state of Punjab, an area that’s recently struggled with low harvests. Wanting to learn how Fair Trade might be use to his relative, Khaira has kept his roots close while taking on an initiative that will benefit his immediate community for years to come. In terms of giving back, he’s certainly made his mark.

Being the engaged student he is, Khaira has sent out law school applications across the country as his next big move after Denison.

While he isn’t sure where he’ll end up after graduation, if his college career is any proof, an aspiration to study Environmental Law long term and a desire to make a difference will surely point him in the right direction.