“Courses at Sewanee increased my interest in working on smart solutions that make economic sense and make our world a better place.”


Prosperity, the Outdoors, & Big-Picture Aspirations


Becca Rushin, C'09
Vice President, Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Jamestown Properties
Major: Environmental Studies

Becca Rushin, C’09, started out as a psychology major at Sewanee, but after taking an environmental studies class, her whole mindset and career interests changed.

“I took a class called Walking the Land during my first semester,” Becca says. “It made me hungry to learn more about the environment. Using the Domain as a classroom really helped connect me to what I had come to love as a child—the outdoors. The courses I took at Sewanee opened my eyes to the work that goes into maintaining our natural spaces as well as what it takes to fix mistakes we’ve made in the past. But I also think about how to reconcile those efforts with realistic needs and desires of our growing population. That’s when I felt the charge. I wanted to do this work.”

Becca is now the vice president of sustainability and social responsibility for Jamestown Properties based in Atlanta, Georgia. Jamestown is a national real estate operator with approximately $10.4 billion of assets. Becca works with a variety of stakeholders including building managers, tenants, and nonprofit leaders to promote the alignment of  business success with environmental and social goals.

“Taking care of the environment and achieving positive financial success aren’t mutually exclusive,” Becca says. “Jamestown has a fiduciary responsibility to our investors, but at the same time, these investors want to see that we are doing right by the environment and by society.”

Studying at Sewanee allowed Becca to get a taste of policy, natural sciences, and environmental education. Thanks to her work in such a range of disciplines, Becca feels more flexible and nimble as challenges arise. Big-picture aspirations like trying to save the world and reducing negative environmental impacts are what keep Becca grounded. Since her time at Sewanee, Becca has been able to hone some specific skills by pursuing professional accreditations. She is a LEED accredited professional (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) which recognizes her experience in sustainable, earth-friendly design.

“In my job, I’m a one-woman department interacting with all company divisions as well as a variety of topics—from greenhouse gas emissions and battery storage to farmers markets and healthy buildings,” Becca says. “My job enables me to use both sides of my brain, and balance the facts and data with the big picture story that I am charged to tell.”