By Richard Zagrzecki
Serving on the city of Houston’s Clean City Commission is a commitment Emily Messa finds particularly satisfying.
“For me, it is a fun and rewarding experience,” said Messa, the associate vice chancellor/associate vice president for Administration at the University of Houston. “I find a great deal of enjoyment being part of a group that is working to help keep the city litter-free.”
This spring, she was reappointed and confirmed by City Council to another one-year term. She has served continuously on the commission since 2010.
The 49-member commission is the governing arm of Keep Houston Beautiful, which was established in 1979 to create a clean and beautiful city and is a local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Messa serves on the commission’s marketing/communications committee.
Since first coming to UH in 1998, Messa has been involved in numerous campus beautification and sustainability initiatives. That includes being instrumental in the creation of its sustainability program. Under her leadership, UH has also made the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges five consecutive years and sustainability and recycling initiatives have grown and expanded.
The hands-on work involved in the multiple litter cleanup events organized by Keep Houston Beautiful throughout the year is what she enjoys the most.
“When you are out picking up trash you are making that area just a little bit better and a little nicer for everyone,” she said. “It’s also wonderful to think you are setting an example for children who are seeing people taking care of an area and having pride in it.”