Be the Change
Jarvis Jointer finds purpose in making positive impact for others
With a focus on improving the quality of life for everyone, Jarvis Jointer (BSCE ’04) says he sees it as his responsibility to be an active participant in his community, his profession and his alma mater.
“Everything civil engineering touches affects the quality of life of everyone on a daily basis,” Jointer said. “I knew I wanted to be part of something that has a positive impact and I found that through my degree and my career.”
Jointer is the owner of JQOL — a civil engineering firm with offices in Indiana and Kentucky. Since its formation in January 2019, Jointer’s certified Minority Business Enterprise has grown from a staff of two to 16. In its two years of operation, the firm has been involved in a number of large development projects, including the Indianapolis Toll Road, Washington Township Schools, Johnson County Public Library and the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis.
Making a difference at Purdue
Jointer is also a co-chair of the Purdue College of Engineering’s Admissions Task Force, which aims to address the challenge of providing a Purdue Engineering education to a larger number of African Americans and other underrepresented groups, better understand why it has been so difficult for the college to offer the opportunity to earn a degree to some populations and will identify new approaches to address this persistent problem.
“I’m at a point now in my life that I have to accept the role of responsibility and to be a voice,” Jointer said. “A lot of times people don’t know what they don’t know. And now I have the ability and responsibility to change that. There’s no better time than now to make a change.”
The task force was formed in the summer of 2020 and is currently in the process of submitting their findings to the College of Engineering for further review and consideration.
Becoming a Boilermaker
Jointer, a second-generation Boilermaker from Indianapolis, said that he knew early on that he wanted to attend Purdue like his mother, Kimberly, because a Purdue education would open a number of opportunities for him to make a difference.
“A lot of friends went to Purdue and eventually my younger brother, Jason, went as well, so I’ve always known how great of a university it was,” he said. “I knew I’d go there eventually.”
At first, Jointer attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he played for the school’s basketball and football teams. After one year there, Jointer said, he knew he wanted to fully commit to his education and applied to Purdue.
Jointer was an active student. He served as a student ambassador, joined the National Society of Black Engineers and worked at the Black Cultural Center. He credits his career preparedness to what he learned on campus.
“One of the truly great things about Purdue is that it prepares you for the outside world,” he said. “I am especially recognizing just how well Purdue prepares its students now as an employer. The graduates from Purdue often seem far more prepared to jump into their careers than other candidates.”
Improving the quality of life for all
Through his education, his career and community involvement, Jointer said he is extremely proud of what he has accomplished — but he certainly plans to do even more in the future.
“I want to keep working to improve my community and have my company pursue projects that will be a great benefit for everyone,” he said. “I also want to ensure those that work for me are also taken care of and have their lives positively impacted.”
Jointer said that he long felt a desire to make an impact, but the urge grew exponentially after he became a civil engineer.
“I guess you could say I hit my mid-life crisis a bit earlier than expected,” he said. “I was just hit with this overwhelming desire to help others and make a difference.”
And it was through his career and service, Jointer said, that he felt like he could do just that.
“I think it’s especially important now that leaders step up,” he said. “America is at a crazy point and it’s important that those of us who can make a difference, do what they can to help others. It’s up to us to make the change we want become reality.”