Honors students taking the lead in MU organizations

Photo of Kody Jones and Brandon Lee

Whether it be through clubs, sports, Greek Life and more, Honors students pride themselves on staying involved on campus. In fact, many Honors students accept leadership positions in their extracurricular activities. Here is a feature on two students, Brandon Lee and Kody Jones, who serve as presidents of two different organizations on campus.

Name: Brandon Lee

Grade/Major: Sophomore, Chemical Engineering

Organization: Engineering Without Borders


Why did you join the Honors College?

I’ve always preferred academic depth over ease and I want to gain as much as possible from my experience at Mizzou. Because of this, joining the Honors College was a logical choice.

What made you want to join Engineers Without Borders? Why did you decide to become president of the club?

I had several extracurricular goals when I came to Mizzou. I wanted to apply engineering theories to actual practice, preferably in a way beneficial to others; travel abroad; build cross-cultural fluency skills; and gain experience in the leadership of sophisticated projects. Engineers Without Borders offered the opportunity to fulfill all four goals simultaneously, so I joined almost immediately. I was elected treasurer after one semester and decided to run for president the next election cycle – I came to care deeply about the organization’s goals and future success. The office would also allow me to continue building my leadership and management skills.

What have you learned in your leadership position? 

In any field or endeavor, people are everything.

What is your favorite memory of your time in Engineers Without Borders?

Travelling to Panama with Engineers Without Borders was easily the most fascinating experience I have had to date. Our team stayed in the jungle with the indigenous Wounaan community our project benefitted. I will likely never be in such a remote locale or meet such friendly and generous people again. It was an absolute privilege.

What advice do you have for other Honors students wanting to get involved on campus?

Start! That’s really all you need to know. Find out what opportunities are available to you, try everything that sounds interesting and/or useful, then keep going with whatever sticks. You’ll naturally find your way.

Name: Kody Jones

Grade/Major: Junior, Biochemistry

Organization: Global Brigades


What made you want to Global Brigades?

For those who don’t know, Global Brigades is a student-led non-profit organization that sends groups of students (“brigades”) to Central America and Africa to partner with local communities to engage in service. While there are several organizations at Mizzou that involve international service, I was most interested in Global Brigades because of the holistic model that it implements when partnering with communities. Global Brigades has several different programs including Medical, Dental, Public Health, Business/Microfinance, Legal Empowerment, and Water. This multi-faceted approach fosters sustainable development with the end goal being an empowered community that no longer requires regular partnerships with brigades. Although brigades only last about a week, the impact lasts far beyond that. I joined as a freshman and quickly became passionate about the mission of Global Brigades—especially the sustainability of its programs.

Why did you decide to become president of the organization?

I served as Outreach Chair during my sophomore year, coordinating local service events that allow members to volunteer locally. This position gave me the Executive Board experience to run for Co-President, the role that I currently have.

What responsibilities does your position entail?

As Co-President, my responsibilities include organizing monthly meetings, maintaining recognized student organization (RSO) status, holding weekly office hours, leading weekly Executive Board meetings, and more. Co-President also acts as Campus Chairperson, which essentially means being a liaison between MU Global Brigades and Global Brigades LLC. I attended the International Leadership Institute in Honduras last August to learn more about how to be an effective leader for Global Brigades on MU’s campus, and I have regular online conference cells with Global Brigades staff.

What is your favorite memory of your time in Global Brigades?

My favorite memory of my time in Global Brigades is the International Leadership Institute because it allowed me to experience several different brigade programs throughout the week and see several communities at various stages in development. This week also gave me the opportunity to build relationships with in-country Global Brigades staff members and student leaders from around the United States.

What advice do you have for other Honors students wanting to get involved on campus?

Students wanting to get more involved on campus should look for organizations they’re passionate about! OrgSync is a great resource for students to explore organizations and find contact information.