Jennings tabbed ASME District C student board chair, Torres vice chair
Jonathan Jennings has built a strong list of offices held during his time as a student at the University of Missouri, and he recently added another. And Brandon Torres earned a pretty lofty title of his own.
Jennings recently was elected chair of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ District C Student District Operating Board and Student Section Executive Committee representative, winning a tight race over Megan Kroll from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. And Torres was elected the District C SDOB vice chair for communications.
District C encompasses 11 Midwestern states and two Canadian provinces and their 56 colleges and universities.
This year, the senior mechanical and aerospace engineering student was dead even with Kroll when the electronic polls closed, prompting an extension of the deadline. In the end, Jennings emerged as the new chair.
“I ended up picking up a couple more votes. I opened up my email, and I was like, ‘All right. Yay! I won,’” Jennings said,.
Jennings currently also serves as the president of the MU chapter of ASME as well as president of the university’s chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics — to name a few of the multitude of pursuits and activities he’s been involved in at MU. In his decision to run for the District C SDOB chair position, he said he saw an opportunity to fill a leadership gap and benefit the ASME on an even higher, regional level.
“(My job is) to try and make the district’s student organizations run as well as they can and try and get them talking to each other. That seems to be what I’m good at: showing up and doing what people usually aren’t willing to,” Jennings said with a laugh.
As chair, Jennings said one of his biggest goals is to help get the different chapters under the District C umbrella to improve communication with each other, including better communication via social media, particularly Facebook. Previously, Jennings served as the district’s vice chair for communications, and he wants to bring that experience to the table to aid the District C SDOB as its chair.
“I want to make whatever experiences I’ve had available to other people, to foster smooth transitions and better running of clubs. At least [get them] talking to each other. Before, that’s been a huge barrier. Clubs don’t talk to each other, and they can learn a lot.”
He’ll have plenty of help in the communications realm thanks to Torres’ election, not to mention a familiar face to bounce ideas off of. Torres said his interest in ASME stems from his need to be more hands on than he can be in the classroom.
“It’s one of the biggest clubs on campus. It’s awesome. … A lot of engineers, they can do the mathematics, but it’s difficult for them to actually be able to go out to the field and build what they’re doing,” he said. “In ASME in general, you have the opportunity to take a problem statement, write out the solution, then talk to the group of folks you’re working with … you get that sense of accomplishment that you’re making an impact.”
The opportunity to be the head communications person for the ASME chapters at 56 different universities across the district was too good to pass up.
“I wanted communications because when you do the communications aspects, you get to write a newsletter for all the universities,” Torres said. “And being able to make a difference and communicate to all those universities, you’re trying to make an impact, and you can actually get your voice known for that. It’s pretty cool.”