Mizzou NSBE recognized as Most Outstanding MO Zone Chapter

February 02, 2024

Mizzou National Society of Black Engineers members holding awards from the 2023 Fall Regional Conference
Mizzou National Society of Black Engineers members holding awards from the 2023 Fall Regional Conference

Mizzou’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has been recognized again for its outstanding efforts to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

The organization was recognized as the Most Outstanding MO Zone Chapter, an honor given to one chapter in Missouri each year at the Fall Regional Conference.

“This award provides validation for the hard work we have put in,” said Kyarra Gorham, Mizzou NSBE President. “Despite being a smaller chapter, our impact and outreach are significant.”

Mariam Morafa, Vice President of Mizzou NSBE, agreed.

“To win was truly incredible,” said Morafa. “We work hard to show the importance of having a strong NSBE chapter on campus and becoming a sanctuary for our members and community. I believe winning this award only encourages us to keep doing what we are doing and strive to keep growing.”

In addition to the chapter award, two students were also honored with individual awards. Grace Ogunbowale, Pre-College Initiative (PCI) Chair for Mizzou NSBE, won Most Outstanding Executive Member. And Brandon Chandler was named Newcomer of the Year and earned the Freshman Initiative Award.

From left, Brandon Chandler, Kyarra Gorham and Grace Ogunbowale holding awards
From left, Brandon Chandler, Kyarra Gorham and Grace Ogunbowale

Gorham believes that the organization’s creativity in engaging with its members and other audiences played a role in their success.

“We have outstanding social media engagement, creativity in event planning and impressive event turnouts,” she said. “Our chapter also attends other school events to express our support. And we make sure to attend events and actively participate in discussions with the MO Zone chair.”

Throughout the last year, Mizzou NSBE has hosted a wide variety of events for members, ranging from a Friendsgiving celebration, which occurred in collaboration with the African Student Association, to professional development events. Each semester, the organization hosts either NSBE Week, or NSBE Spirit Week, to build on both relationships and engineering or professional skills amongst members.

“I enjoyed all the events last semester,” Gorham said. “But the NSBE Week kickball game stands out as a favorite.”

Mizzou NSBE was also one of six student organization hosts of a “Battle of the Majors” jeopardy-style event this fall. This comprehensive programming schedule is one of the main reasons that Morafa believes the chapter was chosen for the award.

“I believe that we were chosen for this award because of our resilience and consistent programming,” said Morafa, a junior industrial engineering student. “Within Region V of NSBE, our chapter has always been well-known to compete with the larger Texas chapters. Despite some changes this year, our executive board was committed to bringing creative new events and expanding on our more consistent programming by increasing our collaborations with other organizations on campus.”

Morafa says that students can expect more of this programming in the coming months.

“This semester is packed with a variety of events that I am so excited for,” she said. “Outside of our biweekly general body meetings (GBMs), we are working hard to bring professional events to prep for the Mizzou Career Fair and our National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, fun events to connect with our members and even life skills for our seniors who are graduating and stepping into a new chapter. Overall, I think this semester is going to be one of the best Mizzou NSBE has put together.”

Students can join Mizzou NSBE at one of their general body meetings every other Tuesday, starting January 23, at 7 p.m. in Ketcham Auditorium. Morafa encourages anybody interested in joining their mission to attend a meeting or reach out to Mizzou NSBE on Instagram or LinkedIn.

“Coming into this org I was immediately welcomed as family,” she said. “They helped me with my classes, stayed late in Lafferre for weekly study sessions, and we had a lot of fun that first year… My favorite part of NSBE is the community and support we give each other outside. When the GBM is done, there is always someone to grab dinner with, or to study and complete projects with. We constantly seek to help each other and take our future goals very seriously.”

All students are welcome to join Mizzou NSBE and Gorham encourages everyone to stay tuned for upcoming initiatives.

“NSBE is a force to be reckoned with, and anyone can become part of this winning family,” she said. “Keep an eye out for what we have in store next.”

Compliment your engineering education with student organizations that strive to offer support in and outside the classroom. Choose Mizzou Engineering!