Love & Honor Story Project Honors Brandon Small

Brandon Small

Brandon Small, the March Love & Honor Story Project recipient, is guided by a deep commitment to belonging and inclusion every day. Through his ability to connect with people, wholehearted commitment to justice, and deep engagement across campus, Small will leave an immeasurable impact on Miami University.

When he first came to Miami four years ago, Small personally experienced bias on campus and struggled to find belonging. These experiences fueled his passion to build inclusive and accessible spaces so every student is able to call Miami home.

He began channeling his newfound passion within his spheres of influence. As a member of the a cappella group Soul2Soul, he facilitated dialogue about microaggressions and belonging. Friends encouraged him to run for Associated Student Government (ASG), where he deepened his impact on campus culture. At first, Small was timid in his ASG involvement. Over time, he grew more comfortable stepping outside of his comfort zone and speaking up.

"[Small is committed to] shifting this campus’ social and cultural consciousness, not only within his close circles but also on a large scale,” says nominator and ASG president, Jannie Kamara.

He demonstrated that commitment this year in advocating to rename residence hall lobbies on Western campus to honor the legacy of Freedom Summer activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. In describing his passion for the project, Small emphasized the importance of these types of symbols on campus in promoting truth, awareness, and meaningful dialogue. Symbols can also serve as testament to the university's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Small devotes his time in ASG to bridging gaps between marginalized communities through advocacy, dialogue, and collaboration. For example, he worked with other ASG members to increase the percentage of DEI-related student organization trainings.

“There are countless things that Brandon has worked on to great success," shared first-year Parliamentarian Evan Gates. "Yet he is always humble about his contributions, regardless if he was the main point-person on a project or just a voice of insight. His humility coupled with his hard work and passion for what he does makes him a phenomenal leader.”

Scott Walter, assistant vice president for student life, echoed this sentiment. “Brandon is an extremely effective leader. He is compassionate, humble, focused, highly self-driven, and he always has a 'can do' attitude.”

Reflecting about his impact on Miami’s campus, Small hopes he “can wake people up and cultivate important conversations.” He also wants to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is a priority for Miami.

Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion Nloh Masango-Dibo said Small gives his time and talent to “pushing the culture, whether it works or not, whether he always sees the fruits of that labor or not.”

In this way, Small’s actions are rooted in an intentional expression of the code of love and honor towards all students on campus and a vision for a brighter future.

The Love and Honor Story Project is a platform for students to recognize and honor students enacting the values articulated in the Code of Love and Honor. If you know someone who exemplifies the Code of Love and Honor through their extraordinary care for their community, nominate them to be recognized!

To nominate someone, visit the Office of the Dean of Students' website and complete a brief nomination form.