Phi Beta Kappa

Summer Smith Taylor

Summer Smith Taylor, 39, associate professor of English, died Feb. 15, 2011.

Taylor joined the department of English in 2000 and served as director of the Master of Arts in professional communication (MAPC), as well as the advanced writing program. Her research interests centered on writing assessment, especially the teaching and assessment of writing in engineering. She was promoted to associate professor in 2006.

Taylor's work received many accolades, reflecting her successes in research, teaching, writing and service. Under her leadership, the client-based writing programearned commendation for excellence in service learning from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education in 2008. In 2004, the advanced writing program was awarded an international Writing Program Certificate of Excellence award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Taylor was awarded the Clemson Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence three times, in 2005, 2007 and 2008. She served in myriad leadership roles at the national, university, departmental and community levels.

Taylor's success with the advanced writing program led to almost 200 partnerships between Clemson English classes and "clients," including the American Haitian Project, Foothills Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Keep America Beautiful and United Way of Pickens County.

Taylor was a productive scholar. Her upcoming article appearing in the March 2011 issue of Technical Communication Quarterly will now include an editor's note acknowledging Taylor's contributions to the journal, to the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing and to the discipline.

In addition to her productive scholarship, Taylor was a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honors society. She served with distinction on Clemson's Phi Beta Kappa Application Committee and helped work through the arduous process of obtaining a chapter of the Society for Clemson. She followed this up with becoming a Charter Member of the Delta Chapter of South Carolina, Clemson's new Phi Beta Kappa chapter.