Recent Alumna Awarded Urann Fellowship
By Brittany Shew
English literature alumna Kym Taylor ’14 was one of six nationwide to be awarded the prestigious Marcus L. Urann fellowship from the honor society Phi Kappa Phi.
The society recognizes and promotes academic excellence in all fields of higher education and works to engage the community of scholars in service to others.
The honor society nominated Taylor for the competitive scholarship and awarded her a $15,000 Marcus L. Urann fellowship to assist her in her first year of graduate school.
“When students are competing at this level, everyone has a 4.0 GPA, and everyone is an overachiever. Here you had six people who are not only that, but they have something else that’s distinctive about them,” said the society’s adviser Jo Ellen Miano, associate professor of music.
Not only is Taylor pursuing her master’s degree in applied linguistics, but she is also a single mother of two, a dancer, choreographer, actress, musician, writer and a full-time ESL tutor for the Plattsburgh City School District.
Taylor said this academic honor is life-changing, and she wouldn’t be able to attend graduate school without the support. “Never in a million years did I dream that I would get this fellowship,” she said. “I’m still in shock.”.
Taylor took four classes from Jon Chatlos, associate professor of English. He pushed her to apply for the fellowship. “Kym has a fierce work ethic. She is well-balanced and keeps a sense of poise,” Chatlos said. “She is able to vocalize herself very well and has a natural talent.”
Chatlos said Taylor’s personal strengths came out when she was his teaching assistant. “She immediately strikes up good relationships with students and faculty. She is very warm and outgoing and puts people quickly at ease. It was like teaching with a colleague.”
“I’m still overwhelmed. It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said.
Taylor hopes to one day return to campus and join the faculty of SUNY Plattsburgh.
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