bonnie taylor

By Victor Rogers | Photos and Video by Allison Carter August 28, 2019

This is the 12th installment of a yearlong series about women at Georgia Tech. See the full series.

Bonnie Taylor is associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Integrity in the Division of Student Life. People often introduce her and her team by saying, “She has one of the most difficult and worst jobs on campus.”

She disagrees.

“If it was, I wouldn’t be here every day,” she said. “I have one of the best jobs. I confront situations, resolve complex issues, and have conversations that a lot of people don’t want to have. Someone has to do it, and I happen to be good at it.”

Taylor talks about her role on campus and what it means to her.

Taylor leads a five-person team and describes Student Integrity as community accountability and community responsibility — for the academic integrity and value of the Georgia Tech degree and for the safety and security of the campus and community.

“Our charge is not only to enforce the code of conduct and the academic honor code, but also to make sure our campus community is safe and secure,” she said. “And that we’re holding people accountable for their behavior, which occasionally includes separating people from the Institute when we need to.”

As director, Taylor said she doesn’t get to interact with students as much as she would like. But as an associate dean, she helps students who have questions, need guidance, or exhibit problematic behavior, such as substance use.

“We always want to get to the root of the issue so we can help students find healthier alternatives to substance use. We often pair up with the Counseling Center to help students in crisis so they can get the resources they need,” she said.

bonnie taylor in the smithgall student services building

Taylor in the Smithgall Student Services (Flag) Building, where the Office of Student Integrity and Division of Student Life are located.

bonnie taylor

Taylor talks with Shawn Terrell, administrative professional, in the Office of Student Integrity.

Taylor believes that the work of student conduct professionals is not widely understood. 

“One misperception among the campus community is that Student Integrity is ‘the place you go when you’re in trouble.’ Yes, we are responsible for accountability,” she said. “But the other piece is educating students about their behavior and the impact of their behavior on the community.”

She wants to empower students to hold each other accountable because the safety and security of the campus depends on everyone paying attention and speaking up when something is amiss.

“Another huge misperception is that all we do is case management — managing incident referrals. We have professionally trained, credentialed, and dedicated student affairs professionals who happen to specialize in student conduct. We want to make sure students have the best educational experience possible. The most rewarding times for our staff are having one-on-one conversations with students and watching those students flourish.”

“We want to make sure students have the best educational experience possible. The most rewarding times for our staff are having one-on-one conversations with students and watching those students flourish.”


bonnie taylor at her desk

Then and Now

A native of Akron, Ohio, Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, and an MBA from King University in Bristol, Tennessee. She has completed the coursework and comprehensive exams for an Ed.D. in higher education administration from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, and she anticipates earning her degree next spring.

She worked in student life at Tusculum University, a small, private institution in Greeneville, Tennessee, for eight years before moving to Atlanta in 2013 to take a job at Georgia State University. She has been at Tech since 2015.

“I have done everything under the student affairs sun, from orientation to multicultural affairs to working with housing and residential life,” Taylor said. “The beauty of starting at a small institution is that you become a generalist, and you really get to experience a lot of different things and decide what your niche is. I found that I really enjoyed student conduct.”

Because of Taylor’s job people tend to assume that she doesn’t have a fun side or a sense of humor. As an introvert who takes her work seriously, “I often appear to be serious, but I’m not nearly as serious as I look,” she said with a smile.

When she’s not working, Taylor is an avid reader, beach lover, and concertgoer.

“I’m noticing I have less time to read, so audio-books are becoming an addiction,” she said. “I love biographical stories, and hearing where people have been and where they are now in their thought processes and life experience.”

She enjoys traveling to any place that has water because she grew up in landlocked Akron.

“Lake Erie is not exactly the place to go for vacation,” she laughed. “I love beaches, sand, and water. That’s probably my happy space. I’ve always been like that, especially as a kid.”

Taylor also enjoys Atlanta’s music scene.

“That was probably the best thing about moving to this city,” she said. While she likes outdoor concerts and large arenas, the more intimate Tabernacle and Center Stage are her favorite local venues. But she doesn’t have a favorite genre.

“I’m the person who is just as likely to see Earth, Wind & Fire as I would see The Black Keys,” she said. “It just depends on what strikes my fancy.”

bonnie taylor

Bonnie Taylor

Associate Dean of Students and Director, Office of Student Integrity

August 2019

What does being a woman at Georgia Tech mean to you?


“Being a woman at Georgia Tech means I get to model resilience, independence, vulnerability, strength, and responsibility for our students. Because I come in and do my job, I often don’t think about what my title means. But, in this field of student conduct, which happens to be male dominated, and at an institution that is strongly male, I have to remember that I am often serving as a surrogate for folks in the spaces that I occupy. I have to make room at the table, but that makes me well-rounded and allows to me bring the whole person to what I do.

I look at the history of women at this institution and all that they have contributed and accomplished. It is a source of pride because if they were able to make it through those tension-filled moments, I can make it through whatever the situation may be at any time.”


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