Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Management student makes social justice, diversity issues her business

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Summer Shaw mugshot
Summer Shaw

For junior management major Summer Shaw, the Clemson Experience is about more than classrooms, curriculum and careers.

The Duncan, S.C., native has endeavored to get involved as an intern and activist in an effort at leaving Clemson University in a better state for those who follow in her footsteps.

“My non-curricular activities have helped me in a variety of ways. First, they’ve taught me how to better manage my time,” Summer said. “But as important as anything, what I’m learning outside the classroom has taught me how to lead with integrity and developed strong intercultural skills, something that will benefit me personally, and later on, professionally.”

In addition to her Supply Chain Management curriculum, Summer is actively involved in Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) as director of the Council of Diversity Affairs and serves as a student representative on President Clements’ Social Justice and Equity Task Force. And, she is a diversity and inclusion intern for the Office of Career and Global Engagement in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.

In her role as a UPIC intern, Summer is working with the College’s Student Advisory Board to create more opportunities for underrepresented students.

“I want to help make the College more inclusive in programming, recruiting and in ways that will showcase our diverse individuals,” she said. “With the Student Advisory Board, I would like to see an inclusive excellence chair that would work closely with me on programming initiatives, which would make the board more equitable and inclusive on issues of diversity.”

Summer is fueling her passion for social justice and diversity issues by being involved with other campus organizations that further advancement and opportunities for Clemson’s underrepresented students.

“I want to do everything I can to make this campus more inclusive for underrepresented students and that’s one of the reasons I’m involved with CUSG,” she added. “As director of the Council of Diversity Affairs, I’ve worked with the Senate Inclusion Equity Chair in creating a strategy for building strong relationships with the multi-cultural community. It’s an important task in helping CUSG bridge the gap in creating a more welcoming environment for minority students.”

Though her major is in business management and summer internships have been in Human Resources at BMW, Summer someday envisions a career in non-profit leadership, her minor.

“Eventually, I want to be director of a non-profit, particularly one in underrepresented communities that focus on development of youth and preparing them for college,” she said. “So many minority communities don’t have that person to look up to for college readiness. I also want to expose minority, low-income youth to financial literacy, saving and building credit.”

Summer is an active member of the Minority Business Student Association (MBSA) in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. She calls MBSA a welcoming organization to minority business students.

“MBSA is really good at bringing in speakers who are successful and look like me. It’s a comfortable environment and gives minority students encouragement about our futures,” she said. “Minority students can relate to these speakers because looking like us is import to an underrepresented student. Furthermore, MBSA is very good about helping minority students find their community, which is important in creating a welcoming Clemson Experience for everyone.”

The UPIC internship has allowed Summer to engage in hands-on roles involving College programs and she’s looking forward to having a voice in the strategic plan for inclusive excellence, spearheaded by Helen Diamond Steele.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity I will have as part of the College’s inclusive excellence plan,” she said. “Helen Diamond Steele is working with faculty and staff on this very important plan and sees value in involving the perspective of an underrepresented student in that process.”

Diamond Steele said Summer has already had an impact on creating conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in her internship.

“Summer recently organized an inclusion and equity mixer, which was her idea. I see it as the start of a series of conversations on various topics related to diversity and inclusion,” Diamond Steele said. “She’s also working on an upcoming series called, ‘Language of Leaders: Dialogues about Diversity.’ Her role and voice in these initiatives will be important in students, faculty and staff, becoming more comfortable and confident when engaging in conversations on diversity issues.”

Whether her career is in supply chain management, human resources or non-profit leadership, Summer believes the extra-curricular activities she’s immersed herself in at Clemson will play an important role in her success.

“Every activity that I am involved in is associated with my three main passions: service, social justice work, or leadership,” she said “In all of the roles, much is expected and required of me, therefore I strive to do my best while also being the best person I can for others. It’s important to me to give back to my community and the world that we live in to make it better for the future generations.”

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