News Release: SUNY Poly Announces Chief Diversity Officer Appointment

News Release: SUNY Poly Announces Chief Diversity Officer Appointment

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 12:09
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Dr Montgomery

For Release:           Immediate – April 16, 2020
Contact:                  Steve Ference, Director of University Communications | (518) 956-7319 |

Dr. Mark Montgomery ‘00 to Bring Extensive, Inspiring Background to SUNY Poly to Drive Key
Diversity-Focused Initiatives

UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announces the appointment of Dr. Mark Montgomery as its Chief Diversity Officer to deploy strategic and sustained approaches to further advance a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the institution’s students, faculty, and staff.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Montgomery to SUNY Polytechnic Institute. He brings true depth of knowledge in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, student success, and retention, and we are looking forward to his leadership and efforts to further enhance our culture so that everyone, no matter their background, feels safe, valued, uplifted, and welcome on our campuses,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “Dr. Montgomery is recognized in the community—and statewide—as a respected diversity speaker and advocate and his passion and commitment for this work is unparalleled.”

“It is my honor and privilege to accept the position of Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Poly of which I am a proud alumnus,” said Dr. Montgomery, who serves as Mohawk Valley Community College’s (MVCC’s) Dean of the School of Public and Human Services. “Throughout my entire career and in my personal endeavors, I have been committed to helping ensure each individual is afforded an equal opportunity for all the goals they wish to accomplish. I look forward to working with SUNY Poly’s students, faculty, and staff to develop more intensive diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at both campuses.”

Dr. Montgomery is scheduled to join SUNY Poly July 1, in advance of the class of 2024’s orientation. This will also allow him to fulfill his important role at MVCC.

A native of the Oneida County hamlet of Bridgewater, Dr. Mark Montgomery isn’t shy about sharing how he graduated a “D” student from Mt. Markham Senior High School and ranked 112th out of 126 students in his class. Along with his poor grades, Dr. Montgomery’s finances were challenged, along with his health and speech.

Poised to overcome his obstacles after graduating from high school, he earned his associate degree in Human Services from MVCC where he received awards for academic excellence. In 2000 he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Poly. Dr. Montgomery continued his education at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine, where he earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in academic motivation, specifically related to inmates. He received his Ph.D. in education in February 2014, focusing on how systemic influences impact student motivation and performance.

In 2015, Dr. Montgomery began providing workshops in elementary and high school environments to train teachers, administrators, and others to motivate students across cultural lines. He was nominated for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award in 2009 for excellence in service and in 2015 received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Mohawk Valley Frontiers.

A survivor of sarcoidosis, a pulmonary disease, Dr. Montgomery, along with his wife, Lisa, founded, “Joseph’s Experience,” a non-profit which supports children who suffer from diseases, including cancer and leukemia. In 2017 he was named the Friend of Children of the year for his efforts serving these children. In August of that year, he finished a bicycle ride through all 62 counties in New York State in honor of those who suffer. In 2019, he biked across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to honor his parents and African American history. Most recently, in 2019, he received the NYS Commendation for lasting contribution to community. An author, activist, mentor, and role model, Dr. Montgomery’s life is dedicated to God and making a positive influence on the lives of others.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit