Meet our VP for DEIB

montgomeryMark Montgomery, Ph.D.

Vice-President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Dr. Mark Montgomery was born and raised in Bridgewater, New York. He and his 6 siblings grew up on welfare. He graduated from Mt. Markham a D student and ranked 112 out of 126 students. Most of his life, he struggled to overcome asthma and still struggles with stuttering.

He earned his associate’s degree in Human Services, from Mohawk Valley Community College accompanied by several awards for academic excellence. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at S.U.N.Y IT. He earned a Masters in Education from the University of New England with a specialization in academic motivation; specifically, those of inmates. In February, 2014, his Ph.D. in Education was conferred. Local officials tell Dr. Montgomery that he may be one of the first five men of color from central New York to attain a Ph.D. Dr. Montgomery’s dissertation focused on students at risk of academic failure in English language arts. Dr. Montgomery is a certified basketball official and has a second degree Black Belt with a history of teaching Tae Kwon Do.

He has taught a wide range of Psychology and study skills courses. Over 35 years he has spoken to many schools in New York on bullying, self-esteem, drugs use, appropriate social circles, and the search/pursuit of academic excellence and the consequences of academic autonomy. In 2015, Dr. Montgomery began providing workshops in the primary and secondary school environments. He has received several noteworthy awards including Educator of the Year, Outstanding Community Service, Contribution to Black History, Contribution to Education and Community Service, Leadership, Friend of Children, and contributions to Students requiring Accessibility & Disability Services. SUNY Poly named Montgomery Alumnus Emeritus. Dr. Montgomery was bestowed the New York State Commendation for Lasting Contribution to Community. In 2023, he was given the Key to the City of Utica, New York for his service to the Mohawk Valley.

Historically, he was Dean of Public & Human Services at his alma mater Mohawk Valley Community College. He is an Education Consultant and Retention Specialist. In 2016, he provided his first Ted Talk, “Retention, The Powerful Hypothetical Construct.” He has served on the race-relations and Second Chance committees with the District Attorney’s office, Opiate Task Force, Police Reform Committee, and on the Access and Inclusion Committee in Utica, NY. In 2020, he was named to his first senior leadership position after being name the first Chief Diversity Officer in SUNY Poly history. In 2024, he was promoted to Vice President for DEIB & Chief Diversity Officer.  

In 2011, with the help of his wife Lisa (a retired teacher of American history), Dr. Montgomery, a survivor of scarcoidosis [pronounced SAR-COY-DOSIS] (a blood born pulmonary disease) founded The Montgomery Experience which has morphed into Joseph’s Experience, a not for profit which aims to positively impact children who suffer from diseases such as Cancer and Leukemia. Dr. Montgomery chairs this initiative. This organization also honors his brother Joe who lost his battle to Cancer. On August 26th of 2017, Dr. Montgomery completed a bicycle ride in all 62 counties of New York State to honor law enforcement, first responders and those who suffer. He has dedicated his life to God and making a positive influence on the lives of others. His first book, under the theme of student retention, titled “Painting the Academic Canvas with Students of Color, assuming you can retain them” was released in the spring of 2017. He is currently working on his second book “Curing Ignorance with a Dose of Cancer.”


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