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Beronda Montgomery Recognized for Mentoring Efforts with Underrepresented Students

Guiding undergraduates pursuing STEM degrees has been a hallmark of the Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci), with numerous faculty and graduate students recognized yearly for their significant contributions to undergraduate education through mentoring and guidance.

MSU's Beronda Montgomery, who has done significant work related to effective mentoring in research environments, is the recipient of the 2021 Mentoring Keynote Lecture Award from the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB). The award is given to an individual who exemplifies mentoring for their impact on the training of scientists and scholars who belong to underrepresented groups, particularly racial and ethnic minorities. The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee selects the awardee.

“To be nominated for this award by ASCB colleagues familiar with the mentoring work that I’ve cultivated over the past years is a great honor, indeed,” said Montgomery, an MSU Foundation Professor, and faculty member in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, and NatSci's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) “Given the long-standing commitment by many in ASCB to facilitating a community of support that promotes broad professional development and mentoring through programs such as the ASCB MOSAIC Program, “I’m especially appreciative of this recognition.”

The winner of this award is presented with a plaque and the honor of delivering the Mentoring Keynote Address at Cell Bio Virtual 2021, an online ASCB and EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) meeting. This year's meeting will take place Dec. 1-10.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate Beronda for being the recipient of the Mentoring Keynote Lecture Award from the American Society of Cell Biology,” said Erich Grotewold, professor and BMB chair. “This award is yet another testimony of Beronda Montgomery’s significant contributions to the mentoring of scientists and scholars from underrepresented groups.”

Montgomery’s lab pursues research aimed at understanding how individuals perceive, respond to and are affected by the environments in which they exist. The lab’s primary research efforts focus on the responses of photosynthetic organisms to external light cues.

The perception of light and the photomorphogenetic changes that occur in response to light signals are among the most important adaptive responses of any organism that uses light for carbon fixation. Photosynthetic organisms possess the ability to finely tune their growth and developmental responses to changes in their ambient environment. One of the Montgomery Lab’s long-term research interests focuses on understanding the dynamic molecular processes utilized by photosynthetic organisms for adapting to changes in their photoenvironment.

This story was originally published in the College of Natural Science newsroom.