Bharati Mehrotra

Dr. Bharati Mehrotra has an exemplary record of mentoring and encouraging African-American students through college and into graduate or professional schools in the sciences that spans thirty years of her academic career at Tougaloo College. She has served as chair of the Department of Biology for more than twenty years, she is credited with improving the curriculum and increasing the enrollment of biology majors. 

Mehrotra has been the director of the Minority Access to Research Career (MARC) program since 1977. More than one hundred twenty-eight students have completed the program; twenty-eight have completed graduate school in the sciences, with fifty percent of the remainder en route to doctorates or medical degrees. As director of MARC, Mehrotra has worked to develop a supportive learning environment by bringing experts to campus and visiting research universities, motivating talented students to complete their degrees. She goes yet farther, establishing linkages with graduate institutions to facilitate her students' access to post-graduate opportunities. She maintains contact with those she has mentored long after they have graduated, and her students attest to a large number of successes directly related to her mentorship.

She was particularly commended for implementing these activities while rigorously pursuing an active and credible research program, all under challenging circumstances of limited institutional resources.