Dr. Megumi Akehi

Megumi Moore: Director 

Dr. Moore is the Director of the Graduate School Office of Well-Being. Her research interests include graduate student socialization, identity development, and leadership. Prior to her role with GROW, Dr. Moore served as a mental health counselor at MSU, with an emphasis on serving graduate students, college athletes, and non-traditional students. She also has a background working in the non-profit sector as a consultant for individuals and organizations concerning mental health and well-being, team dynamics, conflict resolution, leadership development, and emotional intelligence. She holds a PhD in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) from MSU, an MA in Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She enjoys watching sitcom reruns (Office, Seinfeld, Parks and Rec, etc.), camping/hiking, and spending quality time with her wife, Ashley, their two adorable children, and their two cats.

Lizzy King

Lizzy King (she/her): Co-Coordinator of the Leadership Institute

Lizzy is actively engaged in higher education as a practitioner and scholar. Her work has stretched across several areas of the field, including recruitment, civic engagement, academic advising, undergraduate research,  student involvement, and leadership development. Lizzy earned a bachelor’s degree from Albion College and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. She is currently a doctoral student in MSU's Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program. Her research interests and pursuits include women in higher education, organizational leadership, and millennials in the workplace. Lizzy is also engaged as an advocate for supporting breastfeeding women in the workplace and community.

Philip Montgomery

Philip Montgomery: Co-Coordinator of the Leadership Institute

Philip Montgomery is a third year doctoral student in the Second Language Studies program where he is researching language policy, multilingual education, and language teacher development. Philip holds a BA in Spanish from the College of Wooster and an MEd in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has been a middle and high school Spanish teacher as well as program director for an Academic English program at an international English-medium university. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at MSU, where he enjoys developing consultant training materials that work towards linguistic justice. As a Leadership Fellow during the 2021-2022 year, he launched a peer mentoring program to help graduate students develop meaningful relationships with other members of their programs, foster a sense of community, and support the academic and personal success of all students.

Sharmila Samara

Sharmila Samaroo: Co-Coordinator of the Leadership Institute

Sharmila Samaroo is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Chemical Engineering and Material Science department. Her research focuses on improving physicochemical and electrochemical properties of electrolytes for redox flow batteries. Sharmila attended University of Michigan for her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, explored professional interests in energy storage research at Phillip 66, and remains passionate about sustainability-driven research. As a previous Leadership Fellow (2022-2023) she piloted a peer-mentorship program for her department targeting the unique challenges faced by first-year doctoral students including developing a strong academic support network, understanding of resources, and preparing for the qualifying exam process. Sharmila’s personal interests include running, soccer, painting, and hanging with her dog.