Chemistry Lecturer Barbara Belmont has been recognized as an LGBTQ+ Trailblazer in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Belmont, an analytical chemist from Pasadena, is “thrilled and humbled” by the accolade, which recognizes her excellence in teaching, as well as activism with Out to Innovate, a professional society dedicated to LGBTQ+ visibility in the sciences, mentoring, and scholarships for students.
Having taught at CSUDH since 2002, Belmont is passionate about sparking students’ curiosity in the sciences and adopting pedagogical best practices in her lectures and laboratories. She is also a firm believer in the value of hands-on research for students—no matter what their career aspirations are—and is dedicated to connecting students with research opportunities.
“I really want to make our chemistry department the best in the world, and to leave a legacy of quality education,” Belmont said.
A self-described proud, active member of the LGBTQ+ community, Belmont also wants her students to be able to see themselves in her and picture their own futures in STEM professions.
“In my own experience, I didn’t see anyone who was gay. I seriously considered giving up science,” she said. “Then I found people like me, and realized we’re an invisible marginalized community.”
“It’s very difficult to be out in science,” she continued. “I want LGBT students to know they’re not alone, that there are other people like them in science, and this STEM path is possible.”
Belmont is one of 17 Trailblazers selected for 2022. Ten historical LGBTQ+ Trailblazers are also featured in the issue. LGBTQ+ writers created all original content in the 2022 Trailblazers issue of C&EN, and many of the commissioned photos of the Trailblazers were taken by LGBTQ+ photographers. The article is in the C&EN April 11 issue and the accompanying website is available now.