Dr. Ashanti Johnson is the Executive Director of the Institute for Broadening Participation. Dr. Johnson received her B.S. (1993) in Marine Science from Texas A&M University-Galveston (TAMUG) and her Ph.D. (1999) in Oceanography from Texas A&M University (TAMU). She was the first African American student body president at TAMUG. She is also one of the first female African-American chemical oceanographers in the country, and the first African-American to earn a doctoral degree in oceanography from TAMU. She has served as a faculty member for the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, the Savannah State University Marine Science Program, the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, and most recently the University of Texas at Arlington Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her areas of research specialization include: 1) aquatic radiogeochemistry, 2) professional development of students, and 3) science and engineering diversity-focused initiatives.
She currently serves as the director of one of four NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI) Broker-Facilitator Corps, as well as the director for the NASA and NSF-funded Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science Initiative. She is also the PI of the NSF-funded Pathways to Ocean Science Project and Co-PI of the NSF-funded Pathways to Engineering Project. Dr. Johnson has received numerous honors and awards and has been published in many scientific and education journals. In January 2010 she received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring at the White House in recognition of her professional development and diversity-related activities. On February 1, 2010 she was recognized by TheGrio.com, an NBC product, as one of 100 History Makers in The Making and more recently she was profiled in the Black Enterprise Magazine March 2011 Issue's "Women In STEM" Feature Story. Dr. Johnson's activities have been highlighted in numerous newspapers, on several websites, and by Fox and ABC television affiliates. Dr. Johnson also enjoys her role as wife and mother, and is active in her church, sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) and local community.