The Institute for Broadening
Participation, a nonprofit organization to help increase minority access to
science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and careers, has
opened a regional office at The University of Texas at Arlington.
Ashanti Johnson, executive
director of the Maine-based institute, will office in UT Arlington’s College of
Science about 40 percent of her time.
In 2010, President Obama chose Johnson as one of 20 educators from across the country to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
“I’m looking forward to working
here and with The University of Texas at Arlington,” said Johnson, who graduated from Dallas’
School for the Talented and Gifted before going to Texas A&M
University-Galveston. “I believe the move will help extend the institute’s
reach in the western part of the country.”
Johnson earned her doctorate in
oceanography from Texas A&M University and her bachelor’s degree in marine
science from Texas A&M University-Galveston. She was the first
African-American student body president at TAMU-Galveston. She also is 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
“I remember working as a
volunteer at the Dallas Aquarium like it was yesterday,” Johnson said. “That’s
when I decided I wanted a career in science or something like that. That’s why
I have such a passion for getting underrepresented groups involved in the STEM
In addition to her institute
duties, Johnson also will be a faculty research associate in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.
"Having Dr. Johnson and the Institute
for Broadening Participation
on the UT Arlington campus will lend important support to efforts we're already
making to attract students from historically underrepresented groups to STEM
fields," said Pamela Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College
of Science. "From
summer camps to National Science Foundation-funded programs for undergraduates
and graduate students, the University is committed to helping meet the need for
qualified scientists and engineers with a more diverse workforce."
Philip Cohen, vice provost of
academic affairs and UT Arlington Graduate
School dean, said the partnership would strengthen doctoral student
“Working with Dr. Johnson and
the institute will help UT Arlington increase its external funding for doctoral
student support and innovative practices in graduate education,” Cohen said.
“The partnership also will increase the number of minority students who earn
doctorates in science and engineering, and then go on to productive
careers in academia, business and industry."
The partnership exemplifies the
type of work that goes on at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive research institution of 33,439
students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.