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2006 Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement

2006 Award Recipients

AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement


Raymond L. Johnson

Raymond L. Johnson is honored for his substantial contributions to mentoring students and for leadership in promoting Ph.D. careers among underrepresented groups in mathematical science.

The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, established in 1991, honors a member of the Association who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in efforts to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in science and engineering and helped guide significant numbers of students from these groups to the completion of doctoral studies, or has impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies. This award is directed toward individuals with 25 or more years of success in mentoring students. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Raymond L. Johnson is a professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. His current mathematical interests are in weighted spaces and estimates for operators on those spaces. Dr. Johnson has contributed to more than 25 publications on mathematics research. During his tenure, he has established several programs that help keep graduate students informed about administrative and academic requirements, and look for ways to eliminate the barriers that prevent minority students from becoming successful.

Dr. Johnson actively recruits African-American students into the graduate mathematics program and then works with them to keep attrition levels low. His initiatives have resulted in UMD being second only to Howard University in the production of African-American Ph.Ds. He has personally mentored 23 students who have received Ph.D. degrees in mathematics, of which 22 are African Americans. Of the 22 African Americans, eight are females. The nomination letter from the Chair of the Mathematics Department at UMD indicates that the “institutional success of our Department in educating underrepresented minorities has been based on the leadership of Ray Johnson.”

More than 40 years ago, Dr. Johnson earned his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Rice University, where he had the distinction of being the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree from that institution. He also has a B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Texas. Beyond his work at UMD, Dr. Johnson has been influential at the national level in fostering greater opportunities for African-American students to earn Ph.D.s in mathematics, as part of two National Science Foundation supported mathematical institutes at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Minnesota and with the Mathematical Association of America.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.