Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Raymond L. Johnson who has been awarded the Presidential Mentorship Award in 2015. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is America's highest mentoring award. PAESMEM recognizes outstanding efforts of mentors who play a vital role for many science and engineering students and early career scientists, on both a personal and professional level. Mentors play a crucial role for all students but especially for students from underrepresented groups--including minorities, women, and people with disabilities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers PAESMEM on behalf of the White House.
Professor Raymond L. Johnson, University of Maryland, receives this honorable award for his guidance to many minority students. His service at the University Math department spans forty years. His contribution to the community began at his home institution and across the nation. He has guided students to complete degrees in mathematics, which has notoriously low retention rates. He was promoted through the ranks at Maryland, surviving long enough to become the first African American to go from Assistant Professor to Chairman of the Math Department (1968 - 1990). He is also the first African American faculty member with the longest tenure at College Park. During his term at the University he has personally mentored 23 students who have received Ph.D. degrees in mathematics. Twenty two of these students are African Americans and eight are females. Beyond his work at UMD, Professor 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.
Professor Raymond L. Johnson is already the recipient of the Distinguished Minority Faculty Award and the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. He was honored by his alma mater - the Association of Rice Alumni and the Association of Rice University Black Alumni (ARUBA) on November 8, 2014, and received special recognition from the City of Houston and the State of Texas.
Honorable Professor Raymond L.Johnson is one of the select group of 14 individuals receiving the Presidential Award this year.