Ashanti Johnson

Februrary 16, 2019

The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Ashanti Johnson. Dr Ashanti Johnson is the CEO/Superintendent of Cirrus Academy, a statewide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) charter school system in Georgia. She is considered to be one of the best oceanographers of this generation.

ashanti johnsonAshanti Johnson is the CEO/Superintendent of Cirrus Academy, a statewide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) charter school system in Georgia and an Associate Professor at Mercer University. She is one of the first female African American chemical oceanographers and the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in oceanography from Texas A&M University. She has recently been looked up to as one of the best oceanographers of this generation.

Johnson makes it her business to know what's going on in our oceans and rivers and on our beaches. She analyzes how past major environmental events (think oil spills and nuclear wastes) have impacted our coasts and, of course, our lives. In March 2017 she served as the U.S. Department of State's representative to Cambodia for several STEM-focused events including being an invited keynote speaker at the Cambodia Science and Engineering Festival and the US Embassy, as well as at several universities, K-12 schools and a science museum in Cambodia.

In January 2010 she received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) at the White House in recognition of her professional development and diversity-related activities. On February 1, 2010 she was recognized by The Grio as one of 100 History Makers in The Making. She was profiled in the Black Enterprise Magazine March 2011 Issue's “Women In STEM” feature story. She received A 2016 American Geophysical Union Excellence in Geophysical Education Award, a 2016 American Geophysical Union Ambassador Award, and was Conferred as an American Geophysical Union Fellow in 2016. In the February 2018 issue of Essence Magazine, Dr. Johnson is recognized as being one of “STEM’S New Guard” in an article highlighting “15 Women who are Paving the Way and Paying it Forward.” In April 2016, Black Enterprise Magazine, designated Dr. Johnson as one of “10 Black Women Changing the World via Science and Technology”.

Prior to serving as CEO/Superintendent of Cirrus Academy, Dr. Johnson was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice Provost at the University of Texas at Arlington and Executive Director of the Institute for Broadening Participation. Dr. Johnson has been a faculty member at 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 the University of Texas at Arlington Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Johnson has been interviewed on All About STEM Radio, the U.S. Embassy Cambodia's Facebook Live Weekly Program, Cambodia's Voice of America Khmer News, the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) Science Engineering & Technology Channel’s “Women and Girls at the Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity: A Webcast Series on Harnessing the New Career Potential of STEM + Arts”, a Nobody In Particular podcast entitled “Swimming with the Sharks”, and a Sigma Xi Google Hangout session on “Engaging more African Americans in STEM”. She was also featured in one of four 2016 Black History Month celebration segments that aired on Fox News Channel's national Fox & Friends show.