Anthony Johnson to chair national advisory board promoting diversity in physics

Anthony_Johnson_headshotAnthony Johnson, professor of physics and computer science and electrical engineering, has been named chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Bridge Program’s National Advisory Board (NAB). Johnson was involved with the Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellowship Program for Minorities, a precursor to the APS Bridge Program, in the 1970s. “The Bridge Program had its genesis with the Bell Labs Diversity Program, which I participated in, and thus it was quite an honor to be nominated Chair or the APS Bridge Program’s NAB,” he shares.

The Bridge Program was created in 2013, funded by the National Science Foundation and the APS, to increase the number of physics PhDs awarded to underrepresented minority students, defined as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans. The APS Bridge Program aims bring the percentage of underrepresented minority students who receive PhDs closer to the percentage of underrepresented minority students who receive bachelor’s degrees, he explains. Through the Bridge Program, the APS has created a national network of doctoral-granting institutions that provide mentoring for students completing PhD programs.

Johnson is a fellow of the APS and served on the APS Executive Board from 2013 to 2014. In 1996, he received the APS Edward Bouchet Award, which promotes the participation of underrepresented minorities in physics by recognizing a distinguished minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research.

Of his new role on the NAB, Johnson says, “As chair, I will be involved in the programmatic aspects of achieving the program’s goals, as well as preparing for a second round of funding from the NSF and other entities to continue these good works.”

For more information the APS Bridge Program, see the APS website.