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Press Release

January 14, 2004
Contact Person: Roberto Cruz II
408-273-2712

David Johnson Appointed NHU Director of Grants and Contracts for Math, Science and Technology Initiatives

(San Jose, CA)--NHU President, Dr. David P. Lopez, announced today the appointment of David Johnson, Ph.D. as the NHU Director of Grants and Contracts for Math, Science and Technology Initiatives. President Lopez stated, “We are proud to welcome Dr. David Johnson to The National Hispanic University familia.  The University has efforts underway to expand its educational capacities in mathematics, technology and science.  Dr. Johnson will lead the effort in coordinating all the parts of this large undertaking and bring additional partners to help carry it forward.”  

Continued President Lopez, “I believe things happen for a reason. Dr. Johnson’s depth of experience in science, education, government and administration gave him many options when he returned to California after working for the past two decades in Washington.  His heart brought him to NHU at just the time that our students most need his service.  Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, NHU is going to build strong programs for its students in pre-engineering, mathematics, computer science and secondary mathematics teaching.  He will coordinate efforts with area school systems and our own Latino College Preparatory Academy to improve the pre-college mathematics and science education of students who will be coming to NHU, as well as,  to increase the breadth and depth of our mathematics and science courses in our degree and credential programs.”

The first in his family to attend college, Dr. Johnson entered college challenged by the low expectations of others.  “I was born in a small farming town called Alamosa in southern Colorado.  It was a divided town with Hispanics living on one side of the train tracks and everyone else living on the other side.  There was never a doubt that those of us on the wrong side of the tracks were considered incapable of anything intellectual.  Many of my friends were unable to overcome that prejudice.  I was lucky.  And when I went to the University of Colorado, I resolved to show everyone that their assumptions were wrong.  It may have been the wrong motivator.  But it worked for me.  In whatever I’ve done since, I’ve looked for ways to improve the educational possibilities of those who are in danger of being left behind.” He continued his studies as a graduate student in San Jose State University’s Mexican American Graduate Studies Department, and went on to Stanford University where he received his Ph.D. in psychology.  Added Dr. Johnson, “I tell my children that one of the best things that can happen to them is that they have the chance to work at something they care passionately about, I will tell them that today a very good thing has happened to me.”

Dr. Johnson’s career highlights include serving as a fellow of the Duke University Round Table on Science and Public Affairs where he worked as a staff member of Governor Jim Hunt’s Advisory Commission on Science, Education and Commerce and as the legislative assistant to the Chairman of the Education Appropriations Committee in the North Carolina General Assembly.  He served for six years as staff director for Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally (D-CA) interacting with the House Science and Technology Committee and the Committee on Education and Labor, upon which Dymally served, and helped secure increased funding for National Science Foundation programs that encourage the participation of minorities in science, and in authorizing the Minority Institutions Science Improvement Program at the U.S. Department of Education.  Under Congressman Dymally, Dr. Johnson also served as Executive Director of the Congressional Caucus for Science and Technology, a group of representatives and senators who were interested in advancing science through their legislative activities. Dr. Johnson left Congressman Dymally’s office in 1987 to become Executive Director of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, a coalition of 19 scientific societies and some 120 graduate departments of psychology, cognitive science and education.  After 14 years at the Federation, Dr. Johnson went on to serve as Senior Research Scientist in the Office of the Chancellor for Education and Professional Development in the Department of Defense and more recently as Executive Vice President of a San Diego based non-profit organization called Building Engineering and Science Talent. 

The National Hispanic University is an independent, accredited, non-profit university authorized to grant degrees since 1981.  The NHU offers degree programs in business, liberal studies, computer information systems and a credential program for elementary teachers. In addition, the University established in collaboration with the East Side Union High School District the Latino College Preparatory Academy in 2000. It is a charter high school that currently serves 300 ninth, tenth and eleventh graders who are English Language Learners.  For more information, please contact Roberto Cruz II at (408) 273-2712.