Larry Johnson STEM Opportunity Endowed Scholarship
To provide scholarships that support students who are pursuing a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) Education that have a financial need in order for them to continue their education.
Following is a brief history of Dr. Larry Johnson’s distinguished career that spanned some fifty years. Larry Shelton Johnson attended High School in Hayden, Colorado. As a High School Senior he was the Salutatorian of his class. He was the recipient of the National Joint Honor Merit Scholarship which he used to attend Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. His Freshman Year in College he was awarded the Physics Achievement Award and the Mathematics Achievement Award. He also received awards his freshman and sophomore years at Western State Colorado University for having the highest male GPA. He earned his B.S. Degree in 1964 from Western State Colorado University. After he completed his four years at Western he was awarded an Emergency Part-Time Instructor position at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming where he studied and earned his M.S. Degree in Mathematics in1966 and his Ph.D. degree in Mathematics in 1969. He taught in the Mathematics Department all the time he was at UW while he was studying for his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics. A side note of interest: After earning his M.S. Degree he was offered a position with the General Electric Company at San Jose, California. General Electric would have paid for him to go to Stanford University to earn his Ph.D. and he would have been part of the Silicon Valley. At the same time, he also was offered a position with the Western Electric Company to start in their Accelerated Manager Program. He declined both positions to stay at UW and work on his Ph.D. His Doctorate Thesis was “On Quasi-Conjugate N-Tuples of Matrices.” This was all original research “On Quasi-Conjugate N-Tuples of Matrices.” that had never been proved before. In the fall of 1969, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Science at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. He taught there for one year before accepting a position as an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Science at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in 1970. In 1971 he was named Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and became an Associate Professor of Mathematical Science. While at Fort Lewis he was named Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics. Larry did a Post-Doctorate Study in the summer of 1973 at the University of Washington in Pullman, Washington with other mathematics teachers from across the United States. Larry left Fort Lewis College in the fall of 1980 to accept a position as Dean of Science and Nursing at Purdue University, Calumet in Hammond, Indiana. He was a Professor on the graduate faculty of Purdue University in Layette, IN. While Larry was at Purdue he also was the Administrator in Charge of the Institute for Continuing Education and was Acting Dean of the School of Engineering, Management and Technology for a term while they searched for a new Dean. He was instrumental in getting the Master’s Degree Program in Nursing started. He left Purdue to accept a position in the fall of 1983 with Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado as Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics. This school was reorganized and he was the Founding Dean of the School of Letters, Arts and Science. While he was Dean, he started the CO-WY AMP program, The Freshman Year Program, worked with Colorado Connect, and chaired the Colorado Alliance for Science. He was instrumental in starting the Women’s Studies, Journalism, Theater and Computer Science Departments in LAS. In 1992-1993, Larry was a Senior Executive on Loan from Metropolitan State to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in Denver, Colorado. In the May of 1993, he went to Tokyo, Japan to set-up an educational site for Teikyo Loretta Heights/University of Colorado at Teikyo University- Hachioji Campus, Hachioji, Japan. In the fall of 1993, Larry returned to Metropolitan State University of Denver as The Director for the Center for Advanced STEM Education. In this position he developed and ran many programs to help get students interested in the sciences. He started the Summer Science Institute for Junior High Students. He wrote more than 25 grants and received funding from the National Science Foundation to run the Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation (CO-WY AMP). This program he directed and ran for 25 years. Students were able to get individual tutoring if they were having trouble passing their classes in the sciences. He reviewed scholarship applications (Jack Kent Scholarships and Noyce Scholarships) for the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C for many years (up until he died). Also he reviewed Barry Goldwater Congressional Scholarship Applications for ACT (American College Testing) from 2001 until his death. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship was established by Congress in 1986 to provide scholarships to college students pursuing careers as scientists, mathematicians and engineers to ensure highly qualified people in these areas. He had many publications in Professional Mathematical Journals expanding and explaining his Doctorate research and new research in his area of mathematical expertise. He also had publications on other related mathematical topics. He reviewed Mathematical Books for Publishing Company’s (Simon and Schuster, Addison Wesley, Longman, and Houghton Mifflin) in his areas of mathematical expertise. He gave several yearly presentations on Mathematical and Computer Science topics at the state, regional and the national levels. He also attended an international conference on Human-Computer Interaction- Communication, Cooperation and Application Design in Munich, Germany in 1999 where he gave a presentation titled “Innovative Mathematical Learning Environments Using Multimedia to Solve Real Work Problems”. The Wyzt’s Playground a high-quality multimedia project that emulates and simulates the real-life scenario of building a playground. He was with a group of mathematicians from across the USA in Moscow, Russia who attended a conference at the University of Moscow in 1993. He was invited back to give a presentation the following year. Larry was in London, England in 1991 for a week when he visited a group of Metropolitan students on site studying abroad. At that time he visited York, England where he met with the faculty at the University there and he also made a trip to Oxford, England and visited Oxford University. Volunteer and Service Larry served as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church in Durango and was to be ordained as an Elder in the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westminster before his death. He was Chairman of the United Way Fund Campaign for Lake County in Hammond, Indiana. He volunteered and coached youth baseball and youth basketball for over twenty-five years. Often paying fees for those who couldn’t afford to participate. He tutored students without charge when they were unable to find anyone that could help them when they had advanced in their knowledge of mathematics and needed more advanced help the tutors couldn’t give. He was Chair of the Ted Strickland Campaign for Governor twice. The first time he was Chair was for LaPlata County in Durango, Colorado just before we moved (1980) and the second time was for Denver County in Denver, Colorado (1984) when we returned to the state. Each time he and his workers won the county for Ted Strickland. Volunteer and Service (Cont’d.) – Management Team Member, Lewis Stokes Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. – Director, Environmental Protection Agency Repository, Denver, CO. – Director, Environmental Protection Agency Summer Teachers Institute, Denver, CO. – Goals 2000 Core Planning Group, West Grand School District #1-JT, Granby, CO. – Board Member, Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAFÉ), Denver, CO. – Volunteer, Boys and Girls Youth Programs, Broomfield, CO. – Metro North State Issues Committee, Education Committee, Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Westminster, CO. – The Academy of Intergenerational Scholars, Denver, CO. – Friends of the Denver School of the Arts, Denver, CO. – Leaders in Learning Advisory Council, Denver, CO. – Advisory Committee for Denver School of the Arts, Denver, CO. – Chair, Commission on the Future of the Colorado Alliance for Science, Denver, CO. – Metro North State Issues Committee, Education Committee, Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Westminster, CO. – Friends of the Denver School of the Arts, Denver, CO. – Education Committee, Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Westminster, CO, – Executive, Committee, Colorado School of the Arts at Denver Citizens Planning Group, Denver, CO. – Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Westminster, CO. – Colorado Science Supervisors, Association (CSSA), School of Letters, Arts, and Science, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO. – Denver Chamber of Commerce, Institutional Representative, Denver, CO. – Member, Montbello Science/Math Project Committee, Denver Public Schools, Denver, CO. – President, Board Member, Community Health Association Lake Area United Way, Northwest Indiana, Hammond, IN. – Patron, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Hammond, IN. – Hammond Rotary Club, Hammond, IN. – City of Durango Parks and Recreation Board, Durango, CO. – LaPlata County Government Budget Committee, Durango, CO. – Durango City Government Community Growth Seminar, Durango, CO. – Durango Kiwanis Club, Board Member, President, Durango, CO. Honors and Awards His list of honors and awards is very long. I will just mention a few more significant as they are too numerous to list all of them. – Recipient of National Joint Honor Merit Scholarship, 1960. – Recipient of Sophomore Board of Trustee Scholarship, Western State Colorado University. Gunnison, Colorado. 1961-62. – Recipient of Outstanding Sophomore Award in Mathematics and Physics, Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, Colorado. – Selected to receive graduate instructorship, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, 1964. – Graduate School Recognition, GPA 3.92 based on 4.0 scale, 1969. – Selected Participant, National Science Foundation Summer Institute, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 1973. – Service Award, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado. – Meritorious Service Award, Colorado Alliance for Science1989. – Outstanding contribution and Administrative Support in the formation of the MSU Denver Honors Program.1990 – The Center for Math, Science and Environmental Educations as the State Environmental Education Resource Repository. 1994 – Distinguished Service Award, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1998-1999. – Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award. Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2008 Honor Society Memberships Honorary Member of Golden Key Society Sigma XI Phi Kappa Phi Epsilon Rho Epsilon, Honorary Scientific Fraternity Professional Associations Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics Rocky Mountain Section of Mathematical Association of America American Association for the Advancement of Science Council of Arts and Sciences at Urban Universities Colorado Science Supervisors Association National University Continuing Education Association American Association for Higher Education Association for Continuing Higher Education Council of College of Arts and Sciences Four Corners Council of Teachers of Mathematics (4CCTM) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Sigma XI, The Scientific Research Society Mathematical Association of America, Lifetime Member Larry married Sandra Ledford in 1960. They had four children; Judy, Jeanette, Laura and Paul. He has ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He devoted his life to helping young people achieve in the STEM disciplines. He was never too busy to tutor, write letters of recommendation, coach, listen and teach young people. He loved his job because it was rewarding to him and it gave him great satisfaction to see his students succeed. His career in teaching and volunteer work spanned 50 plus years. Before his death in 2013, he was recognized for 30 years of service to Metropolitan State University of Denver.
• Be meeting MSU Denver’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements and cannot be in default or owe any refund/repayment of federal, state or institutional aid
• Complete the MSU Denver Office of Financial Aid Scholarship and Scholarships scholarship application
• Be a CO-WY AMP student at Metropolitan State University of Denver
• Have a declared major in a STEM discipline
• Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
• Qualified candidates will be asked to provide an essay on a specified topic.
- College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design, College of Letters Arts and Sciences
- Supplemental Questions
- Describe your most meaningful achievement and how they relate to your field of study and future goals?
- Are you a Colorado – Wyoming Alliance for Minority Participation (CO-WY AMP) student?