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Black History Month
2023 Honoree

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Clarence W Johnson

Clarence W Johnson

Professor of Mathematics

Cuyahoga Community College


Where are you from?

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. I am the son of Cleophus and Everlyn Johnson. I have five siblings: Yvonne, Patricia, Beverly, Kenny, and Natalie. We grew up in a household where education was encouraged, and love for others was emphasized.


Please describe an experience (or 2) that helped you discover/ cultivate your interest in the mathematical sciences.

I was always very good at mathematics. I was selected as “Best Math Student” every year from grade school through the twelfth grade. I also received math awards in college. I realized just how good I was at math when I made my junior high school’s mental math team. I was only 11 years old at the time, and we came in 3rd place in the state of Ohio. I have always had the goal of becoming a math professor.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your career in the mathematical sciences?

I am the proud author of two university-level textbooks. My latest book is entitled “Business Statistics: Clearly Explained.” I received the Nsoroma Award as Educator of the Year. I have also received 11 teaching awards from the TRIO program. I am a graduate of the Mandel Leadership Development Program. I was also a Choose Ohio First advisor and an Achieving the Dream professor and advisor. Making a difference is most important to me. In that light, I mentor students as a member of the Black American Council. I am also a member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland organization.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your personal life?

I earned a perfect score of 800 on both the math portion of the SAT and the quantitative portion of the GRE. While a student in high school, I was voted Most Likely to Succeed, and was inducted into the National Honor Society, Society of Distinguished American High School Students, Who’s Who Among American High School Students, and Who’s Who Among Cleveland High School Students. I received several subject awards in mathematics, and I also received subject awards in physics and social studies as a high school senior. I was also a member of the chess team, the math team, the spelling team, the track team, and the Physics Olympics team. In college, I was honored for track and football.

One of the best decisions of my life was to marry Alice Faye Pittman. She is a warmhearted person who is the best wife that any man could ask for. She is also an excellent mother. She has given me three wonderful children: Tonika, Clarence Jr., and Alicia. Between them, the three children have 28 national championships in track and field and currently hold 3 national records. They were also very good at other sports. Each of them also excelled in the classroom.


Please share some words of wisdom/inspiration.

Never let other people convince you that you are incapable of succeeding. Draw strength from both the positive and negative actions of others. However, most of your success will be drawn from qualities within yourself.