Willetta Greene-Johnson

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Willetta Greene Johnson
Born (1957-03-01) March 1, 1957 (age 63)
Delaware, United States[1]
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
Stanford University
Scientific career
FieldsPhase interactions
InstitutionsLoyola University Chicago
ThesisThe effects of the exchange mode dynamics on vibrational phase relaxation at surfaces

Willetta Greene Johnson (born March 1, 1957) is an American physicist, musician and choral director. She is a Lecturer in the departments of physics and chemistry at Loyola University Chicago.

Early life and education[edit]

Greene's parents were both scientists—her mother, Bettye Washington Greene, was one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD in chemistry and her father trained Tuskegee Airmen.[2] Her childhood was spent discussing science and listening to music, including Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand and The Beatles.[2] She was inspired by Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven). Greene-Johnson studied physics at Stanford University, graduating in 1979 with a distinction.[1] She began her college career as a pre-med major but switched to physics.[3] In 1979 she joined the AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).[4] As part of the program she spent a summer working at AT&T's labs.[5] She was one of the first African-American women to complete a PhD in theoretical physics, which she earned in 1988 at the University of Chicago.[6] Her research looked at the dynamics of vibrational phase relaxation at surfaces.[7]



After her PhD, Greene-Johnson became a Ford Fellow in the department of physics at Loyola University Chicago, where she worked on surface optico-physical interactions.[8][9] She joined the faculty of Loyola University Chicago in 1992.[10] She has been Master Teacher of chemistry and physics since 2005.[11] She teaches courses in general chemistry, college physics, quantum mechanics and biophysics.[10] She was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.[12][13]


Her 2004 song, "Saved", is featured on a Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle CD project.[1] It was translated into four languages and distributed worldwide.[14] In 2010 she was named as a Woman of Excellence for her achievements in music.[2] She plays with the Chicago Sinfonietta and has conducted in their annual Martin Luther King concert.[15] Her contract at Loyola University Chicago allows her to spend three months of the summer composing and recording music.[2] She has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.[16] Throughout her career she has preached and written about biblical topics.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b c "Local science professor is national musician extraordinaire". The Chicago Defender. 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  2. ^ a b c d "archive: Dr. Willetta Greene-Johnson: Where Science and Award-Winning Music Meet: Chemistry & Biochemistry, Department of : Loyola University Chicago". luc.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  3. ^ "Connection to Loyola". asprandel.weebly.com. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  4. ^ "Mentoring For Success: Nurturing Minorities and Women for Engineering/Scientific Leadership" (PDF). Centre for Advanced Computation and Telecommunications. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  5. ^ "National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships" (PDF). Science Magazine. 1993. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  6. ^ "Willetta Greene-Johnson, Ph.D.: Physics, Department of: Loyola University Chicago". www.luc.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  7. ^ "Holdings: The effects of the exchange mode dynamics on vibrational phase relaxation at surfaces /". catalog.lib.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  8. ^ Greene-Johnson, Willetta (1995-02-15). "CPA theory with correlative effects: application to the νs(PF3) stretch of PF3/Pt(111)". Chemical Physics. 192 (1): 9–18. Bibcode:1995CP....192....9G. doi:10.1016/0301-0104(94)00373-I. ISSN 0301-0104.
  9. ^ "Excellence through Diversity: Profile of Forty-Two Ford Foundation Fellows" (PDF). National Research Council. 1996. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  10. ^ a b "Willetta Greene-Johnson, Ph.D.: Physics, Department of: Loyola University Chicago". www.luc.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  11. ^ Desk, TV News. "Chicago Sinfonietta Presents Praise + Punk in a Smashing Battle of the Bands May 12 & 14". Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  12. ^ "A "One-Stop Shop" for Aspiring Female Physicists". Society of Physics Students. 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  13. ^ "2014 Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics". cuwip.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  14. ^ "SongCast | Artist Bio". www.songcastmusic.com. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  15. ^ "The Journey, The Dream-Chicago Sinfonietta". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  16. ^ Bios, StrategicMusic, Inc. "StrategicMusic, Inc. - Bios". strategicmusic.biz. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  17. ^ God, Apostolic Church of (2012-11-12). The Spirit-Filled Journey: Increasing In the Knowledge of God. Life To Legacy,LLC. ISBN 9780983131762.
  18. ^ D, Willetta Greene Johnson Ph (2015-10-15). Glory Rising: How the Glory of God Shapes Your Destiny in Today's World. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781517184308.