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Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Dr. James Holly Jr. is a Detroiter, educator, and researcher focused on counteracting anti-Black racism in engineering. He has a bachelor's degree from Tuskegee University and a master's degree from Michigan State University, both in Mechanical Engineering, which inspired his pursuit of a doctoral degree in Engineering Education from Purdue University. His work involves advocating for asset-based teaching practices in pre-college engineering education and thinking through ways engineering content can be used to train engineering students to counteract injustices prevalent in Black communities. Dr. Holly, Jr. is currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where his research examines systemic racism’s reproduction of inequity in educational outcomes for Black engineering students.


  • 2021–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  • 2019–2021
    Assistant Professor, Wayne State University


  • 2021
    Counteracting dysconscious racism and ableism through fieldwork: Apllying DisCrit classroom ecology in early childhood personnel preparation, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
  • 2021
    Equitable pre-college engineering education: Teaching with racism in mind, Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research
  • 2021
    Criticality Is Crucial: Fidelity in What We Say and What We Do, Studies in Engineering Education
  • 2020
    A critical autoethnography of a Black man teaching engineering to Black boys, Journal of African American Males in Education
  • 2020
    Disentangling engineering education research's anti‐Blackness, Journal of Engineering Education