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Assistant Professor of Urban STEM Education, Wayne State University

Dr. James Holly Jr. is a Detroiter, educator, and researcher focused on counteracting anti-Black racism in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. 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. He desires to transform the way engineering presented to Black youth, so that it is empowering and helps them address the problems they experience in their communities. Dr. Holly, Jr. is currently an Assistant Professor of Urban STEM Education at Wayne State University, where he participates in the training of STEM educators that want to build up the strengths of urban Black students. His research explores how to teach the STEM disciplines with a justice mindset, the process of helping aspiring science and mathematics teachers learn engineering, and how the personal stories of Black people with STEM degrees can inform equitable STEM education.


  • 2019–present
    Assistant professor, Wayne State University


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