James Holly, Jr.

James  Holly, Jr.
Assistant Professor - Urban STEM Education

271 Education Bldg.

Office Hours:

Tuesday, 4-5 p.m. or by appointment

(313) 577-9588


Purdue University, Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Education, 2018 - Dissertation: "Of the Coming of James": A Critical Autoethnography on Teaching Engineering to Black Boys as a Black Man

Michigan State University, Master's of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering, 2014 - Master's Thesis: Engine Modeling - Optimizing Engine Valve Timing and Lift for Fuel Economy

Tuskegee University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering, 2011 - Research Project: Low Velocity Impact Response on Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Infused in E-Glass/Epoxy Composites


I am a native Detroiter who has spent the last 11 years pursuing “higher education,” learning what it means to be a scholar, and contemplating how to leverage his gained competencies and experiences for the wholistic enrichment of black and urban youth. He pursued a doctoral degree as an intentional career pathway transition into full-time youth development, hoping to study how to use research and scholarship for the benefit of educators in urban settings. As a proud member of the Warrior community, I aim to assist the formation of critically conscious STEM educators that effectively utilize and support the assets of urban non-white students.


Conducting substantial research in science, mathematics, technology, and engineering education; securing external research funding; teaching undergraduate and graduate courses; mentoring and advising students; and providing university, state, and professional service.

Academic Interests

My primary academic interest is urban STEM teacher preparation. Additionally, he is interested in critical race theory in teacher education, culturally relevant STEM teaching, and interdisciplanry education (e.g., sports & engineering).

Research Interests

Examining the complexities of teaching the STEM disciplines in an urban context in pursuit of equity and justice, and the process of preparing educators to teach the STEM disciplines in an integrated manner.

Courses Taught

Science Curriculum: Pre-primary - 8 (ELE 6500)