James Holloway is Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan. Holloway joined the faculty of U-M as an assistant professor for Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences in January 1990. In 2007, he was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in recognition of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Later that year, he became associate dean for undergraduate education for the College of Engineering. With the responsibility to blend the hemispheres of creativity and analysis within the engineering undergraduate experience, he dedicated himself to introducing students not only to the theory of engineering, but also to its practice, and to the world at-large.

Having spent most of his childhood living in Thailand, Holloway became a global citizen at a young age. Besides degrees from the University of Illinois and University of Virginia, he earned a CAS from Cambridge University and spent a summer as a guest scientist in Karlsruhe, Germany. Holloway has managed the U-M relationship with the UM-SJTU Joint Institute in Shanghai since 2007. He most recently taught a course on user needs assessment and the cultural context of design for U-M and African students in Kumasi, Ghana. Holloway is adamant that all students understand the importance of international community and identity. While in Engineering, he worked dutifully to make sure the College of Engineering provided ample opportunity for its students to do just that.

As Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs, Holloway is focused on the ways in which the U-M engages the world through both scholarship and education. One goal is to encourage a global perspective in our scholarship and in its impact, and to simplify for our faculty and students the task of creating this global outlook. A second goal is to facilitate the development of a broad set of platforms – both domestically and internationally – for experiential learning accessible to all students at this large university.

“One of the things we’re doing is pushing for our students to have authentic experiences where they can take what they’ve learned in the classroom and really internalize it,” he says. “Experiences where they can use their knowledge and skills in a deep, complicated way, can reflect on it, and generalize lessons to new situations. Everything from student civic engagement, to undergraduate research, to traveling abroad, provides opportunities for our students to build greater wisdom on top of their classroom knowledge. The challenge we must conquer is to do this effectively at large scale.”

Holloway’s research has focused on the computational modeling of radiation interactions with matter, and related problems in inverse problems and plasma tomography. He served as co-PI on the University of Michigan’s CRASH center, and led the centers uncertainty quantification program. He has served as reviewer for many journals and programs, and served as Editor of the journal Transport Theory and Statistical Physics. He has also undertaken research in engineering education, including studying student identity and gender in the engineering classroom. Holloway has taught large first year classes and specialized graduate level courses, and much in between. Currently he is teaching ENGR 260, Engineering Across Cultures, in the College of Engineering.

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