March 1, 2021 – USC Salkehatchie is pleased to announce that Holly Hughes McCrary has been named program manager for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program initiatives.
“USC Salkehatchie is cognizant that many students in our region are not aware of the opportunities for STEM careers in our area nor of the educational requirements necessary to obtain these jobs. Through USC Salkehatchie STEM initiatives, we hope to create a talent pipeline for these opportunities by engaging our K-12 students in STEM education relevant to regional workforce needs. We are excited that Holly will lead our STEM related programming,” Dean Chris Nesmith said.
The Salkehatchie STEM Initiative is part of a five-year, $650,000 WORC II (Workforce in Regional Communities) grant funded by the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Science Administration through the Savannah River Site. This grant supports STEM programming for K-12 students in our region, USC Salkehatchie student scholarships, internship opportunities, and summer STEM research. McCrary will also manage USC Salkehatchie’s current efforts in this area, including managing the WORC I grant, which includes introductory engineering classes on campus, as well as implementing the annual aviation camp and providing support for regional STEM educators.
McCrary is ready for the challenge.
“I am beyond excited to begin this new adventure. For over a decade, I have been fortunate to pursue my passion in STEM by working in a wide variety of roles in public education and science. Now I have the opportunity to help foster my love of STEM in a much more focused role at USC Salkehatchie,” McCrary said. “The future of our region depends on educating students to be successful in STEM fields. Our students have limitless potential. We must invest in them if we want our region to become more competitive with surrounding areas.”
McCrary attended USC Salkehatchie where she earned an associate degree before transferring to USC Beaufort to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She later earned her Master of Education in Instruction and Curriculum from the University of South Carolina, graduating Summa Cum Laude. McCrary holds National Board Certification in Secondary Science as well as certifications in AP Biology from College Board and Problem Based Learning from New Tech National Network. She has been recognized on the state and national levels for her methods and scores in her biology end-of-course assessments and was the 2020 Hampton District 1 Teacher of the Year.
"We are going to do great things with the Salkehatchie STEM Initiative. Facilitating strong relationships with students, scaffolding links between programs and community members, and further enhancing a STEM program that is student-centered helps everyone win. We have an amazing opportunity with this program. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for USC Salkehatchie and the students in our region,” McCrary said.