Meet the First Lady

Mary Helen McCay

Mary Helen McCay, Ph.D.

Mary Helen McCay is the wife of Florida Tech’s president, T. Dwayne McCay. She is a native of southeast Florida, having been born in West Palm Beach and raised in Fort Pierce. She attended Florida State University (B.S. and M.S.) and the University of Florida (Ph.D.).

Watching launches from the Space and Treasure Coasts instilled in her a desire to pursue engineering and to join NASA and the space program. At NASA she was a Payload Specialist Astronaut (alternate), was Principal Investigator on a Microgravity Laboratory I flight experiment, three other flight experiments and received the NASA Scientific Achievement Medal. 

Mary Helen is the former Director for the National Center for Hydrogen Research and a Professor Emerita of Mechanical Engineering at Florida Tech.  Prior to Florida Tech she was Chairman of the Center for Laser Applications and received the Chancellor’s Award for Creativity in Research at the University of Tennessee. She holds sixteen patents and has over one hundred technical journal articles.

Her primary outside interests are tennis, reading and her husband Dwayne. Their daughters and granddaughters reside in Arkansas and Tennessee. She has an M.S. in Christian Theology and is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community in Melbourne. She also is coordinator of the Centering Prayer Group at St. John’s Catholic Community.