Dr. Ershela Sims

Dr. Ershela Sims
Dr. Ershela Sims

Dr. Ershela Sims is the Senior Vice President for Virtual Education and Outreach Programs and Vice President for Accelerate Engineering at the SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM). Accelerate is a virtual dual-enrollment engineering program for high school students around the state of SC. Students in Accelerate complete the first year of a college general engineering program during their last two years of high school. Dr. Sims has a passion for STEM outreach and “filling the pipeline”. 
Prior to GSSM, Dr. Sims was the Dean of Engineering and Technology at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) which housed the Engineering and Computer Science programs, as well as the Peter T. Haughton Fabrication and Innovation Lab. During her tenure at NCSSM, Dr. Sims developed and taught courses in Statics, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Research, and Biomedical Instrumentation. The courses she developed and taught were designed to give students a foundation in engineering and teach them skills that will be helpful as they pursue undergraduate degrees in engineering. Dr. Sims was also the chapter advisor for the NCSSM NSBE Jr chapter. She was also the Director for Step Up to STEM, a 2-week residential STEM program for rising ninth grade students.
Dr. Sims holds a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biomechanics in the Department of Surgery at Duke University, where she worked on an NIH funded longitudinal study investigating gait mechanics associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Following her postdoctoral fellowship, she taught anatomy courses in the medical school at Duke University for two years. During her time at Duke University, she published several manuscripts on biomechanics, as well as anatomical and medical education. Prior to working in academia, Dr. Sims worked as a software design engineer and later a technical architect at Nortel Networks for five years developing telecommunications software. Following her work in industry, she worked as the Assistant Director of the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center for two years, where she performed functional MRI research and managed several ongoing research projects.

Dr. Sims has been Region II Professionals Programs Chair for two years and the Pre-College Initiative Chair. She was the 2012 recipient of the National Society of Black Engineers Dr. Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year award and co-recipient of the National Science Teachers Association Vernier Technology Award.