Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics Announces New Vice President of Virtual Engineering Program

December 8, 2016

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ershela Sims to the position of Vice President for Accelerate Engineering, GSSM’s statewide virtual engineering program. Sims will formally join the GSSM administrative team in March 2017 and will bring with her a wealth of experience in the areas of engineering, curriculum and distance education. 

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Sims to the GSSM community,” GSSM President Dr. Hector Flores said in his comments to staff. “Her strong academic research background and her experience with program building at a school similar in mission to ours are a great fit for GSSM. We are fortunate to have her join us soon.”

Sims is currently Dean of Engineering and Technology at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) where she is responsible for developing the mission of the Engineering and Computer Science programs, as well as the school’s Fabrication and Innovation Lab. During her tenure, Sims has developed and taught courses in Electrical Engineering, Engineering Research, Statics and Biomedical Instrumentation. She also developed the engineering curricula used in the school’s distance programs and was a lead developer for biomedical engineering curriculum for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 

Sims holds a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomechanics in the Department of Surgery at Duke University, investigating the gait mechanics associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. 
She has taught anatomy courses at Duke University Medical School and served as Assistant Director at the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. She has published numerous manuscripts on biomechanics. Prior to her academic career, Sims was a software developer and technical architect at Nortel Networks. She is a 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 Associate Vernier Technology Award. 

Sims replaces Dr. Karen Den Braven, who is retiring from GSSM after having successfully led the Accelerate program since 2013 through significant growth and program development.

“We celebrate the leadership and hard work of Dr. Den Braven and look forward to partnering with Dr. Sims on future Accelerate innovations,” said Kim Bowman, CEO of the GSSM Foundation. “Both the General Assembly and engineering companies across our state and beyond have generously invested in Accelerate’s long-term strategy of developing talented, creative engineers to help guide our great state forward.

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