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Dr. Ershela Sims

Vice President for Accelerate Engineering, Accelerate Division


Dr. Sims began her position as Vice President for the Accelerate Virtual Engineering Program in March of 2017. 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. Most of the courses she taught used a combination of project based learning, design projects, and problem sets to give students a foundation in engineering and teach them skills that will be helpful as they pursue undergraduate degrees in engineering.
Dr. Sims has also been involved in outreach activities through national organizations as well as NCSSM. She was the Director for Step Up to STEM, a 2-week residential STEM program for rising ninth grade students. In addition, she was the lead developer of the Biomedical Engineering(Health and Life Science)  strand for on an NCSSM curriculum development project for the NC Dept. of Public Instruction.
In addition to the aforementioned academic interests, Dr. Sims also has an interest in anatomical education and lower extremity biomechanics research. She 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 a number of 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 a number of ongoing research projects. She also served as a Visiting Professor at the College of Health Sciences at DeVry University for 7 years where she developed and taught online courses in Pathophysiology.
Dr. Sims 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.