Dr. Ershela Sims, NCSSM Engineering instructor and Duke University adjunct assistant professor, is the recipient of this year’s Dr. Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year Award, one of the Golden Torch Awards given by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). These awards recognize individuals who exemplify NSBE’s ideals of academic excellence, professional success and dedication to the improvement of the black community.
“I love teaching, so it’s such an honor to receive an award that recognizes teaching excellence,” said Sims.
In late March, Dr. Sims will travel to Pittsburgh to attend NSBE’s 38th Annual Convention, where she will receive her award during the closing ceremonies.
Dr. Sims has been instrumental in revamping and expanding NCSSM’s Engineering program through the development of new courses such as Biomedical Instrumentation and Statics. She and her colleagues have also initiated Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Introduction to Electrical Engineering courses. With the inception of these new courses in 2010, enrollment in engineering classes at NCSSM has increased by 147% since the program began in 2006.
Among her many professional achievements, Dr. Sims says she is especially proud of those that give students the ability to explore new ideas and learn in a supportive environment, something that often results in working with students outside the classroom. Currently, she sponsors three different STEM-related clubs: NSBE Jr., Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), and Science Olympiad. She also provides educational outreach to students outside NCSSM through the Labs for Learning program, and by providing mentorship to students, particularly young black engineers at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.