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WEPAN, a leading network dedicated to advancing diversity in engineering higher education and workplaces, has announced the selection of Dr. Ershela Sims as their new Executive Director. She will begin her role on January 3, 2021. Dr. Sims is currently the interim president and senior vice president of virtual and outreach at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.

“Dr. Sims has a track record of effective leadership, high-impact outreach, and innovation in both the academic and corporate worlds,” said WEPAN President Dr. Sheila Ross in a statement. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Sims on our team as we seek to expand our impact on academic and corporate institutions across the country.”

The WEPAN Board of Directors said Dr. Sims brings an established network to lead WEPAN. A longtime advocate for inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering, she has over 20 years of combined experience in the engineering industry, research, and academia, and most recently focus on K-12 engineering as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Executive Director of WEPAN. Their work over the past 30 years as a resource to engineering organizations is inspiring. I look forward to working with the board of directors and members to further the mission of WEPAN, ”Dr. Sims said.

During its 30th anniversary year, WEPAN says its has reaffirmed its commitment to serve as a resource for engineering organizations that are striving to ensure that their workforce is talented, diverse and equipped to succeed in these challenging times.

Sims earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) in biomedical engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of several professional associations, including the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).

Dr. Sims is a recipient of the NSBE Dr. Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year Golden Torch Award and co-recipient of the National Science Teachers Association Vernier Technology Award. She also serves on multiple boards including the Clemson General Engineering Advisory Board, the Florence-Darlington Technical College Board of Trustees, and NSBE Healthcare Innovation Special Interest Group.

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