Dr. Patricia G. Sims
President, Drake State Community and Technical College
Dr. Patricia G. Sims, President of Drake State Community & Technical College, is the fourth President in the institution’s sixty-year history. Dr. Sims leads Drake State with a spirit of excellence and brings to the institution an in-depth knowledge of higher education and administration, and an unbridled enthusiasm for student success. Dr. Sims has led the charge for Drake State to expand partnerships with businesses and industry, to create new opportunities and pathways for students, and worked to increase resources to support student achievement. Under Dr. Sims’ leadership, Drake State has seen a significant increase in state and federal funding, has increased enrollment, and expanded its program offerings. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Sims is committed to ensuring that students have both the access and the training needed to transform their lives.
When you were little, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
My dreams growing up were not focused on a specific career, rather being a bold, empowered, independent woman who would somehow serve people.
What circumstances or people helped shape you in your career?
My close-knit hardworking family definitely shaped my persistence, focus and work ethic. I had wonderful teachers who helped me identify and build on my strengths. Teachers who encouraged me to explore life and opportunities outside of my comfort zone.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that I get to serve people and positively impact my community each day. By providing the education and training needed to allow my students to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, I am investing in the future of our community. Strengthening families ultimately makes our community better.
What differentiates you from your peers or competitors?
What makes Drake State a great institution is the people. We are laser-focused on our students and their experience. It is the nurturing, supportive environment that we provide for each student that differentiates us and it is something of which I am extremely proud. We connect directly with our students to provide support both in the classroom and in life. I often hear from students how much they appreciate the fact that their instructor or a staff person has checked in on them or provided them assistance in some way.
What’s your favorite thing about living in the Huntsville/Madison County area?
I love this community because of its generosity. People volunteer their time and their talents to support a good cause. We are a community of servants. We support each other, we collaborate and we pay it forward.
What civic organizations or nonprofits have you been involved with, and why have those been important to you?
I proudly support a number of organizations to include the WEDC Foundation, Alabama Association of University Women (AAUW), Girls Inc., AUM Foundation and the International Women’s Forum-Alabama. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. The common threads that weave through each of these organizations are women empowerment and service. It is important to me to invest in young women, as well as to seek out and connect with professional women in the community.
What awards, accolades or accomplishments are you proudest of?
I have been fortunate to have been recognized for some of my work and am proud of each award that I have received. The fact that my community, colleagues, and organizations determined that I have made contributions worthy of acknowledgement make me most proud.
What is Drake State’s mission statement?
Drake State Community and Technical College offers flexible, affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce needs of employers.
How has the business community changed for women since you began your career?
I am so proud of the women of our community and I am constantly amazed at their accomplishments. We have women who are demonstrating success in all areas of business. In addition to their professional success, we are successful mothers, wives, sisters, and caregivers. It’s great to be unapologetically feminine and fierce!
Do you have a favorite quote about powerful or strong women you’d like to share?
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Dr. Patricia “Pat” G. Sims, President
Drake State Community and Technical College
3421 Meridian St. N.
Huntsville, AL 35811