Dr. Barbara F. Sims Honored for Dedication to Forensics
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Dr. Barbara F. Sims, professor emerita of communication and retired speech and debate coach at Alderson Broaddus University, was recently honored by the West Virginia Intercollegiate Forensics Association (WVIFA) and the Collegiate Forensic Association (CFA) for her years of dedication to Forensics.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, Dr. Sims was honored at the award ceremony of the WVIFA State Tournament as the pentathlon award was renamed the Barbara F. Sims Pentathlon Award. Students must compete in at least five categories during a given tournament to be eligible for the award. Surrounded by her former students and current forensics competitors from around the state, Dr. Sims received the award for her years of service to West Virginia forensics. She was honored with a reception, presented with a video and picture booklet with comments from former team members, and flowers.
“When I met Barbara, I lacked the self-esteem and confidence to achieve the things in life I wanted,” stated Dr. Tiffany Curtis Elliot ’00. “She convinced me of the potential I had and turned me into a debater and public speaker. She has played a huge part in my life long beyond graduation as a mentor and now close friend. A lot of what I have accomplished today I owe to her.”
The CFA recently awarded Dr. Sims by renaming the Year-Long Lincoln-Douglas (L-D) Debate Award after her during the organization’s Tournament at the Beach on Saturday, March 5 in Ocean City, MD. This award, given to a CFA competitor that exemplifies outstanding merit in L-D policy debate during the year, is a perfect representation of her passion.
“We decided to rename this particular award after Barbara Sims because Lincoln-Douglas Debate has always been what she is passionate about,” stated Dr. Ted Sheckles, president of CFA, during his opening remarks on Saturday’s award ceremony. “L-D Debate was something she always wanted to see thrive, and we have eighteen competitors at this competition this weekend. That says a lot.”
“Dr. Sims was an influential and integral part of my life,” stated Erica Byrd ’03. “She accepted everyone the way they were, and she pushed us to succeed in all facets of our beings. She has been a driving force behind all I professionally do.”
Dr. Sims began teaching communication at Alderson Broaddus in 1969. Throughout her 44-year tenure, which culminated in 2013 with her retirement, she touched the lives of hundreds of students that went through her classroom and competed on her forensics team. In 2013, Alderson Broaddus University bestowed upon her the Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, and she was named Professor Emeritus of Communication in 2015.