Brenda Rowland Sims
BSED ’79, McKinney, Texas
Brenda Rowland Sims opened Communication Matters, a consulting company, in 2016 after serving more than 30 years in higher education. She earned the rank of professor, served as director of technical writing, and was the founding chair of the Department of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas. In addition to her Baylor degree, she holds an MA and a PhD from Texas A&M University. In her current work, she offers innovative communication and leadership solutions for businesses, higher education institutions, and local city governments. She also has worked with local and regional government agencies.
Sims served as the executive secretary and on the executive committee for the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing from 1995 to 2015. She also has served as a member of the NCTE Committee on Technical and Scientific Communication and as chair of the NCTE Awards for Technical and Scientific Communication. In addition, she has served as president of the North Texas chapter of the Baylor Parents League and is a Wish Granter through Make-A-Wish North Texas.
Awards and Honors
Sims has been named a fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing and a leadership fellow at the University of North Texas. In 2011, she was honored with the Women Making History award at the University of North Texas.
Sims has contributed to the Sesquicentennial Walkway, the Parents Student Emergency Fund, the Baylor Fund, the Hankamer Memorial Golf Tournament, and the Baylor University Women’s Council of Dallas.
Church/Christian Mission Affiliations
Sims is a member of Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church in Allen, Texas, where she serves as a greeter in the Connections Ministry and a fellowship coordinator in the Life Group program. She previously has served as a messenger to the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Questions and Answers
Note: Baylor University is pleased to provide additional information via online exclusive Q&As with each Alumni-elected Regent candidate.
1. Baylor University’s mission is “to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.” How is that mission meaningful to you?
I believe in Baylor’s mission. I have experienced the value of Baylor’s commitment to academic excellence not only as a graduate, but also as the daughter and the parent of a Baylor graduate. The knowledge and Christian leadership skills I developed as a student and as a member of a Baylor family were crucial as I began my career as a professor at a public university.
Our world and culture need Baylor to follow its mission to educate and shape the next generation of Christian leaders. Baylor has remained committed to integrating academic excellence and its Christian roots while some institutions started by church leaders have turned away from those roots. By delivering rigorous academic programs and preparing students to lead and serve, Baylor gives Christ a voice and builds on the foundation of its Christian heritage.
I believe Baylor’s mission is essential for developing Christian leaders who are well trained, strive for excellence in all they do, and have a desire to serve in their professions, families, and communities. Through this mission, Baylor will spark creativity, encourage curiosity, foster research, and demand academic excellence with a “Christian commitment in a caring community” for generations.
2. How have you attempted to make a difference in your professional and personal communities?
In my profession, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring professionals, especially women, who were balancing the demands of family, work, and school. Many of these professionals were retooling their skills so they could enter the workplace to provide for their children and families. I believe God continues to place me in the lives of women who need the love and support of a Christian professional who has experienced the demands of raising a family while pursuing a career. In turn, I have been richly blessed by having worked with these professionals, many of whom are now friends and colleagues.
In my community, I have been blessed to serve in my churches as a children’s choir director, youth leader, and adult department teacher and director. In addition to my church service, I have had the opportunity to lead in youth sports programs and in middle school and high school booster clubs, where the unchurched could see God’s influence in my life.
3. As a new board member, what perspectives, skills, interests and relationships would you bring to the board?
I would bring over 30 years of leadership and training experience in higher education and industry. I have worked with companies to identify and solve communication-related problems, develop leaders, and improve employees’ written and oral communication skills. In industry, I have worked with clients from Fortune 500 to small businesses, in a variety of industries across many disciplines and functional groups. In higher education, I built a nationally respected technical communication program at the University of North Texas and mentored faculty at all levels and trained hundreds of students and professionals. I developed partnerships between the academy and industry to provide undergraduate and graduate students a window into working in the corporate environment and the opportunity to interact directly with executives, managers, and subject matter experts. Under my leadership, graduates of the master’s program in technical communication enjoyed a 100% placement rate for 15 years and have worked for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and nonprofits in the United States and Europe. My skills and experience will allow me to bring a unique and valuable perspective to the board.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, and who gave it to you?
I have received excellent advice from my parents, husband, and mentors. These are some that continue to help me navigate life:
- Just do your best. . .” in everything you do. In doing a good job, we find joy and satisfaction. My parents, David and Norma Rowland, gave me this advice.
- Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. . .” think about how people will receive your words, messages, and actions. When we understand the other person’s perspective, we can communicate and interact more effectively. A beloved professor and mentor in graduate school gave me this advice.
For a complete guide to the nomination and election process, visit alumniregents.web.baylor.edu
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