Dr. Ira Sewell, associate professor and ASN coordinator at Alcorn State University, has been recognized as one of the “Top 20 under 40” by Natchez Magazine.

The “Top 20 under 40” honor highlights individuals who showcase excellence and leadership in their respective fields.

“I feel honored and blessed to be selected among a distinguished group of individuals who ‘represent the best and brightest the Miss-Lou has to offer, said Sewell.” This acknowledgment validates my dedication and commitment to the nursing profession and the community I serve.”

Sewell’s passion for nursing was sparked during her high school years, as she worked as a medical records custodian at Reed’s Medical Clinical.

Interacting with patients and witnessing the impact of healthcare professionals inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. This career shift allowed her to break away from a family tradition of educators and principals; Sewell found her calling in nursing education.

Her journey in the nursing profession continued when she enrolled at Alcorn State University’s Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing in 2002. After graduation, she began working as a registered nurse, gaining experience in various areas such as Medical-Surgical/Acute Care, Telemetry, Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Home Health Nursing, and as a Nurse Educator.

In 2010, Sewell joined Alcorn State University’s School of Nursing faculty, beginning her teaching duties in the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Program. Her dedication and passion for nursing education led to an expanded role to include Undergraduate Nursing Programs. In 2017, she was promoted to program coordinator for the ASN Program.

“Being a nurse educator has provided me with a sense of purpose,” said Sewell. “Having the opportunity to teach nursing allows me to make an impact on the nursing profession in a different way. For each cohort, I assist with graduating and passing boards/licensure examinations, is another nurse who can contribute to the nursing profession, assist with the nursing shortage, and make a difference in the lives of not just a community but around the globe.”

Sewell’s impact as a nurse educator extends beyond the classroom. One of her most memorable accomplishments was guiding her students to win the Scholars Bowl twice. Under her guidance, Alcorn State University’s Associate of Science in Nursing students won the Mississippi Organization for Associate Degree Nurses (M-OADN) Scholars Bowl in 2017 and 2019.

“Winning the Scholars Bowl let me know that our students were mastering the student learning outcomes and end-of-program outcomes and would acquire licenses that will allow them to become registered nurses and make a meaningful presence in society,” said Sewell. Winning the Scholars Bowl also encouraged me to keep the drive as an educator, because the end reward would be producing quality nurses who are proven to motivated and “excel intellectually.”

Sewell received master’s degrees in nursing and health administration. She continued her academic journey, earning a Doctorate in nursing education and administration from William Carey University.

She remains committed to professional development, actively engaging in workshops, training, and seminars.