Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies

Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr Helena Wisniewski - Photo

Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski assumed the position of Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School, at UAA in August 2011. She is President of Seawolf Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of UAA, and the Founding Director for the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) a DHS National Center of Excellence.

She has a breadth of senior executive and leadership experience in academia, the federal government, and private industry. She has an impressive record of leading technology innovation and has successfully launched and sold startup companies. She holds patents and has received awards for outstanding leadership, entrepreneurship, and significant contributions to scientific areas, including the 2002 Women in Technology Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship;the Award of Honor in Recognition of Extraordinary Leadership, Management, and Service from Lockheed Award for Special Achievement from the CIA, and for Special Recognition from DARPA. Recently she was selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and will inducted in April 2016 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

At UAA Dr. Wisniewski is leading the growth of and enhancing the research enterprise,and creative works and developing technology commercialization, to position the university to be at the leading edge of innovation and education and to raise its visibility in the community and nationally. She created an agile business infrastructure to commercialize technology based on faculty and student research that includes Seawolf Holdings and Seawolf Venture Fund. She facilitated a facilitated significant growth in intellectual property since FY11 - invention disclosureshave increased from 2 to 38, patent applications filed from 1 to 42,and the number of patents issued increased to 6, and together with the faculty she formed the first three UAA startup companies - Zensor, CFT Solutions and Cogniceutic Solutions.

To inspire research, creative works and innovation she established the Innovate Awards and the Patent Wall of Fame. She has taken the lead to acquire new areas of external research funding, which has increased annually since FY 11. For example, she initiated, led and acquired a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for UAA to be the Center Lead for a new DHS National Center of Excellence – the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC), and is currently its Founding Director, having initially served as the executive director, and PI. The designation is expected to bring more than $17 million. ADAC will develop innovative solutions to challenges in Arctic maritime domain awareness. By using her network, she organized a team of distinguished university and private industry leaders across the US and Canada. This is the first time DHS funded an institution in Alaska to lead a COE.

Prior to UAA she was Vice President for University Research and Enterprise Development at Stevens Institute of Technology. Under her leadership Stevens tripled research revenues, and she launched nine startup companies and sold two. Her corporate experience includes Vice President of ANSER and the Titan Corporation, and a Senior Executive at the Lockheed Corporation. She was also CEO of Aurora Biometrics, a company that she founded to provide complete turnkey biometric systems, based on her advanced mathematical methods. As CEO she raised the investment, built the business and sold the company. At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), she created and grew its first mathematics program; and prior to that served at the CIA.

She serves on public and private corporate boards of directors and on advisory committees. She served on the Board of Directors of Greatbatch Inc., a billion dollar company publicly traded on the New York stock exchange(NYSE:GB) that provides implementable medical devices, and on its Audit and Technology Committees; is on the Advisory Board of Landmark Ventures; was Chairman of the George Washington University Advisory Board; and in 2007, the Secretary of the Navy appointed her to the Naval Research Advisory Committee(NRAC), its fifteen members are prominent individuals in science, engineering and medicine.

She received her PhD in mathematics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1980; her MS in Mathematics from Stevens Institute of Technology; and is a Distinguished Alumni of William Paterson University, where she received her BA in mathematics. She is a tenured professor at UAA.

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