Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies
Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski assumed the position of Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, at UAA in August 2011. She is President of Seawolf Holdings,a wholly owned subsidiary of UAA, and the Executive Director and PI for the new DHS National Center of Excellence for Maritime Research.
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 start up 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.
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 twelve-fold increase in invention disclosures, a seventeen-fold increase in patents pending, and formed the first UAA startup companies. 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 (DHS) for UAA to be the Center Lead for a new DHS National Center of Excellence (COE) for Maritime Research, and she is the Executive Director, and PI. The designation is expected to bring more than $17 million. This COE 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 be 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, 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 publicly traded on the New York stock exchange (NYSE:GB) 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.
She received her PhD in mathematics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, in1980; 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.