Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska has accepted a position as regional chancellor at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, effective July 1, 2013.
Wisniewska, who was the first in her family to go to college and began her career as a secretary at Penn State after graduating from the University, went on to hold positions at five different Penn State campuses. She received a bachelor's degree in Russian from Penn State and went on to earn a master's degree and a doctoral degree in Russian from Bryn Mawr College. Prior to her position at Penn State Brandywine, she served as dean of Temple University's Ambler College.
Since her arrival at the Brandywine campus in 2005, Wisniewska provided strong leadership and successfully launched many new initiatives. She was instrumental in driving a strategic planning process that was created out of the vision of both internal and external stakeholders. She expanded academic offerings to include seven new programs and established an academic partnership with one of the largest medical schools in the Philadelphia region, enhancing medical school opportunities for students in the post-baccalaureate medical sciences program.
Wisniewska initiated a curriculum review of four-year programs and oversaw a thorough financial analysis of all academic programs. Additionally, she expanded the campus' commitment to civic engagement and service learning through the creation of an externally funded center for civic engagement and public scholarship. Her partnerships with local institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware County Workforce Investment Board, the Middletown Business Association and Rotary of America brought visibility and opportunities to the campus.
The University will name an interim chancellor to oversee the campus during the period of transition and begin the search process for a permanent chancellor later in the semester.