Sophia T. Wisniewska, Ph.D., began her tenure as Regional Chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in July 1, 2013. As Regional Chancellor, Dr. Wisniewska oversees all aspects of the institution, including the academic, administrative, and external relations. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked USF St. Petersburg as No. 23 among Southern Regional Public Universities.
During her tenure, Dr. Wisniewska has led the development and implementation of an institution-wide strategic plan, Vision 20/20: Engaging Students and the Community to Transform the World. She was key in establishing the Kate Tiedemann College of Business with a $10 million gift, the largest in USFSP’s history. The College’s online MBA achieved national recognition from US News and World Report as the 32nd best program in the nation, 2nd in Florida. Dr. Wisniewska was has been instrumental in expanding USFSP’s physical plant through strategic land and property acquisitions.
As Regional Chancellor, Dr. Wisniewska has forged partnerships with local institutions, including Johns Hopkins/All Children’s Hospital, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Valpak. She serves on the boards of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Partnership, and the Dali Museum. She is also a trustee of Widener University in Chester, PA.
Dr. Wisniewska is a scholar of Russian language and literature with extensive experience in key leadership positions in the Penn State System. She joined USF St. Petersburg after eight years as chancellor of Penn State Brandywine. Prior to her service at Penn State, she served six years as dean and chief executive officer at Temple University Ambler. She also taught Russian language and literature at Bryn Mawr College.
Born in a small Polish town, Dr. Wisniewska grew up in Philadelphia and was the first member of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Ph.D and a Master of Arts in Russian from Bryn Mawr College and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian with a minor in history from Penn State. She also participated in Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.
Dr. Wisniewska is a walking enthusiast and enjoys exploring St. Petersburg’s neighborhoods, waterfront and downtown.