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Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski Appointed as Marion Porter Chair

September 1, 2023
Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski

At the August 17th CBPP all-college meeting, Dean Nofsinger announced that Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski was appointed as the first Marion Porter Chair. Dr. Wisniewski shared her plan to maximize the endowment to benefit the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) and presented her mission - Enhance Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Analytics (BA) in the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) and Alaska for faculty and student success and to meet community needs – through research, innovation, curriculum, and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Dr. Helena Wisniewski is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Management, Marketing, Logistics, and Business Analytics Department, in CBPP, at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she created the first AI course that she teaches, the AI webinar series and co-founder of the Alaska Data Science & AI Lab to use AI to solve challenges while facilitating experiential learning for students. She is also the Founding Director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center. She previously held the Vice Provost for University Research position at UAA and established an innovation ecosystem.

Before UAA, she had a distinguished career in industry, the federal government, and other academic institutions, with service on public and private boards, including executive roles as a Director at Lockheed Corporation and Vice President at the Titan Corporation and Analytic Services (ANSER), and VP for Research at Stevens Institute of Technology. While manager of the Applied and Computational Mathematics Program at DARPA, which she created, she identified and directed many breakthrough advances in science, mathematics, and AI. Before DARPA, served at the CIA. She is a technological entrepreneur who has formed and sold multiple startup companies across diverse technology areas. She uses that experience to inspire her students and organize the CBPP Business Plan Competition.

Dr. Wisniewski is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in recognition of developing and facilitating inventions that benefit society. She is an editor of the new journal AI Education, a special issue Journal of NAI, co-authored the book Academic Entrepreneurship and is writing a book - The Global Supply Chain and Emerging Technology. Among her awards are the Rotary Vocational Service Award, the Women in Technology Award for Entrepreneurship, the distinguished alumni award from William Paterson University, the CBPP Innovator Award, and Graduate Teacher of the Year. She is an invited speaker at international conferences and featured as a Prolific Innovator in IEEE Women in Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the Graduate Center, CUNY.

The purpose of the Marion Porter endowment is to support a business education faculty's activities, such as research, course development, and professional conferences, at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Marion Porter Chair endowment is an estate gift from Frances B. Mlakar in honor of Marion Jean Barnes Porter, CPA. Marion Porter's accountant and estate planner career spanned over 40 years. She was one of the first women CPAs in Alaska; passing the certification exam on her first try; the founder and first woman President of the Alaska Estate Planning Council; and a member of the Alaska Society of Women Accountants.