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Widener University Appoints Two to Board of Trustees

Widener University has named two to its Board of Trustees including a senior business management major and the former chancellor of the Penn State University Brandywine Campus.

Sophia Wisniewska, who served as chancellor of Penn State University's Brandywine Campus from 2005 to 2013; and Daniel Hartney, a senior business management major from Scotia, N.Y. were named to the Board of Trustees in May.

Dr. Sophia WisniewskaThe Board of Trustees is charged with ensuring that Widener serves out its mission as a metropolitan university, serves as a bridge between the university and society and holds in trust the intellectual, physical and financial assets of the institution.

Wisniewska currently serves as the regional chancellor for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

"Dr. Wisniewska's vast credentials in academe and her commitment to civic engagement make her an excellent addition to our board of trustees," said Dr. James T. Harris III, president of Widener. "I have worked closely with Dr. Wisniewska on the Chester Higher Education Council and have seen first-hand the impact she has had as an educator and a leader. I value her input and expertise."

The Chester Higher Education Council is a nonprofit organization formed by the presidents of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Delaware County Community College, Neumann University, Penn State Brandywine, Daniel HartneySwarthmore College and Widener University to address the educational needs of residents in Chester.

As chancellor of Penn State Brandywine, Wisniewska was credited with developing the institution's strategic plan, expanding and enhancing academic offerings, brokering key community and business partnerships and advocating for the school's transformation from a commuter to a residential experience. She also oversaw a financial analysis of all academic programs and the creation of a center for civic engagement and public scholarship.

At the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Wisniewska is tasked with creating a five-year vision and comprehensive plan. She began her career as a secretary at Penn State University and, over the next 21 years, held progressive leadership positions before moving on to a deanship at Temple University.

Hartney was appointed the student trustee for the 2014-2015 academic year. The appointment recognizes his role as student leader at the university and his ability to address university issues from a student perspective.

"Daniel is an exceptional student leader," Harris said. "He has set his sights on making a different in the world, and he has worked to develop and execute a plan to make that happen. He will be an excellent representative of the student body on the board of trustees."

At the end of his sophomore year, Hartney was named an Oskin Leader by the Oskin Leadership Institute at Widener. As an Oskin Leader, Hartney has focused on food insecurity and alternative agriculture and creating food security utilizing the "for profit" business model.

Upon entering Widener, Hartney was inducted into the Presidential Service Corps/Bonner Leader Program and has spent the past three years completing service within the Chester community, primarily as a member of Northern Star Sports.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university website,