Dr. Andrzej Wierzbicki has been appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Alabama effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Wierzbicki joined the University in 1993 as a faculty member in the department of chemistry, earning the rank of professor in 2001. He was chair of the department from 2001 through 2008, and has served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences over the past year.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Wierzbicki will continue to provide outstanding leadership for the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Dr. David Johnson, senior vice president for academic affairs at USA. “Dr. Wierzbicki is committed to excellence in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and outreach to the community. He enjoys wide-spread support from students, faculty and fellow administrators. I can't wait to see what the college will achieve over the next few years."
Wierzbicki received his master's of science in physics and his doctorate in chemistry from A. Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Wierzbicki's extensive postdoctoral experience includes training at the University of Florida, Emory University, Georgia State University, the University of Alberta, and Dalhousie University.
Wierzbicki has published more than 100 research papers in professional peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on various topics of chemistry and physics, and he has presented and contributed to more than 200 research presentations at international, national, and regional meetings. His published work has appeared in professional journals such as “Nature,” “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” “Journal of the American Chemical Society,” “Biophysical Journal,” “Journal of Physical Chemistry,” “Physical Review,” and “Surface Science.”
His research has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, and other state, industrial, and local sources of funding. His current research on biological aspects of the interaction between proteins and crystal surfaces is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Wierzbicki has been a dedicated and effective instructor who has taught both lecture and laboratory courses in the chemistry department, ranging from freshman to senior level. In 2008 he was nominated for "Top Prof" by the USA Chapter of the Mortar Board Society. An important part of his teaching has involved supervised research. Out of his more than 40 student research assistants who have performed research under his direction, many have gone on to prestigious graduate programs in chemistry, to medical and dental schools, or have secured jobs in the chemical industry.
Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest college, currently enrolling more than 4,000 students. It has awarded nearly 16,000 degrees.
The College of Arts and Sciences includes 19 departments and four interdisciplinary programs offering 24 different undergraduate majors, 31 minors, three undergraduate certificate programs and one graduate certificate program. The college also offers nine master's degrees and two doctorates, a Ph.D. in marine sciences and a Ph.D. in clinical and counseling psychology.
The members of the Arts and Sciences faculty teach the core liberal arts curriculum for all undergraduate students, regardless of major. Through the core curriculum, students are introduced to a broad spectrum of knowledge in four main areas: the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, and fine and performing arts.