FORT COLLINS, CO – Heather Wisniewski, an advancement professional with more than 20 years of experience supporting two prominent nonprofits, has been named Vice President for Advancement at the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) ISE operates the Semester at Sea program, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, from the campus of Colorado State University, its academic partner since 2016.
Wisniewski was selected after a national search supported by The Compass Group.
“In Heather, ISE has found a mission-led leader who is both a career-long champion and beneficiary, of experiential learning programs,” said President and CEO Scott Marshall. “She has the professional experience, strategic know-how, and team-building expertise to enhance our connections to alumni, build stronger support for our distinctive and powerful program, and achieve our strategic goal of making a Semester at Sea voyage accessible to all students.”
Wisniewski will direct and grow ISE’s alumni relations and fundraising team while supporting a strategic plan unveiled in 2021 that aims in part to make a Semester at Sea experience available to all qualified students regardless of their financial need.
She joins ISE after 16 years at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and almost nine years at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). At NOLS, she most recently served as the Chief Advancement Officer, while at TNC, she held various leadership positions in fundraising, including Director of Philanthropy for Global Priorities.
In both roles, Wisniewski successfully forged strong connections between donors, members, and alumni, effectively aligning them with each organization’s mission, vision, and priorities. She also built and secured philanthropic support for comprehensive campaigns, projects, scholarships, and other important initiatives.
“I am truly honored and thrilled to join the dedicated and talented team at ISE as we celebrate our 60th anniversary,” Wisniewski says. “This milestone year presents an exciting opportunity to reflect on our past achievements and strategically strengthen our organization for the future. I am particularly enthusiastic about the increased role Advancement will play in fostering a stronger, more connected, and engaged community that will ensure our continued growth and success for years to come.”
Wisniewski earned her B.S. in Outdoor Adventure Education at Northland College in Wisconsin and has an M.P.A. from Bay Path University in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy.
Semester at Sea takes more than 500 gap year, college undergraduate, and postgrad students, as well as Lifelong Learners, on fall and spring voyages that span 8-10 countries on three continents. Voyagers earn between 12-15 college credits through academic partner Colorado State University. ISE is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023-24.