Patricia Sobecky is the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Alabama (UA) and a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. She received a BS in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a PhD in microbiology from the University of Georgia. Her postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. Donald Helinski at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining UA in 2009 to serve as chair of the Biological Sciences Department, she was a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In her role as UA Associate Provost, she leads a number of campus-wide collective network initiatives including the UA STEM Forward Initiative to broaden the participation of individuals from traditionally underserved and/or underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. She also leads the UA Project Rising Tide Retention and Student Success Initiative. As an active researcher, she and colleagues are currently funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute to assess the impact of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster on biodiversity and ecosystem services in marshes and nearshore habitats. She has authored 65 scientific publications, and has been funded by the Office for Naval Research, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and industry. Dr. Sobecky served as chief scientist for oceanographic and manned submersible cruises in the Gulf of Mexico, and serves as an editor for an international journal. Her teaching ranges from introductory-level courses in biology to advanced lecture and laboratory in microbial ecology, pathogenic microbiology, and molecular biology. She is an advocate for access to educational opportunities, for women and women of color in STEM fields, science outreach, environmental justice and community empowerment, through developing programs that bring academic, industry, and government sectors together to solve the local, regional, national, and global issues of the 21st century. In recognition of her research accomplishments, she was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2016.