Breaking Ground with Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan
Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan has worn many hats over her 30-plus years in the education field but, “ground-breaker” is probably the one that fits her best. Bobbi has never allowed being a “woman in a man’s world,” to prevent her from pursuing her passions; even if it wasn’t always understood or supported by others. She’s now highly sought after for her expertise in computer science, her history of innovation, and her dedication to others in the educational tech landscape. Becoming an author was a natural next step.
Teaching As A First Love
Bobbi has bookended her career with her first love: teaching. Whether in a middle school classroom or higher education positions at Hollins College and at the University of Pennsylvania (where she’s remained for the last ten years), Bobbi has instilled her skills in computer science, her experience in technology innovation, and her desire to make a difference into the lives of her students, colleagues, peers, and mentees. Her commitment to education spaces, computer science, and instructional design has shaped the education tech landscape and entrepreneurialism for years to come; especially for women. But she’s far from done making waves. Bobbi’s been an educator, innovator, researcher, computer scientist, entrepreneur, and investor and as of this year, she can add, “author,” to the list.
An Innovator In Her Own Right
Bobbi knows a little something about how women rise to the top. She’s developed ed tech and curriculum software used by Microsoft, Apple, and McG
raw Hill built the first online curriculum and library platform ( now CurrikiStudio), and established the first-ever education entrepreneurship graduate program at UPenn. She also serves as a board member for APEI (American Public Education, Inc.). Now, she’s channeled all of her education and experience into mentoring other women (and men!) who have the same drive for achievement and social impact in her new book, Innovate-HERS; a collection of data, research, and personal stories of purpose-driven women who have risen to the top.
Helping Other, “Innovate-HERS” Rise To The Top
Bobbi ensured that the book, “Innovate-HERS,” was written with busy, purpose-driven people in mind. She spent a lifetime steeped in data and research writing academic pieces and papers and knew she wanted a different angle for this particular project. Bobbi realized that while data is useful and necessary, what people connect to the most are personal stories. Inspiration happens when we hear from people, much like us, who have achieved the same things we want for ourselves. “Innovate-HERS” is full of inspirational, personal stories of real women who have achieved great things. It doesn’t need to be read conventionally (from front to back) but can be used as a jumping-off point anywhere in the book for aspiring innovators to commit to their own process. Bobbi believes in the power of mentorship- she hopes this book will act as another avenue to mentor future innovators.