Meet the Board
Dr. Barbara Kurshan (Chairman of the Board) is the Executive Director of Academic Innovations at Penn GSE. Dr. Kurshan has had a career as both an academic and award-winning entrepreneur. Kurshan has honed her vision of “what can be” using technology while supporting the growth of new education companies and developing innovative software products. She began her teaching career at Virginia Tech, where she obtained her doctorate. As a professor, she researched the impact of technology on learning and helped her students explore the applications of technology across the curricula.
Rita Ferrandino has built a reputation as one of the most effective strategists and coalition-builders in the education community. She is a nationally recognized STEM education expert and authority on education policy and politics. Ferrandino offers more than 30 years of experience building companies and delivering strong revenue in education markets.
Dr. Jessica Melman Bhatia currently serves as a Veterinary Consultant to DermaZoo and OtoPet-USA and as a part-time General Practitioner at Park Animal Hospital in San Francisco. She was Director of Veterinary and Technical Services for DermaPet until its sale to Dechra Veterinary Services in 2010. She also worked as a small animal General Practitioner in Manhattan until her move to San Francisco in 2013.
Dr. Jessica Melman Bhatia is a third generation veterinarian. Both her father and late grandfather were veterinarians in the Washington DC area. Her veterinary interests include dermatology, internal medicine, emergency medicine and working in the Veterinary Industry. Outside of work, she enjoys running, cooking, writing, traveling and spending time with her husband, Neil, her daughter, Leia, and her son, Cade, as well as her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Quincy. She also has two rescue guinea pigs, Napa and Sonoma, and one fish, Octavia.
Richard Keaveny is an award-winning leader in Educational Technology with experience running globally distributed teams to ideate and deliver customer centered digital solutions. Richard joined McGraw-Hill Education in May, 2013 as the Vice President of Technology Product Management for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. In this role Richard works closely with the MHHE President, Chief Products Officer and the extended Products and Marketing teams on digital strategy. To execute on the MHHE digital strategy, Richard lead a team of Technology Product Mangers who managed key platforms and services including Connect, the LearnSmart Suite, Create, Tegrity, and MHCampus. In his current role as Vice President of Technology Partnerships and the Developer Community for McGraw-Hill Education, Richard and his team manage relationships with technology partners to build meaning learning experiences. Throughout his career Richard has focused on improving teaching and learning through the creation of customer centered digital solutions, and in 2008, Richard’s team was the first digital team to win the Pearson Product of the Year award. Richard holds a Bachelor’s of Arts with Honors and a Masters degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Wallace E. Boston is the President and Chief Executive Officer American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. During his tenure, APUS has grown to over 100,000 students majoring in more than 90 degree programs. In addition to his service to the University, Dr. Boston serves as a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, a member of the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), as a Board member of the Presidents’ Forum of Excelsior College, is a member of the Arizona State University Education Innovation Advisory Board, and is a Board Member of member of New Horizons Worldwide, Fidelis, Inc., and Therapeutic Research Center.
Eric Aroesty is the Chairman of Mentored, an education technology platform that connects knowledge seekers and knowledge providers. Eric is an active entrepreneur and investor, engaged in numerous transactions in the fields of Education, Internet Marketing, Staffing, and Financial Services. Eric has a strong track record for growing companies to scale. Eric was the founder of Affinity Direct (“AD.”) AD was the 3rd largest federal student loan consolidation company consolidating and selling over $5.5 billion of federal student loans. Prior to AD, Eric was the President of Traffix, Inc. (Nasdaq, TRFX). Eric graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992.
Gregory Milken, Managing Director at March Capital, has 15 years of entrepreneurial and operational experience. For several years, he was the co-founder and COO of AltEgo, a cloud-based technology and gaming company. Prior to this, Gregory worked in new business development at Warner Bros. in Hong Kong and London, and at Twentieth Century Fox. Most recently, he was a senior executive at Knowledge Universe, a privately held education company where he did strategic planning and government relations for over 1,500 preschool centers. Through this he held positions at KinderCare and Global Scholar. Gregory is an active angel investor in media, gaming and education companies. His knowledge and experience in entertainment, technology, and gaming fuels his passion for investing in these areas. His current investments include viagogo, Schoola, Raise, and Scrible. He founded the Milken Penn GSE Education Business Competition in 2009 and each year helps choose the best idea from over 200 entries from around the world. He continues also to be a reader for the Milken Educator Awards. Actively involved in philanthropy, Gregory currently serves on the Board of Overseers for the Graduate School of Education, and the boards of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, and is the director of the Milken Scholars Program. Gregory received his M.B.A. and M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, as well as two bachelors degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Gregory lives in Los Angeles with his wife, EJ and their three sons and daughter.