Barbara’s career is focused on helping people and organizations change lives. Barbara is president of Wilson College where she also holds the position of professor of business. She is a frequent guest on NPR commenting as an expert on issues in higher education. Recently, she made history pioneering the nation’s first loan buy-back program for college students.
Prior to becoming a college president, Barbara served as president and director of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She made history as the first woman president of the first public library in the nation, founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Previously she was a distinguished service professor of public policy and management in the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. While at Carnegie Mellon she worked with Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood to help children discover their curiosity for science.
Barbara holds prominent leadership roles in some of higher education’s most influential national organizations. These include membership on the board of directors of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU) and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania (AICUP) as well as the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA).
Earlier in her career, Barbara was an entrepreneur who founded and sold two successful companies. She helped numerous people develop business plans and change their lives during her tenure as the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Seton Hill College. However, she is best known as a change agent, having restructured numerous organizations for a sustainable future. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, "Her ability to deify the tough times and be an effective leader is ‘Mistick’s Magic.’"
Barbara received her undergraduate degree from Carlow University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and her Doctorate in Management from Case Western Reserve University. Along with Karie Willyerd, she is an author of Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace.