About HER Academy

HER Academy works with schools to develop a program that supports students who are often marginalized in computer science (CS) – children from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, children from rural or economically impoverished communities, children with neuro-diverse learning styles, and girls from all backgrounds – in learning and excelling in computer science.  As they move through the program, students gain the confidence and knowledge to become designers and creators of computing technology.

The Mission

Empower and support school cultures that integrate computer science knowledge and learning across all disciplines using research-based learning strategies.

The Framework

  • Project-based learning that connects computer science to students’ interests and passions
  • Collaboration and integration across the curriculum
  • Centering historically-marginalized students to ensure ALL students build confidence in computer science

The Purpose

Reinvent the computer science pipeline from the ground up.

Our Team

Dr. Lena Furci,
Executive Director

Dr. Lena Furci founded HER Academy in 2018 to reinvent the computer science pipeline for women. She works with schools to build computer science programs that support and encourage girls and young women.

Dr. Shannan Palma

Dr. Shannan Palma, Vice President, Continuing Education

Dr. Shannan Palma joined HER Academy in 2021. She directs the curriculum development and implementation needs of HER Academy.

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Lisa Amaker, Development Strategist

Lisa Amaker has made building equity and enhancing quality of life dual foci of her career. Serving as a senior development professional, Lisa uses her fundraising acumen to support mission fulfillment and ensure others have access to the services needed to increase opportunity, diversify representation and improve quality of life through leadership skills building, computer science education, and exposure to the arts.

Lisa received a BA in Women’s Studies and Africana Studies from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and earned her M.A. in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN. In her volunteer life, Lisa works toward the elimination of domestic violence and animal rescue/welfare.

Ms. Courtney Howell

Courtney Howell, Innovation Coach

Courtney Howell is an educator specializing in educational interventions and teaching non-native speakers. In addition to teaching computer science, she serves as a key member of the curriculum design and marketing teams for HER Academy.

Karen Scranton, Innovation Coach

Karen is an educator with over 20 years of experience in the classroom. She designs computer science curriculum for grades K-5 that includes robotics, programming, and computational thinking.


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