James M. Leaman, Ph.D., chairs the Department of Business and Economics, where he teaches undergraduate courses in management, finance and economics, and graduate courses in organizational and leadership studies. Industry experience includes both private business and nonprofit administration, including 12 years of service with an international non-governmental organization (INGO) in Kenya. Academic preparation includes a Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs, a master’s degree in Public Administration, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer science. The perspective Jim adds to his field is analyzing and teaching about the role and impact of business and organizations within ecological limits and dynamic social systems, resulting in an integrated lens of sustainability, stewardship and justice.
David R. Brubaker, Director of the MBA and OLS Programs and Associate Professor of Organizational Studies. David earned a BS in Business Administration from Messiah College, an MBA from Eastern University, and a PhD from the University of Arizona, where he specialized in the study of change and conflict in religious organizations. David has trained or consulted with over 100 organizations, including in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America, North America, and Europe.
Since graduation from college in 1980 David served with several community development and conflict transformation organizations. These roles included Associate Director of Mennonite Conciliation Service and Assistant Director of Mennonite Central Committee’s Brazil program where he became fluent in Portuguese. David is the author of numerous articles on conflict transformation and organizational development. He is also the author of “Promise and Peril: Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations,” published by The Alban Institute and co-author (with Ruth Hoover Zimmerman) of “The Little Book of Healthy Organizations,” published by Good Books.
Dr. Cowles’ background is in commercial banking, where he worked for one of the largest commercial banks in New England. One of the most fascinating and fulfilling aspects of his banking career was working with entrepreneurs who had a better idea for doing something and who left secure careers to start a successful business of their own.
During a recent sabbatical he redeployed his banking skills in microfinance, working in Washington, D.C. as an investment consultant and acting director of investments at MicroVest Capital Management, a firm that raises funds from commercial investors and invests them in microfinance institutions worldwide.
Dr. Cowles’ primary undergraduate teaching responsibilities include business ethics and strategy, international business, and an introductory survey of business. He also teaches a course entitled Comparative Perspectives on Business and Society in EMU’s MBA program, which examines business ethics and policy at the level of the employee, the firm, and the macro economy. As quoted in an article on the teaching of ethics in business schools published in the Daily News Record (3/27/10), Dr. Cowles stated, “The free market system is based on trust. It’s not a peripheral issue. It’s central to the free market.”
He has also led a variety of cross-cultural programs in Japan, Europe, Jamaica, and the Navajo Nation, many of them geared toward his interests in international business and development.
Dr. Cowles formerly chaired the Department of Business and Economics and has played an active role in university governance. As Department Chair he was a practicing manager, continually involved in the types of actions and decisions concerning people, resources, and policy that most middle managers in a business–or any type of organization–are involved in. He has served on a number of committees, including the Faculty Senate, that take part in university governance, which includes formulating policy, making strategic decisions about the direction of the university, and developing new initiatives.
Dr. Gingrich specializes in development and international economics. His research activities cover a variety of topics, including the fair trade coffee market, mosquito net demand and delivery systems, and the sustainability and effectiveness of microfinance programs. He has worked on various assignments with Mennonite Economic Development Associates and Mennonite Central Committee. During the 2015-16 academic year he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
A professor at EMU since 1995, he teaches in both the Department of Business and Economics and the Master of Business Administration program.
In addition to working as office coordinator for the business and economics department, Patty Eckard is a mother of two adult sons. Her hobbies include reading, crosstitch, scrapbooking, and cooking, and spending time with her granddaughter. She is actively involved in her church (Faith Community) where she is on the worship team.