Brian telecommutes for EMU from rural Iowa, helping train and support faculty who are teaching online or blended courses, and with academic program directors seeking to further their engagement in online or blended education. In addition to his work for EMU, Brian operates a small specialty coffee roasting business and is helping plant a church in his local community.
Brian is a graduate of EMU’s Seminary (MDiv ’12) and Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (MA ’11), and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren (Northern Plains District).
Jim Smucker is Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA. Prior to this appointment in the summer of 2013, Jim served for 25 years as President and a Partner in the Bird-in-Hand Corporation, a hospitality management company that employs 450 people in the Lancaster, PA area. He also spent a number of years as an adjunct faculty member at several universities teaching courses in the classroom as well as on-line in Entrepreneurialism, Leadership, Change, and Organizational Behavior. He holds a Ph.D. in Management (specializing in leadership and organizational change). His research interests include self direction and empowerment in the workplace, hiring and developing authentic leaders, and the contribution of the Believer’s Church to governance and leadership models. He is Past Chair of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, is a member of a number of for-profit and non-profit boards and coached high school basketball and baseball for over 14 years. In his spare time he enjoys reading and training for and running ultra-marathons. He lives in Harrisonburg, VA with his wife Anna and has three adult children Jordon, Rachel, and Kate. He is a member of Akron Mennonite Church.