Student Life Division Staff

The student life office is located on second floor of the University Commons. The office of Jim Smucker, vice president for enrollment and student life, is in University Commons, 223.

Jim Smucker

Jim Smucker, VP for enrollment and student life

Jim Smucker served for 27 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. 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.

Bernadette Griffith

Bernadette Griffith, student life operations coordinator

Bernadette Griffith , operations coordinator, can make appointments with the vice president and assists departments in the student life suite with various events and programs. Bernadette has over ten years experience in higher education, working at three different institutions in residence life, academic affairs, and student life. She is happy to help parents, students, and visitors find services and assistance throughout their time at EMU.

Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield, administrative assistant for enrollment and student life

You may also make appointments directly with Jim Smucker by calling Julie Hatfield at 540-432-4209 or X4209.




Brian Martin Burkholder

Brian Martin Burkholder, director of campus ministries

Brian Martin Burkholder University Campus Pastor, previously worked as a public school teacher, school counselor and program director of Christian retreats, environmental education and outdoor ministries. While studying at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Brian served as interim campus pastor at Goshen (IN) College. He enjoys mentoring and encouraging young adults, leading music and worship, and participating in spiritual retreats. He is energized by chaplaincy, bluegrass and folk music, contra dancing, hiking in beautiful natural settings, gardening and almost everything water-related.

Tempest Anderson

Tempest Anderson, director, counseling services

Tempest serves as the Director of Counseling & CoachLink Services. She is also a graduate of the EMU Master of Arts in Counseling program. Tempest welcomes students enrolled at EMU for short term, free counseling services in the Suter House. Look for the bright blue door!



Irene Kniss

Irene Kniss, director, health services

Irene Kniss has worked as a nurse in critical care, pediatrics, general medical/surgical and oncology. Irene has volunteered at the local Free Clinic. Irene worked in a law firm as a legal nurse consultant for almost 14 years, reviewing and analyzing medical records and drafting legal documents. Irene continues to provide these services through her private consulting business, Kniss & Spencer Legal Nurse Solutions, LLC. She is an avid baseball and college basketball fan.

Celeste Thomas

Celeste Thomas, director, multicultural student services

Celeste Thomas has a passion for helping students from a variety of backgrounds feel included in the EMU campus community.




Micah Shristi

Micah Shristi, director, international student services

Micah Shristi Micah Shristi works with international students in his role as International Admissions Counselor and Co-director of International and Multicultural Student Services. He served in Nepal with Mennonite Central Committee (2008-20012) and in Colombia with Mennonite Mission Network (2003-2005). In his free time Micah enjoys spending time with his two young sons, solar energy projects, gardening and cycling.

Rachel Roth Sawatzky

Rachel Roth Sawatzky, director of student programs

Rachel Roth Sawatzky A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, coordinates a variety of programs that promote student engagement and provide opportunities for student leadership development and job training. Rachel views her primary role at EMU as a mentor, coach and teacher as she works with students in facilitating Campus Activities Council (CAC), Clubs and Organizations, leadership development programming, Common Grounds Coffeehouse, the Fitness Center, the Game Room, Recreational Sports, and New Student Orientation.

Jonathan Swartz

Jonathan Swartz, director of residence life, restorative justice, and student accountability

Jonathan Swartz obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Bethel College (Mishawaka, IN), a Masters of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary (2014) and a Masters in Conflict Transformation (MACT) degree from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (2014). During seminary and graduate school studies at EMU, Jonathan served as a Campus Ministries Intern and as Restorative Justice Facilitator/Assistant Resident Director in Residence Life. Jonathan has served as EMU’s Restorative Justice Coordinator with primary focus on student support and accountability. In 2014 he spent a year researching the student conduct response system at EMU, which resulted in the writing of the report: Student Conduct and Restorative Justice Assessment.