Dr. James Hurny ’11

James Hurny's extensive education and professional experiences full his desire to help others follow their path.

James Hurny has enjoyed a varied career. He started out as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He then moved from his hometown of Pittsburgh to Rochester to work for Eastman Kodak where he rose through the ranks and retired as unit director for worldwide manufacturing. But he wasn’t yet finished with his career path. He joined Rochester Institute of Technology as both adjunct and full-time faculty retiring as emeritus.

Meanwhile, Hurny’s educational path has been just as extensive. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s in engineering technology, and an MBA.

Despite his degrees and his professional experiences, Hurny maintained a thirst for education. As he looked for his next step, the Ed.D. program at Fisher seemed an obvious choice and challenge. “I had a desire to experience a liberal arts environment, and a lifetime passion for practicing leadership,” recalls Hurny. “A program in executive leadership seemed natural.”

Hurny’s perspective as a student in the program gave him insight. “Being an active, experienced college faculty member at RIT at the time offered a unique perspective regarding the quality of the program,” he notes. “The caliber of the faculty, the unique structure and delivery of the program, and its accelerated nature continue to be a personal impression.”

He earned the title of “Dr.” in 2011 and served as a member of the faculty in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education. “I wanted to continue my involvement with Fisher and give back to a program that I highly admire and value,” said Hurny.

But his desire to give back didn’t stop there. Hurny and his wife, Jo Ann, became founding members of the Spire Society to benefit Fisher’s annual fund. “A multi-career experience has demonstrated the value of a liberal arts education,” Hurny emphasizes. “And I have a personal belief in Fisher’s mission, academic priorities, and the values fostered by the Fisher Creed.”

Just as Hurny’s career and love for education has continued to move forward, so does his giving. In addition to joining the Spire Society, the couple chose to establish the EJH Memorial Scholarship for STEM Education in honor of Hurny’s older brother who was a proponent of education and provided him with support, encouragement, and pride.

“I have a passion for higher education and the sciences,” says Hurny. “I hope to inspire female students to pursue careers in teaching STEM.”

His educational and professional journeys, along with his philanthropic commitment, are sure to serve as inspiration for the next generation of STEM educators, colleagues, and the Fisher family.