With more than 20 years of professional experience in the corporate world, James Muckell brings the expertise of a well-seasoned professional to the classroom at St. Thomas Aquinas College where he teaches upper-level accounting courses and guides students in building the skills essential for success in today’s workforce.
“Despite my many years of teaching, I consider my primary contribution to higher education to be more from the perspective of a practitioner than an academic,” he says. His primary areas of focus are accounting, taxes, and personal finance. “All three are realities of life, so educating individuals in financial literacy-related subjects has significance with respect to career preparation and overall personal financial management.”
Muckell’s résumé includes serving as a financial controller and working in internal auditing and mergers and acquisitions. After establishing himself in the corporate world, he launched a full-time accounting practice to help small businesses grow by automating and improving their reporting, streamlining operations, and strengthening their internal control systems. He worked with companies in industries such as manufacturing, trucking, insurance, publishing, and construction.
He also built a nonprofit portfolio, including an educational organization chaired by a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland. He served as Chief Financial Officer of a notable Hollywood actor’s ministry which aimed to bring the gospel to the nation’s youth through extreme sports demonstrations. He later established a wealth management practice through which he provided investment advice, retirement planning, and life insurance services.
Muckell joined St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2019 as an adjunct professor and today, his role as Associate Professor of Accounting prepares students in accounting and MBA courses for the future by focusing on financial stewardship based on financial principles—as well as biblical ones. A deeply spiritual person, he brings that passion to his role as an educator at St. Thomas Aquinas where he also serves as advisor to the Ambassadors for Christ Club. He says that at the College, he most values the students’ “willingness to learn” and being part of “a vibrant, supportive, and collegial community.”
For nearly three decades, Muckell, who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fordham University and an MBA from Pace University, was head of the accounting program at Nyack College. In the late ’90s, he created the college’s accounting degree program, which later expanded to include a five-year MBA/CPA-track program. He also served as director of the college’s Ron Blue Institute Center in collaboration with the Ron Blue Institute founded at Indiana Wesleyan University. This initiative teaches biblical principles of personal financial planning and management, an area of expertise Muckell hopes is a differentiating element he brings to business education at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
Dedicated to community service, Muckell teaches personal finance at Sullivan Correctional Facility in the Catskill Mountains, where St. Thomas Aquinas College professors have been teaching for many years. He previously taught at Fishkill Correctional Facility while a professor at Nyack College.
“My course at Sullivan Correctional is a small way of giving back to a world that has been extremely good to me and my family,” he says. “The men incarcerated there are among the ones referred to by Jesus in Matthew 25 as ‘the least of these.’ Yes, they are there because of the crimes they have committed. But they are attempting to achieve something that had eluded them as free men, and I am proud to play a part in their education. Over the years, I have been privileged to teach and to get to know dozens of men such as these, and I have received from them far more than I have given.”
In addition to being extremely active in his church and men’s group, Muckell spends his free time at the gym, on the softball field, and on the ski slopes. He and his wife Ann cruise the Caribbean every spring break and travel the U.S. in their RV, living essentially outdoors each summer in the Poconos. Some of Muckell’s other favorite pastimes include classic movies, reading, watching the New York Yankees, and spending time with his six children and five grandchildren.