MBU Honors Outstanding Alumni

For Homecoming 2015, Missouri Baptist University’s Alumni Association honored outstanding alumni who have made a significant impact in the community and society held Nov. 5.

Honorees were selected by the Alumni Board of Governors and were recognized during the University’s annual Homecoming Chapel.

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Lisa Blazer

With more than 25 years of admissions and financial aid experience, Lisa Blazer currently serves as the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was recently appointed National Chair-Elect for the National Association of Student Financial Aid (NASFAA) for 2015-2016 and will serve as the National Chair for the 2016-2017 school year. Her focus is on Servant Leadership and how that impacts leading staff and service to students. She has served as Adjunct Faculty. Blazer holds a B.A. in Piano Performance from MBU, a Master of Arts and Administration degree in Organizational Development and a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership both from the University of the Incarnate Word.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award: Jennifer Wheeler

With a B.S. in Biology from MBU in 2005, Jennifer Wheeler graduated Summa Cum Laude. While in school, she was a member of the women’s soccer team, cross country and track teams.  She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Louisville before returning to St. Louis where she practices general dentistry on patients of all ages. Wheeler has also volunteered her services to many different programs and mission opportunities.

Educator of the Year Award: Michael Maclin

Michael Maclin’s instructional leadership has been instrumental in increasing academic achievement and building performance in multiple school districts across the region. After serving in various leadership roles such as guidance counselor, teacher, assistant principal and principal, Maclin currently serves as principal of University City High School in University City, Mo. At UCHS, he has instituted a number of innovative initiatives that have positively impacted student achievement, professional development and community involvement. The school has recently earned the nationally-recognized AdvanceEd Accreditation. Maclin is also the son of the late, Dr. Rick Maclin, who served as a professor of Business and Dean of Adult Learning at MBU.

Christian Service Award: Dr. Darrell Gwaltney

Since 2004, Dr. Darrell Gwaltney has served as the Dean of the College of Theology and Christian Ministry for Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. He also served in a similar role at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. He holds a B.A. in English from MBU, a M.A. in English from University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Master’s of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. He received his Ph.D. in theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and he has also participated in graduate studies at Regent’s Park College in Oxford University, Oxford, England. In 2010, he was named the H. Franklin Paschall Chair of Biblical Studies and Preaching at Belmont. His work in the College of Theology and Christian Ministry gives him the opportunity to work with amazing young men and women who are preparing for ministry all over the world. With more than 35 years in ministry, he has pastored churches in Missouri, Indiana, Florida and Tennessee. He will soon begin service as intentional interim pastor at Lockeland Baptist Church in Nashville. He has been married to Donna Gwaltney for thirty-four years and has three children: Meghan, Jordan and Trey.

Service to the University Award: Kristen Pelster

Kristen Pelster graduated from MBU in 1992 with a B.A. in Music Education. While a student, she sang in SpiritWing and served as student body vice president. Kristen worked 23 years in the Fox School District as a vocal music teacher, middle school principal and director of curriculum and professional development and was able to lead her school to become a National School of Character in 2006 and her district to become a National District of Character in 2009. She currently serves as Director of Professional Learning at EducationPlus, where she aims to expand the development of character education in schools all over the state. Kristen has dedicated her time to MBU’s Alumni Board for more than 4 years to help make the University a better place.