JBU alumni are serving God and others in their chosen profession all over the world. Each year JBU recognizes exemplary alumni at Homecoming.
As an engineering student at JBU in 2013, Gunnar Shafer worked on a team research project for a solar battery-powered, off-grid farming system. Shaffer developed the vertical farming towers used in the project, eventually creating YouTube videos of the making of the towers that have garnered more than one million views. After earning an M.Sc. in renewable energy from Universität Oldenburg, Germany, and completing his master’s thesis at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Gunnar kept thinking about the commercial possibilities for the towers.
In 2017, he launched Agrowponics, a vertical-farming manufacturing company, with Thomas Burns. A seventh-generation farmer, Shaffer combines his solid agricultural and engineering backgrounds to serve as the CEO. He also works full-time at Southwest Power Pool as a market forensics engineer.
Dr. Dan Yoder earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from JBU and obtained his medical degree from Duke Medical School. Yoder then completed his ophthalmology residency and retina fellowship at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida, consistently ranked as the No.1 training program in the country. Now a board-certified vitreoretinal specialist, Yoder practices comprehensive ophthalmology. He has fellowship training in diseases of the macula, retina and vitreous. In addition to performing the latest in small-incision, no-stitch, no-shot cataract surgery, Yoder has extensive experience managing macular degeneration, diabetes-related eye issues, retinal vein occlusions and hypertension related to the eye. Yoder is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He and his wife, Tonya (Wozniuk) ’94, have three children. He is active in his church and multiple community organizations and enjoys various sports and outdoor activities.
After graduation, Martha “Marti” (Ettinger) Munce ’63 spent two years teaching in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, before she entered Moody Bible Institute for a year of additional Bible study. Having been introduced to Africa Inland Mission (AIM) by a missionary kid at JBU, Marti signed up with the organization. Marti was assigned to AIM’s literature department when she arrived in Kenya in 1966. In 1972, she married her husband, Bob, and they focused on spreading Christian literature throughout East Africa via a central distribution center that fed eight to 10 bookstores. They returned to the U.S. in 1978 and established Munce Publications. In 1991, Munce Marketing Group was established to help independently owned Christian bookstores fulfill their marketing needs. Today, the Munce Group serves over 200 member retailers across the US. Munce also serves as vice-president of the board for the Christian Retailing Association.
Gary Oliver, Ph.D., is a husband, father, psychologist, author, professor of psychology and practical theology, and
executive director emeritus of The Center for Healthy Relationships at JBU. He holds a Master of Divinity from Talbot Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a master’s and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Oliver has more than 40 years of experience in individual, premarital, marital and family counseling. For the past 30 years, he has had an extensive teaching ministry nationwide. Oliver has founded, developed and directed several counseling centers. He serves on the executive board and the national speaking team of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Nominate someone for alumni recognition using the form below. For more information on the awards, see the criteria.
If your nominee doesn’t receive an award this year, they will be considered each year thereafter, so you only have to submit their name once. There is no guarantee, however, that your nomination will receive an award.