News Archives: Academic Travel

HPU honor student interns in Washington, D.C.

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore
Katie Bonner dc for webBROWNWOOD – September 16, 2014 – Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle, a senior political science, history and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major at Howard Payne University, represented HPU this summer as a participant in The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) internship program.

Bonner received a full scholarship from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation and an expense stipend from the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

In addition to this honor, Bonner excelled in the Economics of Regulation and Ethics & Leadership courses she and other TFAS scholars took through George Mason University, where she was recognized as the top student in Ethics & Leadership with the Outstanding Student Award.

“I am immensely proud of Katie for receiving the George B. Peabody Award as the 2014 Outstanding Student from The Fund for American Studies and George Mason University’s Institute on Business and Government Affairs,” stated Dr. Justin D. Murphy, director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and dean of the School of Humanities. “It is an honor to have a student of her caliber in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy at Howard Payne University.”

Through TFAS, Bonner interned for the American Chemistry Council, the largest trade association in the chemistry industry. Her responsibilities included researching and drafting an advocacy letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee, attending House Committee hearings and conducting a study on the National Science Academy’s committees that issue toxic chemical reports for legislators and regulators.

Bonner was selected by TFAS as the student speaker at the annual Congressional Student Awards Dinner which garnered more than 400 senators, lobbyists, CEOs and program sponsors.

Bonner voiced her appreciation for the program.

“TFAS has provided me opportunities to visit government institutions I might have otherwise only encountered through reading,” she said. “Interacting with individuals who play a critical role in our nation’s government allowed me to make some incredible contacts and receive sound career advice from highly successful individuals.”

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Photo cutline: Katie Rose Bonner, an HPU senior from Lytle, completed a summer internship in Washington, D.C. She is pictured in front of the Washington Monument.

HPU group travels to Slovakia for cross-cultural mission trip

HPU Slovakia group for webBROWNWOOD – June 13, 2014 – Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies at Howard Payne University, and five students from her spring International Missions Practicum course recently traveled to Važec, Slovakia, for a week-long mission experience. The course, required for all cross-cultural studies majors, is designed to give students firsthand experience in cross-cultural ministry.

The group led ministry activities among the Roma and Slovak people and learned from the missiology of Shane and Dianne McNary, the field personnel with whom they served.

“We spent the semester at HPU learning about the history and culture of the Roma, a minority group in Europe that is often mistreated, and were grateful to get to serve among the Roma in Slovakia and learn from the McNarys’ long-term ministry there,” Dr. Maxwell said.

Ministry activities included teaching English in a local school, leading a daily kids club and planning various evening activities. According to Dr. Maxwell, she and the students prepared both academically and spiritually for the trip.

“We studied best practices in short-term missions and prepared for the specific activities we would lead during our trip,” she said. “Among other assignments, students kept journals while in Slovakia and submitted a reflection paper after we returned. All of these activities helped class members grow academically as well as personally through the trip. It was exciting to see students grow in their cross-cultural leadership abilities as we served together.”

The reflection papers reveal the students’ improved knowledge of international missions.

“The biggest thing I feel I can take as a challenge from this trip is that I need to really try to love everyone as God loves everyone,” wrote Mackenzie Gill, a junior from Brownwood.

Sean Locker, a senior from North Richland Hills, wrote, “From this trip I’ve been better able to understand the importance of reading and experiencing different cultures and how it all pertains to global missions. Now that I’ve seen and experienced so much with my own senses I want to study about the world and its affairs all the more.”

In addition to Gill and Locker, students on the trip included Faye Lasserre, senior from Brownwood; Rachel Runnels, senior from Paradise; and Jack Wells, senior from Terrell.

According to Dr. Maxwell, cross-cultural experiences remind students and faculty alike that God’s kingdom is much bigger than HPU, Texas and the United States.

“Experiences like this allow us to participate in the work that God is doing around the world,” she said. “What a privilege!”

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Photo cutline: A group from HPU stands with missionary Dianne McNary in Važec, Slovakia. From left: Jack Wells, Sean Locker, Mackenzie Gill, Dianne McNary, Dr. Melody Maxwell and Faye Lasserre.