News Archives: Academics

HPU’s Psi Chi inducts 17 new members

Psi Chi induction spring 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – June 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society inducted 17 new members at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

The purpose of Psi Chi is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of its individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

This year’s inductees included Nick Bennie of Brownwood, Brittany Davis of Red Oak, Allison Eaton of Briggs, Amanda Gober of Brownwood, Angelica Gray of San Antonio, Victoria Hardin of Bangs, Heather Hildebrand of Big Spring, Kelsey Johnson of Goldthwaite, Taryn Massey of Abilene, Erin McLeod of Eufaula, Okla., Shay Pate of Red Oak, Amy Segura of Brownwood, Kristian Simpson of Burnet, Gage Smith of Gardendale, Katie Straach of Coleman, Tate Sullivan of Fredericksburg and Stephanie Upfold of Brownwood.

“It is a privilege to have so many excellent students join us,” said adviser Dr. Jennifer Clement, assistant professor of psychology. “We are so proud of them.”

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Photo cutline: Seventeen HPU students were inducted into Psi Chi during the 2014-2015 academic year. Back row, left to right: Gage Smith, Allison Eaton, Angelica Gray, Amy Segura, Amanda Gober and Taryn Massey. Center row, left to right: Tate Sullivan, Kristian Simpson, Nick Bennie, Kelsey Johnson and Heather Hildebrand. Front row, left to right: Erin McLeod, Victoria Hardin and Katie Straach. Not pictured: Brittany Davis, Shay Pate and Stephanie Upfold.

HPU’s Kappa Delta Pi honor society adds 28 new members

BROWNWOOD – June 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s School of Education inducted 28 members into the university’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education, at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

Kappa Delta Pi was founded in 1911 and there are now more than 600 chapters and 1.2 million active members worldwide. The organization was one of the first content-specific honor societies to be chartered.

In addition to maintaining high academic standards, the HPU students inducted this year are active in many parts of campus life including student leadership, athletics and various organizations.

Inductees included Blake Arbogast of Burkburnett, Olivia Belsher of Ferris, Shelby Byrd of Brownwood, Melanie Clark of Early, James Crow of Brownwood, Presley Davila of Brownwood, Patrick Dillard of Mesquite, Nicole Hamilton of Nocona, Julie Hart of Goldthwaite, AJ Hettler of San Antonio, Jennifer Hilla of Lampasas, Micah Huebner of Brazoria, Molly Hull of Brownwood, Ruby Johnson of Alvarado, Allison Mantell of Kennedale, Rebecca McFarland of May, Joanne Melton of Early, Janakay Oliver of Goldthwaite, Rachel Parks of Brownwood, Cathryn Rasbury of Cisco, Lorien Rubio of San Juan, Mason Samsel of Liberty Hill, Katie Straach of Coleman, Jaime Swanner of Gorman, Kaitlin Vernon of Bangs, Hannah Williamson of Fort Worth, Sharon Wolverton of Lampasas and Tolli Wylie of Godley.

“Students inducted into Kappa Delta Pi display strong work ethics and good character in and outside the classroom,” said Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of HPU’s School of Education. “We’re very proud of these students and the commitments they’ve made to serving others specifically through the field of education.”

HPU class assists City of Brownwood with 10-year master plan survey

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – June 11, 2015 – Nine Howard Payne University students recently presented their findings of a semester-long project to Brownwood City Council. Under the leadership of Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, the students accepted a consulting project for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to create, market and implement a survey polling the opinion of local residents on Brownwood parks.

org class for webThe proposition of consulting Brownwood on a city project was brought to Emily Crawford, then executive director of Brownwood Economic Development Corporation, in August by Dr. Kelley.

“Students learn best when they apply their knowledge to an actual project and what better place to do so than the marketplace of business and government?” said Dr. Kelley. “We did this project so students could learn from doing and not just from reading.”

After a period of review and consideration, Crawford had the project in mind and prepared a request for proposal for the students of Dr. Kelley’s organization behavior class. After evaluating the request for proposal during the first class period of spring, the students were given the option to accept or refuse the project opportunity.

“It’s important that students decided on their own whether or not they want to accept a project because with ownership comes personal responsibility and motivation,” said Dr. Kelley.

The students agreed to the project and submitted their proposal to the city. Once the proposal was accepted, the students began drafting the hard copy and digital formats of the survey. Public awareness was raised through posters hung at local parks and businesses, a local texting service and even Facebook advertisements. Additionally, Dr. Kelley and class participant Victoria Krawczynski, a May graduate from San Antonio, promoted the project on local radio stations. The survey was available from late-February to early-April and received a total of 1,118 responses, compared to the city’s last Parks and Recreation Department survey which yielded about 300 responses.

“We had students interacting directly with the client and other students taking team leads based on their own strengths,” said Dr. Kelley. “One student, Chandler Condra (senior from Fredericksburg), took the initiative to be the media relations lead, of which he already had extensive knowledge from his collegiate experience. I enjoyed that because he brought forward ideas, such as Facebook ads and a local text service, which gave us an enormous amount of respondents and helped culminate in the success of the project.”

The organization behavior class tasked with the project was studying human behavior in organizations with emphasis on motivation, communication and leadership.

“Learning how to work with others in engaging in a consulting project truly is about teamwork, relationships and motivation,” said Dr. Kelley. “I tried to stand back as much as possible and let the students succeed on their own and learn through personal experience.”

Summer King, a senior from Brownwood, was one of the student project managers and also served as liaison between City Council and the team. She believes the project was an invaluable experience.

“Doing this project was exciting because it allowed our class to gain real-world experience,” said King.

Additional class participants included Brittany Cavness, a May graduate from Lampasas; Burke Edwards, a May graduate from Plano; the late Kellee Greenwood from Brownwood; Adam Lloyd, a senior from Brownwood; Kelcie Lloyd, a senior from Brownwood; Natali Maldonado, a May graduate from Brownwood; and Sean Locker, a May graduate from North Richland Hills.

Once the survey was completed, the data was collated and presented to City Council. According to the results, Brownwood residents prefer Coggin and Riverside Parks to others and believe that parks can be improved by adding walking trails, swimming locations and more lights at existing parks.

The information gleaned from the survey will be instrumental in developing the city’s new 10-year master plan, which aids fund appropriation from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. City Council subsequently approved the acceptance of a $200,000 grant from the TPWD. Dr. Kelley believes this result fulfills the mission of HPU.

“As a Christian university, it is our responsibility and privilege to be active in our community,” said Dr. Kelley. “Our students need to avail themselves to service. That forwards our Christian mission and demonstrates that our students are not just here to learn but to serve.”

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Photo cutline: Nine HPU students recently assisted the City of Brownwood’s Parks and Recreation Department with a semester-long project. The students and Dr. Kevin Kelley (standing in back) are pictured at City Hall. Left to right: Adam Lloyd, Kelcie Lloyd, Brittany Cavness, Victoria Krawczynski, Kellee Greenwood, Summer King, Burke Edwards, Sean Locker and Chandler Condra.

HPU graduates 133 at the close of the spring 2015 semester

spring 2015 commencement for webBROWNWOOD – June 11, 2015 – Howard Payne University graduated 133 students during the university’s Commencement exercises at the close of the spring 2015 semester. Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives conferred the degrees.

Students must have a 3.55-3.69 grade-point average to graduate Cum Laude, a 3.70-3.84 GPA to graduate Magna Cum Laude and a 3.85-4.0 GPA to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Graduates included:

Abilene
Taryn Tynille Massey – Bachelor of Science in psychology
Ryan Cade Smith – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude

Anderson
James David Timm – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

Anton
Larissa K. Lynskey – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude

Arlington
Samuel Storm Marich-Edwan – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology, Cum Laude

Athens
Brennan C. Johnson – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

Austin
Shane M. Kendell – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Bangs
Kaitlin Nicole Vernon – Bachelor of Arts in history (high school: grade 8-grade 12 certification), Cum Laude

Bertram
Conner Trent Fisher – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude
Katherine Joyce Licce – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Magna Cum Laude

Big Spring
Ethan Michael Yeats – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Summa Cum Laude

Blanket
Trevor Christopher Ray – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Cullan Ross Tidwell – Bachelor of Science in biology, Magna Cum Laude

Briggs
Allison Victoria Eaton – Bachelor of Science in psychology, Cum Laude

Brownwood
Allyson Nicole Adams – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Michael Gene Bannister – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems, Summa Cum Laude
Susan Lynn Baugh – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Nicholas Calvin Bennie – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and psychology (counseling/clinical), Cum Laude
Melissa R. Bernal – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
Joan Davina Burks – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Shelby Nicole Byrd – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Crystal Faith Carter – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Chasity Dawn Cartwright – Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading (high school: grade 8-12), Magna Cum Laude
Dustin Jayme Crager – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Magna Cum Laude
Sarah Ashley Crager – Bachelor of Music in music – choral (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Stephanie Baldwin Ddughdhnemimnier – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Raymundo Delgado – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Tyler Beau Dixon – Bachelor of Arts in history
Ethan Lynn Fisher – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Justin Allen Fisher – Bachelor of Science in chemistry (biochemistry concentration), Summa Cum Laude
Amanda Carlie Gober – Bachelor of Science in psychology (family psychology), Cum Laude
Aaron Albert Gomez – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Meagan Elizabeth Hall – Bachelor of Arts in English, Summa Cum Laude
Kalin Alana Hanna – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Michael Jeffrey Harmon – Bachelor of Arts in studio art, Magna Cum Laude
Matthew James Hazelwood – Bachelor of Music in music – church music (vocal)
Amelia M. Iafrate – Bachelor of Science in psychology
Megan Michele Irwin – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Leslie Gerald King – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Natali Monique Maldonado – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Kensey Dena Martinez – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Shauntel Charity McGlothin – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Gavin James Middleton – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice
Justin Shane Moore – Bachelor of Science in biology
Kristin Maike Musgrove – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Larisa Nicole Salazar – Bachelor of Science in biology
Stormy San Miguel – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting
Taylor McKay Snow – Bachelor of Science in family studies
Shandi Denise Winstead – Bachelor of Science in communication (public and media communication)
Joshua Blain Woods – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry, Magna Cum Laude
Dustin Eugene Wright – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry

Burkburnett
Blake Tyler Arbogast – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Canton, Ga.
Elizabeth Anne Perez – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Cedar Park
Ethan Zachary West – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy, political science/prelaw and business administration, Magna Cum Laude

Copperas Cove
Anthony Dane Bryant – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Corpus Christi
Marcos Jeffrey Corley – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Cypress
Carl Jacob Bromley – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages

Deer Park
Shelby Renee Bridges – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Duncanville
Clarissa Leigh Toler – Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Cum Laude

Early
Jacqueline Rose Ebarb – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Dacia D’Shea Griffin – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude
Holly Denise Jessup – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Lillian Murselle McMillan – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration), Summa Cum Laude
Joanne Jeanette Melton – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Christine Nicole Salmon – Bachelor of Music in music – performance (voice concentration)

El Paso
Jesus Arturo Barraza – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Evelyn Lillian Escobar – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Laura Jean Flores – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Magna Cum Laude
Corinne Holguin – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business management

Erie, Colo.
Hannah Elizabeth Jansen – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication), Summa Cum Laude

Eufaula, Okla.
Erin E. McLeod – Bachelor of Science in biology

Fort Worth
Michelle Danielle Bates – Bachelor of Science in psychology (counseling/clinical)
Brandon Lee Gould – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)

Frisco
Allisha Janine McClure – Bachelor of Arts in political science/prelaw

Fulshear
Will Orion Roberts – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Cum Laude

Gainesville
Amanda Ruth Driggers – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy and psychology, Magna Cum Laude

Garland
Marlie Amanda Austin – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and psychology, Cum Laude

Goldthwaite
Janakay Frances Oliver – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Gorman
Jaime Leann Swanner – Bachelor of Science in mathematics (middle school: grade 4-8 certification), Magna Cum Laude

Gunter
Randy Gene Miller – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Harlingen
Samuel Christopher Allen – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Hewitt
Luke Ravel Kilmartin – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Hillsboro
Jared Thomas Russell – Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts (all-level certification)

Houston
David Kevin Williams – Bachelor of Science in forensic science

Iraan
Kaleigh Jo Tankersley – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication), Magna Cum Laude

Kenefick
Kevin Benjamin Domingue – Bachelor of Science in mathematics (high school: grade 8-12 certification), Cum Laude

Kermit
Allyson Michelle Gainey – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Summa Cum Laude
Trent Cameron Gainey – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages and English, Cum Laude

Lampasas
Brittany Morgan Cavness – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Magna Cum Laude
Jennifer Lynn Hilla – Bachelor of Music in music – choral (all-level certification), Summa Cum Laude

Lewisville
Brittany Dianne Roberson – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)
Sondra Rena Todd – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (coaching)

Lytle
Katie Rose Bonner – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, history and political science/prelaw, Summa Cum Laude

May
Desarai Lynn Beatty – Bachelor of Arts in psychology (family psychology)
Samuel Rodriguez Garcia – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Nicole Mariah Nehf – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, Spanish and political science/prelaw

McKinney
Jeffri Cathleen Foster – Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Midlothian
Connor John Roberts – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

North Richland Hills
Sean David Locker – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies

New Braunfels
Brandon Tye Davis – Master of Business Administration in business administration
James Brian Scardami – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

New London, Mo.
Allison Ann Ninedorf – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy and psychology, Magna Cum Laude

Paradise
Rachel Catherine Runnels – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication)

Pecos
Christopher Glen Mitchell – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and political science/prelaw, Summa Cum Laude

Plano
Burke Clifton Edwards – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Cum Laude

Ponder
Jorden Alexander Young – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Richland Springs
Lisa Danae Baker – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Rising Star
Emily Louise Murphree – Bachelor of Science in biology
Dale Ross Self – Bachelor of Science in biology

Rosenberg
Cameron Joseph Garcia – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)

Roseville, Calif.
Brandon Mitchell Yost – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

Round Rock
Kyle Edward Kulczyk – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Rowlett
Adrianna Nicole Perez – Bachelor of Arts in political science/prelaw and criminal justice, Cum Laude

Salado
Paul Jefferson Warren – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and cross-cultural studies, Magna Cum Laude

San Angelo
Cara Ann DeLoach – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, English and political science, Summa Cum Laude

San Antonio
Victoria Rene Krawczynski – Bachelor of Arts in communication (organizational and leadership communication), Summa Cum Laude

San Saba
Marshal Lynn McIntosh – Bachelor of Science in communication (public and media communication), Cum Laude

Santa Anna
Shelbie Paige Deleon – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

Sherman
Ashley Paige Krueger Sullivan – Bachelor of Arts in music – instrumental

Spicewood
Colette Cailin Wilcoxen – Bachelor of Arts in psychology

Spring
Dustin James Kelver – Bachelor of Business Administration in management

Sweetwater
Tifnee Lea Reed – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Bryson Taylor Wallace – Bachelor of Arts in Bible

Taylor
Miriam Myeisha Mackey – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Temple
Morgan Blair Marriott – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication)

Terrell
Jack Burton Wells – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education, Cum Laude

Tolar
John Curtis Elmore – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (exercise and sport management)

Tomball
Dillon Layne McDugle – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Universal City
Michael Carroll Watford – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia)

Wallisville
Nicole Ann Bird – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

Whitesboro
Katelyn Marie Wood – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Winters
Randy Scott Jackson – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Zephyr
Lacy Harrison Culpepper – Bachelor of Business Administration in management (finance emphasis), Summa Cum Laude

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Photo cutline: HPU graduated 132 students at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

HPU’s Kelley named to ACMA Board of Directors

Kelley and students for webBROWNWOOD – June 9, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of political science, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) for the 2015-2016 academic year. Kelley has served as adviser for HPU’s Moot Court team since 2013.

In both 2013 and 2014, HPU teams won the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association (TUMCA) regional competition and advanced to the national ACMA tournament. During the most recent national tournament, HPU students advanced to semifinals for the first time in more than a decade.

Kelley, a 2002 graduate from HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, also serves as adviser for HPU’s new Mock Trial team which brought home a sportsmanship award from their first tournament in January.

“I’m very proud of Professor Kelley and the accomplishments she has achieved during her time at HPU, both as a student and as a faculty member,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. “She will be an excellent addition to the ACMA’s Board of Directors.”

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Photo cutline: Lorianna Kelley, center, is pictured with HPU Moot Court students Katie Rose Bonner, a May 2015 graduate, and Isaac Sommers, sophomore, who advanced to the semifinals at a national tournament in January. Kelley was recently named to the Board of Directors for the American Collegiate Moot Court Association.

Six HPU students recognized for servant leadership

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – May 18, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently honored six students for their display of servant leadership on campus and in the community. Students were recognized for their service and received awards during the university’s annual Servant Leadership Program.

nat tracy awards 2015 for webThe Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was presented to Christopher Burnett, a senior music-instrumental major from Early, and Paula Johnson, a senior social work major from Spring. The award was established in 1998 to honor the life of the late Dr. Nat Tracy, a member of HPU’s Bible faculty from 1950 to 1975.

HPU Servant Leadership Award recipients included Shaefer Church, a junior Bible major from Bloomfield, N.M.; Victoria Hardin, a senior psychology major from Bangs; Brogan Turner, a senior psychology major from Brownwood; and Courtney Turner, a junior communication major from Bastrop.

A $1,000 scholarship is provided to each recipient of the Servant Leadership Award and each student designates $250 of the scholarship award to be given to his or her chosen charity. This award, established in 2007 by the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation, recognizes student excellence in the areas of leadership and service.

servant leader awards 2015 for web“These students embody the servant leadership qualities demonstrated to us by Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies. “It is our pleasure to give attention to those students who have faithfully and humbly served others with no desire for recognition.”

Nominations for both awards were made during the spring semester by HPU faculty, staff and students. Awards were presented by Dr. Auvenshine and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

“Many institutions recognize outstanding leadership qualities, but it is rare to reward those who lead through acts of service to others,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “It is our privilege to encourage these students and others to continue serving mankind.”

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Photo cutlines: Six HPU students were recently honored for their display of servant leadership on campus and in the community.

Recipients of the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award include Christopher Burnett, left, and Paula Johnson.

Recipients of the HPU Servant Leadership Award include, from left, Victoria Hardin, Shaefer Church, Brogan Turner and Courtney Turner.

HPU’s Department of English closes semester with trip, lecture

students at parlor lecture for webBROWNWOOD – May 14, 2015 – Near the end of the spring 2015 semester, students and faculty in Howard Payne University’s Department of English attended a trip and lecture both designed to supplement materials taught in class.

Fifteen students and accompanying faculty members first traveled to Tarleton State University in Stephenville for a production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

“The English department theatre trips were always super fun because it allowed us to bond with other English students who are fans of the theatre world,” said Colette Wilcoxen, who graduated this May. “This was my second time to go on one of these trips and I looked forward to them come spring semester.”

The English department then took part in the President’s Parlor Lecture hosted by HPU’s president and first lady, Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis. The guest speaker was Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake, a highly acclaimed author with writings in numerous genres, including such books as Why Jesus Makes Me Nervous: Ten Alarming Words of Faith and Blue Hole Back Home: A Novel.

Having taught at universities in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee, Dr. Jordan-Lake now focuses on writing, while teaching part time at the Honors College of Belmont University. She enjoys speaking at universities, book clubs and conferences across the country.

Dr. Millard Kimery, chair of the Department of English and professor of English, explained the importance of such trips and activities.

“We like to provide our students with opportunities to get to know one another and our faculty members in educational settings outside the classroom,” he said. “These activities enrich our students’ experiences and help them apply and retain what they’re learning in class.”

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Photo cutline: Pictured are four of the students who attended the HPU President’s Parlor Lecture featuring guest speaker and author Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake. Left to right: Cherita George, Danielle Parkhurst, Colette Wilcoxen and Kaleigh Tankersley.

Four HPU students accepted into Sumners Scholar Program

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – May 13, 2015 – Four Howard Payne University students were recently accepted into the Sumners Scholar Program created by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. Acceptance into the four-semester program is based on an assessment of academic excellence, a sense of civic responsibility and leadership potential.

sumners scholars 2015 for webOnce a year, a small number of applicants from HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy are selected for the program. The foundation provides a $7,500-per-semester stipend for its participating students to be used for tuition, fees, books or room and board.

Recipients this year include juniors Carrie Leach from Hurst, Danielle Parkhurst from Alleyton, Sydnee Petty from Early and Sydney Spencer from Georgetown.

Sumners Scholars are provided with opportunities to attend annual leadership and policy analysis conferences to supplement their learning and expand their growth potential. While receiving the Sumners Scholarship, students are required to maintain a 3.25 GPA and be in good standing with the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

The purpose of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy matches closely the purpose of the Sumners Foundation: “to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government, to the end that the American People may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.”

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Academy, appreciates the opportunities made available to students through the Sumners Foundation.

“In addition to the significant financial assistance, Sumners Scholars receive invaluable opportunities to attend lecture series by national figures and participate in public policy seminars and student leadership conferences,” he said. “It is an exceptional program which we are proud to offer to our exceptional students.”

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Photo cutline: Four HPU juniors were recently accepted into the prestigious Sumners Scholar Program created by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. They are, from left, Carrie Leach, Sydney Spencer, Danielle Parkhurst and Sydnee Petty.

Summer Scholars and Young Scholars day camps to focus on energy conservation

By Emily Peisker, HPU Junior

BROWNWOOD – May 8, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s annual Summer Scholars and Young Scholars program for students entering first through sixth grades will take place July 13 through 17 from 9 a.m. to noon each day. This year’s theme is “Energy Wars,” with a focus on energy conservation, including light bulbs, wind, electricity, oil, gas and water.

Energy Wars logo for webSummer Scholars, for students entering fourth through sixth grades, will have classes in robotics, 3-D printing, science and physical education. For students entering first through third grades, Young Scholars will have classes in robotics, science, music and physical education.

Cost is $100 per child and includes tuition, supplies, a daily snack and a t-shirt. Parents may register and pay online through July 6 at www.hputx.edu/summerandyoungscholars. All classes will take place at HPU’s Newman Hall located at the corner of Coggin and Austin Avenues in Brownwood.

“Each of our classes will focus on energy conservation, so students in the program get a well-rounded, hands-on education on the topic,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies.

One class in particular unifies the programs and allows students to gain experience with a technology that plays an increasingly important role in the world’s technology.

“Robotics has been a big emphasis in our program the last few years, and this year our focus will be building robots that help with energy conservation,” said Dr. Welker. “Mrs. Hull, who teaches our robotics program for fourth through sixth graders, will also have an energy bike that the kids will love. Students will get to experience first-hand just how much energy it takes to power something.”

Dr. Lester Towell, professor and chair of HPU’s Department of Computer Information Systems, will be back this year with the very popular 3-D printing class.

“Our students really enjoyed learning about this cutting-edge technology and all of its applications,” said Dr. Welker. “I’m excited to see what Dr. Towell will show our students about 3-D printing this year.”

For more information, visit the website listed above or contact Dr. Welker by phone at (325) 649-8508 or by e-mail at jwelker@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Summer Scholars and Young Scholars camps, HPU’s popular summer programs for children, will take place July 13-17. This year’s theme is “Energy Wars.”

HPU student’s “non-traditional” approach leads to degree after 17 years

mike bannister and lester towell for webBROWNWOOD – May 6, 2015 – The path to a college degree varies a bit for every student, but for Howard Payne University senior Mike Bannister, the journey was almost 17 years in the making.

The 56-year-old Brownwood native will receive his Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems this May after first setting foot on the HPU campus as a student in 1999.

“I tell everyone I have tenure,” he says, laughing. “I’ve made a career out of being a student. Some semesters I took a single class. The largest course load I’ve taken in a semester is 10 hours.”

He also took several breaks from classes due to a busy work schedule, including 15 months when he lived in Singapore. Bannister says his employer of 30 years, 3M in Brownwood, has been very supportive throughout his academic career.

“My managers gave me a lot of flexibility in my schedule,” he says. “I’m really thankful for the support they’ve given me.”

As a product development engineer with 3M, staying current with technological trends is crucial for Bannister as he works with lab teams to bring new products to market. His HPU coursework has proven to be a solid foundation upon which to build his expertise in his field.

“The technology has changed since I first started at HPU in 1999, but I am able to take what I learned then and continue to adapt my knowledge and skills,” says Bannister.

He has seen many classes of students graduate since he arrived on campus and has even been able to mentor some students in their own paths.

“I tell them to treat college seriously and concentrate as they go after their own degrees,” he says. “I try to encourage them because I know the hurdles they are facing.”

Bannister did not have a single college hour when he began at HPU.

“I was intimidated and nervous,” he says. “I had to relearn study skills, but I ended up being a lot better college student than I was a high school student.”

Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission, processed Bannister’s applications for readmission throughout the years. She works with many non-traditional students which include, but are not limited to, current and retired military personnel, working parents, husbands and wives, and single students over the age of 21 with no previous college experience.

“I was also a non-traditional student at HPU and can most certainly relate to Mike’s 17-year academic career,” she says. “I was on an extended degree plan of 11 years while working as a full-time university employee. I appreciate so much his dedication and perseverance.”

Mangrum says HPU’s faculty, staff and student body are very supportive of non-traditional students.

“They appreciate and embrace the fact that these students bring to the classroom maturity and life experience, which greatly enrich the educational experience both inside and outside the classroom,” she says. “The journey toward a bachelor’s degree may take longer for some non-traditional students, but the destination is worth the journey and the journey is worth the destination. The educational experiences and the relationships forged along the way are priceless and are lifetime investments.”

At the Academic Awards Convocation held at the end of April, Bannister was named the Outstanding Student in Computer Information Systems and Outstanding Non-Traditional Student for the 2014-2015 academic year. He was also inducted into HPU’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society. Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems and CIS professor, says Bannister is a “model student.”

“He asks questions, attends every class and completes all projects on time,” Dr. Towell says. “Mike exemplifies the desire for an education over a grade. I could not ask for a better student or example.”

Now that his academic days are drawing to a close, Bannister is excited about the opportunity to continue furthering his career while spending more time with his wife and family. As a member of the first generation in his immediate family to complete requirements for a college degree, Bannister is proud of his accomplishment and thankful for the opportunity to attend HPU. He offers advice to others who may be considering an unconventional approach to higher education.

“No matter how scared or nervous you are, at least give it a try,” he says. “Take a class and see how you do. The ‘A’ grades I received were encouraging and gave me the fuel to go on to each new semester.”

For more information about becoming a student at Howard Payne University, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or via e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.