News Archives: Academics

HPU hosts Model United Nations conference

BROWNWOOD – April 9, 2013 – Howard Payne University hosted a Model United Nations (MUN) conference recently, welcoming 40 students from five universities across Texas. In addition to HPU, participants included Baylor University, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University and the University of the Incarnate Word.

HPU’s MUN team members hone their understanding of the world and the United Nations system through weekly class sessions and attending conferences. In recent years, the team has traveled to San Francisco, Washington D.C., Austria, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

“Hosting a MUN conference was a great learning experience for our students,” said Dr. Samuel Greene, assistant professor of political science and MUN sponsor. “Understanding all that goes into developing and running a conference will make us better delegates as we travel. It was an honor for us to host a group of talented delegates and staff members from four other universities, and we look forward to building on this experience.”

HPU team members include Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston who served as the conference director; Ashley Chapman, a freshman from Ennis; Cara DeLoach, a junior from San Angelo; Kerrie Ford, a junior from Houston; Adrianna Perez, a sophomore from Rowlett; Robin Scofield, a junior from Naples, Fla.; Erik Swenson, a senior from Carrollton; and Ryan Young, a senior from Mesquite.

HPU provost coedits book on faculty development

dr_w_mark_tew_compressedBROWNWOOD – April 9, 2013 – Working with a collaborative research group, Dr. W. Mark Tew, Howard Payne University provost, recently coedited and contributed to a volume of “New Directions in Teaching and Learning,” a periodic monograph published by Jossey-Bass, a noted higher education publisher.

Titled “The Breadth of Current Faculty Development: Practitioners’ Perspectives,” the coeditors brought together authors, university presidents and noted faculty from Harvard University; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Michigan State University; and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our contributors,” said Dr. Tew. “Educators care greatly about improving their teaching ability and this desire was reflected in each chapter.”

More than four years in the making, Dr. Tew indicated the project started when he and three other researchers, Mrs. Mitzy Johnson of Mississippi State University, Dr. William Ritchie of Keiser University in Florida and Dr. C. William McKee of Cumberland University in Tennessee, surveyed the 800 colleges and universities of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regarding current practices in faculty development.

“After making a presentation on our findings at an annual SACSCOC meeting, we revised our study and re-surveyed institutions in the southern region,” he said. “It was during the second phase of our work that we were approached by Jossey-Bass about a publication.”

Each chapter identifies areas of opportunity in faculty development. According to the editors, it is their hope that “every reader will be able to glean details that might provide a spark or fan a flame on campus.”

“We are very proud of Dr. Tew’s contributions to this project,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Dr. Tew leads the faculty of Howard Payne not only by his understanding of academic programs and teaching but also by his example as a scholar-teacher. His passion for academic thought and research is inspiring. This book is a reflection of the great work he’s done as provost at Howard Payne.”

The volume edition is Number 133, Spring 2013, and can be ordered at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tl.v2013.133/issuetoc.

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Photo cutline: Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost, recently coedited a book on faculty development.

HPU launches “A Call to Send” campaign to Heart of Texas residents

ellis_at_campaign_luncheon_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 8, 2013 – Howard Payne University held a luncheon on Monday afternoon to announce its A Call to Send campaign to community leaders from the Heart of Texas area. In preparation for the launch of the campaign, the university unveiled Phase I, which features plans for major new facilities and endowment growth.

A Call to Send is a 10-year, three-phased $65 million campaign that will empower the university to continue to fulfill its mission of providing a quality, Christ-centered education. Phase I is an $18 million campaign with three projects: a new Welcome Center and Academy of Freedom (honors program) building, a new academic building for the School of Education and the Collegium program (advising, tutoring and other services) and increasing the university’s endowment funds for student scholarships and academic program support.

In addition to allowing for the first new buildings on the HPU campus in more than 10 years, the campaign will provide funding to support HPU’s quality academic programs, its state-of-the-art facilities and its scholarships and financial aid to attract and retain students.

Keith Clark of Citizens National Bank welcomed luncheon guests from the Heart of Texas area and introduced Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Leonard Underwood, retired, of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, and Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, business executive, as well as Honorary Chair Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis of Landmark Life Insurance. Clark and Bart Johnson, of Painter & Johnson Financial, serve as the Heart of Texas co-chairs. An invocation was offered by Dr. Dallas Huston, pastor at Center City Baptist Church and sports broadcaster.

Additional Heart of Texas committee members introduced to the community included Dwain Bruner of Bruner Auto Family; Chip Camp of Brownwood Regional Medical Center; Steve Fryar of PF & E Oil Company; Dennis Graham of Airgas; Iva Hamilton, retired from El Paso Natural Gas Company; John Harkey of Ag-Mart; Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes of Haynes Law Firm; Draco Miller of Draco Janitorial and Auto Detailing; Tom Munson of Landmark Life Insurance; J. Fred Perry, retired from PF & E Oil Company; and Robert Porter of Porter Insurance Agency.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, shared the university’s vision for Phase I of the campaign and the effect it will have on the community.

“The relationship between Howard Payne and Brownwood goes back to the earliest days of the community’s history,” he said. “There are very few universities that are more intimately connected with the communities that surround them than Howard Payne. These projects we are showing you today are going to impact this community in very significant ways.”

Dr. Ellis spoke briefly on the many students who graduate from HPU and return to Brownwood to rear their families and continue their careers.heart_of_texas_committee_for_web

“This entire campaign is about attracting students to this university,” he said. “It is about giving them the funds and resources they need to come to this school, so we can send them into the world to make a difference.”

Dr. Leonard Underwood, well known for being a philanthropist in the community and a supporter of the university, spoke about the importance of investing in such a campaign.
“Working closely with the faculty and the students over the years, I’ve learned what a special place this university is,” he said. “It’s a place that has the ability to change the lives of those who pass through here. I’ve discovered the joy of giving to something that’s worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of so many people.”

The audience was lastly issued a challenge by Dr. Putter Jarvis, described by Clark as a great advocate for Howard Payne, Brownwood and Brown County.

“It’s up to us to see Howard Payne rise to its destiny,” he said. “Will we play our part? We can and we will.”

To contribute to the campaign, or for more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or 1-800-950-8465.

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, discusses plans for new facilities to be constructed at HPU as part of the university’s A Call to Send campaign.

A Call to Send campaign leaders include, from left, Dr. Bill Ellis, Iva Hamilton, Draco Miller, Dr. Leonard Underwood, Keith Clark, Steve Fryar, Dennis Graham, Stephen Haynes, J. Fred Perry, Dwain Bruner, John Harkey, Robert Porter, Bart Johnson and Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis. Not pictured are Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, Chip Camp and Tom Munson.

HPU announces engineering science degree program

BROWNWOOD – April 5, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the launch of an engineering science degree program, designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as engineering assistants or to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in engineering disciplines of their choice. The degree program was approved during a recent meeting of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

The multidisciplinary degree program will draw on the knowledge and expertise of HPU’s science, math and computer information systems faculty members while combining with the university’s liberal arts background and Christian worldview.

In addition to taking core courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer information technology, students will study statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, thermodynamics, fluids, circuit analysis and environmental issues and engineering. During their senior year, all students will select a focus area of study and complete a proposal that integrates the scientific principles of research, design and analysis and applies them to engineering.

“There is a strong market for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the U.S.,” said Dr. Brett Coulter, associate professor of mathematics, who serves as the engineering science program director. “Our newly developed program will provide HPU students with solid STEM training. All of the faculty members involved have both practical experience and much graduate-level preparation in the engineering science courses they will teach.”

Before coming to HPU, Dr. Coulter, a civil engineer, spent 13 years performing thermo-stress and structural analyses on solid rocket motors and nozzles for The Aerospace Corporation, a contractor for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. He has taught at the undergraduate level for many years, including courses in mathematics, statics, dynamics and mechanics of materials. He received his doctorate in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois.

In addition to Dr. Coulter, other engineering science faculty members from the mathematics department include Dr. Kenneth Word, department chair and professor of mathematics, who earned a doctorate in mathematics education from The University of Texas; and Tom Johnson, assistant professor of developmental mathematics, who holds a master’s in environmental science from West Texas A&M University and was employed as a QA/QC Coordinator for ZIPP Fertilizers for seven years.

Engineering science faculty members from the biological and physical science departments include Dr. Pam Bryant, professor of chemistry, chair of the department of physical sciences and interim dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, who holds a doctorate in chemistry from Louisiana State University and completed post-doctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, associate professor of physical science, who holds a doctorate in geophysics from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; and Dr. Gerald Maxwell, adjunct instructor, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from The University of Texas and has 25 years industrial experience in computer design and biomedical instrumentation and 10 years of classroom experience at the high school and university levels.

Dr. Lester Towell, department chair and associate professor of computer information systems, will also teach in the engineering science program. He holds a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University and taught physics and reactor principles in the Naval Nuclear Power School for four years.

According to Dr. Word, HPU’s four-year engineering science degree will be more robust than the typical ‘3+2’ engineering program offered at other liberal arts universities, in which students complete three years at a liberal arts university and two in an engineering undergraduate program.

The faculty members and administrators believe that a general engineering degree that promotes critical thinking and problem solving such as HPU’s engineering science degree will always be in demand.

“The diverse backgrounds of those who will teach the engineering science courses will serve our students well – both while they are on campus and once they leave to pursue their careers or further their education,” said Dr. Mark Tew, university provost and chief academic officer.

For more information about the program, contact HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics at (325) 649-8400 or via e-mail at dhackney@hputx.edu.

Note: Future students, and others interested in the engineering science program, may download more information here.

HPU student delegates meet with state legislators

hpu_teg_day_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – Six students from Howard Payne University visited Austin recently for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Student Advocacy Day. Groups from several private universities in the West Texas region, including HPU, traveled to the capitol building to encourage representatives and senators to continue support for the TEG program.

The HPU students met with legislators and staff from their home districts to thank them for appropriating funds for the program, which assists with tuition to private colleges and universities. They also took a guided tour of the capitol building and observed a Senate session. During the visit, university delegates learned the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (education) added $ 15 million to the TEG program for the 2014-2015 biennium.

“The TEG program has greatly benefitted Howard Payne students over its 44-year history,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “The TEG makes college a financial reality for many of our students coming from all over the state of Texas. We made the trip to Austin to say ‘thank you’ to the representatives and senators for their support and to encourage their continued support in the future.”

HPU student delegates included Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson; Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Colton McCabe, a sophomore from Gatesville; Courtney Officer, a sophomore from Stephenville; Erik Swenson, a junior from Carrollton; and Brogan Turner, a freshman from Brownwood. The students were accompanied by Kevin Kirk and Yvonne Lundy, executive assistant to the associate vice president for enrollment management.

“The Tuition Equalization Grant has helped to further not only my intellectual education, but my spiritual education,” said Colton McCabe. “It was a privilege to thank my representative and senator in person for their support of this program.”

Approximately 275 Howard Payne University students received funding through the TEG for the spring 2013 semester.

More than four decades ago, the TEG was created by Dr. Gary R. Price, a 1960 graduate of HPU. Wishing private colleges and universities were more affordable to students in Texas, he developed the concept, wrote the legislation and worked to gain support for it. Sponsored by the late Dr. Lynn Nabers, a fellow HPU alumnus who was then a state representative, the legislation was passed in 1971. Since its inception, the program has assisted needy students to bridge the gap between tuition rates at state and independent institutions.

To be eligible for a TEG, a student must be a qualified Texas resident; establish financial need as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; be enrolled fulltime in an approved independent college or university in Texas; not receive any form of athletic scholarship; and maintain a 2.5 GPA by the end of the sophomore year.

Additional private universities from the West Texas Region of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas participating in the trip included Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, Lubbock Christian University and McMurry University.

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Photo cutline: HPU delegates give the university “sting ’em” salute in front of the capitol building in Austin. From left are Courtney Officer, Allen Andrus, Brogan Turner, Erik Swenson, Kathryn Barrackman and Colton McCabe.

HPU students recognized by faculty for achievements in Christian studies

student_award_recipients_with_dr_hatch_for_webBROWNWOOD – March 8, 2013 – Four students in Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies were honored as Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology during the Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics held recently on the HPU campus.

The students included Jessica Baniewicz, a senior cross-cultural studies and Spanish major from Plano; Colton Curry, a senior practical theology major from Lubbock; EJ Davila, a senior psychology major (with emphasis in psychology and ministry) from Brownwood; and Mary Vasquez, a junior biblical languages and English major from Blanket.

“The faculty of the School of Christian Studies honored these individuals, among our many hard-working and gifted students, based on our evaluation of their achievement in their courses and the ways in which they have excelled in thinking in, and related to, the fields of Christian ethics and theology,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies.

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Photo cutline: Four HPU students were honored during a recent event on campus. From left are Mary Vasquez, EJ Davila, Colton Curry, Jessica Baniewicz and Dr. Derek Hatch.

HPU’s Perspectives Conference explores ministering in changing cultures

chuck_gartman_perspectives_for_webBROWNWOOD – March 7, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently hosted its second annual Perspectives Conference, an event which brings together youth ministry professionals to explore the many facets of their field of ministry. Among the participants were HPU undergraduate and graduate students as well as other youth ministers from around the state.

This year’s theme was “Penetrating the Cultures with the Gospel,” and covered ways to minister in a lost culture, a changing community culture, a changing youth culture and more.

Guest speakers included Dr. Mary Carpenter, former missionary and retired professor of cross-cultural ministries at HPU; Danny Dawdy, director and CEO of Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center in Spicewood; Elias Garcia, youth minister at First Baptist Church of Plainview; Dr. Allen Jackson, professor of youth ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and adjunct faculty member at HPU; Mike Satterfield, lecturer and staff evangelist at Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington; and Jane Wilson, youth ministry specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

“We are grateful for good attendance and especially for mutual encouragement and insight gained from sitting around the table with other youth ministers, discussing topics that are so vital to effective ministry,” said Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of the youth ministry graduate program. “Our hope is that this conference provided a context in which ‘iron sharpens iron’ as youth ministers learned from our speakers and engaged in dialogue with one another.”

The third annual Perspectives Conference is slated for the spring 2014 semester. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies at (325) 649-8403.

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Photo cutline: Chuck Gartman, adjunct faculty member in HPU’s School of Christian Studies, addresses youth ministers gathered for the second annual Perspectives Conference.

HPU’s Currie-Strickland lectures addresses issues of Christian moral discernment

holloway_speaking_for_webBROWNWOOD – March 5, 2013 – Howard Payne University held its sixth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics, Feb. 28-March 1 on the HPU campus.

Guest lecturer Dr. Jeph Holloway, professor of theology and ethics at East Texas Baptist University, addressed the topic of “The Practice of Christian Moral Discernment.”

“Dr. Holloway’s lectures were both thought- and action-provoking,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies. “He challenged the audience to carefully and prayerfully consider the way we live out our faith as Christians.”

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.currie-strickland_group_shot_for_web

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Jeph Holloway was the guest speaker at the recent Currie-Strickland lectures on the HPU campus.

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie and the memory of Mr. Phil Strickland. From left are Dr. Bill and Dr. Diana Ellis, Dr. Jeph and Mrs. Joy Holloway, Dr. David and Mrs. Loretta Currie, Mrs. Carolyn and Mr. Danny Slaughter (sister and brother-in-law of Mr. Currie).

Group from HPU recalls trip to Israel

auvenshine_at_israel_lecture_for_webBROWNWOOD – March 5, 2013 – Several faculty, staff and students from Howard Payne University gathered recently to share with peers their reflections from a trip to Israel. The group returned from the Holy Land in January with more than just suitcases full of souvenirs – they brought back memories to last a lifetime.

Seven of the 23 who journeyed to Israel spoke at the semester’s first installment of the University Colloquium Series, events designed to provide a forum for interdisciplinary conversations among faculty, staff and students with a wide-ranging scope of topics in focus.

“These colloquia, or conversations, allow a broad sense of learning as well as fascinating engagement with other fields of study within the context of a community of scholars and teachers,” said Dr. Danny Brunette-López, chair of the modern languages department and associate professor of Spanish.

Dr. Brunette-López organizes the University Colloquium Series with Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies.

Speaking about their trip to Israel were Nancy Anderson, dean of libraries and professor of library science; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Bill Fowler, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dr. Gary Gramling, director of the youth ministry graduate program and professor of Christian studies; Coby Kestner, director of media relations; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, assistant professor of education; and Clarissa Toler, a sophomore Bible major from Duncanville.

Dr. Auvenshine and Dr. Gramling have led many HPU trips to Israel.

“We enjoyed the opportunity to share some of the interesting experiences we had during our trip,” Dr. Auvenshine said of the Colloquium event. “I am always fascinated by the different things that impress each one of us. Dr. Gramling and I love to take people to Israel and expose them to biblical history and geography, as well as the contemporary cultures and political circumstances of modern Israel.”

The group toured the country for 11 days, tracing the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Among many other notable sites, the HPU group visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, thought to be built over the location where Jesus was born; the Garden of Gethsemane where, according to the Gospels, Jesus and His disciples prayed before He was arrested and crucified; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb, each thought to be the place where the body of Jesus was placed and where He subsequently was resurrected.israel_group_in_qumran_for_web

The group also visited sites crucial to Jesus’ ministry including the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of the Beatitudes, Capernaum and Sepphoris.
“This trip has made the Bible more real for me,” said Dr. Fowler. “As I read the Gospels, I go back and visit Jerusalem, Galilee – I get to go back and visit it over and over again. Now when I show pictures in class, I show my own pictures.”

Others on the trip included Allison Auvenshine and Sande Auvenshine of Brownwood; Phillip Bertrand, a December 2012 graduate from Early; Hannah Gramling, a May 2012 graduate from Brownwood; PJ Gramling, director of admission; Dustin MacTavish and Jo Beth MacTavish, alumni from Houston; Cooper Morelock and Scott Morelock of Brownwood; Dr. Frankie Rainey, a former HPU faculty member; David Taylor and Zac Taylor of Corsicana; Amy Fowler-Tennison and Thane Tennison of Round Rock; Edmond Wheeless of Brownwood; and Brandi Wright, senior youth ministry major from Farmington, N.M.

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Photo cutlines: While in Israel, the HPU group and their tour guide paused to take a photo at Qumran, the discovery place of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of the School of Christian Studies at HPU, discusses a recent trip he led to Israel during the semester’s first installment of the University Colloquium Series.

 

Presidential biographer reflects on lives of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan at HPU lecture

morris_lectures_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 14, 2013 – Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and well-known presidential biographer, addressed area residents, students, faculty, staff and board members at a lecture held on Howard Payne University’s campus Monday.

Morris spent several years as President Ronald Reagan’s official biographer and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.

Morris described Reagan as reserved in one-on-one situations and animated in front of a crowd. He went on to call Reagan a “consummate actor” with a strong moral code.

The speaker also noted the parallels between the presidencies of Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt, whom he also considered a great showman. Morris’ book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

“It was a great privilege to have a prominent historian of Mr. Morris’ stature address Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff, as well as area high school students,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program. “This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that will be remembered by all.”

A frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs, Morris was born and educated in Kenya and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He has authored several books throughout his career and extensively written on the topics of literature and music for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper’s Magazine. His television appearances include a two-part profile segment on 60 Minutes. Among other elite venues, he has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities.

In addition to HPU students, approximately 100 students and sponsors from local and area high schools were in attendance. Students represented Brownwood, Dublin Premier, Granbury, Lampasas, Panther Creek and Richland Spring high schools and Brownwood’s Victory Life Academy. Prospective Academy of Freedom students from around the state were also in attendance. These high school students and HPU’s Academy of Freedom students received complimentary, autographed copies of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and attended a luncheon before the lecture.

“Howard Payne was thrilled to give these students the opportunity to interact with Mr. Morris,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “This experience allowed the students to see the level of world-class educational opportunities that are available at HPU.”morris_signs_book_for_web

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Photo cutlines: Edmund Morris discusses the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan at a lecture held on the HPU campus.

Edmund Morris signs a copy of his book Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan for HPU Academy of Freedom student Lauraleticia Alvarado of Early.