News Archives: Academics

HPU’s Death and Dying course prepares students for life

By Courtney Wilmoth, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2012 – The name is sure to get attention – “Death and Dying.” Then one may wonder what a class called Death and Dying is like – perhaps morbid, definitely somber, maybe even depressing. Even so, Howard Payne University’s 8 a.m. class this fall reached the maximum enrollment and even had a waiting list.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of sociology and chair of the criminal justice program, teaches the class. She points out that the required textbook is titled Death & Dying, Life & Living. Students look at life every day during the class. They examine trends and processes of how and when dying occurs within ethnicities and around the world.

Humeniuk can remember the first time she was asked to teach the class in 2001.

“I was not happy about it,” she said. “I thought no one would talk.”

More than 40 students enrolled in the class, and before long Humeniuk was having them raise their hands so everyone could have a chance to speak. This was her seventh semester to teach the class, and she passionately believes every student should take it.

Her goal for the class is to prepare students to cope with sudden as well as anticipated death. No matter the career a student chooses, Humeniuk also seeks to relate the material in ways that will apply to a student’s career path.

Students are required to write journals, based on topics provided by Humeniuk.

“I learn a lot about my students through their journals,” she said.

Senior communication major Molly Marriott of Corpus Christi decided to take the class because she heard from her peers that it was interesting. She soon found the journals to be beneficial.

“It’s a good way to learn a lot about ourselves and how we would handle things,” Marriott said.

A number of guest speakers shared their own experiences with death. They included parents of children lost to suicide, automobile accidents and fires, as well as while traveling abroad. The class also heard from a couple who is dealing with a brain tumor and people who work in hospice care. Students visited a funeral home and volunteered at Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood during the semester, completing tasks such as distributing flags to veterans’ graves, trimming weeds around tombstones and assisting with office work.

Junior criminal justice major Daniel Taylor of Florence enjoyed the Greenleaf Cemetery project.

“I felt it allowed me to do something meaningful for others who have passed before me,” he said.

Along with the traditional lectures, guest speakers and volunteer work, Humeniuk shared her own personal stories about death and encouraged students to maintain healthy lifestyles. She regularly presented students with preventive measures to take care of their own bodies, discussed the value of nutrition and encouraged students to keep others safe, using videos that address texting and driving.

Humeniuk says issues of eternal life do come up in class, and she is thankful to work at a Christian university where conversations like this can happen. Students learn from each other, and honesty and respect are valued during class discussions.

“You’re going to get three hours of credit,” she said, “but you’re going to get a lot more than that.”

Give yourself the gift of an HPU graduate education this holiday season

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2012 – This Christmas, Howard Payne University is encouraging people from Brownwood and beyond to give themselves the gift of a master’s education from HPU. The university offers four master’s degree programs, with a new semester beginning January 15.

The newest graduate program at HPU, the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, will provide preparation for those who will minister to people through the local church and other related ministries, as well as provide a foundation for further graduate theological education. The 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to be accessible to ministry students who are currently serving in locations away from the Brownwood area, and relocation is not required.

The second master’s option from HPU’s School of Christian Studies is the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. This program provides preparation for those who will minister to teenagers and their families through the local church and other related ministries. The curriculum contains a combination of courses that emphasize biblical, theological and practical application. Like the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree, the 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to work with the schedules of those serving away from the Brownwood area.

Those who are interested in becoming a school principal in the State of Texas are encouraged to apply to HPU’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership program. With a 100 percent online delivery, this 30-hour, non-thesis degree allows students to attain their professional goals and advance their careers on their own schedule.

HPU’s Master of Business Administration degree is also designed to work around busy schedules. All courses are offered at night and on weekends and the 30-hour, non-thesis program can be completed in as few as 12 months. HPU’s MBA program concentrates on equipping students for future leadership roles, while also aiding them in their current careers.

For more information about HPU’s master’s programs, or any of the more than 100 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs, visit www.hputx.edu or call the university’s Office of Admission at 1-800-880-4478 or 325-649-8020.

HPU’s December Commencement scheduled for Saturday

BROWNWOOD – December 6, 2011 – Howard Payne University will hold its Commencement ceremony this Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Brownwood Coliseum beginning at 10 a.m.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer 90 bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, the university will graduate two students from the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program as well as the first four students to complete the Master of Business Administration program. Dr. David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will deliver the charge to the graduates.

Additional program participants include: Rev. Bruce Ammons, associate membership and ministry pastor of Parkway Fellowship, Katy/Richmond; Corey Ash ’92, director of bands and associate professor of music; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Phillip Karl Bertrand, member of the graduating class; Rev. Lisa Burkett, minister to children at Crestview Baptist Church, Georgetown; Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; David Cozart ’96, president of the Alumni Association; Dr. Justin Murphy, dean of the School of Humanities, professor of history and director of the Academy of Freedom; Dr. Lois Patton, director of the graduate program in business administration and professor of business administration; Dr. Les Plagens, dean of the School of Business and professor of business administration; Carter Sharpe, second vice chairman of the Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; Lana Wagner ’97, registrar; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace ’71, faculty president and professor of music; Dr. Russell Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

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HPU to offer Master of Business Administration degree in New Braunfels

BROWNWOOD – November 15, 2012 – Those who may be interested in pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard Payne University in New Braunfels are invited to attend a free informational session on Monday, Nov. 26, at 6:00 p.m. The one-hour event will be held at the Aflac Suite located on the second floor at 1259 Loop 337 N., New Braunfels, TX, 78131.

The MBA degree will be offered in New Braunfels beginning in spring 2013. Designed to work around busy schedules, the MBA degree can be achieved in as few as 12 months, with all courses offered at night and on weekends.

“We hope that New Braunfels and the surrounding communities will attend this special informational session for a chance to learn more about this educational opportunity,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business. “We look forward to getting to know our prospective students and answer any questions they may have.”

Though the program has a business core, it also includes courses such as organizational communication and psychological applications, designed to add a deeper understanding of practical skills to business and management applications. Prerequisite self-study course work is available for non-business undergraduates entering the program.

HPU began offering courses in New Braunfels in the fall 2012 semester. Until the permanent campus structure is constructed as part of the new Veramendi project, courses are being offered at New Braunfels High School and online.

Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external programs and church relations, oversees enrollment services and development of the New Braunfels campus.

“It’s been such a joy to meet so many wonderful folks here in New Braunfels,” he said. “We are so excited to have Howard Payne University be a part of the community and to serve the area with a quality Master of Business Administration degree program.”

For more information about the MBA program, visit www.hputx.edu/mba or call (325) 649-8704. To learn more about the HPU campus in New Braunfels, visit www.hputx.edu/newbraunfels or call (325) 649-8023.

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HPU’s Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry program to begin January 2013

BROWNWOOD – November 14, 2012 – In response to requests from current students and alumni, Howard Payne University will offer a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (MATM) degree beginning in January 2013.

The MATM will provide preparation for those who minister to people through the local church and other related ministries, as well as provide a foundation for further graduate theological education. The 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to be accessible to ministry students who are currently serving in locations away from the Brownwood area, and relocation is not required.

Similar to the university’s Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree, the MATM will be offered in a two-year rotation in a “modular” format. The modular format is a blended delivery system in which the equivalent of two-thirds of the instruction time is accomplished face-to-face in an intensive 8-hour per day, 4-day per week format. The remaining instruction is fulfilled through the combination of assigned readings and electronic interactions.

“We believe that complementing our current Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree with the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree is a logical and healthy step forward for the School of Christian Studies at Howard Payne University,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of the School of Christian Studies.

HPU has diversified and expanded its graduate and undergraduate degree offerings in recent years under the charge of Dr. Bill Ellis, university president.

“The university continually strives to meet the needs of our student body,” said Dr. Ellis. “The Master of Theology and Ministry degree is highly requested at HPU, and we are confident it will be a beneficial program for many years to come.”

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to host discussion at HPU

BROWNWOOD – November 12, 2012 – The public is invited to attend a special presentation by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on Howard Payne University’s campus November 29. The presentation, “Dialogue with the Dallas Fed,” will be held in the Bullion Suites of the Mabee University Center from 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Highlighting the program will be Thomas F. Siems, senior economist and director of economic outreach in the Financial Institution Relationship Management Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In this capacity, he partners with economists in the Fed to gather information on emerging trends and policy issues of interest to financial institutions in Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico. He also oversees economic outreach that provides additional opportunities to listen to and learn from the region’s constituents. Siems also teaches operations research and management sciences courses for Southern Methodist University. He has published more than 50 articles in various academic journals, books and Federal Reserve publications. Siems earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan and master’s and doctoral degrees in operations research from SMU. He is also a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Public Finance Institute, the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Banking and SMU’s Graduate Marketing Certificate program.

Also speaking will be Stephen M. Clayton, economic education specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is responsible for researching and developing technology-driven resources to enhance understanding of economics and personal finance. His particular focus is the secondary classroom. Clayton has a bachelor’s degree from Austin College with a focus on economics, philosophy and mathematics and has done post-graduate work in economics at the University of North Texas.

“We hope the public will seize this unique opportunity to engage in dialogue with the distinguished guests from our regional Federal Reserve Bank,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business. “This should be of importance not only to students, but to anyone with an interest in economics.”

Originally scheduled for September, the presentation was rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. The event is free of charge. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Mary Hill, administrative assistant for HPU’s School of Business, at (325) 649-8704 or via e-mail at mhill@hputx.edu.

HPU claims Debate Sweepstakes and 2nd Place Overall at home tournament

ssb_tifa_fall_2012_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 7, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s speech and debate team, the Student Speaker Bureau, recently hosted the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) state championship tournament. HPU received several honors including Debate Sweepstakes and 2nd Place Overall.

The university hosted 19 institutions from Texas and other southern states and almost 200 people including competitors, coaches and judges. With 31 teams competing, the event had the largest Fall TIFA debate participation ever.

“Hosting this tournament for the first time on the HPU campus was a privilege and everything went smoothly,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the communication department and Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) coach. “We were delighted to have so many guests on campus competing.”

HPU had the top two debate teams, winning the Debate Sweepstakes. The teams were comprised of Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, and Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle, and Catherine Mullaney, a junior from Boylston, Mass.

The SSB’s 2nd Place Overall win included points earned from debate and individual events. Individual scores are as follows: Aschmutat, 2nd place Parliamentary Debate Speaking, 5th place Impromptu Speaking, 6th place Impromptu Speaking; Bonner, 3rd place Persuasive Speaking, 5th place Persuasive Speaking, Impromptu Speaking semifinalist; Timothy Hardy, a junior from Corpus Christi, 5th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking; Palmer, 7th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking, Impromptu Speaking semifinalist; and Mullaney, 9th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking. Also competing were Marcos Corley, Sarah Owens, Kaleigh Tankersley, Jessica Ramirez and Dorie Walton. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication, also served as coach.

“I’m so proud of our team’s winning performance at this tournament,” Welker said. “It’s always nice to win but especially when you get to win on your own turf.”

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Photo cutline: HPU recently hosted the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association state championship tournament. HPU competitors included (back row, from left): Dorie Walton, Jake Aschmutat, Marcos Corley and Ben Palmer. Front row, left to right: Katie Rose Bonner, Jessica Ramirez, Kaleigh Tankersley, Sarah Owens and Katie Mullaney. Not pictured is Timothy Hardy.

HPU wins Moot Court tournament at South Texas College of Law

moot_court_south_texas_college_of_law_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 7, 2012 – The Howard Payne University team of Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, and Charity Chambers, a senior from Derby, Kan., recently won the South Texas College of Law Moot Court Tournament in Houston.

The pair beat a team from the United States Air Force Academy in the final round, resulting in a unanimous 5-0 decision for Aschmutat and Chambers. The panel of judges consisted of the dean of the law school, a state appellate judge in Houston and one of the founding members of the undergraduate moot court organization, among others.

Aschmutat and Chambers were each awarded a $1,000 cash prize for their victory. A cash award also went to HPU’s Joshua Milam, a senior from Midland, who earned a 5th place oralist award out of 76 competitors and $100.

Additional honors for HPU included a 9th place oralist award to Chambers and advancement to Octofinals for the teams of Milam and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle; and Cayden McDonald, a junior from Whitehouse, and Elizabeth Rogers, a junior from Grand Junction, Colo.

Other HPU students competing included Bethany Berry, a junior from Post; Zachary Gafford, a sophomore from Snyder; Landon Hankins, a senior from Decatur; and Caleb McConnell, a sophomore from Burleson.

HPU’s teams are coached by Mandy Locker, assistant professor of political science and criminal justice and Sandefer Chair of Political Science at HPU.

“I am extremely proud of Jake and Charity and all of their hard work that translated into such an amazing win at the South Texas College of Law tournament,” Locker said. “I am also very proud of all of the Howard Payne students who competed well, because even prior to Jake and Charity’s win, the law school admissions office was remarking about how great all of our students were and how much they wanted to make a visit to our campus to recruit.”

HPU competed against teams from 38 institutions including the Air Force Academy, Baylor University, the University of North Texas, California State University at Long Beach, Arkansas State University, The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University and more.

“This tournament was the first competition of the Moot Court season, and Howard Payne has set the bar high,” Locker said. “I feel like HPU has earned the reputation of being ‘the school to beat’ at the regional competitions.”

The Moot Court team will next travel to the Texas Tech University School of Law to compete in a tournament on November 16 and 17. Teams that break into quarterfinals during this competition will receive an automatic bid to the National Tournament at Regent University School of Law in January.

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Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s Moot Court recently returned from a tournament at South Texas College of Law. Shown are HPU students who were honored at the tournament. Left to right: Katie Rose Bonner, Octofinal qualifier; Elizabeth Rogers, Octofinal qualifier; Cayden McDonald, Octofinal qualifier; Jake Aschmutat, tournament champion; Charity Chambers, tournament champion and 9th place oralist; and Joshua Milam, Octofinal qualifier and 5th place oralist.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau has busy semester with tournaments at home and abroad

ssb_colorado_springs_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 30, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, has a busy month ahead hosting and competing in tournaments. In addition to conducting the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association state championship tournament Nov. 2-4 on the HPU campus, the SSB will travel to Oxford, England, to compete in the Oxford IV Inter-Varsity Debate Tournament Nov. 8-10.

Approximately 200 competitors, judges and coaches from 20 universities and colleges from Texas and other southern states will arrive on the HPU campus at the end of the week.

“We are absolutely delighted to host this competition for this first time ever on the HPU campus,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the communication department and SSB coach. “The Fall TIFA tournament attracts many schools from across Texas and the surrounding states. We are excited about having these universities and junior colleges visit and compete at HPU.”

Directly on the heels of the TIFA tournament, HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau will travel to England for the Oxford debate tournament. The Oxford IV is the largest and most prestigious debating competition on the UK university circuit and is hosted by the famous Oxford Union.

“Several years ago I was presented with the idea of our team competing at the Oxford tournament and it’s been our goal to make that happen,” Welker said. “We normally compete in parliamentary debate, which differs from British Parliamentary style debate, so we knew making the transition would be a challenge.”

Welker added that she has relied heavily on the help of SSB member Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, to whom she gave the task of learning about BP-style debate and coaching the students who are competing.

“Jake has done an outstanding job of coaching the BP students,” Welker said. “He has gone above and beyond to prepare them for the Oxford tournament.”

Welker will take eight students to Oxford. Two teams will compete – Catherine Mullaney, a junior from Boylston, Mass., and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle; as well as Aschmutat and Jessica Ramirez, a junior from Bangs. Kaleigh Tankersley, a freshman from Iraan, and Marcos Corley, a freshman from Corpus Christi, will serve as “wing judges” at the competition, assisting the judges in adjudicating the debate. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication and SSB coach, will also travel with the team and serve as a wing judge along with Welker.

The group also recently travelled to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., to compete in the 50th Annual Forensics Classic Tournament.

For the first time in HPU history, the team competed in BP-style debate, governed by the World Universities Debating Council. SSB also had teams entered in parliamentary debate and individual events.

The team of Bonner and Mullaney advanced to the quarterfinal round.

“We weren’t sure what to expect since this was our first BP-style tournament, but we were very pleased that one team advanced to quarters – especially at a tournament like this with teams of a very high caliber competing,” Welker said.

Other students who competed included Aschmutat; Corley; Ramirez; Tankersley; Sarah Owens, a freshman from San Antonio; Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; and Dorie Walton, a freshman theatre major from Lolita.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau is having a busy semester hosting and competing in tournaments. Pictured at a recent competition at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., are: Dr. Julie Welker, Sarah Owens, Dorie Walton, Jessica Ramirez, Jake Aschmutat, Kaleigh Tankersley, Marcos Corley, Catherine Mullaney, Ben Palmer, Katie Rose Bonner and Kim Bryant.

HPU to host Accounting Day this Friday

BROWNWOOD – September 25, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s School of Business will host an Accounting Day this Friday, September 28. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the 10 a.m. session in room 136 of Newman Hall on HPU’s Academy of Freedom campus.

Four alumni will be welcomed back to the university to share their successes in the accounting field.

“The goal of the presentation is to promote the accounting profession and to show how one may become employed with a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of the School of Business. “We are very pleased to have these four exemplary graduates come to campus and give back to our students. They have an excellent message to share.”

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Emily (Tittle) Attaway received an accounting degree from HPU in 2009 and is a 2010 graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas with a master’s degree in accounting information systems. She was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in August 2011. Attaway interned as a tax season clerk at JHB, LLP in Dallas during the 2010 tax season and is currently employed there full time as a tax associate.

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Clee Heston graduated from HPU in 2002 with degree in accounting. He began his career as an audit intern with KPMG LLP in January 2003 and obtained his CPA license in March 2004. During his tenure at KPMG, he served on multiple public and private client engagements in the assurance practice. In November 2006, he accepted a position with HMT, Inc., a private construction company serving the energy industry, where he served as assistant controller and eventually as corporate controller. In September 2011, Heston accepted the assistant controller position at C&J Energy Services, a public oilfield services company.

 

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Tristan Summers, CPA, is a 2009 graduate of HPU and the Academy of Freedom. He holds a master’s degree in professional accounting from The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, where he attended under merit scholarship. In 2011, Summers joined PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Austin where he provides assurance services to one Fortune 50 technology client.

 

 

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A 2005 HPU accounting graduate, Justin Woodard, CPA, is in the seventh year of his professional career. After completing his undergraduate studies at HPU, Woodard attended The Ohio State University and received a Master of Accounting, summa cum laude, in 2006. He was a University Fellow at Ohio State and received a full-ride scholarship to the graduate program. He began his career with KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm, and worked for five years in external audit at both KPMG and a regional accounting firm affiliated with BDO Seidman. He recently joined Sabre Holdings in Southlake, where he works in technical accounting.

 

For more information, contact Mary Hill in the School of Business at (325) 649-8704 or via e-mail at mhill@hputx.edu.