News Archives: Faculty and Staff News

HPU to host 32nd annual Community Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving Feast Volunteers for webBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2015 – The 32nd annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University will once again usher in the holiday season for area residents. It is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The tradition has been supported throughout the years by numerous individuals and organizations. Last year, more than 2,000 meals were served on campus and through the home-delivery program.

“The crisp mornings we have been enjoying remind us that it is again time to begin planning for a wonderful Thanksgiving day with family and friends at Howard Payne’s Mabee University Center,” said Bill Fishback, assistant vice president for business and human resources at HPU. “This community-wide effort of neighbors caring for neighbors seems to be as important to those who serve as it is to those who enjoy the meal each year. Volunteers will help serve meals at the Mabee Center or deliver meals in Brownwood and Early to those who cannot join us on campus. We have always been able to provide the meals free of charge because of the donations from the caring people and organizations in Brown County, so I am confident the money will be there by the time the bills must be paid.”

The staff of Howard Payne’s Sodexo Food Service give up their holiday to prepare the meals. Anyone unable to join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to his or her home by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at (325) 646-9535 by noon on Monday, November 23.

“Many of the volunteers have helped for years, making serving others part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition,” said Fishback.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.

“Last year, we served 689 meals at the Mabee Center and 1,438 meals were provided to those in the community who were unable to join us for lunch,” Fishback said. “The volunteers enjoy visiting with each other and our guests as they work to serve the meals as quickly as possible. Too often, we take for granted the fact that we are very blessed to live in a community where so many people willingly give their time and money to support this wonderful event. We look forward to being part of another joy-filled Thanksgiving Day as we also give thanks to the Lord for blessing us in so many ways.”

According to Fishback, volunteers do not need to call to let the university know they are coming.

“Volunteers simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” he said.

If you would like to help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, TX, 76801.

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Photo cutline: Volunteers serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal during HPU’s annual Community Thanksgiving Feast.

HPU’s Dr. Julie Welker speaks on developing global citizens

Dr. Julie Welker and Wayne Kraemer for webBROWNWOOD – October 6, 2015 – Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication at Howard Payne University, recently spoke at the 90th annual Texas Speech Communication Association conference on the panel “Hosting and Attending International Debates to Develop Global Citizens.” The conference was held in Irving.

Dr. Welker’s topic was “Developing Intercultural Critical Thinkers: Using Academic Debate to Explore Culture” and highlighted HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team. The Student Speaker Bureau competes in several events each year, including a competition in Oxford, England, the third-largest debate tournament in the world.

Also attending the conference from HPU was Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication. Dr. Welker’s co-presenter was Wayne Kraemer, director of forensics at Texas State University, whose topic was “How to Build a Bridge: Beginning an International Debate Partnership.”

Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, said he highly values Dr. Welker’s leadership of the Student Speaker Bureau as a distinctive feature of the programs within the Department of Communication and her commitment to developing intercultural critical thinkers among her students at HPU.

“I applaud Dr. Welker’s academic accomplishments as well as those of her students,” he said.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Dr. Julie Welker, right, recently spoke at the 90th annual Texas Speech Communication Association conference. She is pictured with co-presenter Wayne Kraemer.

Four join HPU faculty

new faculty fall 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – September 4, 2015 – Howard Payne University started the fall 2015 semester with four new faculty members. Joining HPU were Dr. James Finch, professor of business administration; Rafael Franco-Cuevas, instructor of Spanish; Leslie Greaves, instructor of nursing; and Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry.

“We’re pleased to welcome these four additions to the university’s extraordinary faculty,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer.

Dr. James Finch received his Bachelor of Science degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1980; his Master of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University in 1984; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, also from The Ohio State University, in 1987. His past experience includes serving in a variety of positions, most recently professor of business administration, at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Rafael Franco-Cuevas received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California in 1981 and his Master of Arts degree from California State University in 1993. Previous experience includes various positions related to the Spanish language and Hispanic literature and culture. He also served as Spanish instructor for both Pima Community College District and The University of Arizona South.

Leslie Greaves received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2000 and her Master of Science in Nursing degree in 2013 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Her past experience includes serving in a variety of positions at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, such as patient safety officer and patient safety services supervisor, education supervisor, clinical educator/training center coordinator and staff registered nurse. She has also taught various nursing courses since 2005.

Dr. Derek Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree from Angelo State University in 1991; his Master of Science degree from The University of Texas at Dallas in 1994; and his Doctor of Chemistry degree, also from UT Dallas, in 1996. Dr. Smith previously taught at HPU from 2007 to 2011. Other past experience includes serving as scientist at Hydrozonix and as a teaching assistant at UT Dallas.

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Photo cutline: Four joined the HPU faculty during the fall 2015 semester. Left to right: Leslie Greaves, Dr. Derek Smith, Rafael Franco-Cuevas and Dr. James Finch.

HPU mourns passing of Dr. Brett Coulter

Brett Coulter for webBROWNWOOD – August 27, 2015 – Howard Payne University is mourning the sudden loss of Dr. Brett Coulter, associate professor of mathematics and director of HPU’s engineering science program, who passed away on August 23.

Dr. Coulter was a faculty member in HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics for 10 years. His wife, Laura Coulter, serves as assistant professor and academic services coordinator for tutoring and QEP.

“Hearts are very heavy on campus,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re asking everyone to continue to remember Dr. Coulter’s wife, Laura, and his family and friends in prayer.”

Dr. Pam Bryant, dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, reflected on Dr. Coulter’s strength of character.

“When he said something, students knew he meant it,” she said. “The School of Science and Mathematics was privileged to have Dr. Coulter as a part of its faculty. He will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Coulter held a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois; a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University; a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Denver; and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering mathematics from the Colorado School of Mines.

“Though he had a serious nature and was normally found calculating problems in his office, Dr. Coulter would look up from his work with a warm smile and engaging eyes to help students or other faculty,” said Dr. Bryant.

Upon learning of his passing, students worked with HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement to establish a scholarship fund in Dr. Coulter’s memory. Those interested in donating to the fund should contact Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations, at (325) 649-8069 or ssullivan@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: The HPU community is mourning the passing of Dr. Brett Coulter, associate professor of mathematics and director of HPU’s engineering science program.

HPU’s Fishback promoted to associate vice president for business and human resources

Bill Fishback for webBROWNWOOD – June 30, 2015 – Howard Payne University announced today the promotion of Bill Fishback from assistant vice president for business and human resources to associate vice president for business and human resources. Fishback was also named interim chief financial officer and will join HPU’s executive team as a member of the university’s Administrative Council.

Fishback came to HPU in 1992 as chief financial officer and has overseen areas in advancement and administration. He is a part of HPU’s Staff Council which began under his leadership as chair in 2010. The council plays a vital role in advancing the exchange of information between the university’s staff members. He also recently managed the renovations of HPU’s Mabee University Center, a project which came in under budget and on time.

“We are proud of Bill’s numerous accomplishments at HPU,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, president. “He has served the university faithfully and we are pleased that he has accepted this new role on campus.”

Fishback graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management from Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Cecil, a speech/language pathologist at Comanche Special Services SSA, have two adult sons, Chase and Chris.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Bill Fishback was recently promoted to associate vice president for business and human resources.

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service to the university

Outstanding Staff Member Bobbie Price for webBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2015 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Bobbie Price, certification coordinator and graduation assistant, was named the Outstanding Staff Member while Dr. Bill Fowler, associate professor of Christian studies, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by Porter Insurance Agency and Underwood’s Cafeteria, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Dr. Danny Brunette-Lopez, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, and Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English.

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to staff members Rebecca Mainka, mail room and copy center clerk, and Matt Zinser, assistant men’s basketball coach.

Outstanding Faculty Member Bill Fowler for webSpecial plaques commemorating retirement were given to Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, associate professor of education; Dr. Lois Patton, professor of business administration and director of the MBA graduate program; Dr. Les Plagens, dean of the School of Business and professor of business administration; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; and Bobbie Jo Stewart, circulation services and music library supervisor.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Dr. Jennifer Clement, assistant professor of psychology; Laura Coulter, assistant professor and academic services coordinator, tutoring and QEP; Deanna Erxleben, instructor of music; Jill Holamon, administrative assistant for the School of Music and Fine Arts; Lauren Kirk, instructor of education; Gene Kirkpatrick, head athletic trainer; Dr. Joe Robinson, professor of education and director of the instructional leadership graduate program; and Dr. Kenneth Word, professor of mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Ten years of service – Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands; Karalee Byrnes, loan coordinator; Dr. Brett Coulter, associate professor of math and director of engineering science; Deborah Dill, administrative assistant for the School of Science and Mathematics; Roger Geise, head football coach; Jodi Goode, assistant vice president for information technology services; Rebecca Mainka, mail room and copy center clerk; Dr. Keith Mask, professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology and Family Studies; Joyce Myers, grants/scholarships coordinator; and Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies.

Fifteen years of service – Mary Griffin, serials coordinator and cataloging assistant; Kathy James, special events coordinator and administrative assistant; Tracy Stansberry, public safety office/sergeant #1; and Patricia Valencia, custodian.

Twenty years of service – Wendy Grooms, associate professor of math; John Nickols, assistant professor of government and history; and Bertha Valle, office manager for HPU’s El Paso Center.

Twenty-five years of service – Brenda Brittain, executive assistant to the provost; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, associate professor of physical science and chair of the Department of Physical Sciences; and Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of the graduate program in youth ministry.

Thirty years of service – Mary Dunham, assistant professor of library science and technical services librarian.

Thirty-five years of service – Dr. Robert Mangrum, university historian and professor of government and history.

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Photo cutlines:

Bobbie Price, center, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2014-2015 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, left, and Robert Porter, right. The award is made possible by Porter Insurance Agency.

Dr. Bill Fowler, center, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2014-2015 academic year at HPU. He is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, left, and Jill Underwood, right. The award is made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria.

HPU faculty member’s book recommended by FCA Magazine

john nickols with book for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 7, 2014 – “The Last Three Outs,” a novel by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at Howard Payne University, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine, a national publication of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The novel was the only work of fiction recommended by the magazine in its July/August issue.

“The Last Three Outs,” a baseball novel with Christian themes, tells the story of Danny Hill, a bright pitching prospect whose baseball career is suddenly threatened by a shoulder injury. According to Nickols, the book loosely parallels the life of Joseph in the Old Testament.

“Joseph’s story has always intrigued me,” Nickols said. “There were many injustices in his life, but God redeemed him in a much greater way. In a very trivial way, the same thing happens to Danny in my story.”

The book was published by Tate Publishing and is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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Photo cutline: “The Last Three Outs” by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine.

HPU staffer named Chamber Ambassador of the Month

karina_daniel_chamber_ambassadorROWNWOOD – May 22, 2013 – Karina Daniel, director of corporate, community and foundation relations at Howard Payne University, was named the May 2013 Ambassador of the Month by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Ambassadors participate in various Chamber and community events and serve as the core volunteer group for the Chamber. The Ambassador of the Month is chosen based on participation in events and programs during the previous month.

Daniel first became involved with the Chamber in 2011 when she participated in Leadership Brownwood through then-employer Blaylock Funeral Home. In the fall of 2011, she volunteered for the Total Resource Campaign (TRC), the Chamber’s eight-week sponsorship and membership drive, and was appointed to the TRC Advisory Committee. She has continued to remain active with the TRC, this year helping to raise more than $118,000 in sponsorships for Chamber events as well as new Chamber memberships.

Daniel became a Chamber Ambassador in spring 2012 and has helped with Chamber activities such as ribbon cuttings, monthly lunches, Business After Hours events, the annual Chamber Banquet, business showcases and more.

Since joining the HPU staff in September 2012, Daniel has remained active with the Chamber.

“I have been very fortunate to have the support of the university,” she said. “Randy Yeakley (vice president for development) encourages me to be active in my Ambassador role for the Chamber, as my involvement benefits HPU and helps build and strengthen community relationships.”

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Photo cutline: Karina Daniel, director of corporate, community and foundation relations at HPU, was named the May 2013 Ambassador of the Month by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service

underwoods_and_scott_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 2, 2013 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Dr. Harlan Scott, chair of the biology department and associate professor of biology, was named Outstanding Faculty Member and Jodi Goode, director of information technology, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q and the Porter family of Porter Insurance, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Mike Daub, associate professor of accounting; Dan Humeniuk, department chair and assistant professor of social work; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Mark Patton, professor of business administration.jodi_goode_and_robert_porter_for_web

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to Katrina Lynn, administrative assistant for business and human resources; Rebecca Mainka, mail room and copy center clerk; and Larry Henderson, custodian.
Special plaques commemorating retirement were given to Tonya Horner, associate professor of mathematics, and Louise Sharp, associate vice president for marketing and communications, chief marketing officer and special assistant to the president.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Dora Arellano, custodian; Tammy Arreola, accounts payable coordinator; Gretchen Campbell, student account coordinator; Ton Damron, assistant professor of social work; James Darby, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology; Mandy Locker, assistant professor of criminal justice; Alexa Maddox, academic services coordinator; Larry Meadows, adjunct instructor of business administration; Jerome Nowowiejski, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Joshua Prock, head women’s basketball coach; Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science; Carrie Singleton, campus visit coordinator; Vanessa Stewart, adjunct instructor of communication; and Lance Unger, assistant football coach.

Ten years of service – Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports; Carla Hawkins, assistant professor of modern languages; Kim Schuster, executive assistant to the senior vice president for finance and administration; Bobbie Jo Stewart, circulation services and music library supervisor; and Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education.

Fifteen years of service – Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English; Scott Owen, assistant professor of exercise and sport science; Diann Prickett, gift processing clerk; and Dr. Julie Welker, department chair and professor of communication.

Twenty years of service – Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies; and Eydie Henderson, administrative assistant for the School of Christian Studies.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies.

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Photo cutlines: Jodi Goode received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Robert Porter. The award is made possible by the Porter family of Porter Insurance.

Dr. Harlan Scott, right, received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year. He is pictured with Jill Underwood and Paul Underwood. The award is made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q.