News Archives: Faculty and Staff News

HPU promotes eight faculty members at the start of the 2016-2017 year

BROWNWOOD – September 15, 2016 – Howard Payne University announced the promotions of eight faculty members with the start of the fall 2016 semester. Receiving promotions are Dr. Robert Bicknell, Dr. Derek Hatch, Dr. Millard Kimery, Dr. Stephen Kovach, Dr. Brad Lemler, Dr. Matthew McNiece, Dr. Debra Powell and Dr. Craig Younce.

Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU’s provost and chief academic officer, expressed his appreciation of these individuals and their commitment to excellence.

“When every faculty member is employed, I challenge them to be educators, scholars and citizens,” said Dr. Tew. “A natural outgrowth of pursuing these goals are achievements that warrant promotion. I am delighted that the university provides an encouraging environment in which faculty continue to grow as professionals and educators.”

Dr. Robert Bicknell, accreditation liaison, has been named dean of extended education. He had served as interim dean since 2013. Since joining HPU’s administration in 1989, he has served in a variety of roles including vice president for academic affairs, provost, professor of music and special assistant to the president for accreditation and adult programs. He had previously served as dean of extended education from 2002 to 2005.

Dr. Derek Hatch, formerly assistant professor of Christian studies, was promoted to the rank of associate professor. He joined HPU’s faculty in 2011.

Dr. Millard Kimery, professor of English and chair of the Department of English, has been named dean of the School of Humanities. He had served as interim dean since earlier this year. He has been a faculty member at HPU since 1997.

Dr. Stephen Kovach, a faculty member at HPU’s El Paso Center, was promoted from the rank of assistant professor of Christian studies and criminal justice to associate professor. Dr. Kovach has been on faculty since 2009.

Dr. Brad Lemler, professor of accounting, has been named dean of HPU’s School of Business after serving as interim dean since 2015. He joined HPU’s faculty in 2012.

Dr. Matthew McNiece, who served as assistant director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy since 2013, has been named director of the program. Dr. McNiece, a 2003 HPU graduate, also serves as chair of the Department of History and Government and associate professor of history and government. He joined HPU’s faculty in 2004-2005, then returned in 2007.

Dr. Debra Powell, formerly assistant professor of business administration, was promoted to associate professor. She served as an adjunct faculty member in 2007 and joined the ranks of full-time faculty in 2013.

Dr. Craig Younce was promoted from assistant professor of biology to associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. He has been a faculty member at HPU since 2013.

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at www.hputx.edu.

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HPU honors faculty and staff for service to university

Diann Prickett 2016BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2016 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Dr. Athena Bean, retiring this year from her role as assistant professor of psychology and university counselor, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member award. Diann Prickett, gift processing and prospect research associate, was named the Outstanding Staff Member for the year.

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

“We are pleased to recognize Diann and Athena for their outstanding work this year and grateful to the Porter and Underwood families for their continued generosity toward the university,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, and Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program.

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to staff members Sandra Alexander, retiring from her role as data specialist, and Jeremy Hogue, systems administrator.

Dr. Athena Bean 2016Special plaques commemorating retirement were awarded to Alexander and Bean as well as Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Don Gunter, general maintenance; and Dr. Kenneth Word, professor of mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Guy Ament, assistant football coach; Robert Anders, part-time assistant baseball coach; Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Hispanic Studies; Jonathan Burcham, custodian – work order/special requests crew leader; Casey Cox, grounds supervisor; Jayla Devery, student account coordinator; Nikki Donathan, cashier; Allen Fisher, groundskeeper I; Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dora Hernandez, facilities department coordinator; Dalton Hutchins, head tennis coach; Amy Kresta, instructor of biology; Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Christy Meinecke, major gifts officer, south central region; Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies; Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry; Magda Rodriguez, custodian; Dr. Carmen Santana-Melgoza, professor of business administration; Coby Sauce, director of media relations; Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry; Shannon Turner, instructor of academic services, learning assistance and academic recovery; and Larry Walls, first assistant athletic trainer.

Ten years of service – Tim Cooper, instructor of multimedia communication and computer information systems; P.J. Gramling, director of admission; Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology; Becky Keith, data management coordinator, enrollment services; Mike Lee, instructor of communication and director of student media; Tammy Lowrey, executive assistant to the president; Dr. Matthew McNiece, associate professor of history, chair of the Department of History and Government, and assistant director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy; and Dr. Mike Rosato, adjunct in the School of Education.

Fifteen years of service – Dr. Athena Bean, assistant professor of psychology and university counselor; Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science and director of HPU’s Outdoor Recreation Center and physical activity courses; Dr. Pam Bryant, professor of chemistry and dean of the School of Science and Mathematics; Ferrisa Childs, assistant director of student aid; Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration; Cynthia Givan, departmental administrative assistant in the School of Humanities; Carrie Harding, part-time coordinator of the Heart of Texas Literature Center; Mike Terrill, assistant professor of athletic training and director of the athletic training education program; and Jill Underwood, instructor of education.

Twenty years of service – Sandra Alexander, data specialist, financial aid; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, adjunct in the School of Education; Kyle Mize, assistant vice president for university communications; Dr. José Romero, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Harlan Scott, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; and Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems and chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music.

Thirty years of service – Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, professor of theatre, director of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre.

Thirty-five years of service – Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission; and Dr. Evelyn Romig, distinguished professor of literature.

Forty years of service – Glenda Huff, director of student aid.

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Top picture: Diann Prickett, center, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2015-2016 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, right, and Robert Porter, left. The award is made possible by Porter Insurance Agency.

Bottom picture: Dr. Athena Bean, second from left, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2015-2016 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Paul Underwood, far left; Jill Underwood, second from right; and Dr. Bill Ellis, far right. The award is made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria.

HPU faculty and staff members support heart health awareness

Heart Month 2016BROWNWOOD – February 23, 2016 – Several Howard Payne University faculty and staff members wore special t-shirts on Friday in support of the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month. A group of HPU employees wear the shirts each February to increase heart health awareness.

Back row, left to right: Diane Hackney, custodial supervisor; Ferrisa Childs, assistant director of student aid; Sarah Griffin, library administrative assistant and acquisitions coordinator; Susan Sharp, administrative assistant for the School of Education and certification officer; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Tammy Dake, custodian; and Renee McClung, custodian.

Front row, left to right: Gretchen Campbell, executive assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students; Dora Hernandez, facilities department coordinator; Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication; Nikki Donathan, cashier; Lucina Ortega, custodian; and Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission.

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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.