News Archives: Faculty and Staff News

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


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

HPU to host Traffick911 training session

BROWNWOOD – March 25, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host a free Traffick911 training session on the prevention of domestic minor sex trafficking March 28 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held in the Bullion Suites of the Mabee University Center. The training is designed for CPS workers, teachers, school counselors, attorneys, family court personnel, social workers and others who come across at-risk children. Continuing Education Units are available.

Traffick911 is an agency which has trained hundreds of frontline responders at the local, state and national levels, focusing on the prevention of the crime, the rescue and restoration of the victims and the prosecution of the offenders. According to the Traffick911 website, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world and the average life expectancy for a child forced into sexual slavery is just seven years.

“Unfortunately for our society, domestic minor sex trafficking is a most relevant topic,” said Dan Humeniuk, chair of HPU’s social work department and assistant professor of social work. “This type of training is essential for human service professionals who regularly encounter at-risk children and adolescents.”

For more information, or to register for the training session, contact Bob Contreras, family liaison for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, at (325) 641-6486 or Other information and resources are available at

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.


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

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.


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.


HPU names Randy Yeakley as vice president for development

ImageBROWNWOOD – March 4, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently named Randy Yeakley ’83 to the position of vice president for development. He will assume this role on March 18.

Yeakley will oversee the annual fund, programmatic fundraising and other operations at the university’s Harrison House. He will also serve on the Administrative Council.

He joins HPU from LeTourneau University in Longview where he has served as director of research, corporate and foundation giving since 2005. Other experience includes serving as director and manager of the Sabine Valley Center in Longview, as MR crisis services manager at MH/MR of Tarrant County, and as health educator for HMR of Fort Worth.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from HPU, he holds a Master of Science degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Lamar University.

He and his wife, Leslie, also a 1983 HPU graduate, are parents to two sons, Nicholas, 25, and Richard, 22. Leslie, who currently serves as assistant principal at Longview Christian School, will join Randy in Brownwood this summer.

“I’m pleased to have this fine, dedicated individual joining us in our work here at HPU,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president.


Photo cutline: Randy Yeakley, pictured with wife, Leslie, will assume the role of vice president for development at HPU on March 18.

HPU faculty and staff members wear red for heart health awareness

heart_month_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 22, 2013 – Several Howard Payne University faculty and staff members wore red on Friday in support of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign for heart health awareness.

Pictured are (back row) Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication; Susan Sharp, administrative assistant and certification officer for the School of Education; Mary Hill, administrative assistant for the School of Business; and Gretchen Campbell, student accounts coordinator. The front row, from left, includes Diane Hackney, administrative assistant for the School of Science and Mathematics; Tammy Dake, custodian; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Nikki Donathan, cashier; and Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science.

Worship event to focus on HPU provost book

BROWNWOOD – January 16, 2013 – A book by Dr. Mark Tew, Howard Payne University provost and chief academic officer, will be the focal point of a worship event at San Saba’s First Baptist Church this Sunday, January 20, beginning at 6 p.m.

During the event, the Gospel of Luke will be studied using music, art, dance, poetry, drama, media and the spoken word. Dr. Tew’s book, “Luke: Gospel to the Nameless and Faceless,” will be used to guide the production.

Dr. Tew’s book on Luke was published in December 2011 and combines a detailed examination of the Greek text, a fresh translation of the Gospel and a commitment to presenting the meaning of the Gospel in a fluid and contemporary fashion. Dr. Tew will share passages from his book during the event.

Also performing will be Mike Lewis, painter; Margo Truelson, dancer; the Austin String Quartet and the San Saba First Baptist Church Praise Team. Other HPU faculty/staff members involved include Stephen Goacher, professor of music; Danny Ingram, instructor of music; Stephen Sullivan, admission counselor and Mobile Go Center coordinator; and Dr. Rob Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education. A number of HPU students and alumni will also perform.

San Saba’s First Baptist Church is located at 208 W. Wallace, San Saba, TX 76877. For more information, call (325) 372-5761 or go to


HPU faculty and staff support Hope Home Ministry

hope_home_donation_for_webBROWNWOOD – December 18, 2012 – Howard Payne University recently presented a gift of $800 to Hope Home Ministry of Brownwood. The funds were collected during the annual President’s Christmas Reception for HPU faculty and staff.

Founded by Chassidy Carroll and Beka Mullins, both 2008 HPU graduates, Hope Home is a faith-based transitional home for young women who are released from juvenile correctional facilities. The program focuses on teaching girls the life skills they need to become responsible adults and giving them true hope through a growing relationship with Jesus.

For more information about the organization, visit


Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, presents a gift representing an $800 donation to Chassidy Carroll, co-founder and program director of Hope Home Ministry of Brownwood.

HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – November 30, 2012 – Howard Payne University will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 19, through Tuesday, Jan. 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement, located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, to process end-of-the-year gifts. The Office of Institutional Advancement may be reached at 325-649-8006.

HPU’s spring 2013 semester begins Tuesday, Jan. 15.

HPU art exhibit open through December 5

harmon_art_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 26, 2012 – There are still opportunities to view the works of David E. Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art at Howard Payne University. The exhibit will be open through December 5, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Harmon joined the HPU faculty in August 2012. He hails from St. Louis, Mo., and is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He is well-traveled and well-rounded in his areas of artistry and has taught for more than thirty years. Harmon’s work has been featured in exhibitions around the world and includes many different styles such as hard-edged abstraction, figurative realism and expressionism.

For more information about the exhibit, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


Photo cutline: Works by David E. Harmon, new professor of art and chair of the Department of Art at HPU, are on display through December 5.