News Archives: General Education

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 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 bob.contreras@tjjd.texas.gov. Other information and resources are available at www.traffick911.com.

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.

 

HPU adjunct addresses Houston attorneys

BROWNWOOD – February 5, 2013 – David Balkum, adjunct instructor in Howard Payne University’s criminal justice department, addressed the Houston Chapter of the Christian Legal Society on January 31.

Operating in the nation’s capital, the Christian Legal Society is, according to its website, “a growing nationwide fellowship of Christian lawyers and law students who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.”

Adopting Micah 6:8 as its corporate vision, it exists “to inspire, encourage, and equip Christian lawyers and law students both individually and in community to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and the defense of the inalienable rights to life and religious freedom.”

The group supports chapters in major cities, in many law schools and on some undergraduate campuses for pre-law groups.

Balkum’s audience included attorneys in private practice, ministerial staff and appellate judges. His address focused on the ethical and spiritual dilemmas faced by attorneys called on to represent their own churches, creating a dynamic known as a “dual relationship.”

While Balkum, author of Sheep Among Wolves: Texas Churches and the Law, stressed that all believers have a duty to support their churches, there are times when an attorney’s ethical obligations may conflict with his or her spiritual obligations. This particularly can occur over issues of confidentiality and when the parties involved have different expectations of an attorney’s role.

“That conflict also can arise even over rather mundane matters in which church members harbor hard feelings for the manner in which the attorney’s legal opinion happens to fall,” he said.

Balkum recounted one instance in which he was serving on his church’s missions committee and a committee member loudly blamed the church’s lawyers for scrapping a mission project which she supported.

“These situations can create problems for the attorney’s family, as well,” he said. “A solution is for Christian attorneys to be more proactive in developing referral networks to assist each other and sister churches in those times when representation is necessary. Such networks can bring much needed independence, formality, clarity and objectivity, in the form of an outsider looking in, to sometimes emotionally charged situations.

“That simple referral can keep the member attorney from becoming a lightning rod and, in so doing, safeguard his and his family’s more important roles as members of that congregation.”

Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of sociology, calls Balkum a “blessing to the university.”

“He lives out his faith in his professional law practice as well as in his interactions with our HPU students.”

HPU visits East Elementary School

hpu_at_east_elementary_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 15, 2012 – A group from Howard Payne University visited with third grade students at Brownwood’s East Elementary School on Thursday to discuss the importance of good grades and higher education. Shown demonstrating the university’s “sting ’em” cheer are HPU students Rebecca Lamar and Michael Ballejo.

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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 faculty members complete doctoral degrees

towell_and_cox_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 29, 2012 – Two Howard Payne University faculty members recently celebrated the completion of their doctoral degrees with a reception on campus.

Dr. Trissa Cox, associate professor of computer information systems, completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science degree from the University of North Texas in May. Her dissertation topic was “Factors Associated with Behavioral Intention to Disclose Personal Information on Geosocial Networking Applications.”

Dr. Lester Towell, also associate professor of computer information systems, completed a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education degree from Nova Southeastern University in June. His dissertation title was “Factors that Affect Instructors’ Intent to Use Online, On-Demand Lecture Capture.”

“HPU is proud of the accomplishments of Drs. Cox and Towell,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “They are outstanding faculty members, and I am confident the completion of these degrees will add to the educational experiences they provide to their students.”

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Photo cutline: Drs. Lester Towell and Trissa Cox recently celebrated the completion of their doctoral degrees.

HPU designated “Military Friendly School”

mfs_logoBROWNWOOD – October 4, 2012 – Howard Payne University was named to the Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the U.S. that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows HPU’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in the search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools® website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

“HPU is honored to have been named to this distinguished list,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We have been incredibly blessed by the men and women serving our country and we are proud to be recognized as a university that, in turn, serves them.”

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 schools across the nation approved by the Veterans Administration. The survey results that comprise the 2013 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by G.I. Jobs. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. A full list of board members can be found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/board.

A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

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HPU named “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education

2012gcwf_4csingularBROWNWOOD – September 4, 2012 – Howard Payne University was recently honored as a “2012 Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. This year, a record 47,000 employees from universities across the nation participated in The Chronicle’s survey. Of the 294 colleges represented, 103 were named as great places to work, being recognized for specific best practices and policies. HPU was honored in the areas of Work/Life Balance and Supervisor or Department-Chair Relationship.

“HPU is a close-knit campus community, not only with students but also among faculty, staff and administrators,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “Employees have long felt that HPU is a great place to work, and we are thrilled that The Chronicle has made it official. I am proud, but not the least surprised, that HPU is receiving this recognition.”

Faculty and staff members at institutions across the nation evaluated their colleges in 12 categories, such as job satisfaction, teaching environment and benefits.

To be recognized in the category of Supervisor or Department-Chair Relationship, surveyed employees agreed that supervisors or chairs make expectations clear and solicit ideas. Employees also agreed with statements like “I believe what I am told by my supervisor/department chair.”

In the area of Work/Life Balance, survey participants agreed that college policies give employees the flexibility to manage their lives on the job and at home. Employees agreed with statements such as “My supervisor/department chair supports my efforts to balance my work and personal life.”

The Chronicle is the nation’s most important source of news about colleges and universities.

“The institutions that the ‘Great Colleges’ program recognize provide innovative educational experiences – while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences – and we are eager to help readers learn more about them,” said Liz McMillen, The Chronicle’s editor.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“Great Colleges to Work For” is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s website at http://chronicle.com/section/Academic-Workplace/617/

In their own words

So, what makes HPU such a great place to work? Here’s what some of the employees had to say:

“I enjoy working at HPU because I know that my efforts daily impact the future of tomorrow. I may not have direct contact with students, but I love knowing that each report I pull or process that I write gets them closer to their ultimate goal and helps the faculty and staff assist them more efficiently.” – Randy Ginther, database coordinator

“I love to work at Howard Payne University because I am allowed to express my love for the Lord through my job.” – PJ Gramling, director of admissions

“I was not at all surprised to learn that HPU was named by The Chronicle as a great place to work. At the heart of every organization is its people and we quite simply have an outstanding group of people at Howard Payne. You can look at every area of campus – the faculty, the staff, the administration and the student body – and you will find fantastic, hard-working folks who love the Lord and who love Howard Payne University. This is why I love working at HPU.” – Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of the School of Education