News Archives: Guy D. Newman Honors Academy

HPU Moot Court students clinch national championship title

Hahn and Sommers National ChampsBROWNWOOD – February 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University students Jordan Hahn, sophomore from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, were recently named National Brief Writing Champions during the American Moot Court Association’s national competition at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. Hahn and Sommers secured HPU’s second national championship title in the history of collegiate Moot Court with the previous title occurring in 2002.

Moot Court is a competition during which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases in front of judges, designed to simulate argument before the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to writing the top brief, HPU’s team was ranked ninth in the oral component of the tournament placing in the top three percent in the country. Additionally, each student was recognized as a top orator in the tournament, with Hahn finishing as the 13th top speaker and Sommers finishing as the 20th top speaker.

Lorianna Kelley, HPU’s assistant professor of government, advises the Moot Court team.

“This tournament tops off an incredible year for HPU, with several wins, top orator awards and countless hours of hard work behind us,” she said. “It also is a great way to finish the collegiate career of our one graduating senior on the team, Isaac Sommers. He has advanced to nationals every year of competition, so it’s great to go out with a win!”

Hahn said it was an immense blessing to have had such success at the national championship tournament.

“I would never have expected to be at this point in only my second year of Moot Court,” she said. “I’m thankful for my fantastic partner and my coach who made it possible. Isaac and I have worked hard all year to prepare for this tournament, so it feels amazing to have that recognized and bring home a win for HPU.”

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Cutline: HPU Moot Court competitors Jordan Hahn (left) and Isaac Sommers recently secured the university’s second national championship title in the history of collegiate Moot Court.

HPU Model United Nations wins Distinguished Delegation Award at Seattle conference

MUN team in SeattleBROWNWOOD – December 11, 2017 – Howard Payne University recently competed at the Northwest Model United Nations Conference in Seattle, Washington, winning the Distinguished Delegation Award, second place for overall team performance.

Model United Nations takes current world issues and asks students, who represent various countries as delegates, to try to solve them through diplomatic means. Students learn the art of diplomacy through caucusing, writing position papers and presenting in formal settings, all while following the model of the United Nations.

In her role as the Delegate of Japan, Lainee Hasty, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and psychology major from Runaway Bay, won Outstanding Delegate. This is the highest award achievable on the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development committee.

Emma Reed, junior Honors Academy and family studies major from Arlington, serves as HPU’s head delegate, while Joel Justice, senior Honors Academy and history major from Brownwood, serves as co-delegate. Other HPU representatives at the conference included Alex Bingham, sophomore Bible major from Bridge City; Jessica Catlett, junior Honors Academy and social work major from Alleyton; Joshua Dykes, senior Honors Academy and youth ministry major from Mount Pleasant; Caleb Kostreva, junior Honors Academy and social science global studies major from Clifton, Colorado; Charles Lewis, sophomore Honors Academy and social science jurisprudence major from Boerne; Andie McCoy, junior Honors Academy and social studies composite major from Whitehouse; and Penny Stehlik, sophomore Honors Academy, English and social science global studies major from Round Rock.

Dr. Kevin Kelley, associate professor of psychology and chair of HPU’s Department of Psychology and Family Studies, serves as adviser for the Model United Nations team.

“Given the need for diplomacy in our current climate, I am very excited that HPU is building the next generation of ambassadors for peace,” he said. “Emma Reed and Joel Justice have done an excellent job leading their team to another victory. Lainee Hasty, just as she did last spring in Milan, Italy, took another Best Delegate Award. I am proud of everyone.”

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Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently competed at the Northwest Model United Nations Conference in Seattle, Washington. Back row, from left: Alex Bingham, Charles Lewis, Joshua Dykes and Jessica Catlett. Front row, from left: Penny Stehlik, Andie McCoy, Joel Justice, Emma Reed, Lainee Hasty and Caleb Kostreva.

HPU Moot Court ends season undefeated, prepares for nationals

HPU Moot Court for webBROWNWOOD – December 6, 2017 – With wins at two final tournaments, Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team ends its fall 2017 season undefeated. The team’s win at the last tournament of the fall secured HPU’s spot in the American Moot Court Association’s national competition to be held in January at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law.

“HPU will be one of the top-seeded teams at nationals and well set for success after an undefeated season,” said Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government and Moot Court adviser.

Teammates Jordan Hahn, sophomore from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, were named tournament champions at the St. Mary’s School of Law Invitational Tournament in October as well as at the Texas A&M University School of Law Regional Tournament in November.

At the October tournament, Hahn and Sommers defeated a team from Baylor University to win the tournament in the finals and teammates Justin Harris, senior from Fort Worth, and Bailey Myler, junior from Brownwood, were named octofinalists. HPU competitors were also recognized for their individual speaking skills. Myler was the overall seventh-best speaker, Hahn placed second and Sommers was the top speaker at the tournament.

Thirty-one teams competed at the regional tournament in November, representing 13 schools from across the country. HPU faced multiple schools, including the United States Air Force Academy, Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University and the University of Louisiana. Hahn and Sommers again defeated a team from Baylor University to be named tournament champions.

In addition to winning the tournament, Sommers was the seventh overall speaker and Hahn was the ninth. Harris and Myler attended the tournament and were in the top 50% for speaker points.

“The teams have worked so hard this year, refining arguments and practicing multiple times each week,” said Kelley. “Once again, their hard work has paid off, and they continue to impress lawyers and judges from across the state.”

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Cutline: Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team ended its fall 2017 season undefeated. Left to right: Justin Harris, Isaac Sommers, Jordan Hahn and Bailey Myler.

HPU Moot Court wins first tournament of the season

Hahn and Sommers with judges for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2017 – Howard Payne University students dominated at the first Moot Court invitational tournament of the 2017-2018 season. Jordan Hahn, sophomore from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, were declared tournament champions at the recent St. Mary’s University School of Law tournament in San Antonio.

In addition to Hahn and Sommers, the team of Bailey Myler, junior from Brownwood, and Justin Harris, senior from Fort Worth, finished the first day in the top eight. Hahn and Sommers advanced to semifinals then finals, winning the championship in a 3-0 decision.

“I am so proud of the hard work these four have already put in this semester,” said Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government and Moot Court adviser. “It’s a promising start to what I know will be a very successful competition season.”

HPU Moot Court Teams for webThis win is the most recent in a long series of victories for HPU’s Moot Court program. In the spring semester, the team successfully defended its position as one of the best in the state by winning the tournament at Southern Methodist University. At the end of the semester, six HPU students were among an elite group to receive year-end awards from the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association. Five HPU students made the list of TUMCA’s 2017 Top 20 Orators while two HPU teams were among the five best teams in the state.

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Cutlines: HPU students Jordan Hahn, second from left, and Isaac Sommers, fourth from left, are pictured with the Moot Court judges upon being named tournament champions.

HPU Moot Court students dominated at the recent tournament at St. Mary’s University School of Law. Left to right: Isaac Sommers, Jordan Hahn, Bailey Myler and Justin Harris.

HPU Sumners Scholars attend lecture by FCC chairman

HPU Sumner Scholars with FCC ChairmanBROWNWOOD – October 11, 2017 – Students from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently attended a public policy lecture through the Institute for Policy Innovation. Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke on the topic “Preserving a Free, Open and Innovative Internet.”

The event was underwritten by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. The HPU students, designated as Sumners Scholars, are selected for a competitive four-semester program after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation. The foundation provides a $7,500-per-semester stipend for its participating students to be used for tuition, fees, books or room and board. Additionally, the students are invited to attend annual leadership and policy analysis conferences, such as this one, to supplement their learning.

HPU Sumners Scholars attending the lecture were Jessica Catlett, junior from Alleyton; Rachel Hughes, senior from Llano; Augusta Johnson, senior from Gatesville; Joel Justice, senior from Brownwood; Tyler Olin, junior from Howe; Emma Reed, junior from Arlington; Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne; and Rachel White, senior from Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Named for its founder, former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Sumners Foundation for its ongoing support of HPU students as well as for its commitment to promoting programs that increase understanding of civic responsibility and personal potential,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and chair and professor of history and government.

More information about the Academy and the Sumners program may be found at www.hputx.edu/academy and www.hputx.edu/sumners, respectively.

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Cutline: HPU Sumners Scholars recently attended a lecture by Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Left to right: Tyler Olin, Emma Reed, Augusta Johnson, Rachel Hughes, Ajit Pai, Rachel White, Joel Justice, Isaac Sommers and Jessica Catlett.

Local DAR chapter celebrates Constitution Week at HPU

Clemons speaking at DAR meeting for webBROWNWOOD – October 3, 2017 – Brownwood’s Mary Garland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its recent meeting in Howard Payne University’s Independence Hall with HPU students and faculty among the guest speakers.

David Clemons, HPU instructor of history, spoke to the organization about two modern schools of thought on the American Revolution. Following his presentation, HPU seniors Carrie Condra of Hurst and Skyler Schoolfield of Aledo addressed the audience. Condra and Schoolfield, both students in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, are the recipients of the Lottie Plummer Wooley Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution (TXDAR) Scholarship and the Nan Massengill TXDAR Scholarship, respectively.

HPU’s Independence Hall, located in the Douglas MacArthur Academy Building, was an apt setting for the meeting, held in observance of Constitution Week. The room is an almost-exact replica of the room in which the nation’s Founding Fathers signed the two key documents of American freedom: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Condra speaking at DAR meeting for webDoris Goacher, digital archives assistant at HPU, serves as regent of the Mary Garland Chapter. She described how the chapter’s history intertwines with that of HPU.

“A charter member of the chapter was Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Peacock Walker, whose home, the Walker House, is now the home of Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and his wife, Dr. Diana Ellis,” she said. “HPU’s Walker Memorial Library is named after Mrs. Walker’s husband, James Allen Walker.”

Additionally, Lottie Plummer Wooley and Nan Massengill, for whom the two HPU DAR scholarships are named, both have HPU connections as well.

“Mrs. Wooley, a Texas State Regent from 1967-1970, selected as her State Regent’s Project a contribution to the completion of Constitution Hall at the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom at HPU,” said Goacher.

Constitution Hall, a lecture hall on the third floor of the Academy building, was named in honor of the DAR’s Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Schoolfied speaking at DAR meeting for web“The Texas Daughters were able to raise more money than was needed for the project, so the State Conference of 1970 established a scholarship at HPU, in Mrs. Wooley’s honor, with the remaining funds,” Goacher said.

According to Goacher, Cornelia “Nan” Massengill was State Treasurer during Wooley’s administration.

“She visited HPU several times with Mrs. Wooley and liked what the university stood for,” Goacher said. “She requested in her will that a DAR scholarship be established at this university.”

For more information about the Daughters of the American Revolution organization, visit www.dar.org.

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Cutlines:

David Clemons, instructor of history at HPU, addressed the Mary Garland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the chapter’s recent meeting held in HPU’s Independence Hall.

Carrie Condra, HPU senior from Hurst, is the recipient of the Lottie Plummer Wooley Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution (TXDAR) Scholarship.

Skyler Schoolfield, HPU senior from Aledo, is the recipient of the Nan Massengill TXDAR Scholarship.

HPU Moot Court students receive additional awards for spring semester

BROWNWOOD – July 21, 2017 – Six Howard Payne University students were among an elite group to receive year-end awards from the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association. Five HPU students made the list of TUMCA’s 2017 Top 20 Orators while two HPU teams were among the five best teams in the state.

Receiving orator awards were Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, second place; Jordan Hahn, freshman from Burnet, eighth place; Jakob Morgan, senior from Blanket, 13th place; Bailey Myler, sophomore from Brownwood, 14th place; and Rebeca Puente, May 2017 graduate from Waskom, 20th place. Puente and Sommers were named the fourth-best team in the state and Hahn and Andie McCoy, sophomore from Whitehouse, were named the fifth-best team.

The awards were announced following HPU’s stellar Moot Court season. Among the top designations for HPU Moot Court this year, Sommers was named the fifth overall speaker out of 786 competitors at the American Moot Court Association Invitational National Championships held in January at Florida’s Stetson College of Law. Additionally, Sommers and Puente advanced to out-rounds, placing in the top 16 of 80 teams. For written arguments submitted prior to that tournament, Myler and Justin Harris, senior from Fort Worth, placed sixth and Puente and Sommers placed seventh. Puente and Sommers were additionally the champions at the Southern Methodist University tournament in March, and three of HPU’s five teams were among the top 10.

“For years, HPU Moot Court students have proven themselves to be the best in the state,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

Dr. McNiece expressed his appreciation to the students and to the team’s adviser, Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government.

“Professor Kelley is a wonderful coach and mentor to our Moot Court students,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of what they accomplished this year and in the past several years. I look forward to what’s to come.”

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HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy broadens students’ horizons

Spencer and McNiece for webBROWNWOOD – July 6, 2017 – Throughout its more than 50-year history, students in Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy have been challenged by and edified through a wide array of opportunities.

As HPU’s multidisciplinary honors program, the Academy emphasizes instruction in public policy and civic engagement. Formerly the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the Academy was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.

A limited number of students are accepted into the Academy each semester which helps strengthen the bond among the faculty and students.

“We try to emphasize fellowship with students and faculty beyond typical classroom interactions,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece ’03, Academy director and chair and associate professor of history and government.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Academy faculty and students hosted a variety of events including the academic presentation of the documentary “Tickling Giants” and watch parties for the presidential debates and election coverage. Academy majors were also among the HPU students who participated in state and national competitions through Moot Court and Mock Trial. Additionally, the Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team and the Model United Nations team traveled to London and Milan, respectively.

Frequent banquets and meetings allow Academy students to interact with alumni from the program and members of the Academy’s Board of Directors. Students working on their Academy theses also entertain questions from the Board of Directors in preparation of the oral defense before faculty.

“The more we can do to add to their undergraduate experiences in and out of the classroom, the better prepared they’ll be for the kinds of things they’ll face in the ‘real world,’” said Dr. McNiece.

Sydney Spencer of Georgetown graduated Magna Cum Laude from HPU in May 2017 with majors in the Academy, social work and social science (global studies).

“The experiences the Academy offered me through numerous experiential learning opportunities, one-on-one meetings with professors and the thesis curriculum allowed me to grow as a leader and enhance my knowledge of civic policy and its application on both a national and global level,” she said. “As a recent graduate of the program, I feel confident that the Academy and its professors have prepared me to be successful in future job interviews and master’s degree programs.”

Three Academy faculty members, including Dr. McNiece, are graduates from the program.

“Coming back to teach in the Academy says our experiences here were good and valuable, but it’s also our way of giving back,” he said. “The program emphasizes civic engagement and this is one of the ways we demonstrate that.”

The Academy offers several scholarships each year including a maximum of five full-tuition scholarships. Additional scholarship and academic opportunities are offered for junior-level Academy students through the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

For more information about the Academy, visit www.hputx.edu/academy. To learn more about enrolling at Howard Payne University, visit www.hputx.edu or call 325-649-8020.

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Cutline: Sydney Spencer, a student in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, graduated in May 2017. She is pictured with Dr. Matthew McNiece, Academy director and chair and associate professor of history and government.

Four selected as HPU Sumners Scholars

HPU Sumners Scholars 2017 for webBROWNWOOD – June 2, 2017 – Four students from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy were recently selected as Sumners Scholars. Acceptance into the Sumners Scholar Program, created by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, is based on an assessment of academic excellence, a sense of civic responsibility and leadership potential.

This year’s recipients are Jessica Catlett, sophomore from Alleyton; Augusta Johnson, junior from Gatesville; Tyler Olin, sophomore from Howe; and Emma Reed, junior from Kennedale.

Students are selected for the competitive four-semester program after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation. The foundation provides a $7,500-per-semester stipend for its participating students to be used for tuition, fees, books or room and board.

Sumners Scholars are also provided with opportunities to attend annual leadership and policy analysis conferences to supplement their learning and expand their growth potential. While receiving the scholarship, students are required to maintain a 3.25 GPA and be in good standing with the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

“The Sumners Scholars Program is an amazing benefit for our students in terms of both financial assistance and academic opportunities,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Academy. “We’re grateful to the Sumners Foundation for its ongoing support of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and its initiatives.”

For more information about the Sumner Scholars Program at HPU, visit www.hputx.edu/sumners.

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Cutline: Four students from HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy were named Sumner Scholars. Left to right: Tyler Olin, Augusta Johnson, Emma Reed and Jessica Catlett.

Two students honored at HPU’s annual Sumners Scholars Banquet

Leach and Spencer with Sumners representativesBROWNWOOD – May 1, 2017 – Two seniors from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy were honored recently during the annual Sumners Scholars Banquet. The students, who were selected during their junior year as Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholars, were awarded plaques and expressed gratitude for the opportunities provided them by the foundation.

Carrie Leach of Hurst, graduating in December, and Sydney Spencer of Georgetown, graduating in May, have each completed four semesters as Sumners Scholars.

The highly competitive and prestigious Sumners Scholar program offers students the chance to attend special lectures, seminars and conferences featuring world-renowned leaders from both public and private sectors. It also provides a generous scholarship of $7,500 per semester for two years. Students are selected after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation.

Named for its founder, former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.

“HPU is extremely grateful to the Sumners Foundation for its support of HPU and higher education,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Academy. “These students have demonstrated academic excellence, civic responsibility and leadership potential, qualities prized by both the Sumners Foundation and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.”

For more information about the Sumners Scholars program at HPU, visit www.hputx.edu/sumners.

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2017 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU Sumners Scholars Sydney Spencer, front left, and Carrie Leach, front right, were honored during the university’s annual Sumners Scholar Banquet. They are pictured with representatives from the Sumners Foundation, from left, Dale Crane, trustee; Hugh Akin, executive director; and David Drumm, chairman of the Board of Trustees.