News Archives: Guy D. Newman Honors Academy

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.

HPU Model United Nations wins five awards at Milan conference

MilMUN AwardsBROWNWOOD – April 27, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team recently participated in the Milan International Model United Nations conference in Italy, winning four out of an available six Best Delegate awards and an Honorable Mention.

MUN takes current world issues and asks students, who represent the different 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.

Best Delegate awards were given to Jaclyn Bonner, senior from Lytle, representing Italy on the European Council; Braxton Clark, senior from Southlake, representing the Republic of China on the League of Nations; Caleb Kostreva, sophomore from Clifton, Colorado, representing El Salvador on the Human Rights Council; and Lainee Hasty, junior from Runaway Bay, representing India on the Social and Economic Council. Joshua Dykes, senior from Mount Pleasant, received an Honorable Mention for his representation of Argentina on the Social and Economic Council.

“Everyone put in so much hard work in preparation for the conference, and it definitely paid off,” said Emma Reed, junior from Arlington, who served as head delegate of the HPU MUN team. “We all learned great lessons about other cultures and world politics.”

Additional participants included Reed, representing China on the Security Council; co-delegate Cody Perrin, senior from Eastland, representing France on the League of Nations; Joel Justice, junior from Brownwood, representing the United Kingdom on the League of Nations; Penny Stehlik, freshman from Round Rock, representing China on the Human Rights Council; and Jessica Swonger, sophomore from Midway, Arkansas, representing Spain on the European Council.

“I am proud of the HPU MUN team for their efforts at the Milan conference,” said Dr. Kevin Kelley, team sponsor and assistant professor of organizational psychology. “Not only did they represent Howard Payne University well, but they did so through humble diplomacy. Emma Reed, HPU’s head delegate, led our team admirably.”

Applications 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: Five HPU students received awards at the Milan International Model United Nations conference in Italy. Left to right: Caleb Kostreva, Lainee Hasty, Joshua Dykes, Jaclyn Bonner and Braxton Clark.

HPU honors John Nickols with Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal

Nickols familyBROWNWOOD – April 18, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy awarded John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science and special assistant to the athletic director, the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal at a recent luncheon held on campus. Nickols, who has served at HPU for 22 years, will retire in May.

The MacArthur Freedom Medal honors individuals who share Dr. Guy D. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, Western civilization, free enterprise and civic engagement. HPU’s Honors Academy, formerly the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.

In addition to teaching and coaching basketball at HPU, Nickols’ storied career includes time spent as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 25 years as a high school teacher and coach. He has additionally served as a Sunday School teacher and as a board member for the Brownwood Independent School District.

Nickols received the medal from Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; and Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Academy. Also present were Nickols’ wife, Barbara, and son Eric, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Academy.

“John Nickols is most deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Ellis. “It’s been an honor to serve alongside him at HPU and to witness the tremendous impact he’s had on the lives of his students and everyone with whom he’s come in contact.”

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Cutline: John Nickols, center, was recently awarded HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal. He is pictured with his son Eric and wife, Barbara.

HPU represents Baptist World Alliance at UN Commission on Status of Women

HPU group in NYCBROWNWOOD – April 11, 2017 – Representatives from Howard Payne University were among those in New York City recently for the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Thanks to the Baptist World Alliance, two HPU faculty members, two students and a recent graduate were able to attend the UN conference among diplomats and other leaders from around the world.

HPU representatives included Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies; Jennifer McNiece, assistant professor of government and director of international studies and academic travel; Elizabeth Allen, senior cross-cultural studies major from Brownwood; Rebeca Puente, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and jurisprudence social science major from Waskom; and Jessi Jordan, a 2015 HPU graduate now studying at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Commission on the Status of Women helps shape global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Through her connections with the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance, a fellowship of Baptist conventions and unions from around the world, Dr. Maxwell received five conference passes. Others representing the BWA included female leaders from each continent and representatives from 14 countries.

“The conference discussed what life is like for women around the world,” Dr. Maxwell said. “It was eye-opening to learn about issues that many women face and a great opportunity for our student leaders to discuss issues related to women. Learning about these topics alongside outstanding Baptist women from across the globe was an invaluable experience.”

Puente, who is preparing for a career in law, spoke about the opportunity to meet with leaders from around the world.

“At one of the events, I sat next to the Minister on Gender Equality for Iceland and listened to him talk about the work he’s doing for gender equality in his country,” she said. “At another event, women parliamentarians from around the world told us about their experiences facing violence in their countries because they are women in politics.”

As Christians at a largely secular conference, the HPU group members were tasked with considering how their faith speaks to such issues. Together with leaders from the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department, they prayed for the women of the world and discussed how the love of Christ motivated them to serve women in need.

“Our students, who are moving toward careers in ministry and law, were able to think about how they can be Christian leaders in today’s society,” said McNiece.

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Cutline: A group from Howard Payne University recently attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York City. Left to right: Dr. Melody Maxwell, Jennifer McNiece, Rebeca Puente, Jessi Jordan and Elizabeth Allen.

HPU Moot Court team dominates SMU tournament

Puente and Sommers with judges 2017BROWNWOOD – April 11, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team successfully defended its position as one of the best in the state by winning the recent tournament at Southern Methodist University. Seniors Rebeca Puente of Waskom and Isaac Sommers of Boerne were the tournament champions, defeating a team from the University of North Texas. Three of HPU’s five teams were among the top 10 at the tournament.

Additionally, Sommers and Jordan Hahn, freshman from Burnet, were named the conference’s second and ninth top speakers, respectively.

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. The case and allowed resources are selected beforehand and students must prepare arguments for both sides (petitioner and respondent). Moot Court involves appellate cases as opposed to those at the trial level, which are often called “mock trials.” Judges are usually law professors, attorneys from the community and even members of the judiciary. Students are judged on their ability to incorporate case law into their arguments, their oral and written arguments and their presentation style.

Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government, coaches the team. Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, expressed his appreciation for Kelley’s guidance.

“She not only coaches but consistently mentors these tremendous young scholars,” he said. “While their natural talent would undoubtedly lead them to success in just about any environment, I am deeply convinced that it is their time at HPU that will prepare them for excellent use of their gifts in the service of God and their communities.”

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Cutline: HPU Moot Court competitors Isaac Sommers and Rebeca Puente (holding plaques) are pictured with competition judges.

Stehlik receives full-tuition scholarship to HPU as student in university’s Honors Academy

Penny StehlikBROWNWOOD – November 8, 2016 – Penny Stehlik of Round Rock was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. Stehlik, who graduated from a homeschool program in May and began her freshman year at HPU this fall, is majoring in English and the Academy.

The Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy is designed for academically gifted students who aspire to leadership roles in a variety of careers. Students develop critical-thinking skills by analyzing current issues through the multidisciplinary Honors Academy major, which includes courses from the School of Humanities and the School of Business.

Stehlik learned of HPU and the Academy through a friend in the program and chose to attend because she liked the faculty and students she met on campus.

“I feel that the strength of the academics and the quality of the friends I have made will help me grow intellectually, relationally and spiritually,” she said.

Stehlik is a member of HPU’s Model United Nations team and plans on joining other organizations as well. Upon graduating from the university, she would like to do governmental work or missions.

“We are thrilled to welcome an exceptional new class into HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, Academy director. “Penny joins a small cohort of equally dedicated, bright and talented students as they learn to put into practice the Academy’s motto: ‘Facing the Future with Faith and Knowledge.’”

For more information about HPU and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, visit www.hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Penny Stehlik received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard Payne University as a student in the university’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

McCoy receives full-tuition scholarship to HPU as student in university’s Honors Academy

Morgan Andie McCoyBROWNWOOD – November 8, 2016 – Morgan Andie McCoy of Whitehouse, a May graduate of Grace Community High School in Tyler, was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard Payne University as a student in the university’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. McCoy, the daughter of Sherrie and Tony McCoy, began at HPU this fall and is majoring in global studies and the Academy.

The Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy is designed for academically gifted students who aspire to leadership roles in a variety of careers. Students develop critical-thinking skills by analyzing current issues through the multidisciplinary Honors Academy major, which includes courses from the School of Humanities and the School of Business.

McCoy chose to attend HPU because of the Academy program. She discovered the university while researching colleges online.

“At HPU, I hope to gain an academic foundation for my future,” she said. “The Academy program and its rigorous academic standards will prepare me for graduate school.”

McCoy participates in Moot Court at HPU and plans to attend graduate school and work in federal law enforcement upon graduating from the university.

“We are thrilled to welcome an exceptional new class into HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, Academy director. “Andie joins a small cohort of equally dedicated, bright and talented students as they learn to put into practice the Academy’s motto: ‘Facing the Future with Faith and Knowledge.’”

For more information about HPU and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, visit www.hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Morgan Andie McCoy received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard Payne University as a student in the university’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.