News Archives: School of Business

HPU student’s “non-traditional” approach leads to degree after 17 years

mike bannister and lester towell for webBROWNWOOD – May 6, 2015 – The path to a college degree varies a bit for every student, but for Howard Payne University senior Mike Bannister, the journey was almost 17 years in the making.

The 56-year-old Brownwood native will receive his Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems this May after first setting foot on the HPU campus as a student in 1999.

“I tell everyone I have tenure,” he says, laughing. “I’ve made a career out of being a student. Some semesters I took a single class. The largest course load I’ve taken in a semester is 10 hours.”

He also took several breaks from classes due to a busy work schedule, including 15 months when he lived in Singapore. Bannister says his employer of 30 years, 3M in Brownwood, has been very supportive throughout his academic career.

“My managers gave me a lot of flexibility in my schedule,” he says. “I’m really thankful for the support they’ve given me.”

As a product development engineer with 3M, staying current with technological trends is crucial for Bannister as he works with lab teams to bring new products to market. His HPU coursework has proven to be a solid foundation upon which to build his expertise in his field.

“The technology has changed since I first started at HPU in 1999, but I am able to take what I learned then and continue to adapt my knowledge and skills,” says Bannister.

He has seen many classes of students graduate since he arrived on campus and has even been able to mentor some students in their own paths.

“I tell them to treat college seriously and concentrate as they go after their own degrees,” he says. “I try to encourage them because I know the hurdles they are facing.”

Bannister did not have a single college hour when he began at HPU.

“I was intimidated and nervous,” he says. “I had to relearn study skills, but I ended up being a lot better college student than I was a high school student.”

Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission, processed Bannister’s applications for readmission throughout the years. She works with many non-traditional students which include, but are not limited to, current and retired military personnel, working parents, husbands and wives, and single students over the age of 21 with no previous college experience.

“I was also a non-traditional student at HPU and can most certainly relate to Mike’s 17-year academic career,” she says. “I was on an extended degree plan of 11 years while working as a full-time university employee. I appreciate so much his dedication and perseverance.”

Mangrum says HPU’s faculty, staff and student body are very supportive of non-traditional students.

“They appreciate and embrace the fact that these students bring to the classroom maturity and life experience, which greatly enrich the educational experience both inside and outside the classroom,” she says. “The journey toward a bachelor’s degree may take longer for some non-traditional students, but the destination is worth the journey and the journey is worth the destination. The educational experiences and the relationships forged along the way are priceless and are lifetime investments.”

At the Academic Awards Convocation held at the end of April, Bannister was named the Outstanding Student in Computer Information Systems and Outstanding Non-Traditional Student for the 2014-2015 academic year. He was also inducted into HPU’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society. Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems and CIS professor, says Bannister is a “model student.”

“He asks questions, attends every class and completes all projects on time,” Dr. Towell says. “Mike exemplifies the desire for an education over a grade. I could not ask for a better student or example.”

Now that his academic days are drawing to a close, Bannister is excited about the opportunity to continue furthering his career while spending more time with his wife and family. As a member of the first generation in his immediate family to complete requirements for a college degree, Bannister is proud of his accomplishment and thankful for the opportunity to attend HPU. He offers advice to others who may be considering an unconventional approach to higher education.

“No matter how scared or nervous you are, at least give it a try,” he says. “Take a class and see how you do. The ‘A’ grades I received were encouraging and gave me the fuel to go on to each new semester.”

For more information about becoming a student at Howard Payne University, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or via e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

HPU’s Sigma Beta Delta inducts nine new members

Sigma Beta Delta 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – April 7, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society inducted nine new members to its organization on March 25. Dr. Lois Patton, professor of business administration, was the guest speaker for the event.

Inductees included Christy Ash, junior from Brownwood; Mike Bannister, senior from Brownwood; Kyndal Broome, senior from San Angelo; Kelcie Hunter, senior from Brownwood; Summer King, junior from Brownwood; Rachel Mahagan, junior from Georgetown; Dianna Megarity, junior from Cross Plains; Andrea Peaster, junior from Brownwood; and Ethan West, senior from Leander.

Dr. Patton, who will retire at the end of the semester, spoke to the students about how to deal with the delays, rejections or interrupted plans they may encounter in the years to come.

“I say these things not to bring you down, but to lift you up,” she said. “If you are a Christian, you believe in the Creator as the designer. The amazing thing is that while He created this vast universe, he knew us before we were even born.”

Sigma Beta Delta was founded as a national organization in 1994 for NCAA Division III universities and is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. HPU’s chapter received its charter in 1999.

“Sigma Beta Delta encourages and recognizes scholarship and accomplishment among students of business, management and administration,” said Dr. Trissa Cox, associate professor of computer information systems and Sigma Beta Delta president. “This year’s honorees represent Howard Payne University well through their commitments toward personal and professional improvement. They exemplify both in and out of the classroom the rigor and commitment that is necessary in finding success. We are continuously refreshed and encouraged by their efforts and are pleased to take this opportunity to celebrate.”

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Photo cutline: HPU’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society recently inducted nine new members, joined at the ceremony by three previous HPU inductees. Back row, left to right: Murray Clingerman (2014 inductee), Christy Ash, Dianna Megarity, Andrea Peaster, Kyndal Broome and Mike Bannister. Front row, left to right: Zachary Varner (2011 inductee), Rachel Mahagan, Kelcie Hunter, Summer King and Chandler Condra (2014 inductee). Not pictured is Ethan West.

HPU students partner with Brownwood High School in hands-on project

By Chandler Condra, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2014 – During the fall 2014 semester, senior business students enrolled in Human Resource Management (HRM) at Howard Payne University worked with Brownwood High School students on a project designed to strengthen the relationship between the two schools and create a hands-on learning experience for both parties.

In an effort to provide both sets of students with valuable experiences, the focus of the project was résumé and job interview strategies. HPU students were responsible for researching and developing comprehensive résumé and interview workshops for the high school students to attend.

HRM interview at BHS for webDr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, instructed the HRM students and oversaw the application of the project.

“Service learning is a growing field in education, and I believed there was a way to marry the needs of local high school students with the needs of college students,” said Dr. Kelley. “When you teach something you learn more about it, and I knew if I could get my students to teach something to the high school students, they would internalize more of the data they experience.”

The process began by creating three mock job descriptions outlining available positions in three fictitious companies. HPU students delivered brief presentations on the best practices in résumé writing and job interviewing, and the BHS students were tasked to create their own unique résumés for one of the three available positions and submit them for comments. After revising their résumés, the BHS students brought their final copies and were individually interviewed by students from the HRM class for the jobs the high school students selected.

Both sets of students gained hands-on experience with the materials they were tasked to create. For BHS students, this included a simulated testing of their knowledge of proper résumé format and interview etiquette. HPU students learned to design job descriptions, present created materials and interview prospective employees.

The Human Resource Management class consisted of 12 students who worked directly with more than 80 BHS students.

“Academics and the real world are very different,” said Dr. Kelley. “You don’t take tests in the real world. You create presentations, you seek value and you create value. That’s what we did here. We created value.”

Dr. Kelley was not alone in his thoughts. Coach David Edgin, who oversaw the BHS students involved, felt his classes gained much from the experience.

“Our résumé and interview assignment with HPU was beneficial for everyone involved,” said Edgin. “High school students need to know how to write professional résumés and how a true interview for a professional job should be handled.”

Students of the Human Resource Management class also believed the experience was valuable to them. Brittany Cavness, a senior from Lampasas, enjoyed the project and thinks it will help her when looking for a job in the future.

“The practicality of this project was refreshing,” said Cavness. “Having real-world experience is something we can use to get a leg up in our résumés.”

Dr. Kelley believes experiential assignments are the best way to introduce business students to the standards to which they will be held after graduation.

“When we use applied experiences, we require our students to meet a certain realistic standard of competence,” he said. “If you cannot sell your work then you bring no value to your employer. Brownwood ISD saw value in the project, so we are creating value for the community and thereby excelling at that level of competence.”

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Photo cutline: HPU student J.T. Muzquiz conducts a mock job interview for a student at Brownwood High School.

HPU’s Chuck Boland named FAR Fellow by NCAA Division III

Chuck Boland FAR for webBROWNWOOD – October 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

According to the organization, the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Fellows Institute was launched in 2010 and aims to increase the effectiveness of Division III faculty athletic representatives at the campus, conference and national levels.

Boland has served at HPU since 1981.

“I am grateful that the NCAA selected me,” said Boland in a news release issued by the organization. “I plan to take the opportunity to enhance the FAR position and be more noticeable in the athletic-academic circles.”

As a FAR Fellow, Boland will participate in a three-day professional development program at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis October 17-19. The program is designed to examine best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of faculty athletic representatives, help fellows develop the leadership skills necessary to carry out their responsibilities on campus and in their conference, and strengthen the network of FARs needed to serve on conference, divisional and association-wide committees.

“We’re very pleased that the NCAA has recognized Chuck in this way,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “He is a tremendous asset to our campus and the American Southwest Conference. It is a pleasure to work alongside Chuck to advocate for our student athletes and our coaches.”

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Photo cutline: Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department at HPU, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

HPU New Braunfels graduate published in scholarly journal

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – September 29, 2014 – Dwayne M. Eastwood of New Braunfels, a 2014 Master of Business Administration graduate of Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center, was published online last month in Risk & Insurance, a professional journal that features articles by leading executives concerned with the topic of risk management.

Dwayne Eastwood for webEastwood researched efficiency, health and safety in the work field for his capstone project, focusing on the innovation of stand-up desks. At the conclusion of his studies he met his goal of submitting his findings for publication.

His article, “Stand Up for Health,” analyzed the health benefits, long-term cost reduction and risk factor limitation of providing employees with a sit-stand option.

“Having a piece of work published is the pinnacle for people who are passionate about what they do for a living,” Eastwood remarked. “I received advice, support and encouragement from the professors at HPU’s New Braunfels Center during the process. I do not think my work would have been published without their support.”

Eastwood earned his bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety at Oklahoma State University and is currently employed as the risk manager at McCoy’s Building Supply corporate headquarters in San Marcos.

Dr. Dan Pryor, assistant professor of business at HPU, noted, “Dwayne is a great example of the outstanding students in HPU’s MBA program. He’s bright and he’s taken what he’s learned in the program and made practical applications at McCoy’s. Dwayne was an asset to his colleagues in the MBA program, and his future is very bright.”

Eastwood expressed his satisfaction with both the faculty and the university as a whole.

“Even though I have completed the MBA program, I feel confident that if I were to call on the professors, they would be more than willing to support my growth in the future,” he stated. “I chose HPU New Braunfels because it was a non-traditional program. The decision to return to school for an MBA was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

HPU business students assist local organization

BROWNWOOD – May 16, 2014 – Howard Payne University students in Dr. Kevin Kelley’s organizational behavior class recently finalized and delivered an applied class project to Doak Givan, executive director at Brownwood’s Family Services Center.

The students reviewed and updated the Family Services Center’s job descriptions, a project which took approximately 10 weeks to complete.

“The students successfully made entry, negotiated scope, identified project leaders and teams, developed an interview guide, trained interviewers, scheduled interviews and interviewed 20 Family Services Center employees,” said Dr. Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology. “They then revised and rewrote job descriptions and delivered a polished product. Mr. Givan was exceptionally pleased with the team’s professionalism, timeliness, dedication and final product.”

In addition to applying what they learned in the classroom to a live consulting project, students divided into teams and leaders volunteered to manage both tasks and people. Finally, a project manager was promoted, which allowed the students run the entire project to completion.

Students participating in the project were Neva Bowers, junior from Victoria, project manager; Shelby Creed, senior from Brownwood, team member; Lacy Culpepper, junior from Zephyr, final deliverable manager; Ray Delgado, junior from Brownwood, deliverable lead; Ethan Ferrel, senior from Childress, team member; Kalin Hanna, senior from Brownwood, team member; Zach Herman, senior from Brownwood, scheduling lead; Dustin Kelver, senior from Spring, deliverable lead; Lizzie Mitchell, senior from Mesquite, team member; Jake Sadler, junior from Liberty Hill, team member; Will Thomas, senior from Brownwood, team member; Skyler Turpin, senior from Graham, team member; and Ross Whittet, senior from Granbury, scheduling lead.

HPU faculty member loses battle with cancer

Dr. Mark PattonBROWNWOOD – April 7, 2014 – With great sadness, Howard Payne University announces the passing of Dr. Mark Patton, professor of business administration. Dr. Patton succumbed to a lengthy battle with cancer on April 6, 2014. He was 59.

Dr. Patton is survived by his wife Dr. Lois Patton, HPU professor of business administration and director of the Master of Business Administration program, and the couple’s sons, Ryan and James, and their families.

“Hearts are very heavy on campus today, and they will be for quite some time,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Mark was an irreplaceable part of the HPU family, and we mourn with Lois and their children.”

Drs. Mark and Lois Patton joined the HPU faculty in 2009. Dr. Mark Patton taught undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing, entrepreneurship and general business.

Throughout his illness, Dr. Patton continued to pursue his passion of teaching. He missed classes as little as possible, despite the toll cancer and chemotherapy treatments took on his body.

“Dr. Patton was greatly admired by the HPU faculty, staff and students who considered him a friend and mentor,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer. “We take comfort in knowing that he is now restored to health and rejoicing in the Lord’s presence, and we ask for continued prayers for his family and friends.”

A private family funeral will be held in Tennessee. In lieu of cards and flowers, the family has requested that gifts be made to HPU in Dr. Patton’s honor.

Dr Mark Patton and class for web

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Photo cutline: Dr. Mark Patton (front row, third from left) poses for a photo last year with students in his Master of Business Administration class. At the end of the semester, the class honored him with a gift certificate for the Star of Texas Bed & Breakfast.

HPU’s Kelley addresses International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education

Kevin KelleyBROWNWOOD – December 5, 2013 – Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Howard Payne University, recently presented at the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) Fall Region VI Conference held in Dallas. The topic for Dr. Kelley’s presentation was “Employer Expectations for College Graduates.”

“Dr. Kelley presented several key insights on how college business programs can prepare their graduates for today’s dynamic business environment,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business. “His experience in assessing managerial talent provided the conference participants an opportunity to discuss implications for learning outcomes for various business programs.”

Dr. Kelley teaches in the psychology and business administration departments at HPU. He also serves as a consultant/partner in the business development firm TAD (Talent Assessment and Development). Most recently, he has worked in organizational strategy and change management at Apple and IBM.

IACBE is the specialized accrediting body for six business programs at HPU. There are more than 250 institutions worldwide with business programs accredited by IACBE.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of industrial/organizational psychology at HPU, recently addressed the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

HPU presenter discusses careers in advertising

Emily Ellison for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Emily E. Ellison, account executive for the Dallas-based Moroch Agency, recently spoke with Howard Payne University faculty, staff and students about her career in advertising.

Ellison’s presentation was geared toward students interested in pursuing careers in the field, and she gave advice on the importance of internships and networking. Ellison also showed creative material produced by the agency for one of her biggest clients, McDonald’s.

Moroch, which specializes in retail and branding services, has offices in most of the top 50 markets in the United States. In addition to McDonald’s, clients include Coca-Cola, Midas, Western Union and many more.

Ellison is the daughter of Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU’s president and first lady.

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Photo cutline: Emily E. Ellison addresses HPU students, faculty and staff on careers in advertising.

MBA program begins at New Braunfels Center

student_group_with_dr__pryor_croppedHoward Payne University’s New Braunfels Center Master of Business Administration program began January 14 with seven total students. Two more students are currently enrolled to begin during later terms.

Dr. Dan Pryor teaches a course on leadership, while Dr. Larry Meadows teaches about legal issues for managers.

“Momentum for the MBA in New Braunfels is picking up speed,” said Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external programs and church relations and director of the New Braunfels Center. “At nearly every event and meeting I attend in the community, someone tells me that they or someone they know is planning to begin the program.”

Pictured above is Dr. Pryor’s leadership class. From left are Linda Cox, Frank Wall, Brittney Overstreet, Stephen Ellery, Dr. Pryor, Matthew Morgan and Kimberly Stevens.