News Archives: School of Humanities

HPU’s Dr. Evelyn Romig named Distinguished Professor of Literature

BROWNWOOD – September 10, 2015 – After 34 years of extraordinary service to Howard Payne University, Dr. Evelyn Romig has accepted the position of HPU’s first Distinguished Professor of Literature.

Dr. Romig has served the university faculty as head of the Department of English, dean of the School of Humanities, president of the Faculty Assembly and, since 1988, as full professor of English.

“When Dr. Romig expressed the desire to reduce her teaching load or possibly retire, we discussed the opportunity for her to serve in a new role,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, university provost and chief academic officer. “Known for her innovations in classroom teaching, Dr. Romig is again assisting the university to pioneer new avenues of educational excellence.”

As the university’s first Distinguished Professor of Literature, Dr. Romig will continue to teach on a limited basis, providing the same exemplary experience for which she is known.

“I can’t think of a teacher who better balances commitment to her subject matter with commitment to her students,” said Dr. Millard Kimery, professor of English and chair of the Department of English. “The English department is lucky to have more time to learn from her example.”

Dr. Romig is the recipient of numerous Excellence in Teaching Awards at HPU and the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award in 1991. She is published by Salem Press and in scholarly publications such as Dickens Quarterly and Literature and Psychology. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Texas A&M University and Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rice University.

Dr. Romig has been very engaged in the community, serving as a leader at the United Methodist Church, as member of the American Association of University Women and with the Pecan Valley Arts Festival. She served for 12 years with the Brownwood Independent School District Board of Trustees, including a term as its president.

“I am excited for our students and the university that Dr. Romig will remain on the faculty through which she has served the Brownwood community so faithfully,” said Dr. Tew.


Photo cutline: Dr. Evelyn Romig was recently named HPU’s first Distinguished Professor of Literature.

HPU’s Dr. Paul Lilly awarded the John Edgar Hoover Memorial Award

humeniuk and lilly for webBROWNWOOD – August 31, 2015 – Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of Howard Payne University’s Department of Public Safety, was recently awarded the John Edgar Hoover Memorial Award of the National Awards program of the American Police Hall of Fame. Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program, presented the award on Friday during a faculty assembly.

In a letter to Dr. Lilly, Chief Jack L. Rinchich, national president of the American Police Hall of Fame, wrote, “Your dedication to continuing education and training to improve your law enforcement skills is proof of your commitment to serve the public. By striving for knowledge, you set an admirable standard for all officers to follow.”

Dr. Lilly said he was “honored beyond words” to receive this award.

“I had heard of this honor but never knew anyone who actually received it,” he said.

Humeniuk said she was delighted, but not surprised, to learn Dr. Lilly received the award.

“Dr. Lilly has a very distinguished career in law enforcement,” she said. “His lengthy career in law enforcement prior to teaching in higher education has been a tremendous help in making application of theory, principles and practices come true for our students in the classroom.”


Photo cutline: Lynn Humeniuk, left, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program, presented the John Edgar Hoover Memorial Award to Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of Howard Payne University’s Department of Public Safety.

HPU’s Dr. Nancy Romig presents Fitzgerald paper at Boston conference

Nancy Romig for webBROWNWOOD – July 31, 2015 – Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at Howard Payne University, recently presented a paper at the 26th annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

The ALA is a national association that encourages scholars to come together and share their research on and strategies for teaching American authors and writings.

Dr. Romig’s paper, titled “Fitzgerald’s Crisis of Masculinity in The Great Gatsby,” was presented during a discussion hosted by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Each presentation for the panel centered on Fitzgerald’s life and his works.

“My paper examined Fitzgerald’s personal life and how his anxieties about and desires to meet social expectations for masculine behavior caused him to construct the central male characters in The Great Gatsby, like Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan, in definite and extreme ways,” Dr. Romig said.

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, said he is proud of Dr. Romig’s academic accomplishments.

“Dr. Romig has struck a great balance between professional development and the needs of her students,” he said. “I’m impressed with the level of scholarship she is achieving.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at HPU, recently presented a paper on F. Scott Fitzgerald at the annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

HPU students serve God and experience Spanish culture on Costa Rica trip

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 15, 2015 – Thirteen Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff members visited the country of Costa Rica following the end of the spring 2015 semester. The international experience was led by Carla Hawkins, then assistant professor of Spanish, and Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

hpu group at irazu volcano for webThe expedition was HPU’s first hybrid trip combining students from Spanish class with mission volunteers of the BSM. However, all students participated in each of the activities during the 11-day trip.

The students and supervisors made their first stop at Hogar De Vida, an orphanage, where they witnessed to others by serving and repainting parts of the facility.

“We spent the first three days serving at this orphanage in Atenas,” said Platte. “The workers there rely on volunteers like us to help maintain or repair the facility. We also helped lead devotionals.”

The group then spent three days in Cahuita along the eastern coast experiencing the Caribbean culture, three days in the central mountainous region of Costa Rica at Paraíso and three days in San Jose, Costa Rica’s largest city.

Activities included guided tours of the mountain ranges, coffee plantations, art and history museums, churches, marketplaces and more. The goal was to give students an immersive experience in the Spanish-American and Caribbean cultures in a range of locations.

“The country has so much culture and a rich history,” said Platte. “We visited their oldest still-attended church, which is even older than the United States.”

A common greeting in the country is “pura vida,” or “pure life.” It epitomizes the cultural experience of the HPU group, according to the students.

“I love that they all say ‘pura vida’ because it shows that they aren’t worried about other things and that they love the life they live,” said Adrienne Sanchez, junior Spanish major from Ozona.

The diversity of the culture, geography and opportunity for service made Costa Rica a prime choice for HPU’s first hybrid trip. The students studied the country before arriving to better appreciate the experience.

“From the relaxing lifestyle of the coast, to the beautiful views from the volcanoes, to the ever-busy life of the markets in the cities, Costa Rica has it all,” said Ashley Chapman, senior Spanish and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Ennis.

Additional students on the trip included Kyndal Broome, senior management major from San Angelo; Anthony Bryant, criminal justice major and May 2015 graduate from Copperas Cove; Tara Carroll, sophomore Spanish major from McKinney; Yessenia Cazares, senior psychology major from El Paso; Camryn Lopez, senior Spanish major from Wallis; Cody Perrin, junior history and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Eastland; Trystin Teale, freshman liberal arts major from Midland; Hannah Williamson, junior Spanish major from Fort Worth; and Mikayla Warren, senior cross-cultural studies major from Salado.


Photo cutline: A group from HPU is pictured at the top of the Irazú Volcano at a national park in Costa Rica. Back row, left to right: Keith Platte, Anthony Bryant, Cody Perrin and Trystin Teale. Middle row, left to right: Camryn Lopez, Mikayla Warren, Hannah Williamson, Adrienne Sanchez, Kyndal Broome, Yessenia Cazares and Tara Carroll. Front row, left to right: Ashley Chapman and Gustavo Abarca, the group’s tour guide. Not pictured is Carla Hawkins.

HPU to host Moot Camp for up-and-coming debaters

isaac sommers for webBROWNWOOD – July 6, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host Moot Camp this Thursday through
Saturday, July 9-11. The camp is designed to prepare students in the introductory and advanced aspects of Moot Court, such as interpreting legal cases, writing and presenting legal arguments and responding to judges’ questions.

Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of political science at HPU, said Moot Court is a form of debate modeled after the U.S. appellate legal process. Kelley serves as adviser for HPU’s Moot Court team.

“Students at our camp will hone their skills by participating in a number of practice rounds,” she said. “They will also compete in a Moot Court mini-tournament.”

The camp’s lead instructor is HPU student Isaac Sommers, sophomore from Boerne, a two-time high school Washington College of Law National Champion, the 2014 Collegiate Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association Regional Champion and Best Oralist, and the 2015 American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship Semifinalist and 3rd Best Oralist.

“Isaac is an outstanding competitor and I’m excited to see him relay his knowledge and experience to our camp participants,” said Kelley.

The cost to participate is $160 and includes room and board. The camp is open to college students, rising college freshmen and high school debaters (age 16 and older) with two or more years of experience. For more information, visit


Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Isaac Sommers will serve as lead instructor at HPU’s Moot Camp this week. He is pictured following the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament held at Florida International University in January, during which he was named semifinalist and 3rd Best Oralist.

HPU’s Psi Chi inducts 17 new members

Psi Chi induction spring 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – June 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society inducted 17 new members at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

The purpose of Psi Chi is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of its individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

This year’s inductees included Nick Bennie of Brownwood, Brittany Davis of Red Oak, Allison Eaton of Briggs, Amanda Gober of Brownwood, Angelica Gray of San Antonio, Victoria Hardin of Bangs, Heather Hildebrand of Big Spring, Kelsey Johnson of Goldthwaite, Taryn Massey of Abilene, Erin McLeod of Eufaula, Okla., Shay Pate of Red Oak, Amy Segura of Brownwood, Kristian Simpson of Burnet, Gage Smith of Gardendale, Katie Straach of Coleman, Tate Sullivan of Fredericksburg and Stephanie Upfold of Brownwood.

“It is a privilege to have so many excellent students join us,” said adviser Dr. Jennifer Clement, assistant professor of psychology. “We are so proud of them.”


Photo cutline: Seventeen HPU students were inducted into Psi Chi during the 2014-2015 academic year. Back row, left to right: Gage Smith, Allison Eaton, Angelica Gray, Amy Segura, Amanda Gober and Taryn Massey. Center row, left to right: Tate Sullivan, Kristian Simpson, Nick Bennie, Kelsey Johnson and Heather Hildebrand. Front row, left to right: Erin McLeod, Victoria Hardin and Katie Straach. Not pictured: Brittany Davis, Shay Pate and Stephanie Upfold.

HPU class assists City of Brownwood with 10-year master plan survey

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – June 11, 2015 – Nine Howard Payne University students recently presented their findings of a semester-long project to Brownwood City Council. Under the leadership of Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, the students accepted a consulting project for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to create, market and implement a survey polling the opinion of local residents on Brownwood parks.

org class for webThe proposition of consulting Brownwood on a city project was brought to Emily Crawford, then executive director of Brownwood Economic Development Corporation, in August by Dr. Kelley.

“Students learn best when they apply their knowledge to an actual project and what better place to do so than the marketplace of business and government?” said Dr. Kelley. “We did this project so students could learn from doing and not just from reading.”

After a period of review and consideration, Crawford had the project in mind and prepared a request for proposal for the students of Dr. Kelley’s organization behavior class. After evaluating the request for proposal during the first class period of spring, the students were given the option to accept or refuse the project opportunity.

“It’s important that students decided on their own whether or not they want to accept a project because with ownership comes personal responsibility and motivation,” said Dr. Kelley.

The students agreed to the project and submitted their proposal to the city. Once the proposal was accepted, the students began drafting the hard copy and digital formats of the survey. Public awareness was raised through posters hung at local parks and businesses, a local texting service and even Facebook advertisements. Additionally, Dr. Kelley and class participant Victoria Krawczynski, a May graduate from San Antonio, promoted the project on local radio stations. The survey was available from late-February to early-April and received a total of 1,118 responses, compared to the city’s last Parks and Recreation Department survey which yielded about 300 responses.

“We had students interacting directly with the client and other students taking team leads based on their own strengths,” said Dr. Kelley. “One student, Chandler Condra (senior from Fredericksburg), took the initiative to be the media relations lead, of which he already had extensive knowledge from his collegiate experience. I enjoyed that because he brought forward ideas, such as Facebook ads and a local text service, which gave us an enormous amount of respondents and helped culminate in the success of the project.”

The organization behavior class tasked with the project was studying human behavior in organizations with emphasis on motivation, communication and leadership.

“Learning how to work with others in engaging in a consulting project truly is about teamwork, relationships and motivation,” said Dr. Kelley. “I tried to stand back as much as possible and let the students succeed on their own and learn through personal experience.”

Summer King, a senior from Brownwood, was one of the student project managers and also served as liaison between City Council and the team. She believes the project was an invaluable experience.

“Doing this project was exciting because it allowed our class to gain real-world experience,” said King.

Additional class participants included Brittany Cavness, a May graduate from Lampasas; Burke Edwards, a May graduate from Plano; the late Kellee Greenwood from Brownwood; Adam Lloyd, a senior from Brownwood; Kelcie Lloyd, a senior from Brownwood; Natali Maldonado, a May graduate from Brownwood; and Sean Locker, a May graduate from North Richland Hills.

Once the survey was completed, the data was collated and presented to City Council. According to the results, Brownwood residents prefer Coggin and Riverside Parks to others and believe that parks can be improved by adding walking trails, swimming locations and more lights at existing parks.

The information gleaned from the survey will be instrumental in developing the city’s new 10-year master plan, which aids fund appropriation from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. City Council subsequently approved the acceptance of a $200,000 grant from the TPWD. Dr. Kelley believes this result fulfills the mission of HPU.

“As a Christian university, it is our responsibility and privilege to be active in our community,” said Dr. Kelley. “Our students need to avail themselves to service. That forwards our Christian mission and demonstrates that our students are not just here to learn but to serve.”


Photo cutline: Nine HPU students recently assisted the City of Brownwood’s Parks and Recreation Department with a semester-long project. The students and Dr. Kevin Kelley (standing in back) are pictured at City Hall. Left to right: Adam Lloyd, Kelcie Lloyd, Brittany Cavness, Victoria Krawczynski, Kellee Greenwood, Summer King, Burke Edwards, Sean Locker and Chandler Condra.

HPU students complete criminal justice internships

crj interns spring 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – June 10, 2015 – Ten Howard Payne University students were recently honored for the successful completion of criminal justice internships. The students were recognized at the end of the semester at a luncheon held at Section Hand Steakhouse in Brownwood.

Criminal justice majors are required to complete 150 hours of service with an agency or organization which reflects three credit hours toward their degrees. Internships include working with “at risk” students and adults at local, state and federal agencies as well as positions with law firms, law enforcement agencies and many other opportunities that help students prepare for a future in the field of criminal justice.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program, works to match students with positions that reflect their career goals and interests.

“We’re very thankful for the individuals in the community and around the state who serve as supervisors and mentors for our interns,” she said. “This collaborative effort is very beneficial to our students.”

Participating students included Sam Allen of Harlingen, intern at Harlingen Police Department; Shelby Bridges of Deer Park, intern at Bandera County Juvenile Probation Department; Dane Bryant of Copperas Cove, intern at Brownwood Police Department; Patricia Burleson of Blanket, intern at the office of John Lee Blagg, attorney at law; Christina Calleros of Brownwood, intern at Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Crystal Carter of Brownwood, intern at Brown County Adult Probation Department; Marcos Corley of Corpus Chrisi, intern at Corpus Christi Police Department; Troy Cuff of College Station, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Adrianna Perez of Rowlett, intern at the office of John Lee Blagg, attorney at law; and Luis Robles of Florence, intern at A World For Children foster placement agency.


Photo cutline: Ten HPU students recently completed internships in the field of criminal justice. They are pictured with HPU faculty and several of the local supervisors and mentors. Back row, left to right: Assistant Chief James Fuller, Brownwood Police Department; Dane Bryant, intern; Dr. Paul Lilly, chief of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Assistant Chief Bob Pacatte, HPU Department of Public Safety; Chief Mike Corley, Brownwood Police Department; Lt. Les Karnes, Brown County Sheriff’s Office and Marcos Corley, intern.

Front row, left to right: Luis Robles, intern; Shelby Bridges, intern; Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program; Patricia Burleson, intern; Adrianna Perez, intern; Troy Cuff, intern; Christina Calleros, intern; and Crystal Carter, intern.

HPU’s Kelley named to ACMA Board of Directors

Kelley and students for webBROWNWOOD – June 9, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of political science, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) for the 2015-2016 academic year. Kelley has served as adviser for HPU’s Moot Court team since 2013.

In both 2013 and 2014, HPU teams won the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association (TUMCA) regional competition and advanced to the national ACMA tournament. During the most recent national tournament, HPU students advanced to semifinals for the first time in more than a decade.

Kelley, a 2002 graduate from HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, also serves as adviser for HPU’s new Mock Trial team which brought home a sportsmanship award from their first tournament in January.

“I’m very proud of Professor Kelley and the accomplishments she has achieved during her time at HPU, both as a student and as a faculty member,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. “She will be an excellent addition to the ACMA’s Board of Directors.”


Photo cutline: Lorianna Kelley, center, is pictured with HPU Moot Court students Katie Rose Bonner, a May 2015 graduate, and Isaac Sommers, sophomore, who advanced to the semifinals at a national tournament in January. Kelley was recently named to the Board of Directors for the American Collegiate Moot Court Association.

HPU’s Spirit of Social Work Award presented to Troy and Bettie Evans

By Christy Ash, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – May 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to Troy and Bettie Evans. The award recognizes the couple’s engagement in serving others through volunteering in the community.

Spirit of Social Work Spring 2015 for webMrs. Evans has volunteered at Good Samaritan Ministries for 15 years and Mr. Evans has been a volunteer there for 14 years. For a four-year period, he also served on the Board of Directors. Mrs. Evans has worked with food and clothing for the ministry and also has served with the Christian Women’s Job Corps for the past 11 years.

Mr. Evans is a graduate of West Texas A&M University, with a degree in mathematics. He worked for the federal government for 32 years, spending 28 years at the White Sands Missile Range. Mrs. Evans attended New Mexico State University and pursued a teaching degree. She worked for the United States Postal Service for two years prior to becoming a retail business owner for nine years.

They are active members of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church and have traveled on several mission trips. Approximately 14 years ago, Mr. Evans began cooking for the church and, since then, has cooked 150 to 200 briskets per year to help raise funds for mission trips and youth choir trips. The couple also volunteered with the Operation Christmas Child ministry, twice traveling to the distribution center in Colorado to help pack and ship gift boxes.

The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August. They have three children, Lisa, Dawn and Brian.

When asked why they were so engaged with ministry and the community, they replied that they were just “doing God’s work.”

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology, presented the award to the couple.

“Given their record of volunteer involvement, Troy and Bettie truly have demonstrated the spirit of social work,” he said. “The members of the Social Work Advisory Committee were very pleased to honor them in this way.”


Photo cutline: Dan Humeniuk (right) recently presented HPU’s Spirit of Social Work Award to Bettie and Troy Evans.