BROWNWOOD – August 24, 2017 – Howard Payne University began its fall 2017 semester this week with eleven new full-time faculty members among its ranks.
“Our new faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will greatly benefit our students and the university as a whole,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “HPU’s entire body of faculty demonstrates the highest of academic standards, and we look forward to the year ahead.”
New full-time faculty members include Teresa Cavitt, instructor of kinesiology; Dr. Dave Claborn, professor of government; David Clemons, instructor of history; Dr. Dennis Gibson, assistant professor of physical science; Dr. Leslie Griffin, associate professor of psychology and family studies; Dr. Rick Grimes; associate professor of kinesiology; Richelle Hair, instructor of communication; Dr. Jill Heupel, assistant professor of kinesiology; Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education; Dr. Nina Ouimette, dean of the School of Nursing and professor of nursing; and James Wunderle, Jr., instructor of psychology.
Teresa Cavitt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Education degree from HPU. She served as an adjunct instructor at HPU from 1999 to 2017 and as an aerobics instructor for Brownwood’s Coggin Avenue Baptist Church from 1990 to 1998.
Dr. Dave Claborn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He served at Olivet Nazarene University from 2011 to 2016 as associate professor and from 2006 to 2011 as assistant professor. Prior to that, he served as assistant to the pre-law advisor and as teaching assistant, advisor and instructor at the University of Massachusetts.
David Clemons earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southwestern Assemblies of God University and a Master of Arts degree from Wheaton College. He is a doctoral candidate at The University of Texas at Dallas. He previously served as an HPU adjunct instructor and as a doctoral teaching assistant at The University of Texas at Dallas. He also served as a history instructor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University from 2008 to 2012.
Dr. Dennis Gibson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and his Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in chemistry from South Dakota State University. Before arriving at HPU, he served as graduate teaching assistant at South Dakota State University from 2012 to 2017 and as chemistry tutor and laboratory teaching assistant at Northwestern State University from 2009 to 2012.
Dr. Leslie Griffin earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, a Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Woman’s University. She served as an adjunct faculty member in the University of North Texas’ School of Human Services from 2015 to 2017 and as family and consumer services teacher for Crowley ISD from 2011 to 2017. She additionally served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Woman’s University from 2012 to 2015 and as an adjunct faculty member at American Public University from 2012 to 2015.
Dr. Rick Grimes holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University and Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from the University of Houston. He served as senior lecturer at the University of North Texas from 2014 to 2017, as assistant professor at Texas A&M University – Kingsville from 2007 to 2012, and as assistant professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor from 2002 to 2007. Additionally, he served as an instructor at Tyler Junior College from 2000 to 2002 and as instructor and chair of the physical education department at Lone Star College District (Tomball College) from 1988 to 1999.
Richelle Hair holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree from Texas Tech University. Her previous experience includes serving as a graduate teaching assistant at Texas Tech University from 2015 to 2017 and as a graduate assistant consultant at Texas Tech University from 2016 to 2017.
Dr. Jill Heupel earned a Bachelor of Science degree, Master of Education degree and Doctor of Education degree from Tarleton State University. She served as a graduate assistant in teaching at Tarleton State University from 2016 to 2017 and as a graduate assistant in research from 2015 to 2016. She also served as an assistant principal in Stephenville ISD from 2011 to 2015, as a physical education teacher with Stephenville ISD from 1996 to 2011 and as a physical education teacher/junior high coach with Mexia ISD from 1995 to 1996.
Dr. Jane Metty-Samons holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stephen F. Austin University and a Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas A&M University. She served as professor of education at Mercer University from 2010 to 2016 and as instructor at Texas A&M University from 2008 to 2010. She has developed and delivered various programs and courses for a number of schools and universities.
Dr. Nina Ouimette earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from George Mason University, a Master of Science degree in child development and family relations from East Carolina University, a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech University. Her past experience includes serving as dean and professor of nursing with tenure at Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing from 2009 to 2016. Also with Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, she served as Bachelor of Science in Nursing director and associate professor of nursing with tenure from 2008 to 2009 and as assistant professor from 2002 to 2008. Additionally, she served as an adjunct faculty member at Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing from 2000 to 2002 and as RN clinical nurse analyst and nurse educator at Hendrick Medical Center from 1997 to 2002.
James Wunderle, Jr., holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University as well as a Master of Arts in Religious Education degree and a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a doctoral candidate at B.H. Carroll Theological Institute. He served as instructor at Ecclesia College from 2015 to 2017, as therapist at Ozark Guidance from 2015 to 2017 and as therapist/CEO at Cornerstone Counseling from 2004 to present. Additionally, he served as therapist/CEO of NWA Family Counseling, Inc., from 2005 to 2015 and as therapist at the Counseling Center of Denton from 1998 to 1999.
(Updated October 12, 2017)
Cutline: HPU’s new faculty members include, from left, Dr. Rick Grimes, Teresa Cavitt, Dr. Jill Heupel, Dr. Dennis Gibson, Dr. Dave Claborn, David Clemons, Dr. Nina Ouimette (front row), Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, Dr. Leslie Griffin and Richelle Hair. Not pictured is James Wunderle, Jr.