News Archives: School of Humanities

HPU announces new online master’s degree program in criminal justice

BROWNWOOD – September 15, 2016 – Howard Payne University has announced the unveiling of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program to be offered beginning in October 2016. Coursework, offered completely online, is designed to provide preparation for those who are interested in furthering their career goals in a field of criminal justice.

The degree program’s curriculum is designed to provide an appropriate balance of theory with practical application. Instruction will be centered in a Christian servant-leadership model focusing on the balance of justice and restoration. Two tracks will be offered in which the student will choose either nine hours of law enforcement elective courses or nine hours of corrections elective courses. The 36-credit-hour, non-thesis degree can be earned in six semesters including summer sessions.

“After a successful 12-year history with our undergraduate criminal justice program at Howard Payne University, we are thrilled to be able to offer a Master of Science degree in criminal justice,” said Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology. “Additionally, the online format will help make the program more accessible to those whose work schedules or locations would keep them from attending classes at HPU during regular daytime hours.”

HPU recently received word that the program has been added the university’s scope of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, fully authorizing the university to proceed with the enrollment of students and the delivery of the degree. The new degree program was developed with the committed involvement of Dr. Millard Kimery, dean of HPU’s School of Humanities.

“Our faculty and staff have been working hard to create a program that will challenge students, developing in them, within a Christian context, the knowledge and skills they need to be effective practitioners in the field of criminal justice,” said Dr. Kimery. “We are grateful for the opportunity to equip those who serve our communities.”

The new master’s degree is an attractive option for graduates of other colleges and universities but especially for students of HPU’s undergraduate program in criminal justice. Christina Calleros, a 2015 HPU graduate, plans to enroll in the new master’s program and is grateful for her HPU experience during her undergraduate years.

“As a single mother who works full time, I was searching for a program that was accommodating to my needs,” Calleros said. “The faculty members at HPU are friendly and supportive. They always go the extra mile.”
More details about HPU’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program are available at www.hputx.edu/mscrj. Students interested in pursuing this or any other degree offered at HPU are encouraged to contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020. Information about the university can also be found online at www.hputx.edu.

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HPU students participate in Social Work Student Day at the Legislature

LBJ Library-2016 for webBROWNWOOD – May 11, 2016 – Ten Howard Payne University students traveled to the Texas State Capitol in Austin this spring to take part in the Social Work Student Day at the Legislature. The travelers are students in Dan Humeniuk’s Social Welfare Programs, Policies and Issues course.

“The purpose of the trip was for our students to gain advocacy skills and learn about opportunities for participation in government processes,” said Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology.

HPU students attended a session with a representative from the Christian Life Commission during which they learned about the legislative process and policy initiatives of the Commission. The class also attended a presentation by Leah Gonzalez, Master of Science in Social Work, who is a 2013 graduate of HPU. While at the Capitol, the students visited with their district representatives to present their concerns with payday and car title loans. The HPU group also toured the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

HPU students in attendance included Bryan Adams, senior from Fort Worth; Leo Baker, sophomore from Lindale; Jaclyn Bonner, junior from Lytle; Melanie Hammond, senior from Springtown; Efrain Garces, junior from Floresville; Brittiny Kelley, junior from Snyder; Shannon Matthews, senior from Brownwood; Shay Pate, senior from Red Oak; MaryClaire Swallow, junior from Midland; and Brittony Walker, junior from Abilene.

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Cutline: HPU students recently visited the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum while in Austin to participate in the Social Work Student Day at the Legislature. Back row, left to right: Bryan Adams, MaryClaire Swallow, Brittony Walker, Efrain Garces and Shay Pate. Front row, left to right: Brittiny Kelley, Jaclyn Bonner, Melanie Hammond, Shannon Matthews and Leo Baker.

HPU’s Spirit of Social Work Award presented to Becky Smith of Brownwood

Dan Humeniuk and Becky SmithBROWNWOOD – May 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to board member and HPU alumna Becky Smith of Brownwood. The award is presented annually to an individual whose career reflects an outstanding contribution to the social work profession or to the field of human services in general.

Smith, currently employed at Senior Care of Brownwood, graduated from HPU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. Later that year, she became a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker and subsequently received an Independent Practice Recognition.

In addition to serving on HPU’s Social Work Advisory Board since 2000, Smith has served the Brownwood and Early communities in a number of ways. She has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since 1998; became a member of the Kiwanis Club in 2002; and was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Lions Club in 2005. She was selected as an ambassador for the Early Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and was appointed to its Board of Directors in 2009, a position she held until 2014. She additionally served as an ambassador for the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce in 2009.

Smith participated in Good Samaritan Ministries’ Empty Bowls project in 2008 and 2009 and spent two years as the fundraising director for the Early Volunteer Fire Department. She has additionally served her community by organizing health fairs, assisting with a variety of carnivals and rodeos, volunteering with fund-raising campaigns and helping with Early’s Pioneer Day activities.

She began supervising social work field interns in 2002 and, in that capacity, has overseen nine HPU undergraduate students and one graduate student from The University of Texas at Arlington. She and her husband of 16 years, Rafe, have two children, Arron and Rachel.

“The Social Work Advisory Board is pleased to recognize Becky Smith for her outstanding achievements in the field of social work,” said Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology. “She is a valuable member of our organization and a caring and committed member of the community.”

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Cutline: Dan Humeniuk, left, recently presented the HPU Social Work Advisory Board’s Spirit of Social Work Award to Becky Smith.

HPU Model United Nations team successful at second Münster conference

By Emily Peisker, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – May 2, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Model United Nations team took home seven awards from the Münster University International Model United Nations conference held recently in Münster, Germany. The largest MUN conference in Germany, it sponsored delegates from around the world including delegations from Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel.

MUN Munster Spring 2016MUN 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.

Those receiving awards included James Abbatiello, a junior from Kerrville, with the Outstanding Delegate award for his representation of the Russian Federation on the Security Council; Jaclyn Bonner, a junior from Lytle, with an Honorable Mention award and a Best Position Paper award as the Russian Federation for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR); Joel Justice, a sophomore from Brownwood, with an Honorable Mention award for representing Lebanon on the UNHCR; Sydney Spencer, a junior from Georgetown, with an Honorable Mention award from the Human Rights Council (HRC) for her representation of the Russian Federation; Braxton Clark, a junior from Southlake, with the Outstanding Delegate Award while portraying Syria for the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC); and Cody Perrin, a junior from Eastland, with an Honorable Mention award for the Peace of Westphalia Committee for his portrayal of the Swedish Empire.

Other team members include Mike McConnell, a senior from Burleson and head delegate of the MUN team, who represented France on the Security Council, and Jason Murphy, a senior from Brownwood, who portrayed Indonesia on the General Assembly Second Committee: Economic and Finance (ECOFIN). Gavin Stewart, a senior from Flower Mound, portrayed the Spanish Empire on the Peace of Westphalia Committee, while Emily Peisker, a senior from Cedar Park, represented the Philippines on the UN Women committee. Also on ECOFIN, Rachel White, a junior from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, represented Germany, while Emma Reed, a freshman from Arlington, portrayed China on HRC. Vivian Nguyen, a sophomore from Keller, represented Thailand on UN Women and Augusta Johnson, a sophomore from Gatesville, represented the Republic of Korea on DISEC. Bringing their pre-law experience into play, Caitlin Wood, a senior from Miles, acted as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC) while J Bailey, a senior from Gunter, presented the prosecution on the same committee.

“I am so proud of the entire team,” said Sydney Spencer, co-head delegate of the team. “From what I was able to witness, everyone accurately portrayed their country assignments and represented HPU to the best of their abilities.”

According to Spencer, the team members worked diligently in class and on their own time to fully understand the governmental systems of the countries represented. This was the team’s second time to compete in Münster.

“Yet again, we brought home more awards than any other delegation and this is only due to each individual person’s commitment to research, ability to take constructive criticism and comprehension of how to understand the rules of procedure quickly,” she said.

After landing in Berlin on Easter Sunday, the group took the day to explore the city and see historical sites, which included the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. Team members also visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg on the outskirts of Berlin the next day and immersed themselves in the history of that area.

HPU’s Model United Nations team is led by Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, and Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government.

“Eighteen hours of travel led the victorious HPU MUN team back to Brownwood,” said Dr. Kelley. “Though tired and jetlagged, the belief that peace can be had through non-violent means, a tenet of Christian philosophy, proved powerful yet again to the team. Though some did not win, experience in formal speech, participation in an international conference and exploring the culture of a foreign country was gained by all. Congratulations to our winners and a hearty thanks to all participants who made HPU’s MUN trip a success.”

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Cutline: HPU award winners at the Model United Nations conference in Münster, Germany, included (from left) James Abbatiello, Braxton Clark, Jaclyn Bonner, Sydney Spencer, Joel Justice and Cody Perrin.

HPU’s Psi Chi inducts six new members

Psi Chi Inductees 2016BROWNWOOD – April 26, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society recently inducted six new members for 2016.

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 Amy Baskin, junior from Blooming Grove; Lexie Farar, sophomore from Brownwood; Nicole Hamilton, senior from Nocona; Aryn Morris, sophomore from Pipe Creek; Brittony Walker, junior from Abilene; and Cameron Wong, senior from Georgetown.

“Psi Chi strives to honor excellence and scholarship within the discipline of psychology,” said Dr. Jennifer Clement, assistant professor of psychology and chapter adviser. “It is our great privilege to induct new members who exemplify these ideals.”

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Humanities at 325-649-8201.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 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: Six HPU students were recently inducted into Psi Chi. Left to right: Cameron Wong; Dr. Jennifer Clement, chapter adviser; Nicole Hamilton; Lexie Farar; Aryn Morris; Amy Baskin; Brittony Walker; Katie Straach, chapter vice president; and Victoria Hardin, chapter president.

HPU’s Project Cinderella provides prom dresses for area high schoolers

Social Work ClubBROWNWOOD – April 25, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s annual Project Cinderella has again afforded many young women from area high schools the opportunity to attend prom with like-new dresses. HPU’s Social Work Club distributed 43 dresses between March 17 and April 18.

This year’s project doubled the total number of dresses distributed last year, benefitting students from Bangs, Blanket, Brownwood, Early, May, Mullin, Panther Creek, Priddy, Richland Springs and Zephyr. The Social Work Club created a boutique experience for the young women and their families, complete with dresses, music and a fitting room. The project was housed inside HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice.

Amy Tyler, senior from Early, is club president.

“Ms. Tyler and members of the Social Work Club performed outstanding work in promoting the event with not only the usual high school contacts, but also by means of radio interviews and public service announcements as well,” said Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology. “The overall organization and presentation of the dresses also served to enhance the dress distribution.”

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2016 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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Photo cutline: HPU’s Social Work Club recently distributed 43 prom dresses to young women from area high schools. Pictured in the back row, left to right, are club members Marina Sheets-Ochoa, freshman from El Paso; Jacey Martinez, sophomore from San Saba; Sydney Spencer, junior from Georgetown; Vanessa Marquez, senior from Seguin; and Elijah Garces, sophomore from Floresville. On the front row, pictured left to right, are Sierra Spruill, sophomore from Ranger; Amy Tyler, senior from Early; and Karina Garcia, junior from Brownwood. Photo courtesy of HPU’s Yellow Jacket student newspaper.

HPU criminal justice students honored for internships

Criminal Justice InternsBROWNWOOD – April 20, 2016 – Seventeen Howard Payne University students were recently recognized for the completion of internships in the field of criminal justice.

Each spring, HPU’s criminal justice program honors its interns and their supervisors at a luncheon or picnic. Each intern receives a certificate of completion along with a certificate of emphasis, if either a forensic science or restorative justice emphasis was completed. Most of the interns’ supervisors were on hand for the picnic and ceremony held recently at HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice.

The students completed 150 hours of service which reflected three credit hours toward their major in criminal justice. Internships included working with “at risk” students and adults at local, state and federal agencies as well as positions with law enforcement agencies and many other service organizations that help students prepare for a future in the field of criminal justice.

“The students’ internships strengthen their skills to become desirable candidates in the workforce upon graduation,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program. “Many of our interns are hired after graduation into jobs with the very agency where they served in their internships.”

Students for the 2015-2016 school year included Matthew Aguirre from New Braunfels, intern for the New Braunfels Police Department; Michael Bailey from Georgetown, intern for the Brownwood Police Department; Danyel Bradley from De Soto, intern for the Brownwood Police Department; Lorenzo Flores from Conroe, intern for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Brandon Garrett from Burnet, intern for the Austin Police Department; Adrian Hopkins from Beaumont, intern for G4S: The Oaks; Doug Hurt from Brownwood, intern for the Brownwood Police Department; Sylvia Laureles from Brownwood, intern for the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility; Justin Lawson from Brownwood, intern for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Astin Murray from Lampasas, intern for Three Rivers Municipal Court; Celina Ortiz from White Settlement, intern for the Fort Worth Police Department; Amy Segura from Brownwood, intern for G4S: The Oaks; Gage Smith from Midland, intern for the Midland Police Department; Bruce Spruill from Brownwood, intern for the Brownwood Police Department; Stephanie Upfold from Brownwood, intern for the Brownwood Police Department; Evan Vaden from Houston, intern for Kidventure; and Austin Williamson from Jacksboro, intern for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

Individuals serving as supervisors for these students were David Ator, Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility, Brownwood; Sgt. Pete Bastardo, Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Judge Dawn Benham, Three Rivers Municipal Court; Officer David Bosecker, Texas Parks and Wildlife Regional Office, Brownwood; Officer Randall Bryan, training coordinator, New Braunfels Police Department; Officer John Choyce, training coordinator, Fort Worth Police Department; Sgt. Eric Fitzgerald, Austin Police Department; Assistant Chief James Fuller, Brownwood Police Department; Superintendent Tyrene Green, director of G4S: The Oaks; Chief Deputy Vance Hill, Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Sgt. Rosemary Sharp, Midland Police Department; Eartha Stalling, caseworker, G4S: The Oaks; and Michael Valka, director of Kidventure in Houston.

“Our onsite internship supervisors have been mentors and valuable practitioners beyond the classroom, and for that I am extremely grateful,” said Humeniuk.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Humanities at 325-649-8201.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 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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Photo cutline: Seventeen HPU students recently completed internships in the field of criminal justice. Eleven of them are pictured with HPU faculty and several of the local supervisors at the recent picnic. Left to right: Tyrene Green; Amy Segura; Michael Bailey; Eartha Stalling; Doug Hurt; Adrian Hopkins; Bruce Spruill; Stephanie Upfold; Assistant Chief James Fuller; Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program; Dr. Paul Lilley, assistant professor of criminal justice; Astin Murray; Sylvia Laureles; Sheriff George Caldwell; Lorenzo Flores; Justin Lawson; and Austin Williamson.

HPU alumnus completes Abilene Police Academy

Dane Bryant police academy graduationBROWNWOOD – April 13, 2016 – Howard Payne University alumnus Anthony Dane Bryant of Copperas Cove recently graduated from Abilene Police Department’s Police Academy and was awarded his badge and the rank of commissioned police officer within the department.

During his time at HPU, Bryant was named the 2014-2015 Outstanding Criminal Justice Major. He additionally was president of the Sigma Theta Phi fraternity and served as a resident assistant. Bryant graduated from HPU in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice.

“We are so very proud of Dane and all of our HPU criminal justice graduates,” said Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety. “Dane is a shining example of what HPU students can become when they set clear goals and maintain a Christ-centered life. When he graduated, we told him that it was now his turn to go out and help make the world a better place. He is certainly doing just that.”

For more information about HPU’s criminal justice program, contact Lynn Humeniuk, director of the program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, at (325) 649-8703 or via e-mail at lhumeniuk@hputx.edu.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 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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Photo cutline: HPU alumnus Anthony Dane Bryant, center, recently graduated from Abilene Police Department’s Police Academy. He is pictured with HPU criminal justice faculty members Lynn Humeniuk, left, and Dr. Paul Lilly.

HPU criminal justice students to get hands-on training with mock crime scene

BROWNWOOD – March 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program will conduct exercises as part of its Criminal Justice Investigations class on Friday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m. During this time, there will be crime scene tape, emergency vehicles and other normal police operations one would expect to see at a major crime scene. The event will be held at HPU’s campus location at the corner of Austin and Coggin Avenues in Brownwood.

Dr. Paul Lilly, chief of HPU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and assistant professor of criminal justice, said the community should not be alarmed at the proceedings.

“This is a staged event to help the students learn the many processes involved with investigating a crime scene,” he said.

The HPU DPS will again join the criminal justice program and its students in helping make the crime scene as realistic as possible. In addition to hands-on experience for the students, the DPS uses this scenario exercise each year to aid in providing the DPS officers with regular ongoing in-service training to help them remain current with modern technologies and procedures.

For more information, contact HPU’s Department of Public Safety at (325) 649-8609.

HPU alumnus and trustee addresses criminal justice students

Roy RobbBROWNWOOD – March 21, 2016 – Howard Payne University criminal justice students were recently visited by Roy Robb, 1967 HPU alumnus and current member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Robb, whose career in the criminal justice field spanned more than 40 years, was responsible for taking care of the 400 people removed from the Yearning for Zion Ranch following the arrest of Warren Jeffs, former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Jeffs was later brought to Texas to stand trial on charges stemming from the raid on the YFZ Ranch by law enforcement officers. He is currently serving a sentence of life in prison plus 20 years. Robb, then court master for the 51st Judicial District Court, was tasked with daily briefings and written reports in the investigation of Jeffs prior to the arrest.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program, invited Robb to speak to HPU’s criminal justice students regarding the details of this politically and legally challenging case.

“Mr. Robb’s lecture was invaluable to our students who are planning to pursue careers in criminal justice,” she said. “We’re thankful for his dedication to the field and to HPU.”

Robb served as director of probation services for the 51st, 119th and 340th District Courts. He also served as secure program specialist with the Texas Youth Commission, a role from which he retired in 2005.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from HPU in 1967, he went on to receive a Master of Criminal Justice degree from American Technological University in 1976.

Though HPU did not offer a criminal justice degree during Robb’s time as a student at HPU, he said the education he received encouraged him to enter his chosen profession.

“At Howard Payne, I experienced how Christian professors never gave up on students,” he said. “I witnessed lives being changed and grew to care deeply for youth who had problems. Howard Payne shaped what I did in my life by giving me the deep desire to help others.”

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Photo cutline: Roy Robb, HPU alumnus and trustee, recently addressed criminal justice students at the university.