News Archives: School of Humanities

HPU honors criminal justice interns

criminal justice internsBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program recently ended the spring 2017 semester by recognizing 19 students for the completion of internships.

The students completed 150 hours of service which reflected three credit hours toward their majors 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 future careers in the field of criminal justice.

“These students gave 150 hours to the agencies where they served and in the process gained valuable hands-on experience in the career fields they have chosen to pursue,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program. “I am always very grateful to all the agencies that accept our interns as they guide them to become professionals in the field.”

Those recognized included Rebecca Blohm of Midlothian, intern with the Ron Jackson Unit; Jerry Bromley of Santa Anna, intern with the San Saba Probation Department; Balentin Carranco of Georgetown, intern with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Shanique Davis-Campbell of Savannah, Georgia, intern with the Savannah County Sheriff’s Office; Jordan Easterling of Junction, intern with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department; Roberto Godinez of El Paso, intern with the El Paso Police Department; James Hair of Brownwood, intern with the City of Early; Brady Hardin of Fort Worth, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Jack Judd of Brownwood, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Taylor Kent of Blanket, intern with Haynes Law Firm; Daniel Meza of Brownwood, intern with the Boys & Girls Club of Brown County; Kyle Ramon of Floresville, intern with the Brownwood Police Department; Stephen Skelton of Brownwood, intern with Brownwood Independent School District; Serayah Smith of Fredericksburg, intern with the Fredericksburg Police Department; Wesley Smith of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, intern with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Michelle Teague of Gorman, intern with Hope Home Ministry; Niki Terway of Brownwood, intern with New Horizons Ranch; Blake Wynn of Rockwall, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; and Andres Zambrano of Brownwood, intern with Johnson Law Firm.

Internship supervisors included Deputy Pete Bastardo, Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Chassidy Carroll, Hope Home Ministry; Officer Kyle Coker, San Saba Probation Department; Officer David Creed, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Assistant Chief James Fuller, Brownwood Police Department; Mayor Stephen Haynes, Haynes Law Firm; Jason Johnson, Johnson Law Firm; Lauren Jones, Ron Jackson Unit; Larry McConn, City of Early; Lee McHorse, New Horizons Ranch; Assistant Chief Bob Pacatte, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Maria Suarez, El Paso Police Department; Chief Steven Wetz, Fredericksburg Police Department; Danny Willingham, Boys & Girls Club of Brown County; and Captain Malcolm Wilkes, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Also in attendance was Sheriff Vance Hill, Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2017 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. 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 criminal justice interns are pictured with field supervisors and HPU faculty. Left to right: Officer David Creed, Chief Paul Lilly, Blake Wynn, Jack Judd, Sheriff Vance Hill, Michelle Teague, Deputy Pete Bastardo, Wesley Smith, Daniel Meza, Kyle Ramon, Brady Hardin, James Hair, Taylor Kent, Lynn Humeniuk and Assistant Chief James Fuller. Interns not pictured are Rebecca Blohm, Jerry Bromley, Shanique Campbell-Davis, Balentin Carranco, Jordan Easterling, Roberto Godinez, Stephen Skelton, Serayah Smith, Niki Terway and Andres Zambrano.

HPU’s Project Cinderella provides prom dresses for more than 50 area high schoolers

Spruill with prom dressBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Club recently sponsored Project Cinderella, providing many young women from area high schools with like-new prom dresses. The club distributed more than 50 dresses at the annual event.

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.

“As a club, we love knowing that every girl who comes in and gets a dress gets to have her Cinderella moment,” said Sierra Spruill, junior from Ranger. Spruill serves as president of the Social Work Club. “Imagining a girl not attending prom because she couldn’t afford or find a dress makes my heart ache. Every girl deserves the chance to go to prom.”

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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Photo cutline: Sierra Spruill, president of HPU’s Social Work Club, displays a dress at the club’s annual Project Cinderella event.

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’s Psi Chi inducts six new members

Psi Chi group 2017BROWNWOOD – April 26, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Psi Chi International Honor Society recently inducted six new members for 2017.

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 seniors Michelle Teague from Gorman and J Bailey from Gunter, and juniors Devin Caraway from Cisco, Jaime Dodson from Cisco, Katie O’Conner from Granbury and Jordan Pitman from Bangs.

“At HPU, we are delighted when our students excel and it is always a privilege to recognize their outstanding achievements and induct them in HPU’s Psi Chi chapter,” said Dr. Jennifer Mobley, chapter advisor and assistant professor of psychology and family studies. “We look forward to how each of these new inductees will enrich our chapter and the university.”

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

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: HPU’s Psi Chi inducted six new members for 2017. Pictured from left are Dr. Keith Mask, chair and professor of psychology; Dr. Jennifer Mobley, chapter advisor and assistant professor of psychology and family studies; Amy Baskin, chapter secretary; Michelle Teague; Katie O’Conner; Lexie Farar; Jordan Pitman; Jaime Dodson; Devin Caraway; Brittony Walker, chapter president; Aryn Morris; Katie Straach, chapter vice president; and Dr. Millard Kimery, dean of the School of Humanities, chair and professor of English.

HPU criminal justice students to take part in mock crime scene

BROWNWOOD – April 19, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program will conduct exercises as part of its Criminal Justice Investigations class on Monday, April 24, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.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.

Social work trip prepares HPU students to be voices for the unheard

CLC Advocacy DayBROWNWOOD – April 19, 2017 – A recent trip to the Texas State Capitol provided several Howard Payne University social work and family studies majors with ongoing training in their quests to become advocates for society’s marginalized populations. The students took part in the CLC Advocacy Day hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

The Christian Life Commission presented several sessions during the conference, addressing topics such as the financial exploitation of the poor, immigration, education and the foster care system.

Those who attended the conference are students in Dan Humeniuk’s Social Welfare Programs, Policies and Issues course. The class researched predatory lending practices prior to the trip and prepared talking points for conversations with lawmakers. While at the Capitol, each student went to the office of his or her hometown representative and spoke with whomever was available.

“The purpose of such trips is for students to become familiar with advocacy and the legislative process,” said Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology. “I think most people do not realize how responsive our state representatives are to people from their districts.”

Abbey Beardsley, a junior from Fort Worth, was surprised that her representative’s chief of staff was eager to speak with her.

“He was kind, well-spoken and very attentive to what we had to say,” she said. “He answered our questions and wrote down notes to share with the representative when he was back in the office. It surprised me that he then asked us about our opinions on different issues and really cared about what we had to say.”

Beardsley said she learned how simple it is to advocate for her beliefs.

“It is intimidating to go and speak your mind to people in power, but they genuinely want to hear the thoughts of the people,” she said. “I learned that I can share my faith and Christ’s love, even in the political arena.”
Additional HPU students on the trip included Becca Blohm, senior from Midlothian; Jacob Escobar, junior from Brownwood; Elijah Garces, junior from Floresville; Karina Garcia, senior from Brownwood; Shelby Harrison, junior from Abilene; Stephanie Kerby, senior from May; Jacey Martinez, junior from San Saba; Morgan Lacy, junior from Early; Katelyn O’Conner, junior from Granbury; Sierra Spruill, junior from Ranger; Sydney Spencer, senior from Georgetown; Anna Vallejo, junior from Brownwood; and Jacqueline Vega, senior from San Antonio.

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Cutline: Several HPU students recently participated in in the CLC Advocacy Day hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission. Present in the photo are HPU faculty, staff, students and alumni as well as BGCT staff.

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.

HPU’s Mock Trial teams win top witness and attorney awards at regional tournament

BROWNWOOD – March 29, 2017 – Two Mock Trial teams from Howard Payne University recently competed at a regional tournament at The University of Texas at Dallas, bringing home awards for top witness and top attorney. This was HPU’s second full year of competition and third appearance at regionals.

The first team was comprised of Guy D. Newman Honors Academy majors Amy Baskin, senior from Brownwood also majoring in psychology; Jordan Hahn, freshman from Burnet also majoring in social science global studies; Katherine Hailey, senior from Bangs also majoring in social science jurisprudence; Tyler Olin, sophomore from Howe also majoring in social science jurisprudence; Skyler Schoolfield, senior from Aledo also majoring in social science jurisprudence and Spanish; Caleb Throckmorton, senior from Early also majoring in management; and Jacob Vincent, junior from Hartley also majoring in history.

The second team included Guy D. Newman Honors Academy majors Jessica Catlett, sophomore from Alleyton also majoring in social work; Toni Gibbs, sophomore from Waco also majoring in social science jurisprudence; Kaitlyn Harrison, junior from Watauga also majoring in athletic training; Lainee Hasty, junior from Runaway Bay also majoring in psychology; Andie McCoy, sophomore from Whitehouse also majoring in social studies composite; Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne also majoring in English and social science jurisprudence; and Karla Zachary, sophomore from Elgin also majoring in social science jurisprudence.

Gibbs won an award as a top witness, scoring 17 out of 20 possible points, and Sommers won an award as a top attorney, scoring 19 out of 20 points.

Mock Trial is a simulation of trial court cases. Students are given a hypothetical case to argue, and they must prepare a case strategy, learn case law, and memorize affidavits and testimony to effectively ask and answer questions. In order to be successful, the team spends hours rehearsing their arguments, preparing questions and answers for witnesses, and utilizing the rules of evidence. Participation in Mock Trial helps prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, including law, criminal justice, forensic science and even theatre.

At the regional tournament, each team competes in four rounds, representing first the plaintiff and then the defense. Teams include students acting as attorneys and witnesses, and each round is a full trial against a competing team. Rounds take approximately three hours and are judged by real-life judges and lawyers. Awards are given to the top witnesses, attorneys and teams.

“This was our best showing yet, with teams winning multiple rounds,” said Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government and Mock Trial sponsor. “I am so proud of our students this year. They have taken a brand new program and turned it into a highly competitive team, all within a few short years. Their success this year is indicative of their hard work and dedication to the team.”