News Archives: School of Humanities

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.


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

HPU’s criminal justice program celebrates 10-year anniversary

steve tidwell for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Howard Payne University celebrated a decade of preparing students for careers in the criminal justice field this year, and faculty, staff, students and alumni of the program commemorated the occasion with a picnic held during HPU’s Homecoming Weekend earlier this month. Steve Tidwell, a 1974 HPU graduate and retired FBI agent, spoke during the event.

In 2003, Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program, wrote the criminal justice curriculum for the university. The program started with only 10 students, but quickly grew to become one of the university’s most popular academic offerings. Humeniuk now oversees a program with 80 students.

Several of those students were in attendance as Tidwell, now a managing director for global risk management firm Freeh Group International Solutions, spoke at the picnic. Tidwell received a degree in Christian education at HPU, planning to pursue a ministry-related career.

“However,” Tidwell said, “If God can call you to a career, he can call you away from it.”

He went on to spend 34 years in law enforcement, including eight years as a police officer with the Richardson Police Department and 26 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also served as a leadership consultant and executive director of the FBI National Academy Associates, Inc.

Tidwell entered the FBI in 1983 and served in a variety of capacities including investigative agent, SWAT team member, protection detail for the FBI director and Attorney General, supervisory special agent and Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City Division.

In 2002, Tidwell was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Office. During the high-profile sniper investigation in the Washington, D.C. area that year, he was detailed to serve as an on-scene commander and supervised the crime scene at the arrest site.

Tidwell continued to serve the FBI in several more positions. He was the FBI’s first National Asset Commander for major tactical and crisis incidents and was responsible for the FBI’s overall national response to Hurricane Katrina. At the time of his retirement from the bureau in 2009, he was responsible for more than 14,000 of the FBI’s personnel and the programs they supported.

“We were very blessed to have an HPU alumnus of Mr. Tidwell’s caliber return to address our current students who are planning to go in to similar career fields,” Humeniuk said. “We look forward to having these same students return to HPU in several years to discuss their own successes.”


Photo cutline: Steve Tidwell, 1974 HPU graduate and former FBI agent, spoke at an event marking the 10-year anniversary of the university’s criminal justice program.

HPU honor student receives scholarship to study in D.C.

BROWNWOOD – May 22, 2013 – Elizabeth Rogers, a senior political science and European history major in Howard Payne University’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom multidisciplinary honors program, was recently chosen to participate in the 2013 Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political & Economic Systems (ICPES) to be held this summer in Washington, D.C.

Rogers was chosen for ICPES through her participation in the Hatton W. Sumners Program through HPU. Sumners Scholars receive significant financial assistance and opportunities to attend lecture series by national figures and participate in public policy seminars and student leadership conferences. Through the generosity of the Hatton W Sumners Foundation Inc., Rogers was awarded a full scholarship to the D.C. program, covering her tuition and housing expenses.

A native of Grand Junction, Colo., Rogers has participated in Moot Court and Model United Nations throughout her HPU career. She recently completed her junior year while studying abroad in London.

“After graduating from HPU, I plan to attend law school to study criminal or international law,” she said.

ICPES participants take courses for transferable credit, attend a variety of guest lectures and briefings, and take advantage of opportunities for professional development and networking. Students who complete the program are guaranteed an internship with a government agency, Congressional office, policy group, political organization or law firm.

“I am so very proud of Elizabeth to be one of the select few to receive this tremendous opportunity though the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholarship,” said Dr. Justin Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Academy. “It is a reflection of her preparation through the Academy program and her outstanding qualities as a student.”


Chassidy Carroll honored with HPU Spirit of Social Work award

spirit_of_social_work_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 30, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented the Spirit of Social Work award to Chassidy Carroll, a 2008 HPU graduate and co-founder of Hope Home Ministry of Brownwood. Carroll received the award for “many years of outstanding social work service helping others.”

Hope Home is a non-profit, faith-based transitional home for young women who are released from juvenile correctional facilities. The program focuses on teaching girls the life skills they need to become responsible adults and giving them true hope through a growing relationship with Jesus.

“I’m so grateful that God has allowed me to be a part of His work in the lives of the young women we serve,” Carroll said. “Seeing Jesus transform their hearts and watching them realize their worth, often for the first time, is a beautiful thing.”

HPU’s Social Work Advisory Board is comprised of individuals throughout the community who have an interest in the social work profession and HPU’s social work program. The board annually presents a Spirit of Social Work Award to an individual whose career reflects an outstanding contribution to the social work profession. It has been awarded to other individuals in the local community who have collaborated with the social work program and to distinguished program graduates.

“It is amazing to witness someone who has a vision for a specific ministry in college who then steps out in faith to create a service to address that need,” said Dan Humeniuk, director of HPU’s social work program. “Chassidy’s story of the founding and operation of Hope Home Ministry is truly inspirational.”


Photo cutline: Dan Humeniuk, director of HPU’s social work program, presents Chassidy Carroll with the 2013 Spirit of Social Work award.

Five HPU seniors honored at annual Sumners Banquet

Sumners Scholars 2013 for webBROWNWOOD – April 30, 2013 – Five graduating seniors in the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom honors program at Howard Payne University were recently honored during the annual Sumners Banquet held on the HPU campus.

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholars honored during the banquet included Charity Chambers, of Derby, Kan.; Gabi Guerrero, of Red Oak; Landon Hankins, of Decatur; Kait Kelm, of Lindale; and Kelley Miller, of Paradise. The students dined with members of the Foundation, the HPU Board of Trustees and Academy of Freedom Board of Directors, as well as Sumners Scholar alumni from HPU, before receiving plaques and expressing their gratitude to the Foundation.

Current HPU Sumners Scholars present at the banquet included Catherine Mullaney, a junior from Boylston, Mass.; Jessica Ramirez, a senior from Bangs; and Robin Scofield, a junior from Naples, Fla. Liz Rogers, a junior from Grand Junction, Colo., was studying abroad in London at the time of the event.

The Sumners Scholar program provides a generous scholarship of $5,500 per semester for two years. Students are selected after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation.

“Sumners Scholars not only receive significant financial assistance but, more importantly, the opportunities to attend lecture series by national figures and participate in public policy seminars and student leadership conferences,” said Dr. Justin Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Academy.

Named for its founder, former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.


Photo cutline: Five HPU seniors were honored during the annual Sumners Banquet. Left to right: Charity Chambers, Gabi Guerrero, Kait Kelm, Kelley Miller and Landon Hankins.

HPU students complete criminal justice internships

cj_picnic_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 25, 2013 – Eight Howard Payne University students were recently honored for the successful completion of criminal justice internships. The students were recognized at the annual luncheon held at HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice.

Students are required to complete 150 hours of service which reflects three credit hours toward their major in criminal justice. 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 organizations that help students prepare for a future in the field of criminal justice.

“One of the best paths to future employment is for a student to intern at an agency or organization in his or her field,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program. “Many HPU criminal justice interns have reaped the benefits of internships by building strong resumes and learning valuable insights from experts in the field. Our university is extremely blessed to have professionals who are willing to supervise our interns and, in the process, apply the valuable information students learn in the classroom.”

Participating students included Haleigh Caraway of Cisco, intern at Brown County Legal Aid; Senea Dillard of Cedar Hill, intern at Brown County Boys and Girls Club; Justin Jones of Austin, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Amy Martin of Brownwood, intern at Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Complex; Austin Mobley of Azle, intern at State of Texas Department of Public Safety; Linsey Reed of Alvin, intern at Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Complex; Justin Taylor of Early, intern at Brown County Sheriff’s Office; and Blaine Wynn of Rockwall, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety.


Photo cutline: Criminal justice students from HPU recently gathered with mentors and faculty members to celebrate the successful completion of their internships. Left to right: Chief Paul Lilly, mentor, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Lt. Bob Pacatte, mentor, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Justin Jones, intern; Blaine Wynn, intern; Senea Dillard, intern; Austin Mobley, intern; Danny Willingham, mentor, Brown County Boys and Girls Club; Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program; Bobby Duvall, mentor, Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Linsey Reed, intern; Justin Taylor, intern; Delana Smethers, mentor, Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Chief Mike Corley, mentor, Brownwood Police Department; Lisa Ritter, mentor, Brown County Juvenile Probation Department; Lisa Marks, mentor, Brown County Legal Aid; and Laurie Lindsey, mentor, Brown County Legal Aid. Not pictured are interns Amy Martin and Haleigh Caraway.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau wraps up successful spring semester

ssb_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 10, 2013 – Student Speaker Bureau, Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, completed their spring tournament schedule in March.

The Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) competed in two tournaments during the spring semester: The Sweetheart Swing at Oklahoma University in Norman and the National Christian College Forensics Association tournament held at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.

The team had a strong showing in debate at both tournaments. The open division team of Marcos Corley, a sophomore criminal justice major from Corpus Christi, and Ben Palmer, a junior youth ministry and Academy of Freedom major from Van, advanced to quarterfinals at the Sweetheart Swing.

At nationals, the team of Katie Bonner, a sophomore political science and Academy major from Lytle, and Katie Mullaney, a junior English and Academy major, advanced to quarterfinals. Additionally, Mullaney won 8th place debate speaker award.

“I am extremely proud of all four of these students,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and SSB coach. “We debate against the some of the best teams in the nation and we consistently hold our own.”

Dr. Welker added that the SSB competes against teams from schools that travel to a tournament every other weekend and are more seasoned in terms of competition.

“Our students have been able to step in and succeed even though we have travelled and competed much less than other teams this year,” she said. “This has been a growing semester for us. We have a smaller team than usual and have no graduating seniors, but on the flip side that is exciting in terms of next year’s season.”

Other students who competed in both debate and individual events this spring were Kaleigh Tankersley, a sophomore communication studies major from Iraan, and Dorie Walton, a sophomore communication studies and theatre major from Lolita. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication, helps coach the team.

At the national tournament, Dr. Welker was re-elected treasurer for another two-year term for the National Christian College Forensics Association.

“I’m looking forward to next year’s season,” she said. “We have some great recruits and are already preparing for next year.”


Photo cutline: HPU’s SSB recently completed its spring semester. Back row, from left: Marcos Corley, Dorie Walton and Ben Palmer. Front row, from left: Kim Bryant, Katie Bonner, Katie Mullaney, Kaleigh Tankersley and Dr. Julie Welker

HPU to host Traffick911 training session

BROWNWOOD – March 25, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host a free Traffick911 training session on the prevention of domestic minor sex trafficking March 28 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held in the Bullion Suites of the Mabee University Center. The training is designed for CPS workers, teachers, school counselors, attorneys, family court personnel, social workers and others who come across at-risk children. Continuing Education Units are available.

Traffick911 is an agency which has trained hundreds of frontline responders at the local, state and national levels, focusing on the prevention of the crime, the rescue and restoration of the victims and the prosecution of the offenders. According to the Traffick911 website, human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in the world and the average life expectancy for a child forced into sexual slavery is just seven years.

“Unfortunately for our society, domestic minor sex trafficking is a most relevant topic,” said Dan Humeniuk, chair of HPU’s social work department and assistant professor of social work. “This type of training is essential for human service professionals who regularly encounter at-risk children and adolescents.”

For more information, or to register for the training session, contact Bob Contreras, family liaison for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, at (325) 641-6486 or Other information and resources are available at

HPU adjunct addresses Houston attorneys

BROWNWOOD – February 5, 2013 – David Balkum, adjunct instructor in Howard Payne University’s criminal justice department, addressed the Houston Chapter of the Christian Legal Society on January 31.

Operating in the nation’s capital, the Christian Legal Society is, according to its website, “a growing nationwide fellowship of Christian lawyers and law students who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.”

Adopting Micah 6:8 as its corporate vision, it exists “to inspire, encourage, and equip Christian lawyers and law students both individually and in community to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and the defense of the inalienable rights to life and religious freedom.”

The group supports chapters in major cities, in many law schools and on some undergraduate campuses for pre-law groups.

Balkum’s audience included attorneys in private practice, ministerial staff and appellate judges. His address focused on the ethical and spiritual dilemmas faced by attorneys called on to represent their own churches, creating a dynamic known as a “dual relationship.”

While Balkum, author of Sheep Among Wolves: Texas Churches and the Law, stressed that all believers have a duty to support their churches, there are times when an attorney’s ethical obligations may conflict with his or her spiritual obligations. This particularly can occur over issues of confidentiality and when the parties involved have different expectations of an attorney’s role.

“That conflict also can arise even over rather mundane matters in which church members harbor hard feelings for the manner in which the attorney’s legal opinion happens to fall,” he said.

Balkum recounted one instance in which he was serving on his church’s missions committee and a committee member loudly blamed the church’s lawyers for scrapping a mission project which she supported.

“These situations can create problems for the attorney’s family, as well,” he said. “A solution is for Christian attorneys to be more proactive in developing referral networks to assist each other and sister churches in those times when representation is necessary. Such networks can bring much needed independence, formality, clarity and objectivity, in the form of an outsider looking in, to sometimes emotionally charged situations.

“That simple referral can keep the member attorney from becoming a lightning rod and, in so doing, safeguard his and his family’s more important roles as members of that congregation.”

Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of sociology, calls Balkum a “blessing to the university.”

“He lives out his faith in his professional law practice as well as in his interactions with our HPU students.”

HPU’s Death and Dying course prepares students for life

By Courtney Wilmoth, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2012 – The name is sure to get attention – “Death and Dying.” Then one may wonder what a class called Death and Dying is like – perhaps morbid, definitely somber, maybe even depressing. Even so, Howard Payne University’s 8 a.m. class this fall reached the maximum enrollment and even had a waiting list.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of sociology and chair of the criminal justice program, teaches the class. She points out that the required textbook is titled Death & Dying, Life & Living. Students look at life every day during the class. They examine trends and processes of how and when dying occurs within ethnicities and around the world.

Humeniuk can remember the first time she was asked to teach the class in 2001.

“I was not happy about it,” she said. “I thought no one would talk.”

More than 40 students enrolled in the class, and before long Humeniuk was having them raise their hands so everyone could have a chance to speak. This was her seventh semester to teach the class, and she passionately believes every student should take it.

Her goal for the class is to prepare students to cope with sudden as well as anticipated death. No matter the career a student chooses, Humeniuk also seeks to relate the material in ways that will apply to a student’s career path.

Students are required to write journals, based on topics provided by Humeniuk.

“I learn a lot about my students through their journals,” she said.

Senior communication major Molly Marriott of Corpus Christi decided to take the class because she heard from her peers that it was interesting. She soon found the journals to be beneficial.

“It’s a good way to learn a lot about ourselves and how we would handle things,” Marriott said.

A number of guest speakers shared their own experiences with death. They included parents of children lost to suicide, automobile accidents and fires, as well as while traveling abroad. The class also heard from a couple who is dealing with a brain tumor and people who work in hospice care. Students visited a funeral home and volunteered at Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood during the semester, completing tasks such as distributing flags to veterans’ graves, trimming weeds around tombstones and assisting with office work.

Junior criminal justice major Daniel Taylor of Florence enjoyed the Greenleaf Cemetery project.

“I felt it allowed me to do something meaningful for others who have passed before me,” he said.

Along with the traditional lectures, guest speakers and volunteer work, Humeniuk shared her own personal stories about death and encouraged students to maintain healthy lifestyles. She regularly presented students with preventive measures to take care of their own bodies, discussed the value of nutrition and encouraged students to keep others safe, using videos that address texting and driving.

Humeniuk says issues of eternal life do come up in class, and she is thankful to work at a Christian university where conversations like this can happen. Students learn from each other, and honesty and respect are valued during class discussions.

“You’re going to get three hours of credit,” she said, “but you’re going to get a lot more than that.”