News Archives: School of Humanities

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.

HPU’s Department of English closes semester with trip, lecture

students at parlor lecture for webBROWNWOOD – May 14, 2015 – Near the end of the spring 2015 semester, students and faculty in Howard Payne University’s Department of English attended a trip and lecture both designed to supplement materials taught in class.

Fifteen students and accompanying faculty members first traveled to Tarleton State University in Stephenville for a production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

“The English department theatre trips were always super fun because it allowed us to bond with other English students who are fans of the theatre world,” said Colette Wilcoxen, who graduated this May. “This was my second time to go on one of these trips and I looked forward to them come spring semester.”

The English department then took part in the President’s Parlor Lecture hosted by HPU’s president and first lady, Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis. The guest speaker was Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake, a highly acclaimed author with writings in numerous genres, including such books as Why Jesus Makes Me Nervous: Ten Alarming Words of Faith and Blue Hole Back Home: A Novel.

Having taught at universities in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee, Dr. Jordan-Lake now focuses on writing, while teaching part time at the Honors College of Belmont University. She enjoys speaking at universities, book clubs and conferences across the country.

Dr. Millard Kimery, chair of the Department of English and professor of English, explained the importance of such trips and activities.

“We like to provide our students with opportunities to get to know one another and our faculty members in educational settings outside the classroom,” he said. “These activities enrich our students’ experiences and help them apply and retain what they’re learning in class.”


Photo cutline: Pictured are four of the students who attended the HPU President’s Parlor Lecture featuring guest speaker and author Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake. Left to right: Cherita George, Danielle Parkhurst, Colette Wilcoxen and Kaleigh Tankersley.

HPU Model United Nations team brings home several awards from Münster conference

Munster Spring 2015 for webBy Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – April 27, 2015 – HPU’s Model United Nations team excelled at the Münster University International Model United Nations conference held in Münster, Germany, bringing home six awards from various committees. The Münster conference is the largest MUN conference in Germany, with students traveling from across Europe and as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan, China and Japan to participate.

“This was the first Model UN Conference in which our students were by themselves as single-member delegations, rather than two-member delegations,” 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. “This made for a much more challenging conference, especially since seven of our sixteen members were in MUN for the first time. Yet one of the conference leaders told me afterward that our students were the best-prepared team as a whole than any other university.”

This semester’s MUN team included head delegate Cara DeLoach, a senior from San Angelo; co-head delegate Mike McConnell, a junior from Burleson; Jason Murphy, a senior from Brownwood; Jimmy Abbatiello, a sophomore from Kerrville; Cody Perrin, a junior from Eastland; Nicole Nehf, a senior from May; Katie Rose Bonner, a senior from Lytle; Sydney Spencer, a junior from Georgetown; Gavin Stewart, a junior from Flower Mound; Sydnee Petty, a junior from Brownwood; Sam Hoffman, a junior from Corpus Christi; Emily Peisker, a junior from Cedar Park; Jessi Jordan, a senior from Spurger; Rachel White, a freshman from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Maggie Van Nes, a freshman from Keller; and Danielle Parkhurst, a junior from Alleyton. These HPU students represented the countries of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany on their councils.

On the Security Council, DeLoach received the outstanding delegate award for her representation of China, while on the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime Council, Abbatiello, also representing China, received the outstanding delegate award. Bonner took the outstanding delegate and best position paper awards for the International Court of Justice Committee. Stewart secured the outstanding delegate award for the Economic and Financial Committee, with Perrin taking the honorable mention award for the Special Political and Decolonization Committee.

After the conference, the team took a trip to Berlin to visit museums and see the remnants of the Berlin Wall. The day included seeing historical landmarks like the famous Checkpoint Charlie museum, the Topography of Terror museum, the Holocaust memorial, the Führerbunker and the Brandenburg Gate.

“It was such a moving and impactful experience to visit places where such great and horrible historical events occurred,” said Jimmy Abbatiello. “In Berlin we did more than visit tourist sites, we witnessed the aftermath of tragedy and the rebuilding of a bright future for the German people.”

With many new friends from all over the world and great experiences with collaboration and diplomacy, the HPU team looks forward to future conferences and more opportunities to prepare for the future through the learning experiences that come with Model United Nations.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently brought home several awards from a conference in Münster, Germany. Left to right: Sam Hoffman, Mike McConnell, Nicole Nehf, Gavin Stewart, Katie Rose Bonner, Danielle Parkhurst, Sydney Spencer, Emily Peisker, Sydnee Petty, Jessi Jordan, Cara DeLoach, Maggie Van Nes, Rachel White, Jimmy Abbatiello, Jason Murphy and Cody Perrin.

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

BROWNWOOD – April 23, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program will conduct exercises as part of its annual Criminal Justice Investigations class on Tuesday, April 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at HPU’s campus location at the corner of Austin and Coggin Avenues in Brownwood. 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.

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 practical exercise is designed to submerse the students into a realistic crime scene and aid them in applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations,” he said. “The crime scene will test the students on what they have learned in the course during the spring semester.”

The students will be divided into Crime Scene Investigative Teams, each team having approximately 45 minutes to process the crime scene and collect all types of potential evidence. Examples of the duties the students will conduct is the identification of potential witnesses to the crime and the identification of both physical and biological evidence such as potential weapons and/or blood, DNA or microfibers.

The HPU DPS will again join the criminal justice program and its students in helping make the crime scene as realistic as possible. 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 students excel at Prague Model United Nations Conference

DeLoach and McConnell in Prague for webBy Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – April 16, 2015 – Howard Payne University students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently participated in the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. DeLoach and McConnell served as chair of the Security Council and co-chair of the Disarmament and International Security Committee, respectively.

DeLoach, a senior from San Angelo, and McConnell, a senior from Burleson, have participated in Model UN conferences since 2013. Their experiences and track record at conferences across Europe prompted the Prague conference to offer them chair and co-chair positions on elite councils.

“That Cara and Mike would be chosen for such an honor speaks volumes not only about their unique abilities as demonstrated at previous Model UN conferences, but also reveals that the HPU Model United Nations Team is making a name for itself and raising HPU’s international profile,” 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.

With previous experience at conferences in Stockholm, Rome and Istanbul, DeLoach came well-prepared to chair the Security Council, the highest-level committee in Model UN. The Security Council deals with the most prevalent topics in the real United Nations, such as the current conflict with ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“Having the opportunity to preside over the Security Council at the Prague conference was an honor and a unique experience that I will never forget,” said DeLoach. “I was able to facilitate debates on the topic of ISIL with students from all over the world, develop friendships abroad and learn about a new culture.”

McConnell helped chair the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the first arm of the General Assembly. DISEC deals with issues regarding the promotion, establishment and subsequent maintenance of global peace while simultaneously working to prevent weapons proliferation.

“My committee, comprised of students from all over Europe and parts of the United States, tackled the difficult and pressing issues of demilitarizing the Arctic region and the threat of terrorist groups obtaining weapons of mass destruction,” said McConnell.

Part of the experience of Model UN is to travel to different cities around the world, where students can fellowship with peers, develop skills for future careers and immerse themselves in new cultures.

“Prague itself was incredibly beautiful, mixing Old World architecture with modern structures in a seamless and beautiful fashion,” said McConnell.

DeLoach said touring Prague, visiting the castle and eating at the Café Louvre were just a few of the wonderful memories she will have for the rest of her life.

“Participating in HPU’s Model United Nations program has allowed me to learn so much about myself and other people, and for that I will always be grateful,” she said.

DeLoach, McConnell and other members of HPU’s Model UN team additionally traveled to Münster, Germany, competing in the Münster University International Model United Nations Conference, between March 28 and April 1.


Photo cutline: HPU students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently held elite positions at the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague.