News Archives

HPU students win top witness awards at regional Mock Trial tournament

Hughes and CounceBROWNWOOD – March 23, 2016 – Howard Payne University students TJ Counce, senior from Lockhart, and Rachel Hughes, sophomore from Llano, won top witness awards at The University of Texas at Dallas Regional Mock Trial Tournament held in late February.

Mock Trial is a simulation of lower-court trials in the United States judicial system. The American Mock Trial Association acts as the governing body for intercollegiate Mock Trial competition and hosts tournaments at universities across the nation to provide opportunities for college students to gain experience for future law careers. Through the trial simulations, students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as a knowledge of legal practices and procedures.

Both Counce and Hughes are students in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government, is the team sponsor.

“I’m very proud of TJ and Rachel’s successes,” said Kelley. “They worked hard preparing for the tournament and represented the university well.”


Photo cutline: HPU students Rachel Hughes, left, and TJ Counce won top witness awards at a recent Mock Trial tournament.

HPU exhibiting works of senior art students

student art exhibitionBROWNWOOD – March 21, 2016 – Howard Payne University is exhibiting the artwork of three senior art students today through March 31. The artwork of Molly Hull of Brownwood, Cantrell Miller of Rochelle and Emily Peisker of Cedar Park is on exhibit in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. The three students are scheduled to graduate in May.

A reception honoring the artists will be held this Wednesday, March 23, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the gallery foyer. The community is welcome to attend and refreshments will be served.

Each student’s works of art are original artistic statements based upon topics as directed by HPU’s art faculty members including David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art; Susan Harmon, adjunct instructor of art; Julie Mize, adjunct instructor of photography; and Tim Cooper, instructor of multimedia communications and computer information systems.

“The faith and devotion to their artist crafts is evidenced in this three-person exhibition,” said David Harmon. “All three artists have been insightful students, not settling for easy solutions but compelling creative ones resulting in this fine exhibition.”

The art media includes drawing, painting, design, photography, graphic design and other studio art areas.

Gallery hours during school sessions are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Howard Payne University and the gallery will be closed for Good Friday, March 25. The art center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood. All inquiries may be directed to Harmon at (325) 649-8088 or


Photo cutline: The artwork of three graduating HPU seniors is on exhibit at the university’s Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside the Doakie Day Art Center.

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.”


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

HPU to host Spring Sing 2016

Spring Sing 2015BROWNWOOD – March 15, 2016 – Howard Payne University student organizations will take the stage this Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, for Spring Sing 2016. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. each evening in HPU’s Mims Auditorium.

Spring Sing is a popular event on the HPU campus, drawing audiences of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. General admission tickets are $5 for all audiences and are available for purchase online at Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on the evenings of the event. Reserved-seating tickets are available for $10 at the HPU Cashier’s Office on the second floor of the Packer Administration Building.

This year’s theme is “High Notes of History” and each student group will present an eight-to-10-minute act based on a timeframe, historical figure or moment in history. This year’s participants are Alpha Psi Omega, Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma and Sigma Theta Phi.

“The goal of Spring Sing is to honor God, represent HPU in a positive manner and present a fun and entertaining production that showcases the talents, skills and creativity of HPU students,” said Francie Clark, director of student activities.

The performances are family friendly and the community is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Clark at


Photo cutline: Costumes, musical performances and dancing are hallmarks of HPU’s annual Spring Sing event. Pictured are members of Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma performing in 2015.

HPU hosts health fair to promote well-being of students, personnel

Health Fair 2016BROWNWOOD – March 15, 2016 – Howard Payne University recently celebrated the upcoming spring season with the “Spring into Health Fair.” The third-annual health fair featured health screenings, demonstrations, exhibits, games and a variety of giveaways for students, faculty and staff of HPU.

Staff and faculty from HPU along with local vendors set up booths that each focused on one of seven dimensions of health: emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual and social.

At the physical health booth, for example, the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) offered three different experiences. These included a pull-up contest and therapeutic modality experiences such as electrical stimulation and manual therapy. The physical health booth also offered an evaluation station where participants could be evaluated by either an athletic training student under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer or by a certified athletic trainer.

“The physical health booth provided health screening and physical assessments to promote overall wellness,” said Mike Terrill, assistant professor of athletic training and director of ATEP. “The athletic training students and I had a great time.”

At the intellectual health booth, faculty and staff from HPU’s Walker Memorial Library hosted a memory game. Out of the 49 participants, the winner of the memory game was Derek Anderson, junior political science major from Harker Heights, who won a $15 Subway gift card.

“It was a fun day and we enjoyed visiting with the students who came by our table,” said Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries and associate professor of library science. “The health fair is a highlight of our spring semester and it’s nice to have time outdoors observing students putting their skills into practice.”

Keith Platte, director of the Baptist Student Ministry, administered a spiritual survey for student reflection at the spiritual health booth.

“The survey contained 15 questions about spiritual aspects we identified as being beneficial ways to help strengthen one’s faith,” said Platte.

Vendors for the health fair included Abilene Behavioral Health, American Red Cross, Brown County Health Department, Chick-fil-A, Cross Timbers Health Clinic, Family Service Center, GNC, KPSM, National Marrow Donor Program, Sodexo and WIC.

“We are very grateful to our vendors for helping make the HPU health fair a success each year,” said Francie Clark, director of student activities. “They educate our campus on different programs and services available in the health industry and how to navigate those programs.”


Cutline: Senior Mason Murray takes junior Marino Ochoa’s blood pressure at HPU’s health fair.

HPU prepares for Resurrection Week

By Christy Ash, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – March 14, 2016 – Howard Payne University is preparing for its upcoming Resurrection Week, an annual spring revival event, to be held March 21 through March 23 on the HPU campus. The services, open to the community as well as HPU students, faculty and staff, are intended as a time of spiritual renewal for the campus.

Danny CullinsThis year’s speaker, Danny Cullins, grew up in the Houston area and attended HPU from 1995 to 1999. Upon graduating from HPU, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. There he met and married his wife, Laura. Together they have served on church leadership teams in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. Danny Cullins also spent some time working as an industrial engineer for Michelin. Most recently, the couple helped plant a new church in Fountain, Colo., where they reside. God has blessed them with three children: Brady (9), Ellie (7) and Will (4).

The worship portion of the services will be led by the Mike Romero Band. Mike Romero Music is a Christian nonprofit organization and ministry based out of Houston, working to invest in God’s people as they learn what it Mike Romero Bandmeans to honor and praise the Creator. The band members strive to serve the Body of Christ in all that they do, including writing and recording music, leading worship, teaching, equipping, training, discipling and investing in the current and future generations of worshipers and worship leaders. Band members include Romero, Jack O’Briant, J-Mike Toler, Branden Montgomery and Austin Ray.

Services on Monday and Tuesday will be held at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and the last service will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Each will take place in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. For more information, contact Corey Ash at (325) 649-8502 or


Above: Photos of Danny Cullins and the Mike Romero Band

HPU to host the Assembly Quartet in concert

BROWNWOOD – March 3, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will host the Assembly Quartet, a professional chamber music ensemble of saxophones, in concert on Monday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held in the university’s Grace Chapel and the public is encouraged to attend.

The Assembly Quartet was originally formed in 2003 by graduate students from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Its mission is to promote music education and expand the enjoyment of music for people of all ages. The quartet, now based in Mississippi, is a versatile ensemble that plays a variety of music styles from orchestral pops to virtuosic avant-garde.

“The HPU School of Music and Fine Arts is excited to host this wonderful ensemble,” said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. “We are proud to be able to offer this concert free of charge to all of our students as well as the community at large.”

For more information about the Assembly Quartet, visit or contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

HPU to close for Spring Break

BROWNWOOD – March 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University will be closed for Spring Break next week, March 7-11. No classes will be held and administrative offices will be closed.

The university will reopen and classes will resume at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 14.


Bully prevention expert to speak at HPU’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon

Donna Clark Love for webBROWNWOOD – March 1, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club will host its annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon on Thursday, April 14, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center. This year’s guest speaker is HPU alumna Donna Clark Love, an internationally recognized expert, trainer and motivational speaker in the areas of bully prevention, family systems and student assistance.

Luncheon tickets are $25 each and may be purchased online at or in person at HPU’s Harrison House, 803 Center Avenue in Brownwood. Sponsorships are available for $1,000 or $500 and include tickets for 8 and a reserved table with signage. Sponsorship and level recognition are included in publicity, both prior to and during event. A portion of the sponsorship is considered a tax-deductible donation to HPU’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Fund.

Clark Love has served as a teacher and school district administrator and is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, a certified trainer for Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and a certified mediator/conflict resolution trainer. She has been featured on NBC’s Today show and NBC Nightly News to highlight successful prevention/intervention programs and has been interviewed by Forbes magazine on bully prevention.

“We’re very excited to welcome Donna Clark Love back to the HPU campus,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president. “She is an excellent speaker and her presentation will be valuable to parents, educators and beyond.”

During the luncheon, the Woman’s Club will announce the recipient of the Yellow Rose Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year as well as honor one of the guests with the prestigious 2016 Yellow Rose Award.

For more information about the HPU Woman’s Club or the Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon, visit, e-mail or call (325) 649-8305.


Photo cutline: The HPU Woman’s Club will host its annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon in April with guest speaker Donna Clark Love.

HPU honors four students in Christian ethics and theology

Currie-Strickland Honorees 2016BROWNWOOD – February 29, 2016 – Four Howard Payne University students were honored as Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology at the university’s ninth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics event earlier this month. Those honored include Shaefer Church, senior Bible major from Farmington, New Mexico; Cheney Cover, junior cross-cultural studies major from Troup; J.T. Hurt, a 2015 HPU alumnus and current graduate student from Brownwood; and Tom Kyle, junior cross-cultural studies major from Salado. Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies, presented the awards.

“At these lectures, we honor these good students,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “But, the reality is that they honor the Lord and us every day as they faithfully serve and study with us.”

Each year, the honorees are selected based on an evaluation of achievement in their classes and on the ways that they have excelled in their thinking in the fields of Christian ethics and theology. This year, each student received a certificate and three books: “Do Justice, Love Mercy” by Phil Strickland; “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian McLaren; and “A New Religious America” by Diana Eck.

“Our faculty are privileged to teach many fine students at HPU, but these four have excelled above and beyond what is required,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies. “We are all very proud of them and happy to honor them.”

The four students plan to pursue ministry-related goals after graduation. Church hopes to go to seminary and then overseas to be a missionary. Cover wants to minister to refugees in an urban environment. Hurt is currently a student in the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program at HPU and plans to pursue youth ministry. Kyle plans to attend the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas to study translation and linguistics. He also wants to work overseas with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies at (325) 649-8403 or visit

Photo cutline: Dr. Donnie Auvenshine (left), professor and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies, is pictured with Currie-Strickland Scholars Shaefer Church, Tom Kyle, Cheney Cover and J.T. Hurt.