News Archives

HPU’s Natividad joins board of BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative

David Natividad for webBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2015 – David Natividad, a Howard Payne University admission counselor, recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Education Initiative (HEI) within the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The goal of the HEI is to prepare pre-kindergarten children for school and help students succeed through graduation and into college.

“The HEI works with young children and families to prepare them for school and it works with high school students who want to continue their education,” said Natividad, whose desire is to work with middle school and high school students. “We give information about colleges and also offer resources including GED preparation programs.”

Each year, the HEI, in partnership with the Convention’s Education Commission, raises funds to award at least 20 $1,000 scholarships to Hispanic students during the Hispanic Convention’s annual meeting.

Kevin Kirk, HPU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said Natividad is doing a great job leading the way for the university’s increased engagement with Texas Baptist Hispanic youth.

“We are very excited for the honor and for the opportunity David has to serve in this way,” Kirk said.

Photo cutline: HPU admission counselor David Natividad recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative.

Newest HPU master’s degree aims to improve lives through sports and wellness leadership

Hatcher and student for webBROWNWOOD – January 15, 2015 – Howard Payne University will soon offer a Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program to prepare those who are entering into or wish to advance in the sport and/or wellness industries.

Classes will begin in August for the fall 2015 semester and those interested are encouraged to attend one of two informational sessions to be held February 5 and February 19 at 6 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. Complimentary light refreshments will be served and those who attend will receive free admission to the Yellow Jacket basketball games that follow. The Lady Jackets will tip off at 5:30 p.m. each evening.

The SWELL program is an affordable option for those looking to impact lives through careers that emphasize the importance of health.

“Not only is SWELL the most affordable master’s degree in Texas for professionals entering or employed in the sport and wellness industries, we’ve also designed it to be one of the most accessible,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor.

The program is designed for both full-time and part-time students with most classes scheduled in the evenings to accommodate work schedules. Limited campus housing and board plans are available for those who may wish to live on campus. In addition, competitive graduate assistantships will be available to help offset the cost of tuition.

While many graduate programs across the country focus solely on either the sport industry or wellness industry, SWELL adapts the core knowledge and skill sets of each into a comprehensive program. Consequently, SWELL graduates may find greater career flexibility and opportunity for service.

“We’ve created a holistic program that includes instruction in a variety of topics that revolve around impacting the quality of life for American citizens,” said Dr. Hatcher. “As with all HPU academic programs, the SWELL courses will be enriched by the university’s faith tradition.”

Courses include instruction on legal and ethical aspects of sport/wellness, marketing and public relations, event planning, resource management and more. Students will enter the SWELL program in cohort groups, beginning fall 2015. The program consists of 10 courses and 30 graduate hours, and can be completed in 20 months.

For more information about the SWELL program, visit or e-mail


Photo cutline: Dr. Graham Hatcher, right, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor, serves as director of HPU’s new Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program announces courses for spring 2015

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – January 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program will offer courses in music and art during the 2015 spring semester. Courses include Kindermusik, art and private music lessons.

Kindermusik will include foundational music learning for children ages 1-and-a-half to 3 years in the Our Time Class and ages 3 to 6 in the Imagine That! Class. Marie Clarkson will instruct the Our Time course each Tuesday from 4:00-4:45 p.m. and Imagine That! from 5:00-6:00. A parent or caregiver must be present during the class.

Art classes are offered to children ages 6 through 12. Students aged 6 through 8 will be grouped into the Primary Class and students aged 9 through 12 will be enrolled in the Elementary Class. Julie Mize, adjunct photography instructor, will instruct the Primary and Elementary classes each Tuesday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m., respectively.

Private music lessons are offered to students of all ages. Lessons available include piano, guitar, percussion, band instruments and voice. The time, days and instructor will be determined based on scheduling. Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct music instructor, will coordinate enrollment.

The deadline for enrollment in Kindermusik or private music lessons is Monday, January 19. Enrollment for art class is available until Monday, January 26. Music classes will be held in HPU’s Davidson Music Complex and art classes will be held in HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

For more information about Kindermusik, contact Marie Clarkson at or (325) 646-0682. For art classes, contact Julie Mize at For private music lessons, contact Diane Owens at or (325) 649-8501.

Mustache fun funds mission trips for HPU students

MWOD 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 19, 2014 – Howard Payne University recently ended the fall 2014 semester with the annual “Mustache Wheel of Doom” fundraiser sponsored by the Baptist Student Ministry. The popular event raised $2,933 for missions and left several HPU men with interesting facial hair throughout final exams week.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while collecting money for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. Go Now sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The teams that raised the least amount of money spun the “Mustache Wheel of Doom” and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. This year’s choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“I love this time of year and all the fun that the Mustache Wheel brings,” said Keith Platte, HPU’s BSM director. “Plus, it is all for a good cause. It is great to see so many students who will do something silly or crazy for the sake of raising money to help others serve on mission trips. This is a pretty selfless act, especially when you see the kinds of beards some of the guys have to wear during finals week.”

Three HPU students will take part in Go Now experiences this year. Ruby Johnson, a senior from Alvarado, and Xavier McFalls, a junior from Amarillo, will both serve in the mission field during Christmas break. Rebekah Steadman, a December graduate from Fort Worth, will serve overseas during the spring semester.

Samuel Marich-Edwan, a senior from Arlington and Mustache Wheel of Doom participant, said he always enjoys the atmosphere the event creates.

“It is a great way to raise funds to help a wonderful cause, but it is also an incredibly fun and exciting event as well,” he said.

Platte said the BSM and the Mustache Wheel of Doom are both part of a bigger plan to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world.

“I am glad that we can do that by growing beards and raising money, but we are always looking for ways that we can share the love and joy of Jesus,” he said.


Photo cutline: Emily Selman, a sophomore from Red Oak, shaves stripes into the beard of Scott Turner, a junior from Georgetown, as part of HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser event. Photo by Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore.

HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2014 – Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 22, through Friday, Jan. 2, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Monday, Jan. 5.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement (The Harrison House), located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23, and Wednesday, Dec. 31, to process end-of-the-year gifts. The Office of Institutional Advancement may be reached at (325) 649-8006 or (800) 950-8465.

HPU’s spring 2015 semester begins Monday, Jan. 12.

HPU students partner with Brownwood High School in hands-on project

By Chandler Condra, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2014 – During the fall 2014 semester, senior business students enrolled in Human Resource Management (HRM) at Howard Payne University worked with Brownwood High School students on a project designed to strengthen the relationship between the two schools and create a hands-on learning experience for both parties.

In an effort to provide both sets of students with valuable experiences, the focus of the project was résumé and job interview strategies. HPU students were responsible for researching and developing comprehensive résumé and interview workshops for the high school students to attend.

HRM interview at BHS for webDr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, instructed the HRM students and oversaw the application of the project.

“Service learning is a growing field in education, and I believed there was a way to marry the needs of local high school students with the needs of college students,” said Dr. Kelley. “When you teach something you learn more about it, and I knew if I could get my students to teach something to the high school students, they would internalize more of the data they experience.”

The process began by creating three mock job descriptions outlining available positions in three fictitious companies. HPU students delivered brief presentations on the best practices in résumé writing and job interviewing, and the BHS students were tasked to create their own unique résumés for one of the three available positions and submit them for comments. After revising their résumés, the BHS students brought their final copies and were individually interviewed by students from the HRM class for the jobs the high school students selected.

Both sets of students gained hands-on experience with the materials they were tasked to create. For BHS students, this included a simulated testing of their knowledge of proper résumé format and interview etiquette. HPU students learned to design job descriptions, present created materials and interview prospective employees.

The Human Resource Management class consisted of 12 students who worked directly with more than 80 BHS students.

“Academics and the real world are very different,” said Dr. Kelley. “You don’t take tests in the real world. You create presentations, you seek value and you create value. That’s what we did here. We created value.”

Dr. Kelley was not alone in his thoughts. Coach David Edgin, who oversaw the BHS students involved, felt his classes gained much from the experience.

“Our résumé and interview assignment with HPU was beneficial for everyone involved,” said Edgin. “High school students need to know how to write professional résumés and how a true interview for a professional job should be handled.”

Students of the Human Resource Management class also believed the experience was valuable to them. Brittany Cavness, a senior from Lampasas, enjoyed the project and thinks it will help her when looking for a job in the future.

“The practicality of this project was refreshing,” said Cavness. “Having real-world experience is something we can use to get a leg up in our résumés.”

Dr. Kelley believes experiential assignments are the best way to introduce business students to the standards to which they will be held after graduation.

“When we use applied experiences, we require our students to meet a certain realistic standard of competence,” he said. “If you cannot sell your work then you bring no value to your employer. Brownwood ISD saw value in the project, so we are creating value for the community and thereby excelling at that level of competence.”


Photo cutline: HPU student J.T. Muzquiz conducts a mock job interview for a student at Brownwood High School.

HPU criminal justice students complete internships

crj interns december 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 12, 2014 – Five Howard Payne University students were recently honored for the successful completion of criminal justice internships. The students and their mentors were recognized at a luncheon held at a local restaurant.

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 opportunities that help students prepare for a future in the field of criminal justice.

According to Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, the internships are designed to match students’ interests and career goals.

“We’re very appreciative of the agencies and organizations that offer expertise and guidance to our students,” she said. “We’re fortunate to be able to collaborate with them and we feel confident that our students are positive additions to their workforce as well.”

Participating students were Austin Burt, senior from Sweetwater, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Kyle Dennis, senior from Placentia, Calif., intern at Haynes Law Firm; Paola Guzman, senior from Brownwood, intern at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Matthew Simons, senior from Bangs, intern at G4S: The Oaks; and Luis Solis, senior from Prosper, intern at Brownwood Police Department.


Photo cutline: Five HPU students recently completed internships in the field of criminal justice. The students are pictured with their internship mentors and members of the HPU faculty. Left to right: Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice, chief of police and director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Mike Smith, attorney with Haynes Law Firm; Kyle Dennis, intern at Haynes Law Firm; Bob Pacatte, assistant chief of police and assistant director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program; Austin Burt, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Paola Guzman, intern at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Bob Contreras, family liaison specialist at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Matthew Simons, intern at G4S: The Oaks; Tyrene Green, superintendent at G4S: The Oaks; Luis Solis, intern at Brownwood Police Department; and Mike Corley, chief of police at Brownwood Police Department.

HPU presents Spirit of Social Work Award to Brownwood’s Doak Givan

Spirit of Social Work Award 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 11, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to Doak Givan of Brownwood. The award is presented annually to an individual whose career reflects an outstanding contribution to the social work profession or to the field of human services in general.

Givan has served as executive director of Brownwood’s Family Services Center for 15 years, leading the program to increased outreach in the community. His previous career experience includes work with the Texas Department of Corrections, the Permian Basin Community Center for MHMR in Midland and the Betty Hardwick Center in Abilene.

He additionally has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America and serves as the chairperson of the Community Interagency Committee, the Community Children’s Advisory Committee and the Brown County Home Solutions Board of Directors. He also initiated the “Inside Out Dad” parenting program at the TR Havins Unit in Brownwood.

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology, is among the members of the Social Work Advisory Board.

“The board was honored to present this award to Mr. Givan,” he said. “His career and character greatly reflect everything that those in the field of human services strive to accomplish.”

Givan’s wife, Cynthia, serves as administrative assistant for the English and criminal justice departments at HPU. They have three sons – Wesley, Keith and Thomas, an HPU sophomore.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Dan Humeniuk, left, recently presented the Spirit of Social Work Award to Doak Givan, executive director of Brownwood’s Family Services Center.

Daniels, champion team inducted into ASC Hall of Honor

Champs Stuckly for webRICHARDSON, Texas – Meia Daniels and the 2007-2008 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in the Class of 2014-15 members of the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor.

The Class of 2014-15 represents the fifth group inducted to the ASC Hall of Honor and includes the first team to be honored. The American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor recognizes outstanding former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams who brought pride and honor to the conference through their contributions. On-campus recognition ceremonies are planned for each Hall of Honor inductee during February.

Meia Daniels and the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in between the women’s and men’s basketball home games on Saturday, February 21, 2015 in the Brownwood Coliseum.

Read the full story on the HPU Sports website.

Photo by Derrick Stuckly, Brownwood Bulletin

HPU law enforcement personnel participate in FBI forum

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – December 11, 2014 –Dr. Paul Lilly and Chief Bob Pacatte, the leaders of Howard Payne University’s Department of Public Safety, recently attended a Critical Incident and Active Shooter Response roundtable discussion and training session held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dr. Lilly serves as chief of police and assistant professor of criminal justice and Chief Pacatte serves as assistant chief of police.

The HPU law enforcement personnel were personally requested to attend the seminar by Janet Thomas, the event coordinator and FBI special agent. Dr. Lilly and Chief Pacatte contributed to the roundtable discussion along with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Abilene Police Department, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, the Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office command staff, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Eastland Police Department and personnel from Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.

The four-hour training and discussion session emphasized response procedures for critical incidents, specifically shootings in populated areas such as shopping and retail centers and college and university campuses.

Participants in the exercise were afforded the opportunity to share their training and field experiences as well as departmental response protocol for critical incidents. Additional topics included information about first-respondent approaches to incidents, maintaining and developing policies as guidelines during events and issuing imperative emergency medical attention to potential victims.

“I feel these types of training programs are extremely important,” said Dr. Lilly. “It’s unfortunate that we should have to train for these types of incidents, but that is the reality of the world in which we live today. The more we train, the better we are able to serve the public and respond professionally should something like this ever actually occur here.”

Dr. Lilly reports that the creation of HPU DPS has directly correlated to a noticeable crime reduction on and immediately around campus. He attributes this positive report to the advanced training of HPU DPS personnel and recruitment of veteran officers who have had years of experience in the law enforcement field, equipping them to provide proficient protection and service to the HPU community.

He also notes the importance of partnering with local law enforcement.

“As proud as we are of the advancements we have made with regard to campus public safety, we must note that the successes we have experienced would not have been possible without the help from the Brownwood Police Department and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office,” Dr. Lilly says. “By working together we make a united force ready to deal with these types of critical incidents, should they occur on or near the campus.”