News Archives

HPU class project serves local 3M plant

Cooper and students for web updatedBROWNWOOD – May 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University students in Tim Cooper’s Digital Video Manipulations class recently partnered with 3M to produce a Contractor Safety Awareness Video for the local plant. According to a magazine published by the company, the video will be used as part of its orientation process for new contractors.

3M’s Rodney Chesser contacted Cooper, who serves as HPU’s instructor of multimedia communications and computer information systems. Cooper said he is happy that his class was able to serve the community in this way.

“It’s great experience for our students and it serves a real purpose in the community,” he said. “These types of real-world projects are invaluable.”

Those who teamed for the project were Christy Ash, senior from Brownwood; Michael Harmon, 2015 graduate from Brownwood; Tyler Jones, senior from Granbury; Nathan Lamb, senior from Brownwood; Will Locke, senior from Kerrville; and Cantrell Miller, senior from Rochelle. The English version of the video was narrated by Cameron Van Item, 2011 HPU graduate and HPU groundskeeper, while a Spanish version was narrated by Bertha Mendoza, 2014 HPU graduate.

The video starred several 3M employees and focused on points such as required personal protective equipment, policies and conditions at the Brownwood plant.

“This project is a good example of the partnership opportunity between 3M and local entities, such as HPU,” stated the magazine article.


Cutline: Students led by HPU instructor Tim Cooper recently completed a video project for Brownwood’s 3M. Left to right: Michael Harmon, Cantrell Miller, Tyler Jones, Nathan Lamb, Tim Cooper and Christy Ash. Not pictured is Will Locke.

HPU’s Spirit of Social Work Award presented to Becky Smith of Brownwood

Dan Humeniuk and Becky SmithBROWNWOOD – May 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to board member and HPU alumna Becky Smith 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.

Smith, currently employed at Senior Care of Brownwood, graduated from HPU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. Later that year, she became a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker and subsequently received an Independent Practice Recognition.

In addition to serving on HPU’s Social Work Advisory Board since 2000, Smith has served the Brownwood and Early communities in a number of ways. She has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since 1998; became a member of the Kiwanis Club in 2002; and was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Lions Club in 2005. She was selected as an ambassador for the Early Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and was appointed to its Board of Directors in 2009, a position she held until 2014. She additionally served as an ambassador for the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce in 2009.

Smith participated in Good Samaritan Ministries’ Empty Bowls project in 2008 and 2009 and spent two years as the fundraising director for the Early Volunteer Fire Department. She has additionally served her community by organizing health fairs, assisting with a variety of carnivals and rodeos, volunteering with fund-raising campaigns and helping with Early’s Pioneer Day activities.

She began supervising social work field interns in 2002 and, in that capacity, has overseen nine HPU undergraduate students and one graduate student from The University of Texas at Arlington. She and her husband of 16 years, Rafe, have two children, Arron and Rachel.

“The Social Work Advisory Board is pleased to recognize Becky Smith for her outstanding achievements in the field of social work,” said Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology. “She is a valuable member of our organization and a caring and committed member of the community.”


Cutline: Dan Humeniuk, left, recently presented the HPU Social Work Advisory Board’s Spirit of Social Work Award to Becky Smith.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program students present recital and art walk

BROWNWOOD – May 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently held a student recital featuring 40 students. These students performed piano, vocal and saxophone solos and duets in Howard Payne’s Grace Chapel. The HPU Pre-College art students displayed some of their work in the foyer of the chapel.

“The music and art in Grace Chapel was truly amazing,” said Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct instructor in the School of Music and Fine Arts. “There was a nice balance of contemporary and classical styles and our students gave outstanding performances.”

Following the performances, students received awards and recognitions. Texas state theory test awards were given on four levels: gold, silver, bronze and theory pin awards. The gold-medal winners, with a grade of 98-101, were Andrew Boren, Vic Cooper, Kirsten Fijer, Kyle Ivy and Cate Smith. The silver-medal winners, with a grade of 95-97, were Michael Morales, Natalie Rose and Sam Woods. The bronze-medal winner, with a grade of 90-94, was Sarah Reeves. Theory-pin winners, with a grade of 70-89 or those taking below their level, were James Bautista, Hannah Bessent, Nathan Bull, Michelle Cabrera, Angie Calfa, Christian Fijer, Alex Fowler, Leila Gautier, Jaycie Hubbard, David McKee, Kylee Medina, Marti Millwee, Sydney Neel, Hannah Parson, Kourtney Peacock, Drew Reynolds, Jordan Roberts, Carli Shoen and Ava Sparks-Hansen.

Texas Federated Music Clubs Junior Festival awards were given for piano solos. Those in the superior-rating competitive category included James Bautista, Nathan Bull, Vic Cooper, Christian Fijer, Alex Fowler, Leila Gautier, Jaycee Hubbard, Kyle Ivy, Kamry Keese, Kylee Medina, Addison Miller, Aishwarya Nigalye, Hannah Parson, Sarah Reeves, Jordan Roberts, Cate Smith, Ava Sparks-Hansen and Sam Woods. Students in the excellent-rating competitive category were Andrew Boren and Michael Morales. In the non-competitive category receiving a superior rating were Angie Calfa, Natalee Rose and Carli Shoen.

TFMC Junior Festival awards were also given for vocal solos in musical theatre. Students in the superior-rating competitive category included Hannah Bessent, Angie Calfa, Kirsten Fijer, Alex Fowler, Kamry Keese, Marti Millwee, Sydney Neel, Sarah Reeves, Drew Reynolds, Jordan Roberts and Ava Sparks-Hansen. For vocal solos in the art-song category, Angie Calfa received a superior-rating competitive category award.

Gold cups were also given for piano and vocal solos. Tony Calfa and Hannah Parson each were 15-point gold cup recipients; Vic Cooper, Addison Miller and Sarah Reeves were each 30-point gold cup recipients; and Sam Woods was the 45-point gold cup recipient. Alex Fowler, Addison Miller and Jordan Roberts were each 15-point gold cup recipients for their vocal solos in musical theatre. Addison Miller was the 15-point gold cup winner and Angie Calfa was the 30-point gold cup winner for their vocal solos in art song.

Art show students included Bella Attaway, Hayden Deen, Jaycie Hubbard, Aryn Lesley and Jim Riggs.

“Thanks go out to the parents and friends who support these talented young people and a special thanks to all the teachers who are so dedicated to making the Pre-College Music and Art Program such a success,” said Owens. “We are already looking forward to next year.”

The Pre-College Music and Art Program serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. For more information, contact Diane Owens at (325) 649-8501 or


HPU hosts Math Career Day

BROWNWOOD – May 4, 2016 – Howard Payne University recently hosted HPU mathematics students and faculty members as well as students from Early High School for a Math Career Day. The event was held in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Room of the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on the university’s campus.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness aMathDaymong students of the various careers for which a degree in mathematics can prepare them. Current and future HPU students who are interested in majoring in mathematics were invited. There were 15 mathematicians and engineers present to speak with students about mathematics-related careers including representatives from 3M and Kohler; in-service high school teachers from Brownwood, Early and Bangs; a practicing actuary from Waco; Dr. José Romero, associate professor of mathematics for HPU; Dr. Kenneth Word, chair of the Department of Mathematics and professor of mathematics for HPU; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, interim director of the engineering science program at HPU; and Hendra Tarigan, doctoral candidate in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University.

“Our 2016 HPU Math Career Day was a great success due the combined efforts of everyone involved,” said Dr. Word. “Thank you to all who presented and attended.”


Cutline: Representatives from Kohler speak with students at HPU’s Math Career Day.

HPU alumna named All-Big Country Coach of the Year

Heather Hohertz and teamBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2016 – Heather Hohertz, 2007 Howard Payne University graduate, said she credits her HPU professors and coaches in guiding her to be her best. Hohertz, who serves as head basketball coach and assistant softball coach at Brownwood High School, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She additionally won the award in 2010.

“By playing under Coach K (Chris Kielsmeier, former HPU basketball coach), I learned how to dedicate myself toward my passion and I learned the work ethic to become successful on the court and in life,” she said.

Hohertz grew up in Priddy and during her senior year of high school was a member of the team that won the first-ever state championship for the small community.

“When I was searching for a college to continue my playing career, Howard Payne was an easy choice,” she said. “Coach Kielsmeier recruited me and I knew I had to become a member of the Lady Jacket family.”

Today, Meia Daniels, a former teammate of Hohertz, serves as head women’s basketball coach for the university.

“Heather is very deserving of the award,” said Daniels. “She works hard and is very competitive, which she relays through her team. I am very proud of her and I know she will continue to do great things in the future.”

During seven years at Brownwood High School, Hohertz has led her team to many victories and has a win-loss record of 147-74.

“This year, we matched our best record in the school’s history,” she said. “We were 25-8 and made the school’s first-ever trip to the regional tournament.”

Hohertz said it’s a great honor to be named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year because there are so many great coaches in the area.

“It’s a tribute to the great kids I have had the opportunity to coach,” she said. “They bought into my philosophy and they strive to be successful.”


Cutline: HPU alumna Heather Hohertz, kneeling, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She is pictured with members of her Lady Lions basketball team. Photo contributed.

Six HPU students honored for servant leadership

Servant Leadership Awards 2016BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2016 – Six Howard Payne University students were recently honored for acts of servant leadership on campus and in the community. The awards were presented during HPU’s annual Servant Leadership Program.

“We are pleased to be able to honor students who have distinguished themselves through service to others,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies. “Servant leaders do not serve others in order to be recognized, of course, but we are happy to honor those students who have honored HPU and Christ through their acts of service.”

Xavier McFalls, senior exercise and sport science major from Amarillo, and Kelsan Wolverton, senior cross-cultural studies major from Lampasas, were presented the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award. HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to juniors Jaclyn Bonner, communication major from Lytle; Joshua Dykes, youth ministry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Mount Pleasant; TaShana Hooker, music instrumental major from Carrollton; and Dillon Hughes, youth ministry major from Plano.

The Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was established in 1998 to honor the life of the late Dr. Nat Tracy, a member of HPU’s Bible faculty from 1950-1975.

Xavier McFalls has participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes all four years at HPU and as a leader within the organization for two years. He has also participated in the Baptist Student Ministry through which he led the athlete discipleship ministry. He additionally served as captain of HPU’s football team and as chaplain within HPU’s Student Government Association among other leadership roles on campus.

Kelsan Wolverton has also participated in numerous roles and activities on campus including serving with Jacket Ambassadors, the Student Activities Committee, the Student Planning Committee and the BSM. She additionally served as historian and president of HPU’s Ministerial Alliance and as chaplain and president of the Alpha Psi Omega organization. She has been a student worker for the Office of University Services throughout her HPU career.

Established in 2007 by the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation, the HPU Servant Leadership Award recognizes student excellence in the areas of leadership and service. A $1,000 scholarship is provided to each recipient of the award, and each student designates $250 of the scholarship award to be given to his or her chosen charity.

Jaclyn Bonner serves as a resident assistant in HPU’s Veda Hodge Hall, as president of Gamma Beta Phi, as a columnist for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper and as the HPU representative on the executive committee of the Christian Association of Student Leaders. Additionally, she is active with the Student Government Association, Model United Nations and numerous other organizations.

Joshua Dykes serves as a resident assistant in HPU’s Jennings Hall and is a member of the Student Government Association, Mock Trial, the BSM and several other on-campus organizations. He additionally began a men’s Bible study in his residence hall and assisted with founding HPU’s Spanish Club so that students could be enabled to spread the Gospel to Spanish-speaking people.

TaShana Hooker serves as a student worker for HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts and as a three-year member of the Yellow Jacket Band through which she was named head drum major. She is the vice president of HPU’s chapter of the Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority and has served on mission trips through the BSM.

Dillon Hughes has participated each semester at HPU with the BSM and the Ministerial Alliance. He has additionally served in the student ministry at Brownwood’s Coggin Baptist Church and Southside Baptist Church and has gone on mission trips with the BSM and Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

Nominations for both the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award and the HPU Servant Leadership Award are solicited each spring from HPU staff, faculty and students.

“This year, 18 different members of the faculty, staff or student body nominated 12 different students for the awards,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “This is the largest number of people making nominations and the largest number of nominees we have had in several years. We felt that all 12 of the nominees were deserving of recognition. I’m thankful to serve at a university that values servant-leadership qualities among its students.”


Cutline: Six HPU students were recently recognized for their servant-leader qualities. Left to right: Kelsan Wolverton, TaShana Hooker, Xavier McFalls, Dillon Hughes, Jaclyn Bonner and Joshua Dykes.

HPU honors faculty and staff for service to university

Diann Prickett 2016BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2016 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Dr. Athena Bean, retiring this year from her role as assistant professor of psychology and university counselor, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member award. Diann Prickett, gift processing and prospect research associate, was named the Outstanding Staff Member for the year.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria and Porter Insurance Agency, respectively.

“We are pleased to recognize Diann and Athena for their outstanding work this year and grateful to the Porter and Underwood families for their continued generosity toward the university,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, and Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program.

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to staff members Sandra Alexander, retiring from her role as data specialist, and Jeremy Hogue, systems administrator.

Dr. Athena Bean 2016Special plaques commemorating retirement were awarded to Alexander and Bean as well as Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Don Gunter, general maintenance; and Dr. Kenneth Word, professor of mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Guy Ament, assistant football coach; Robert Anders, part-time assistant baseball coach; Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Hispanic Studies; Jonathan Burcham, custodian – work order/special requests crew leader; Casey Cox, grounds supervisor; Jayla Devery, student account coordinator; Nikki Donathan, cashier; Allen Fisher, groundskeeper I; Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dora Hernandez, facilities department coordinator; Dalton Hutchins, head tennis coach; Amy Kresta, instructor of biology; Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice and director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Christy Meinecke, major gifts officer, south central region; Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies; Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry; Magda Rodriguez, custodian; Dr. Carmen Santana-Melgoza, professor of business administration; Coby Sauce, director of media relations; Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry; Shannon Turner, instructor of academic services, learning assistance and academic recovery; and Larry Walls, first assistant athletic trainer.

Ten years of service – Tim Cooper, instructor of multimedia communication and computer information systems; P.J. Gramling, director of admission; Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology; Becky Keith, data management coordinator, enrollment services; Mike Lee, instructor of communication and director of student media; Tammy Lowrey, executive assistant to the president; Dr. Matthew McNiece, associate professor of history, chair of the Department of History and Government, and assistant director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy; and Dr. Mike Rosato, adjunct in the School of Education.

Fifteen years of service – Dr. Athena Bean, assistant professor of psychology and university counselor; Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science and director of HPU’s Outdoor Recreation Center and physical activity courses; Dr. Pam Bryant, professor of chemistry and dean of the School of Science and Mathematics; Ferrisa Childs, assistant director of student aid; Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration; Cynthia Givan, departmental administrative assistant in the School of Humanities; Carrie Harding, part-time coordinator of the Heart of Texas Literature Center; Mike Terrill, assistant professor of athletic training and director of the athletic training education program; and Jill Underwood, instructor of education.

Twenty years of service – Sandra Alexander, data specialist, financial aid; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, adjunct in the School of Education; Kyle Mize, assistant vice president for university communications; Dr. José Romero, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Harlan Scott, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; and Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems and chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music.

Thirty years of service – Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, professor of theatre, director of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre.

Thirty-five years of service – Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission; and Dr. Evelyn Romig, distinguished professor of literature.

Forty years of service – Glenda Huff, director of student aid.


Top picture: Diann Prickett, center, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2015-2016 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, right, and Robert Porter, left. The award is made possible by Porter Insurance Agency.

Bottom picture: Dr. Athena Bean, second from left, was presented the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2015-2016 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Paul Underwood, far left; Jill Underwood, second from right; and Dr. Bill Ellis, far right. The award is made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria.

HPU honors 64 students during Academic Awards Convocation

BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2016 – Howard Payne University recently honored 64 students for academic achievements during the spring 2016 semester. The students were recognized during the university’s annual Academic Awards Convocation.

Receiving awards were:

Brittony Walker, Outstanding Student in Family Studies

Skyler Schoolfield, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Spanish

Ashleigh Moss, Most Promising Newcomer in Theatre
Natalie Stephens, Outstanding Music Major (Vocal) – Lower-Division

Xavier McFalls, TAHPERD (Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance) Student of the Year

Reagan Grisham, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Communication Studies

Nicole Goodwin, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Biology

Callie Adams, Outstanding Exercise and Sport Science Major and American Kinesiology Association Outstanding Major
Victoria Hardin, Honor Award in Psychology

Big Spring
Kelsey Weir, Outstanding Student in Mathematics Education

Allison Eaton, American Southwest Conference Female Medal of Honor

Travis Adams, Outstanding Freshman in Art
Blake Biessener, Outstanding Student in Computer Information Systems
Lydia Conrad, Outstanding Senior in Art
Chelsea Garcia, Outstanding Nontraditional Student
Molly Hull, Outstanding New All-Level Teacher
Hannah Justice, Outstanding Student in General Biology
Kindry Kirbo, Outstanding Candidate for Graduation in Biology
Jason Murphy, Outstanding Model United Nations Student
Zachary Peterson, Most Promising Freshman in English

Kaeli Goodgion, Outstanding Freshman in Art

Richard Treviso, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Chemistry

Danyel Bradley, Tami Pattillo Memorial Award

Abraham Cooper, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) – Lower-Division Student and Outstanding Upper-Division Student in Chemistry
Amy Tyler, Honor Award in Social Work

Cody Perrin, Outstanding History Student

Andrea Culpepper, Outstanding Student in Management

Ashley Chapman, Outstanding Government Student

Farmington, N.M.
Shaefer Church, Outstanding Student in Bible and Outstanding Student in Christian Studies
Zachary Sterling, Outstanding Student in Youth Ministry

Luis Robles, Honor Award in Criminal Justice and HPU Male Scholar-Athlete

Chandler Condra, Outstanding Student in the School of Business

Murry Clingerman, Outstanding Student in Accounting

Tolli Wylie, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher

Brittany Martin, Outstanding Achievement in Theatre

Anna Lauren Jeffers, Outstanding Student in Christian Education

Richard Young, Paul J. Cunningham Memorial Award and American Southwest Conference Male Medal of Honor

Cody H. Hughes, Most Promising Freshman in English

Lydia Heinrichs, Outstanding Swarm Yearbook Staff Member

Hannah Strebeck, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) – Upper-Division Student

Hailey Green, Most Promising Newcomer in Theatre

Jimmy Abbatiello, Outstanding Upper-Division Student in Communication Studies

Little Elm
Rachel Crane, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Biology

Rachel Hughes, Outstanding Yellow Jacket Newspaper Staff Member

TJ Counce, Outstanding Mock Trial Student

Jaclyn Bonner, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Communication Studies

Fred Zavala, Academic Achievement in English

Callie Molloy, HPU Female Scholar-Athlete

Gabriella Guest, Outstanding Music Major (Vocal) – Upper-Division

North Richland Hills
Lacey Eagan, Outstanding Lower-Division Mathematics Student

Keaton Fletcher, Outstanding Upper-Division Student in Biology

Ivyanne Nichols, Outstanding Student in Biblical Languages

Richland Hills
Luke Jester, Outstanding Upper-Division Mathematics Student

Thomas Kyle, Outstanding Student in Cross-Cultural Studies

San Angelo
Kyndal Broome, Outstanding Student in Management and Outstanding Upper-Division Student in Spanish
Kristin Haman, Highest GPA in Exercise and Sport Science and Outstanding Athletic Training Major

Sarah Van Remmen, Excellence in Chemistry

Katelyn Zimmer, Outstanding Lower-Division Student in Spanish

Braxton Clark, Outstanding Student Speaker Bureau Member

Jessi Jordan, Outstanding Student in Christian Studies

Zachary Eller, Outstanding Student in Business Administration

Drew McNeill, Outstanding Freshman in Art

Rebeca Puente, Outstanding Moot Court Student

Michael Snow, TAHPERD (Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance) Student of the Year


HPU to graduate 116 students this Saturday

BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2016 – Howard Payne University will graduate 116 students during the spring Commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Robert R. Ellis, associate dean for academics at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary, will deliver the charge to the graduates.

Additional program participants include: Corey Ash ’92, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Rev. Cory Brand ’98, minister of discipleship and pastoral care at First Baptist Church of Corsicana; Jane Collette ’81, president of the HPU Alumni Association; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of the graduate program in youth ministry and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Millard J. Kimery Jr., interim dean of the School of Humanities and professor of English; Dr. Brad Lemler, interim dean of the School of Business and professor of accounting; Dr. Debra Powell, assistant professor of business administration; Dr. Joe Robinson, director of the instructional leadership graduate program and professor of education; Dr. Harlan Scott, faculty president and associate professor of biology; Carter Sharpe, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; Dr. Daresa Voss, interim dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lana Wagner ’97, registrar; Rev. Kelly Wolverton ’96, pastor of Hampton Road Baptist Church in Desoto; Kelsan Wolverton, candidate for graduation; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

The Commencement ceremony will be preceded on Friday, May 6, by Chime Out, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.


HPU Model United Nations team successful at second Münster conference

By Emily Peisker, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – May 2, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Model United Nations team took home seven awards from the Münster University International Model United Nations conference held recently in Münster, Germany. The largest MUN conference in Germany, it sponsored delegates from around the world including delegations from Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel.

MUN Munster Spring 2016MUN 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.

Those receiving awards included James Abbatiello, a junior from Kerrville, with the Outstanding Delegate award for his representation of the Russian Federation on the Security Council; Jaclyn Bonner, a junior from Lytle, with an Honorable Mention award and a Best Position Paper award as the Russian Federation for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR); Joel Justice, a sophomore from Brownwood, with an Honorable Mention award for representing Lebanon on the UNHCR; Sydney Spencer, a junior from Georgetown, with an Honorable Mention award from the Human Rights Council (HRC) for her representation of the Russian Federation; Braxton Clark, a junior from Southlake, with the Outstanding Delegate Award while portraying Syria for the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC); and Cody Perrin, a junior from Eastland, with an Honorable Mention award for the Peace of Westphalia Committee for his portrayal of the Swedish Empire.

Other team members include Mike McConnell, a senior from Burleson and head delegate of the MUN team, who represented France on the Security Council, and Jason Murphy, a senior from Brownwood, who portrayed Indonesia on the General Assembly Second Committee: Economic and Finance (ECOFIN). Gavin Stewart, a senior from Flower Mound, portrayed the Spanish Empire on the Peace of Westphalia Committee, while Emily Peisker, a senior from Cedar Park, represented the Philippines on the UN Women committee. Also on ECOFIN, Rachel White, a junior from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, represented Germany, while Emma Reed, a freshman from Arlington, portrayed China on HRC. Vivian Nguyen, a sophomore from Keller, represented Thailand on UN Women and Augusta Johnson, a sophomore from Gatesville, represented the Republic of Korea on DISEC. Bringing their pre-law experience into play, Caitlin Wood, a senior from Miles, acted as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC) while J Bailey, a senior from Gunter, presented the prosecution on the same committee.

“I am so proud of the entire team,” said Sydney Spencer, co-head delegate of the team. “From what I was able to witness, everyone accurately portrayed their country assignments and represented HPU to the best of their abilities.”

According to Spencer, the team members worked diligently in class and on their own time to fully understand the governmental systems of the countries represented. This was the team’s second time to compete in Münster.

“Yet again, we brought home more awards than any other delegation and this is only due to each individual person’s commitment to research, ability to take constructive criticism and comprehension of how to understand the rules of procedure quickly,” she said.

After landing in Berlin on Easter Sunday, the group took the day to explore the city and see historical sites, which included the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. Team members also visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg on the outskirts of Berlin the next day and immersed themselves in the history of that area.

HPU’s Model United Nations team is led by Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, and Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government.

“Eighteen hours of travel led the victorious HPU MUN team back to Brownwood,” said Dr. Kelley. “Though tired and jetlagged, the belief that peace can be had through non-violent means, a tenet of Christian philosophy, proved powerful yet again to the team. Though some did not win, experience in formal speech, participation in an international conference and exploring the culture of a foreign country was gained by all. Congratulations to our winners and a hearty thanks to all participants who made HPU’s MUN trip a success.”


Cutline: HPU award winners at the Model United Nations conference in Münster, Germany, included (from left) James Abbatiello, Braxton Clark, Jaclyn Bonner, Sydney Spencer, Joel Justice and Cody Perrin.