News Archives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HPU staffer named Chamber Ambassador of the Month

karina_daniel_chamber_ambassadorROWNWOOD – May 22, 2013 – Karina Daniel, director of corporate, community and foundation relations at Howard Payne University, was named the May 2013 Ambassador of the Month by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Ambassadors participate in various Chamber and community events and serve as the core volunteer group for the Chamber. The Ambassador of the Month is chosen based on participation in events and programs during the previous month.

Daniel first became involved with the Chamber in 2011 when she participated in Leadership Brownwood through then-employer Blaylock Funeral Home. In the fall of 2011, she volunteered for the Total Resource Campaign (TRC), the Chamber’s eight-week sponsorship and membership drive, and was appointed to the TRC Advisory Committee. She has continued to remain active with the TRC, this year helping to raise more than $118,000 in sponsorships for Chamber events as well as new Chamber memberships.

Daniel became a Chamber Ambassador in spring 2012 and has helped with Chamber activities such as ribbon cuttings, monthly lunches, Business After Hours events, the annual Chamber Banquet, business showcases and more.

Since joining the HPU staff in September 2012, Daniel has remained active with the Chamber.

“I have been very fortunate to have the support of the university,” she said. “Randy Yeakley (vice president for development) encourages me to be active in my Ambassador role for the Chamber, as my involvement benefits HPU and helps build and strengthen community relationships.”


Photo cutline: Karina Daniel, director of corporate, community and foundation relations at HPU, was named the May 2013 Ambassador of the Month by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

TexasBank awards $25,000 to HPU through Doss Foundation

texasbank_check_presentation_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2013 – TexasBank recently announced that more than $79,000 in scholarship funds will be given to local and area high schools and colleges – including $25,000 to Howard Payne University – through the Doss Foundation.

In addition to HPU, benefitting institutions include Tarleton State University ($25,000) and Texas State Technical College Regents Circle ($5,000), with the scholarships being awarded to students from Brown, Comanche and Erath Counties. School districts receiving funds include Bangs, Blanket, Brookesmith, Brownwood, Comanche, Dublin, Early, Goldthwaite, Gustine, May, Sidney, Stephenville and Zephyr.

“TexasBank is proud to be affiliated with such a significant investment in furthering the education of the youth in the markets in which we serve,” said Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank. “Commitment to the education of our future leaders is of great importance to our Board and Ownership as evidenced in the nearly $350,000 given by the Doss Foundation over the past six years.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, announced that the funds donated to HPU will support the university’s Heart of Texas Scholarship. He expressed his appreciation to the Doss Foundation and TexasBank.

“We are proud to partner with TexasBank to provide the highest-quality education to students in Central Texas,” he said. “Their continued financial support for HPU shows TexasBank’s commitment to Brownwood and students in the Heart of Texas.”


Photo cutline: Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank, presents a check to Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

Mesquite ISD awards HPU alumna for excellence in teaching

BROWNWOOD – May 14, 2013 – Molly (Nickols) Purl, a 2000 Howard Payne University graduate and eighth-grade teacher in Mesquite ISD, was awarded for excellence in teaching during the spring 2013 semester.

The district’s highest honor, the Mesquite ISD Apple Corps program honors outstanding teachers who have been nominated by their peers. Apple Corps teachers demonstrate leadership, innovation and dedication to students. The program was established in 1990, and two teachers are inducted during the district’s Board of Trustees meeting each month.

Purl holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science from HPU, as well as a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She has taught eighth-grade American history at Agnew Middle School in Mesquite for 13 years.

“Mrs. Purl is highly deserving of the distinction this award brings to her as well as to her family of educators,” said Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of HPU’s School of Education. “Moreover, she continues to bring honor to Howard Payne University and to the School of Education.”

Purl’s father, John Nickols, serves as assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, and her mother, Barbara, is a retired teacher. Purl’s husband, Todd, is also a 2000 HPU graduate, and the couple has two children – Hannah, 9, and Nate, 3.

HPU DPS officers undergo additional training

dps_trainingHoward Payne University’s Department of Public Safety team recently underwent additional training at the new headquarters building. The training was specifically in the fields of New Radio Procedures; Hazardous Materials Recognition and Response; and Officer Safety.

The officers were also recently issued new radios to wear on their uniforms. These new systems allow the officers to be in direct radio communication with Brownwood Police and the 911 Center at all times, 24/7. This enables the officers to respond immediately to emergency situations on campus and also provides them a lifeline by which they can call for immediate assistance from other HPU DPS and Brownwood Police Officers, in the event that they discover an emergency.

“Each officer was also issued a Chief’s Unit Commendation for their remarkable duty this past year,” said Chief Paul Lilly. “This was of course a very stressful year in that it was when we transitioned from security to DPS and underwent a great deal of changes, upgrades and training. Further, Officer Randy Weehunt was issued a Certificate of Appreciation for his quick response and assistance to the IT and various departments at last week’s power outage.”

HPU El Paso Center celebrates opening of new facility

el_paso_ribbon_cutting_for_webThe Howard Payne University El Paso Center celebrated the opening of its new facility at the First Baptist Church in El Paso on April 29. Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, gave a special address to the attendees of the open house and Dr. Stephen Kovach, professor of Christian studies for the El Paso Center, offered a prayer of dedication. As part of the celebration, Blanca Gamez, a 2009 graduate with a double major in Christian studies and business management, shared an inspiring story of how her HPU education from the extension center has made a remarkable difference in the life of her family. A special award was given to Bertha Valle, office manager, for her almost 20 years of dedicated service to the extension center. The award was presented by Dr. Ellis and Dale Meinecke, HPU assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

The extension center’s new home allows for easier access for students all across the El Paso region to attend. Several new courses will be offered next fall as the HPU El Paso Center makes new strides for the future. The Chamber of Commerce, represented by Alicia Ward, held a ribbon cutting and presented the El Paso Center with its own “star” of El Paso.valle_award_presentation_for_web

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Bob Nickell, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in El Paso; Christy Meinecke, HPU admission counselor; Alicia Ward, El Paso Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Carmen Santana, professor of business; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Dr. Stephen Kovach, professor of Christian Studies; Dr. David Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church in El Paso; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Dale Meinecke, HPU assistant vice president for external programs and church relations; Robyn Lowrie, pastor’s wife, First Baptist Church in El Paso; Bertha Valle, office manager of HPU El Paso Center; Erick Jimenez, HPU El Paso admission counselor; and Clinton Wolf, First Baptist Church member.

Pictured from left to right are Dale Meinecke, HPU assistant vice president for external programs and church relations; Bertha Valle, office manager of HPU El Paso Center; and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

HPU to hold spring Commencement on May 11

BROWNWOOD – May 7, 2013 – Howard Payne University will graduate approximately 138 undergraduate and graduate students at its spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m., in the Brownwood Coliseum.

Dr. Ellis Orozco, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Richardson, will deliver the charge to the graduates. The undergraduate degrees will be conferred by Dr. Bill Ellis, university president; Dr. David L. Lowrie, Jr., chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in El Paso; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; and Lana Wagner ’97, registrar. Graduate degrees will be conferred by Drs. Ellis and Tew; Dr. Lois Patton, director of the graduate program in business administration and professor of business administration; Dr. Leslie Plagens, dean of the School of Business and professor of business administration; Dr. Joe Robinson, director of the instructional leadership graduate program and associate professor of education; and Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of the School of Education.

Other program participants will include: Corey Ash ’92, director of bands and associate professor of music, directing the Howard Payne University Instrumental Ensemble; Rev. David Cozart ’96, president of HPU’s Alumni Association and minister of education/administration at Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Waco; Tyler Matthew Heidelberg, graduating senior; Ryan David Hogan, graduating senior; Dr. Ronny Marriott, member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi; Dr. Justin Murphy, dean of the School of Humanities, professor of history and director of the Academy of Freedom; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace ’71, faculty president and professor of music.

Remote parking and shuttle service to the Brownwood Coliseum for Commencement will be available at the parking lot across from the Packer Administration Building on the HPU campus. Buses with identification signs in the windows will begin picking up passengers from remote parking at 9 a.m. and will continue running until one hour after the ceremony. Parking in the vicinity of the Brownwood Coliseum will be more limited than usual on the day of Commencement.

The Commencement ceremony will be preceded on Friday, May 10, 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 J. Howard Hodge Memorial Bell Towers. For more information about Chime Out and Commencement, contact the Office of University Marketing and Communications at (325) 649-8009 or via e-mail at

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service

underwoods_and_scott_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 2, 2013 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Dr. Harlan Scott, chair of the biology department and associate professor of biology, was named Outstanding Faculty Member and Jodi Goode, director of information technology, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q and the Porter family of Porter Insurance, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Mike Daub, associate professor of accounting; Dan Humeniuk, department chair and assistant professor of social work; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Mark Patton, professor of business administration.jodi_goode_and_robert_porter_for_web

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to Katrina Lynn, administrative assistant for business and human resources; Rebecca Mainka, mail room and copy center clerk; and Larry Henderson, custodian.
Special plaques commemorating retirement were given to Tonya Horner, associate professor of mathematics, and Louise Sharp, associate vice president for marketing and communications, chief marketing officer and special assistant to the president.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Dora Arellano, custodian; Tammy Arreola, accounts payable coordinator; Gretchen Campbell, student account coordinator; Ton Damron, assistant professor of social work; James Darby, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology; Mandy Locker, assistant professor of criminal justice; Alexa Maddox, academic services coordinator; Larry Meadows, adjunct instructor of business administration; Jerome Nowowiejski, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Joshua Prock, head women’s basketball coach; Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science; Carrie Singleton, campus visit coordinator; Vanessa Stewart, adjunct instructor of communication; and Lance Unger, assistant football coach.

Ten years of service – Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports; Carla Hawkins, assistant professor of modern languages; Kim Schuster, executive assistant to the senior vice president for finance and administration; Bobbie Jo Stewart, circulation services and music library supervisor; and Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education.

Fifteen years of service – Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English; Scott Owen, assistant professor of exercise and sport science; Diann Prickett, gift processing clerk; and Dr. Julie Welker, department chair and professor of communication.

Twenty years of service – Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies; and Eydie Henderson, administrative assistant for the School of Christian Studies.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies.


Photo cutlines: Jodi Goode received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Robert Porter. The award is made possible by the Porter family of Porter Insurance.

Dr. Harlan Scott, right, received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year. He is pictured with Jill Underwood and Paul Underwood. The award is made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q.