News Archives

HPU to host Sorores Duo in soprano and clarinet recital

Rosine for web

Dr. Amy Rosine

BROWNWOOD – September 11, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will host guest soprano Dr. Amy Rosine in recital on Thursday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. The recital is free to the public and will be held in the university’s Grace Chapel.

Dr. Rosine, a former HPU faculty member, will be accompanied by Dr. Sandra Mosteller on the clarinet and assisted by Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, HPU professor of music, on piano. Known as the Sorores Duo, Drs. Rosine and Mosteller have been performing together for 10 years. Their programs focus on contemporary music for soprano and clarinet.

Dr. Rosine is an active recitalist and oratorio performer. Known for her clear voice and expressive singing, she has performed in a variety of venues, including the Lyric Theatre of Dallas, Fort Worth Opera, Brownwood Regional Theatre and Regal Opera, Civic Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Lyric Opera Express and Kansas Concert Opera and Kansas State University Opera. Opera roles include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Merry Widow, Ann Putnam in The Crucible, Goodwife and Mary in The Wise Women and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. She has performed with Opera in the Ozarks, St. Charles Music and Arts Festival and Lake Placid Institute Vocal Seminar. She is a past recipient of the Alpha Corrine Mayfield Award in Opera Performance from the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Recital performances have taken her to the Čzech Republic, where she collaborated with pianist Jaroslav Šaroun from the Music Academy of Prague. Most recently, Dr. Rosine was the soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem with the Kansas State Choir at the prestigious Kaufmann Center in Kansas City.

Dr. Rosine is associate professor of music at Kansas State University, where she teaches applied voice, vocal techniques and serves as vocal coach for the K-State Players Broadway musicals. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Kansas, Master of Music degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City and Bachelor of Music Education degree from Truman State University. Voice teachers include Inci Bashar, Norman Paige and Kathleen Dawson. Dr. Rosine has served on the faculties of Rockhurst College, St. Mary’s University, Howard Payne University and Texas Woman’s University. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, where she serves as the Kansas president and Sigma Alpha Iota, where she is the faculty advisor for the Kappa Upsilon chapter.

Dr. Sandra Mosteller frequently performs as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. She has been a featured soloist throughout

Dr. Sandra Mosteller

Dr. Sandra Mosteller

the United States and in Belgium, Spain and Russia.

Dr. Mosteller has performed works for several composers including Thea Musgrave, Donald Erb, Bruce Mahin, Mark Kilstofte and Rodney Washka. She has premiered several works, including Ebbtide for clarinet, cello and piano, which was written for her by Belgian composer Norbert Goddaer. She commissioned and performed Monologues for clarinet and piano and Piccolo and Chalumeau for clarinet, flute and piano, both by Gary Belshaw.

Dr. Mosteller is on the faculty of Wayland Baptist University, where she teaches applied clarinet and saxophone, chamber music ensembles, music education and world music courses, as well as serving as junior and senior recital coordinator. Her private students have achieved success at the state, regional and national level, including scholarships to major universities, summer music institutions, all-state and honor band festivals.

Dr. Mosteller earned a doctorate in clarinet performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master’s degree in clarinet performance at Arizona State University and both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music education at Truman State University. Her major clarinet teachers include Dr. Kelly Burke, Dr. Robert Spring, Ted Gurch (Atlanta Symphony), Dr. Richard Weerts, David C. Nichols, Debbie Augsberger and Paul Brizzi. She is a life member of Sigma Alpha Iota and Pi Kappa Lambda.

“HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts is very pleased to welcome back Dr. Rosine along with Dr. Mosteller,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean. “We’re looking forward to an evening of excellent music and hope the community makes plans to join us.”


Photo cutline: Drs. Rosine and Mosteller will perform a soprano and clarinet recital at Howard Payne University on Thursday, September 18.

HPU names Dr. Magen Bunyard vice president for student life and dean of students

BROWNWOOD – September 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University announced today that Dr. Magen Bunyard has been named vice president for student life and dean of students. She will begin her role with the university on October 6.

Dr. Bunyard comes to HPU from North Central Texas College in Graham where she has served as a counselor and academic advisor since September 2012. Her previous experience includes serving as dean of students at East Texas Baptist University from 2008 to 2012 and director of student activities from 2002 to 2006. She served as director of volunteer services for Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas from 2006 to 2008. Additionally, she has taught as an adjunct professor in communications in several colleges since 2005 and worked as the associate director for the Baptist Student Ministry at Texas A&M Corpus Christi from 2000 to 2002.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Bunyard to HPU,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “Her résumé is impressive and we’re confident that her background in counseling and student services will be very valuable as she assumes the role of vice president for student life and dean of students.”

Dr. Bunyard received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2000 and 2005, respectively, and earned her doctoral degree from the University of North Texas in 2014.

“I am excited to be joining the HPU community,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the excellent student life programs that are established and working with faculty, staff and students to identify new opportunities to enhance the HPU student experience.”

HPU named a great value, veteran-friendly institution by U.S. News & World Report

PrintBROWNWOOD – September 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University maintained high rankings in the 2015 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. The publication announced Tuesday that HPU advanced four places from 2014 to be ranked fourth among the regional colleges of the west in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. Additionally, the university placed 15 out of the ranked institutions in the “Best Regional Colleges of the West” category and seventh among the regional colleges of the west in the “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.

According to the publication, U.S. News determines its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category by taking into account an institution’s academic quality based on its “Best Colleges” ranking and the 2013-2014 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

“The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” the publication stated.

U.S. News determines the “Best Colleges for Veterans” by examining institutions in the 2015 “Best Colleges” rankings which participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

Institutions are ranked in all categories within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West. Universities and colleges in Texas and Oklahoma compete in the West region, which is the largest geographic section, encompassing the entire Western U.S.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, voiced the university’s pleasure at once again being recognized as one of the top institutions in the region.

“We continually strive to be an outstanding value to our students and their families,” he said. “We’re honored to have been recognized for these efforts.”


Photo cutline: HPU, celebrating 125 years of excellence in 2014, maintained high rankings in the 2015 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report.

Nine join Howard Payne University faculty

new faculty fall 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – September 4, 2014 – The fall 2014 semester at Howard Payne University brought nine new faculty members to the HPU classrooms.

“We’re very blessed at HPU to have an outstanding and dedicated group of faculty serving our students,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “We’re confident these individuals are of the same caliber and we’re delighted to welcome them to the university.”

Joining the faculty this semester are Scott Eddy, Dr. Richard Fiese, Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. Debra Powell, Alexia Riggs, Dr. Nancy Romig, Shawntay Sparks-Hubbard, Kay Teague and Shannon Turner.

Scott Eddy, instructor of mathematics, received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Youngstown State University in 2009 and 2011. His experience includes serving as a math assessment writer, 2012-2014; part-time instructor at Kent State University, 2011-2013; and graduate assistant at Youngstown State University, 2009-2011.

Dr. Richard Fiese is the new dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts and professor of music. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1980 and his Master of Music and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Miami in 1986 and 1989. Dr. Fiese’s previous experience includes serving as professor in music education at Houston Baptist University, 2000-2014; associate professor of music education at the University of Miami, 1995-2000; associate professor of music education at the University of Houston, 1989-1995; and director of bands at Henry L. West Laboratory School in Coral Gables, Fla., 1986-1989.

Dr. Adrian Gil serves as the new director of HPU’s El Paso Center and as an associate professor of business. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1996), Master of Business Administration (2000) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees (2009) from The University of Texas at El Paso. His previous experience includes serving as assistant professor of management at the University of Houston, 2010-2014; associate instructor of management at The University of Texas at El Paso, 2004-2009; research assistant at The University of Texas at El Paso, 2004-2005; production control manager at A.O. Smith Water Heaters, 2002-2004; and purchasing/materials manager at Air System Components, Inc., 1998-2002.

Dr. Debra Powell, previously an adjunct instructor at HPU’s New Braunfels Center, now serves as assistant professor of business administration at the Brownwood campus. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from McMurry University in 1987, her Master of Business Administration degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 1990 and her Doctor of Business Administration degree from Argosy University in 2013. Her experience includes serving as an online facilitator at the Art Institute Online, 2006-present; adjunct in business administration at HPU, 2007 and 2013-2014; fashion and retail management faculty member at Art Institute of Austin, 2008-2010; visiting instructor at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 2005-2006; and various positions, including managerial, at J.C. Penney Co. in various cities, 1988-2004.

Alexia Riggs is HPU’s new dean of libraries and associate professor of library science. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2002, her Master of Divinity degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 2007 and her Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas in 2009. She has completed all but her dissertation toward a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. Riggs’ previous experience includes serving as reference librarian at Del Mar College, 2012-2014; technical services librarian at Paris Junior College, 2009-2012; government document librarian intern at Texas Christian University, 2009; and as a music library assistant at Hardin-Simmons University, 2004-2005.

Dr. Nancy Romig joins the HPU faculty as an assistant professor of English. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from HPU in 2004, her Master of Arts degree from Texas State University in 2008 and her Doctor of Philosophy degree from University of Arkansas in 2013. Dr. Romig’s previous experience includes serving as visiting assistant professor of English at HPU, spring 2014; instructor of English at University of Arkansas, summer and fall 2013; teaching assistant for English at University of Arkansas, 2010-2013; graduate tutor at University of Arkansas, 2009-2013; and adjunct at HPU, 2008-2009.

Shawntay Sparks-Hubbard serves as associate professor of nursing and director of the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Midwestern State University in 1994, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Tarleton State University in 2005 and her Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2008. She has completed all but her dissertation toward a doctoral degree from the University of Phoenix. Her experience includes serving as program coordinator at Comanche County Medical Center, 2013-2014; L.V.N. to A.D.N. Bridge Program chair at Texas State Technical College, 2010-2014; registered nurse at Texas Nurse Connection, 2006-2012; and registered nurse at CHS/Abilene Regional Medical Center, 2004-2011.

Kay Teague serves as HPU’s new instructor of mathematics. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University in 1991 and her Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1993. Her previous experience includes serving as instructor at Tarleton State University, 2013-2014; instructor and freshman math coordinator at Tarleton State University, 2006-2013; and lecturer at Tarleton State University, 1997-2006.

Shannon Turner, previously an HPU staff member, has joined the faculty as instructor of academic services, learning assistance and academic recovery. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Tarleton State University in 2000 and 2001. Her previous experience includes serving as director of institutional research and effectiveness at HPU, 2011-2014; computer science/multimedia/English I teacher at Brownwood High School, 2008-2011; computer science/credit recovery/English II teacher at Vista Ridge High School, 2004-2008; English II/computer science teacher at Leander High School, 2001-2004; and graduate assistant for visual basic computer labs at Tarleton State University, 2000-2001.


Photo cutline: Nine individuals recently joined the HPU faculty. Left to right: Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. Richard Fiese, Shawntay Sparks-Hubbard, Dr. Debra Powell, Shannon Turner, Dr. Nancy Romig, Kay Teague and Alexia Riggs. Not pictured is Scott Eddy.

New HPU students begin semester with service to community

SWARM 2014 Garden for webBROWNWOOD – September 4, 2014 – Many of Howard Payne University’s incoming freshmen, along with several returning students and staff members, spent the last Saturday before classes began serving the Brownwood community. The university’s Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.) project is held each year in conjunction with Jacket Journey, HPU’s weeklong new-student orientation.

Approximately 140 volunteers, coordinated by Keep Brownwood Beautiful, completed community service projects at a variety of locations including Brownwood Area Community Garden, the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter and Lake Brownwood.

Francie Clark, HPU’s director of student activities, looks forward to S.W.A.R.M. each year.

“It’s great for our new and returning students to be able to bond as they serve others,” she said. “We’re very excited to welcome the Class of 2018 and to see the impact they continue to make in the community.”

SWARM 2014 Lake for web###

Photo cutlines: Ryan Weeks, foreground, a freshman from New Braunfels, was among the students serving at the Brownwood Area Community Garden.

Many new and returning students including Michael Bailey, a sophomore from Georgetown, helped clear brush and debris from around Lake Brownwood. Photo by Colton McCabe, junior from Gatesville.

Kaeli Goodgion, a freshman from Comanche, was one of several students to help clean cages and walk dogs at the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter.

SWARM 2014 Animal Shelter for web


Letter intended for 2012 HPU Homecoming honoree arrives two years later

[The following article was written by Dr. Don Newbury, HPU chancellor and former president.]

joe_and_almola_james_for_webBROWNWOOD – August 28, 2014 – Talk about flowers for the living. Sometimes the final blossoms to complete congratulatory bouquets arrive late, but when they do, the aroma of flowers for the living is simply the best.

Joe James, Howard Payne University alumnus—and his wife of 60 years, Almola—were honored as Distinguished Alumni at HPU’s 2012 Homecoming.

They received dozens of letters, e-mails, phone calls and visitors who were profuse in well-wishing for the cherished Homecoming honors. And a few days ago, he received a letter from a player he coached at HPU almost a half-century ago.

It was intended to be more timely—this letter from Walter (Butch) Barthiaume, a 1968 HPU graduate who mailed the letter almost two years ago. Trouble is, it was held up by postal regulations until delivery almost two years later.

It seems the envelope was opened somewhere along the way without authorization, probably by a ring of ne’er-do-wells seeking “checks in the mail.”

So it was held as evidence by postal authorities until the case was cleared. (A letter from postal officials explained all the details.)

“Butch was one of my favorite players,” James said, “I called to explain to him about the letter, and we got a good laugh from it.” (Barthiaume, who now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., confirmed there was no check sent attached to the letter!)

A native of Spur and an outstanding football player there, James is a 1955 graduate of HPU, where he received numerous football honors. He completed his Master of Science degree seven years later.

Drafted by the Chicago Bears, he began his coaching career at Hamilton High School in 1955, and coached for several years at Waco LaVega High School before returning to HPU in 1964 as head football coach.

Then, he became a sporting goods representative in 1968, driving more than one million miles over a large part of Texas until his retirement this year.

Almola, his wife of 60 years, is a 1955 HPU graduate who received both Master of Education and Master of Arts degrees in 1966. Her teaching career of 34 years included tenures at LaVega High School, Brownwood High School and HPU.

The couple has two children, and they greatly enjoy traveling, having visited all 50 states.
So much of life seems to be of the “how soon we forget” type. How refreshing when the old coach receives congratulations from a player who didn’t forget. And coach didn’t forget the player, either.


Photo cutline: Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James were named Distinguished Alumni during Howard Payne University’s Homecoming in 2012.

HPU holds University Convocation ceremony

newbury 2014 convocation for webBROWNWOOD – August 28, 2014 – Howard Payne University kicked off its fall 2014 Chapel season yesterday with its annual University Convocation ceremony. Dr. Don Newbury, chancellor and former HPU president, addressed the audience.

Dr. Newbury spoke of many notable people in HPU’s 125-year-history including alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney and former presidents Dr. Guy D. Newman and Dr. Thomas Taylor. He urged those in attendance to trust God’s plans for their lives.

Other program participants included Corey Ash, associate professor of music; Katie Bonner, HPU senior and president of the Student Government Association; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Amy Kresta, instructor of biology; Katherine Licce, HPU senior; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Joe Robinson, professor of education; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly.


Photo cutline: Dr. Don Newbury, left, HPU chancellor and former president, addresses the university during the first Chapel ceremony of the fall 2014 semester. He is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU junior.

HPU cheerleaders report for fall 2014 season

Cheerleaders 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 21, 2014 – Members of the Howard Payne University cheer team arrived on campus this week to begin practicing for the upcoming season. The team will make its debut during the first HPU home football game at 1 p.m. on September 20 at Gordon Wood Stadium.

The cheerleaders are under the direction of Skye Darby, cheer coach, and Gretchen Campbell, cheer sponsor and executive administrative assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students.

Back row, left to right: Michael Hanscheck, freshman from Mason; Zachary Eller, junior from Temple; and Kris Lowrey, sophomore from Brownwood.

Middle row, left to right: Samantha Guerrero, senior from Big Lake; Fallon Ferguson, freshman from Milano; Shelby Creed, senior from Brownwood; Lindsey McKinney, freshman from Brownwood; Kelci Feist, junior from De Leon; and Alahna Baze, freshman from Alvarado.

Front row, left to right: Jessica Huckaby, freshman from Eastland; Kindell Hill, freshman from Jarrell; Dorian Buitron, freshman from Floresville; Rosalinda Gonzales, freshman from San Antonio; and Krista Cook, freshman from Brownwood.

New students arrive on HPU campus

JJ group 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 20, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s class of 2018 arrived on campus yesterday for Jacket Journey, a week-long introduction to their classmates, the university and the HPU way of life. Classes begin on Monday, August 25.

The new students, in yellow shirts, are pictured with upperclassman group leaders; “Secret Service,” a behind-the-scenes setup and teardown committee; the Student Planning Committee; and student life staff.

HPU faculty member’s book recommended by FCA Magazine

john nickols with book for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 7, 2014 – “The Last Three Outs,” a novel by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at Howard Payne University, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine, a national publication of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The novel was the only work of fiction recommended by the magazine in its July/August issue.

“The Last Three Outs,” a baseball novel with Christian themes, tells the story of Danny Hill, a bright pitching prospect whose baseball career is suddenly threatened by a shoulder injury. According to Nickols, the book loosely parallels the life of Joseph in the Old Testament.

“Joseph’s story has always intrigued me,” Nickols said. “There were many injustices in his life, but God redeemed him in a much greater way. In a very trivial way, the same thing happens to Danny in my story.”

The book was published by Tate Publishing and is available at and Barnes & Noble.


Photo cutline: “The Last Three Outs” by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine.