News Archives

HPU to host annual Community Thanksgiving Feast

thanksgiving_feast_2011_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 8, 2012 – The 29th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University will once again usher in the holiday season for area residents. The event is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The annual tradition has been supported throughout the years by numerous individuals and organizations. Last year, more than 2,000 meals were served on campus and through the home-delivery program.

“Before I began working on it, people were asking if they can help with the Thanksgiving meal at Howard Payne again this year,” said Bill Fishback, assistant vice president for business and human resources at HPU. “I am thrilled this community-wide effort of neighbors caring for neighbors is that important to those who serve each year. Another heart-warming aspect of the day is being able to provide the meals to our friends at no cost because of the donations from the caring people and organizations in this community.”

The traditional Thanksgiving meal, prepared by the staff of HPU’s Sodexo Services, will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings. Last year, volunteers served 691 meals at the Mabee Center and delivered 1,348 meals to area residents. Those who are living in Brownwood and Early and are unable to attend the feast at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to their homes by calling the Brownwood-Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535 by noon on Friday, November 16.

“Because people were so generous last year, we have money left over to help us get started with this year’s meal,” Fishback said. “The community always comes through, so I am not worried about paying the bills.”

According to Fishback, many of the volunteers have helped for years and make serving others part of their annual Thanksgiving traditions.

“The most difficult part of coordinating the event is finding enough jobs for all of the people who want to help, and that’s a great problem to have,” he said.

Fishback said volunteers enjoy visiting with each other and guests while working to serve the meals as quickly as possible.

“I am truly blessed to live in a community where so many people willingly give their time and money to support this wonderful event,” he said. “We hope to be part of a Thanksgiving Day filled with joy as we give thanks to the Lord for blessing us in so many ways.”

Volunteers do not need to call in advance.

“They simply need to show up at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” Fishback said.

To help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, Texas 76801.

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Photo cutline: Volunteers serve the community at Howard Payne University’s annual Community Thanksgiving Feast last year.

HPU makes donation to Brownwood’s Walker Cancer Center

walkathon_check_presentation_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 8, 2012 – Howard Payne University presented a check for $3,857.81 to representatives from Brownwood Regional Medical Center’s Walker Cancer Center on Tuesday. The donation represents funds raised during the university’s Brenda Newbury Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-A-Thon held last month.

From left, are: Gail Hightower, Walker Cancer Center social worker; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Jamie Skaggs, RN, HPU nurse; Chip Camp, CEO of BRMC; and Tammy Means, Walker Cancer Center director.

HPU claims Debate Sweepstakes and 2nd Place Overall at home tournament

ssb_tifa_fall_2012_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 7, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s speech and debate team, the Student Speaker Bureau, recently hosted the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) state championship tournament. HPU received several honors including Debate Sweepstakes and 2nd Place Overall.

The university hosted 19 institutions from Texas and other southern states and almost 200 people including competitors, coaches and judges. With 31 teams competing, the event had the largest Fall TIFA debate participation ever.

“Hosting this tournament for the first time on the HPU campus was a privilege and everything went smoothly,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the communication department and Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) coach. “We were delighted to have so many guests on campus competing.”

HPU had the top two debate teams, winning the Debate Sweepstakes. The teams were comprised of Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, and Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle, and Catherine Mullaney, a junior from Boylston, Mass.

The SSB’s 2nd Place Overall win included points earned from debate and individual events. Individual scores are as follows: Aschmutat, 2nd place Parliamentary Debate Speaking, 5th place Impromptu Speaking, 6th place Impromptu Speaking; Bonner, 3rd place Persuasive Speaking, 5th place Persuasive Speaking, Impromptu Speaking semifinalist; Timothy Hardy, a junior from Corpus Christi, 5th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking; Palmer, 7th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking, Impromptu Speaking semifinalist; and Mullaney, 9th place Parliamentary Debate Speaking. Also competing were Marcos Corley, Sarah Owens, Kaleigh Tankersley, Jessica Ramirez and Dorie Walton. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication, also served as coach.

“I’m so proud of our team’s winning performance at this tournament,” Welker said. “It’s always nice to win but especially when you get to win on your own turf.”

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Photo cutline: HPU recently hosted the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association state championship tournament. HPU competitors included (back row, from left): Dorie Walton, Jake Aschmutat, Marcos Corley and Ben Palmer. Front row, left to right: Katie Rose Bonner, Jessica Ramirez, Kaleigh Tankersley, Sarah Owens and Katie Mullaney. Not pictured is Timothy Hardy.

HPU wins Moot Court tournament at South Texas College of Law

moot_court_south_texas_college_of_law_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 7, 2012 – The Howard Payne University team of Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, and Charity Chambers, a senior from Derby, Kan., recently won the South Texas College of Law Moot Court Tournament in Houston.

The pair beat a team from the United States Air Force Academy in the final round, resulting in a unanimous 5-0 decision for Aschmutat and Chambers. The panel of judges consisted of the dean of the law school, a state appellate judge in Houston and one of the founding members of the undergraduate moot court organization, among others.

Aschmutat and Chambers were each awarded a $1,000 cash prize for their victory. A cash award also went to HPU’s Joshua Milam, a senior from Midland, who earned a 5th place oralist award out of 76 competitors and $100.

Additional honors for HPU included a 9th place oralist award to Chambers and advancement to Octofinals for the teams of Milam and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle; and Cayden McDonald, a junior from Whitehouse, and Elizabeth Rogers, a junior from Grand Junction, Colo.

Other HPU students competing included Bethany Berry, a junior from Post; Zachary Gafford, a sophomore from Snyder; Landon Hankins, a senior from Decatur; and Caleb McConnell, a sophomore from Burleson.

HPU’s teams are coached by Mandy Locker, assistant professor of political science and criminal justice and Sandefer Chair of Political Science at HPU.

“I am extremely proud of Jake and Charity and all of their hard work that translated into such an amazing win at the South Texas College of Law tournament,” Locker said. “I am also very proud of all of the Howard Payne students who competed well, because even prior to Jake and Charity’s win, the law school admissions office was remarking about how great all of our students were and how much they wanted to make a visit to our campus to recruit.”

HPU competed against teams from 38 institutions including the Air Force Academy, Baylor University, the University of North Texas, California State University at Long Beach, Arkansas State University, The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University and more.

“This tournament was the first competition of the Moot Court season, and Howard Payne has set the bar high,” Locker said. “I feel like HPU has earned the reputation of being ‘the school to beat’ at the regional competitions.”

The Moot Court team will next travel to the Texas Tech University School of Law to compete in a tournament on November 16 and 17. Teams that break into quarterfinals during this competition will receive an automatic bid to the National Tournament at Regent University School of Law in January.

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Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s Moot Court recently returned from a tournament at South Texas College of Law. Shown are HPU students who were honored at the tournament. Left to right: Katie Rose Bonner, Octofinal qualifier; Elizabeth Rogers, Octofinal qualifier; Cayden McDonald, Octofinal qualifier; Jake Aschmutat, tournament champion; Charity Chambers, tournament champion and 9th place oralist; and Joshua Milam, Octofinal qualifier and 5th place oralist.

Sara Haley promoted to assistant vice president for facilities and planning at HPU

sara_haley_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 6, 2012 – Howard Payne University recently promoted Sara Haley from director of facilities and planning to assistant vice president for facilities and planning. In her new role, she has assumed additional responsibilities to lead HPU’s efforts of planning for future campus facilities and the renovation of existing facilities.

Haley joined the HPU staff in January 2011 and leads approximately 35 employees in the areas of grounds, building and mechanical systems maintenance, custodial services, construction coordination and utilities.

She has organized and coordinated multiple planning sessions on HPU’s future campus development with the SmithGroup architectural firm in Dallas. In addition, she recently assumed the role as HPU liaison in the Independent Colleges and University of Texas’ compliance initiative program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As such, the university is performing self-audits to ensure safe environmental practices are observed on campus. This past year, Haley completed EPA technical training and recently served as a compliance peer evaluator for another Texas university.

“Sara has been a tremendous asset to HPU,” said Brenda Alexander, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We are confident that she will continue to serve the university to her utmost ability in her new role.”

Haley holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University. Prior to coming to HPU, she was employed in commercial construction services and architectural design services. She and her husband, Joe, a senior at HPU, have a daughter, Katherine.

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Photo cutline: Sara Haley was recently promoted to assistant vice president for facilities and planning at HPU.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau has busy semester with tournaments at home and abroad

ssb_colorado_springs_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 30, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, has a busy month ahead hosting and competing in tournaments. In addition to conducting the Fall 2012 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association state championship tournament Nov. 2-4 on the HPU campus, the SSB will travel to Oxford, England, to compete in the Oxford IV Inter-Varsity Debate Tournament Nov. 8-10.

Approximately 200 competitors, judges and coaches from 20 universities and colleges from Texas and other southern states will arrive on the HPU campus at the end of the week.

“We are absolutely delighted to host this competition for this first time ever on the HPU campus,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the communication department and SSB coach. “The Fall TIFA tournament attracts many schools from across Texas and the surrounding states. We are excited about having these universities and junior colleges visit and compete at HPU.”

Directly on the heels of the TIFA tournament, HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau will travel to England for the Oxford debate tournament. The Oxford IV is the largest and most prestigious debating competition on the UK university circuit and is hosted by the famous Oxford Union.

“Several years ago I was presented with the idea of our team competing at the Oxford tournament and it’s been our goal to make that happen,” Welker said. “We normally compete in parliamentary debate, which differs from British Parliamentary style debate, so we knew making the transition would be a challenge.”

Welker added that she has relied heavily on the help of SSB member Jake Aschmutat, a senior from Corpus Christi, to whom she gave the task of learning about BP-style debate and coaching the students who are competing.

“Jake has done an outstanding job of coaching the BP students,” Welker said. “He has gone above and beyond to prepare them for the Oxford tournament.”

Welker will take eight students to Oxford. Two teams will compete – Catherine Mullaney, a junior from Boylston, Mass., and Katie Rose Bonner, a sophomore from Lytle; as well as Aschmutat and Jessica Ramirez, a junior from Bangs. Kaleigh Tankersley, a freshman from Iraan, and Marcos Corley, a freshman from Corpus Christi, will serve as “wing judges” at the competition, assisting the judges in adjudicating the debate. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication and SSB coach, will also travel with the team and serve as a wing judge along with Welker.

The group also recently travelled to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., to compete in the 50th Annual Forensics Classic Tournament.

For the first time in HPU history, the team competed in BP-style debate, governed by the World Universities Debating Council. SSB also had teams entered in parliamentary debate and individual events.

The team of Bonner and Mullaney advanced to the quarterfinal round.

“We weren’t sure what to expect since this was our first BP-style tournament, but we were very pleased that one team advanced to quarters – especially at a tournament like this with teams of a very high caliber competing,” Welker said.

Other students who competed included Aschmutat; Corley; Ramirez; Tankersley; Sarah Owens, a freshman from San Antonio; Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; and Dorie Walton, a freshman theatre major from Lolita.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau is having a busy semester hosting and competing in tournaments. Pictured at a recent competition at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., are: Dr. Julie Welker, Sarah Owens, Dorie Walton, Jessica Ramirez, Jake Aschmutat, Kaleigh Tankersley, Marcos Corley, Catherine Mullaney, Ben Palmer, Katie Rose Bonner and Kim Bryant.

HPU faculty members complete doctoral degrees

towell_and_cox_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 29, 2012 – Two Howard Payne University faculty members recently celebrated the completion of their doctoral degrees with a reception on campus.

Dr. Trissa Cox, associate professor of computer information systems, completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science degree from the University of North Texas in May. Her dissertation topic was “Factors Associated with Behavioral Intention to Disclose Personal Information on Geosocial Networking Applications.”

Dr. Lester Towell, also associate professor of computer information systems, completed a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology and Distance Education degree from Nova Southeastern University in June. His dissertation title was “Factors that Affect Instructors’ Intent to Use Online, On-Demand Lecture Capture.”

“HPU is proud of the accomplishments of Drs. Cox and Towell,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “They are outstanding faculty members, and I am confident the completion of these degrees will add to the educational experiences they provide to their students.”

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Photo cutline: Drs. Lester Towell and Trissa Cox recently celebrated the completion of their doctoral degrees.

HPU exhibits work of new art professor, department chair

harmon_art_for_webBy Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University freshman

BROWNWOOD – October 29, 2012 – Howard Payne University will host a reception and viewing of paintings by David E. Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art, at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center on November 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. There will also be a lecture by Harmon from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the art center. The community is welcome and encouraged to attend both the reception and the lecture.

Harmon joined the HPU faculty in August 2012. He hails from St. Louis, Mo., and is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He is well-traveled and well-rounded in his areas of artistry and has taught for more than thirty years. His work has been featured in exhibitions around the world and includes many different styles such as hard-edged abstraction, figurative realism and expressionism.

“It is our hope that the community will take this opportunity to view Mr. Harmon’s work and get to know an outstanding new addition to the HPU faculty,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer.

The exhibit will be open through December 5, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: Works by David E. Harmon, new professor of art and chair of the Department of Art at HPU, are on display through December 5. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU freshman.

HPU’s Winds of Triumph bring London experiences back to the classroom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABROWNWOOD – October 25, 2012 – Howard Payne University is known for providing unique educational experiences, but quite a few people on campus are still in awe of one such opportunity presented to students this summer. One of the most discussed events of the summer, the 2012 Olympic Games, was held in London and HPU students not only were in attendance – they were on stage.

Winds of Triumph, HPU’s highly lauded instrumental ensemble comprised of 13 students and recent graduates, was invited by the Greater London Authority to play in a number of venues throughout London in conjunction with the Olympic Games. HPU was one of only four university musical groups invited to perform.

“The students were selected to represent Howard Payne University, the state of Texas and the United States of America as musical ambassadors at the Olympic Games,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music and director of Winds of Triumph.

Though a few months have passed since the performances, the memories are still fresh. Before arriving in London, the group traveled to Paris to play the Arène de Montmartre.

“In both Paris and London the students received standing ovations and had requests for multiple encores,” he said. “We were told that people in London were very reserved and never asked for encores. But they did for our group.”

The students were strengthened and encouraged by the audiences.

“We were the smallest group performing,” said Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson. “We were worried about how we would sound against the bigger bands in an audience situation. But the crowd was very responsive, very receptive. We were playing spiritual pieces and I could see people mouthing the words.”

London venues included Exhibition Road, Victoria Park and Olympic Park.

“The most memorable moment of the trip for me was at Victoria Park,” said Tyler Cooper, a senior from Brownwood. “It was a very special performance because it had been raining all day and it seemed like it was never going to stop. As soon as we played the first note, the rain stopped completely.”

According to Cooper, the group played the entire set without a drop of rain. When they played the last chord, the rain returned.

Said Goacher, “We really felt like God was caring for us and looking out for us. All of our needs were met.”

When they arrived at Olympic Park, the group was treated to a unique performing experience.

“We had the opportunity to play in the world’s first inflatable acoustic shell,” Goacher said. “Our ensemble fit perfectly in the shell. Though no microphones were used, our music could be heard throughout Olympic Park as if there were theater speakers right next to the ears of each member of the audience.”

By the time of their second performance at Olympic Park, word about Winds of Triumph had spread.

“Entire groups of Olympic Park workers took their break during our performance and came just to hear our band,” Goacher said. “It was a wonderful reception for our students.”

Goacher described a photo taken at that particular performance.

“People of every nation, every color, every land, every tribe were all seated on the grounds of the park listening to the music,” he said. “The music we played was to the glory of God and presented in an upbeat style with pleasant harmonies. The people were just drawn to it. Maybe that’s a scene of Heaven. The weather was perfect and people from every nation were gathered in a beautiful outdoor spot listening to the music that praises God.”

Goacher and the students expressed appreciation to the many people who made the trip possible.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Obviously when you undertake something like this, it is fantastically expensive,” Goacher said. “Everyone shouldered the expense. We found we were greatly blessed and greatly supported by donors. The response was wonderful. In fact, it was overwhelming. We more than met our goal for fundraising.”

Tyler Matthews, a senior from Peaster, expressed appreciation on behalf of the students.
“As a group, we want to thank our faithful fans and new fans we received along the way,” he said. “Winds of Triumph would not be the experience it is for us if were not able to provide the music for them. Above all, I want to thank God because without Him this would not have happened.”

According to Goacher, the students proved to everyone, including themselves, that they are capable of great feats.

“What our students learned back in the classrooms and rehearsal halls in Brownwood, Texas, was still relevant on the world stage.”

In addition to Andrus, Cooper and Matthews, other performers on the trip included Elizabeth Bates, a May 2011 graduate from Austin; Christopher Burnett, a sophomore from Early; Mercedes Cardenas, a junior from Brownwood; Kimberly Collins, an August 2012 graduate from Bay City; Talitha Cook, a May 2012 graduate from Howe; Taylor Cook, a junior from Howe; Megan Irwin, a sophomore from Brownwood; Grant Newman, a senior from Springtown; Ethan Yeats, a sophomore from Big Spring; and Kyle Ziegler, a senior from Brownwood. Sponsors included Doris Goacher and Kevin and Jill Holamon.

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Photo cutlines: Audiences gather to watch HPU’s Winds of Triumph perform at Olympic Park in London.

Winds of Triumph perform onstage at Exhibition Road in London.

HPU students, faculty and staff walk for cancer awareness

newburys_at_walk-a-thon_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2012 – Howard Payne University recently held the Brenda Newbury Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness, with proceeds going to cancer research. The event is named in honor of Brenda Newbury, wife of HPU chancellor and former president Dr. Don Newbury.

More than 200 people participated in the walk, raising more than $3,700. Funds are still being tallied and the final total will be announced next week.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Don Newbury, HPU chancellor and former president, and his wife, Brenda, pause before the walk with two of their grandchildren – Kedren Penney, left, and Juliana Penney.