News Archives

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau wraps up successful spring semester

ssb_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 10, 2013 – Student Speaker Bureau, Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, completed their spring tournament schedule in March.

The Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) competed in two tournaments during the spring semester: The Sweetheart Swing at Oklahoma University in Norman and the National Christian College Forensics Association tournament held at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.

The team had a strong showing in debate at both tournaments. The open division team of Marcos Corley, a sophomore criminal justice major from Corpus Christi, and Ben Palmer, a junior youth ministry and Academy of Freedom major from Van, advanced to quarterfinals at the Sweetheart Swing.

At nationals, the team of Katie Bonner, a sophomore political science and Academy major from Lytle, and Katie Mullaney, a junior English and Academy major, advanced to quarterfinals. Additionally, Mullaney won 8th place debate speaker award.

“I am extremely proud of all four of these students,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and SSB coach. “We debate against the some of the best teams in the nation and we consistently hold our own.”

Dr. Welker added that the SSB competes against teams from schools that travel to a tournament every other weekend and are more seasoned in terms of competition.

“Our students have been able to step in and succeed even though we have travelled and competed much less than other teams this year,” she said. “This has been a growing semester for us. We have a smaller team than usual and have no graduating seniors, but on the flip side that is exciting in terms of next year’s season.”

Other students who competed in both debate and individual events this spring were Kaleigh Tankersley, a sophomore communication studies major from Iraan, and Dorie Walton, a sophomore communication studies and theatre major from Lolita. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication, helps coach the team.

At the national tournament, Dr. Welker was re-elected treasurer for another two-year term for the National Christian College Forensics Association.

“I’m looking forward to next year’s season,” she said. “We have some great recruits and are already preparing for next year.”

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Photo cutline: HPU’s SSB recently completed its spring semester. Back row, from left: Marcos Corley, Dorie Walton and Ben Palmer. Front row, from left: Kim Bryant, Katie Bonner, Katie Mullaney, Kaleigh Tankersley and Dr. Julie Welker

The Almost to headline 18th annual HPU Fest

hpu_fest_2013_logo_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 10, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host its 18th annual HPU Fest on Saturday, April 13. The Almost will be the headlining band for this all-day music festival.

Other artists to perform will include Jenny Simmons, Michael Henry & Justin Robinette, Jenn Grinels, Homestead Music and Here & Sea. Also performing will be HPU’s Taylor Castleberry, a senior business major from Paradise.

HPU Fest is an all-day event that is free and open to the public. In addition to music, the event includes inflatable games, a chili cook-off and a hot-dog-eating contest. There will also be booths featuring HPU organizations as well as local businesses. Music is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and conclude at 11:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.hputx.edu/hpufest or call 325-649-8305.

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Photo cutline: HPU will host its 18th annual HPU Fest on Saturday.

HPU hosts Model United Nations conference

BROWNWOOD – April 9, 2013 – Howard Payne University hosted a Model United Nations (MUN) conference recently, welcoming 40 students from five universities across Texas. In addition to HPU, participants included Baylor University, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University and the University of the Incarnate Word.

HPU’s MUN team members hone their understanding of the world and the United Nations system through weekly class sessions and attending conferences. In recent years, the team has traveled to San Francisco, Washington D.C., Austria, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

“Hosting a MUN conference was a great learning experience for our students,” said Dr. Samuel Greene, assistant professor of political science and MUN sponsor. “Understanding all that goes into developing and running a conference will make us better delegates as we travel. It was an honor for us to host a group of talented delegates and staff members from four other universities, and we look forward to building on this experience.”

HPU team members include Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston who served as the conference director; Ashley Chapman, a freshman from Ennis; Cara DeLoach, a junior from San Angelo; Kerrie Ford, a junior from Houston; Adrianna Perez, a sophomore from Rowlett; Robin Scofield, a junior from Naples, Fla.; Erik Swenson, a senior from Carrollton; and Ryan Young, a senior from Mesquite.

HPU provost coedits book on faculty development

dr_w_mark_tew_compressedBROWNWOOD – April 9, 2013 – Working with a collaborative research group, Dr. W. Mark Tew, Howard Payne University provost, recently coedited and contributed to a volume of “New Directions in Teaching and Learning,” a periodic monograph published by Jossey-Bass, a noted higher education publisher.

Titled “The Breadth of Current Faculty Development: Practitioners’ Perspectives,” the coeditors brought together authors, university presidents and noted faculty from Harvard University; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Michigan State University; and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our contributors,” said Dr. Tew. “Educators care greatly about improving their teaching ability and this desire was reflected in each chapter.”

More than four years in the making, Dr. Tew indicated the project started when he and three other researchers, Mrs. Mitzy Johnson of Mississippi State University, Dr. William Ritchie of Keiser University in Florida and Dr. C. William McKee of Cumberland University in Tennessee, surveyed the 800 colleges and universities of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regarding current practices in faculty development.

“After making a presentation on our findings at an annual SACSCOC meeting, we revised our study and re-surveyed institutions in the southern region,” he said. “It was during the second phase of our work that we were approached by Jossey-Bass about a publication.”

Each chapter identifies areas of opportunity in faculty development. According to the editors, it is their hope that “every reader will be able to glean details that might provide a spark or fan a flame on campus.”

“We are very proud of Dr. Tew’s contributions to this project,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Dr. Tew leads the faculty of Howard Payne not only by his understanding of academic programs and teaching but also by his example as a scholar-teacher. His passion for academic thought and research is inspiring. This book is a reflection of the great work he’s done as provost at Howard Payne.”

The volume edition is Number 133, Spring 2013, and can be ordered at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tl.v2013.133/issuetoc.

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Photo cutline: Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost, recently coedited a book on faculty development.

HPU launches “A Call to Send” campaign to Heart of Texas residents

ellis_at_campaign_luncheon_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 8, 2013 – Howard Payne University held a luncheon on Monday afternoon to announce its A Call to Send campaign to community leaders from the Heart of Texas area. In preparation for the launch of the campaign, the university unveiled Phase I, which features plans for major new facilities and endowment growth.

A Call to Send is a 10-year, three-phased $65 million campaign that will empower the university to continue to fulfill its mission of providing a quality, Christ-centered education. Phase I is an $18 million campaign with three projects: a new Welcome Center and Academy of Freedom (honors program) building, a new academic building for the School of Education and the Collegium program (advising, tutoring and other services) and increasing the university’s endowment funds for student scholarships and academic program support.

In addition to allowing for the first new buildings on the HPU campus in more than 10 years, the campaign will provide funding to support HPU’s quality academic programs, its state-of-the-art facilities and its scholarships and financial aid to attract and retain students.

Keith Clark of Citizens National Bank welcomed luncheon guests from the Heart of Texas area and introduced Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Leonard Underwood, retired, of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, and Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, business executive, as well as Honorary Chair Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis of Landmark Life Insurance. Clark and Bart Johnson, of Painter & Johnson Financial, serve as the Heart of Texas co-chairs. An invocation was offered by Dr. Dallas Huston, pastor at Center City Baptist Church and sports broadcaster.

Additional Heart of Texas committee members introduced to the community included Dwain Bruner of Bruner Auto Family; Chip Camp of Brownwood Regional Medical Center; Steve Fryar of PF & E Oil Company; Dennis Graham of Airgas; Iva Hamilton, retired from El Paso Natural Gas Company; John Harkey of Ag-Mart; Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes of Haynes Law Firm; Draco Miller of Draco Janitorial and Auto Detailing; Tom Munson of Landmark Life Insurance; J. Fred Perry, retired from PF & E Oil Company; and Robert Porter of Porter Insurance Agency.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, shared the university’s vision for Phase I of the campaign and the effect it will have on the community.

“The relationship between Howard Payne and Brownwood goes back to the earliest days of the community’s history,” he said. “There are very few universities that are more intimately connected with the communities that surround them than Howard Payne. These projects we are showing you today are going to impact this community in very significant ways.”

Dr. Ellis spoke briefly on the many students who graduate from HPU and return to Brownwood to rear their families and continue their careers.heart_of_texas_committee_for_web

“This entire campaign is about attracting students to this university,” he said. “It is about giving them the funds and resources they need to come to this school, so we can send them into the world to make a difference.”

Dr. Leonard Underwood, well known for being a philanthropist in the community and a supporter of the university, spoke about the importance of investing in such a campaign.
“Working closely with the faculty and the students over the years, I’ve learned what a special place this university is,” he said. “It’s a place that has the ability to change the lives of those who pass through here. I’ve discovered the joy of giving to something that’s worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of so many people.”

The audience was lastly issued a challenge by Dr. Putter Jarvis, described by Clark as a great advocate for Howard Payne, Brownwood and Brown County.

“It’s up to us to see Howard Payne rise to its destiny,” he said. “Will we play our part? We can and we will.”

To contribute to the campaign, or for more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or 1-800-950-8465.

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, discusses plans for new facilities to be constructed at HPU as part of the university’s A Call to Send campaign.

A Call to Send campaign leaders include, from left, Dr. Bill Ellis, Iva Hamilton, Draco Miller, Dr. Leonard Underwood, Keith Clark, Steve Fryar, Dennis Graham, Stephen Haynes, J. Fred Perry, Dwain Bruner, John Harkey, Robert Porter, Bart Johnson and Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis. Not pictured are Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, Chip Camp and Tom Munson.

HPU announces engineering science degree program

BROWNWOOD – April 5, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the launch of an engineering science degree program, designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as engineering assistants or to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in engineering disciplines of their choice. The degree program was approved during a recent meeting of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

The multidisciplinary degree program will draw on the knowledge and expertise of HPU’s science, math and computer information systems faculty members while combining with the university’s liberal arts background and Christian worldview.

In addition to taking core courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer information technology, students will study statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, thermodynamics, fluids, circuit analysis and environmental issues and engineering. During their senior year, all students will select a focus area of study and complete a proposal that integrates the scientific principles of research, design and analysis and applies them to engineering.

“There is a strong market for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the U.S.,” said Dr. Brett Coulter, associate professor of mathematics, who serves as the engineering science program director. “Our newly developed program will provide HPU students with solid STEM training. All of the faculty members involved have both practical experience and much graduate-level preparation in the engineering science courses they will teach.”

Before coming to HPU, Dr. Coulter, a civil engineer, spent 13 years performing thermo-stress and structural analyses on solid rocket motors and nozzles for The Aerospace Corporation, a contractor for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. He has taught at the undergraduate level for many years, including courses in mathematics, statics, dynamics and mechanics of materials. He received his doctorate in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois.

In addition to Dr. Coulter, other engineering science faculty members from the mathematics department include Dr. Kenneth Word, department chair and professor of mathematics, who earned a doctorate in mathematics education from The University of Texas; and Tom Johnson, assistant professor of developmental mathematics, who holds a master’s in environmental science from West Texas A&M University and was employed as a QA/QC Coordinator for ZIPP Fertilizers for seven years.

Engineering science faculty members from the biological and physical science departments include Dr. Pam Bryant, professor of chemistry, chair of the department of physical sciences and interim dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, who holds a doctorate in chemistry from Louisiana State University and completed post-doctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, associate professor of physical science, who holds a doctorate in geophysics from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; and Dr. Gerald Maxwell, adjunct instructor, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from The University of Texas and has 25 years industrial experience in computer design and biomedical instrumentation and 10 years of classroom experience at the high school and university levels.

Dr. Lester Towell, department chair and associate professor of computer information systems, will also teach in the engineering science program. He holds a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University and taught physics and reactor principles in the Naval Nuclear Power School for four years.

According to Dr. Word, HPU’s four-year engineering science degree will be more robust than the typical ‘3+2’ engineering program offered at other liberal arts universities, in which students complete three years at a liberal arts university and two in an engineering undergraduate program.

The faculty members and administrators believe that a general engineering degree that promotes critical thinking and problem solving such as HPU’s engineering science degree will always be in demand.

“The diverse backgrounds of those who will teach the engineering science courses will serve our students well – both while they are on campus and once they leave to pursue their careers or further their education,” said Dr. Mark Tew, university provost and chief academic officer.

For more information about the program, contact HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics at (325) 649-8400 or via e-mail at dhackney@hputx.edu.

Note: Future students, and others interested in the engineering science program, may download more information here.

HPU students share Christ during Spring Break on South Padre Island

hpu_at_beach_reach_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – Heading to the beach for Spring Break is a common experience among college students, but a group of Howard Payne University students had perhaps a different purpose in mind when they travelled to South Padre Island last month. Ten students from HPU’s Baptist Student Ministries, along with BSM director Keith Platte, shared the love of Jesus Christ with beachgoers during Beach Reach 2013.

According to the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, an estimated 50,000 students visit the island each March for Spring Break. Beach Reach was created in 1980 by Buddy Young, a seminary student and part-time Baptist Student Ministry director in Dallas, as a way for Christian students from different universities and churches to share the Gospel with their peers. The outreach has since expanded to Panama City, Fla., and other popular Spring Break destinations.

“Beach Reachers,” like the group from HPU, participate in a number of activities including serving free breakfasts on the beach, giving free van rides to people at night to anywhere on the island, cleaning up beach areas and many other acts of service. Most importantly, they serve and meet people with the intent of sharing the news of Jesus Christ.

“It was amazing how God was working through and in our students,” said Platte, who was particularly impressed with how open the beachgoers were to receiving the Word of God.

“The people in the vans were respectful and would let us pray for them when we asked,” he said. “Often, they wanted us to pray for them even more, which led to deeper conversations. Some people stayed in the van for longer than the length of their rides, so we would sit and talk for 45 minutes or so.”

The HPU group gave a ride to a man who stayed on the van for more than an hour as they delivered others to their destinations.

“He responded well when we presented him with the Gospel,” Platte said. “I can’t explain it any other way except to say that God was working on his heart.”

Platte and the students would have enjoyed more time with each of the people to whom they gave rides but recognize the importance of the interactions they had.

“Our job is to plant the seed,” Platte said. “Hundreds of seeds might be planted before anything takes root. All we can do is reach out and make that contact.”

Now that they’ve returned home, Platte encourages the BSM students to keep praying for the people they met.

“We pray that, even if they don’t remember our names or faces, the beachgoers remember the messages we were sent to deliver.”

BSM students who attended Beach Reach included Alex Caro, a senior from Howe; Lacy Culpepper, a sophomore from Zephyr; Allyson Gainey, a junior from Kermit; Jenny Goff, a junior from Austin; Ruby Johnson, a sophomore from Alvarado; Kim Lilley, a senior from Brownwood; Xavier McFalls, a freshman from Amarillo; Andi Peaster, a freshman from Edinburg; Rebekah Steadman, a junior from Fort Worth; and Whitney Williams, a sophomore from Gatesville.

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Photo cutline: HPU students recently shared the Gospel during Spring Break at South Padre Island. The top row, from left, includes Rebekah Steadman, Jennifer Goff and Alex Caro. Bottom row, left to right: Andi Peaster, Xavier McFalls, Allyson Gainey, Lacy Culpepper, Whitney Williams, Kim Lilley and Ruby Johnson.

HPU student delegates meet with state legislators

hpu_teg_day_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – Six students from Howard Payne University visited Austin recently for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Student Advocacy Day. Groups from several private universities in the West Texas region, including HPU, traveled to the capitol building to encourage representatives and senators to continue support for the TEG program.

The HPU students met with legislators and staff from their home districts to thank them for appropriating funds for the program, which assists with tuition to private colleges and universities. They also took a guided tour of the capitol building and observed a Senate session. During the visit, university delegates learned the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (education) added $ 15 million to the TEG program for the 2014-2015 biennium.

“The TEG program has greatly benefitted Howard Payne students over its 44-year history,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “The TEG makes college a financial reality for many of our students coming from all over the state of Texas. We made the trip to Austin to say ‘thank you’ to the representatives and senators for their support and to encourage their continued support in the future.”

HPU student delegates included Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson; Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Colton McCabe, a sophomore from Gatesville; Courtney Officer, a sophomore from Stephenville; Erik Swenson, a junior from Carrollton; and Brogan Turner, a freshman from Brownwood. The students were accompanied by Kevin Kirk and Yvonne Lundy, executive assistant to the associate vice president for enrollment management.

“The Tuition Equalization Grant has helped to further not only my intellectual education, but my spiritual education,” said Colton McCabe. “It was a privilege to thank my representative and senator in person for their support of this program.”

Approximately 275 Howard Payne University students received funding through the TEG for the spring 2013 semester.

More than four decades ago, the TEG was created by Dr. Gary R. Price, a 1960 graduate of HPU. Wishing private colleges and universities were more affordable to students in Texas, he developed the concept, wrote the legislation and worked to gain support for it. Sponsored by the late Dr. Lynn Nabers, a fellow HPU alumnus who was then a state representative, the legislation was passed in 1971. Since its inception, the program has assisted needy students to bridge the gap between tuition rates at state and independent institutions.

To be eligible for a TEG, a student must be a qualified Texas resident; establish financial need as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; be enrolled fulltime in an approved independent college or university in Texas; not receive any form of athletic scholarship; and maintain a 2.5 GPA by the end of the sophomore year.

Additional private universities from the West Texas Region of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas participating in the trip included Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, Lubbock Christian University and McMurry University.

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Photo cutline: HPU delegates give the university “sting ’em” salute in front of the capitol building in Austin. From left are Courtney Officer, Allen Andrus, Brogan Turner, Erik Swenson, Kathryn Barrackman and Colton McCabe.

HPU cheerleaders named National Champions

cheerleaders_with_banner_for_webBy Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University freshman

BROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – The Howard Payne University cheerleaders recently participated in the 2013 Christian Cheerleaders of America Cheer Nationals and were named “National Champions” in the small co-ed college division and fourth place overall. The competition consisted of more than 50 divisions, ranging from toddlers to college students, from more than 20 states.

The HPU cheerleaders, divided into three teams, also competed in the group stunts division, receiving second-, fourth- and fifth-place honors.

“This year’s team has worked very hard throughout the semester and the championship highlights the students’ dedication, talent and ‘coachability’,” said Jeffri Foster, cheer coach. “I could not be any more proud of the team and I look forward to continuing to build a successful program alongside these cheerleaders.”

The HPU cheer team includes Brooke Belcher, a freshman from Gunter; Harli Benham, a freshman from Three Rivers; Aly Castle, a junior from Lampasas; Kelci Feist, a sophomore from Deleon; Kelsey Johnson, a freshman from Goldthwaite; Kris Lowrey, a freshman from Brownwood; Lawrence Martinez, a freshman from Pflugerville; Rachel Moore, a junior from Sierra Blanca; Whitney Presbaugh, a junior from Fort Worth; Dariann Reed, a sophomore from Houston; Rachel Runnels, a sophomore from Paradise; and Mitchell Sostarich, a sophomore from Devine.

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Photo cutline: The HPU cheerleaders were recently named “National Champions” at the 2013 Christian Cheerleaders of America Cheer Nationals. Back row, from left: Coach Jeffri Foster, Kelsey Johnson, Rachel Moore, Whitney Presbaugh, Aly Castle, Brooke Belcher and Kelci Feist. Front row, from left: Kris Lowrey, Rachel Runnels, Lawrence Martinez, Harli Benham, Dariann Reed and Mitchell Sostarich.

Howard Payne University to feature art of Susan Harmon

tangled_up_in_blue_for_webBy Jes Miera, Howard Payne University junior

BROWNWOOD – March 28, 2013 –Artist Susan Harmon will exhibit her Sight/Insight Collection at Howard Payne University until May 1. Susan is the spouse of David Harmon, chair of art at HPU. The collection is housed at the Doakie Day Art Center in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery.

Susan Harmon holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and is currently working on her PhD from Monash University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research is titled “Inside Madness: Painted Stories of People who Suffer from Mental Illness.” The Sight/Insight Collection, which features 15 mixed media pieces, follows this theme. The collection took Harmon seven years to complete.

Each piece is a physical manifestation of Harmon’s emotional responses to stories of suffering. Harmon finds these stories in literature, calling them “the catalyst for the creation of this body of art.”

In an artist statement she wrote, “Stories inspire me to paint. As I scratch, tear and smear paint with my fingers, I try to be honest in my process for expressing my deepest personal feelings toward these passages.”

The Sight/Insight Collection is open to the public for viewing. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For further information, contact David E. Harmon, chair and professor of art at HPU at (325) 649-8088 or via e-mail at dharmon@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Susan Harmon’s “Tangled Up in Blue” is one of the pieces currently on display at HPU.