News Archives

HPU criminal justice students to get hands-on training with mock crime scene

BROWNWOOD – April 23, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program will conduct exercises as part of its annual Criminal Justice Investigations class on Tuesday, April 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at HPU’s campus location at the corner of Austin and Coggin Avenues in Brownwood. During this time, there will be crime scene tape, emergency vehicles and other normal police operations one would expect to see at a major crime scene.

Dr. Paul Lilly, chief of HPU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and assistant professor of criminal justice, said the community should not be alarmed at the proceedings.

“This practical exercise is designed to submerse the students into a realistic crime scene and aid them in applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations,” he said. “The crime scene will test the students on what they have learned in the course during the spring semester.”

The students will be divided into Crime Scene Investigative Teams, each team having approximately 45 minutes to process the crime scene and collect all types of potential evidence. Examples of the duties the students will conduct is the identification of potential witnesses to the crime and the identification of both physical and biological evidence such as potential weapons and/or blood, DNA or microfibers.

The HPU DPS will again join the criminal justice program and its students in helping make the crime scene as realistic as possible. The DPS uses this scenario exercise each year to aid in providing the DPS officers with regular ongoing in-service training to help them remain current with modern technologies and procedures.

For more information, contact HPU’s Department of Public Safety at (325) 649-8609.

Two HPU groups tour Capitol, meet lawmakers

Humeniuk_Austin for webBROWNWOOD – April 21, 2015 – Two groups from Howard Payne University recently traveled to the Texas State Capitol. Criminal justice, family studies, social work and sociology students and faculty met with lawmakers while HPU student ambassadors attended the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Advocacy Day.

Students in Dan Humeniuk’s Social Welfare Policy class and Lynn Humeniuk’s Problems of Contemporary Society class had the opportunity to speak with members of the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission and met with State Representative Jim Keffer and his staff.

“This was a great way for our students to familiarize themselves with the legislative process and issues that are important to those who seek to work in human service professions,” said Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology.

“Some of our students had actually never been to the Capitol, so this was a great opportunity for them,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program.

Dan Humeniuk said many of the students were impressed with the level of accessibility to the lawmakers.

“We were even able to meet with the senior adviser to the Lieutenant Governor of Texas,” he said.

TEG_Advocacy_Day for webThe following week, five students led by Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations, traveled to Austin for the Tuition Equalization Grant Advocacy Day at the Capitol.

“Students had the opportunity to meet with their local state senators and representatives,” said Sullivan. “During their visit, they thanked their state officials for supporting the TEG, told their stories of how the TEG helped them attend HPU and asked that they continue fully supporting and funding the program.”

The TEG program was created by the Texas Legislature in 1971 to provide limited financial assistance to students choosing to attend independent colleges and universities. Since its inception, the program has helped students bridge the gap between tuition rates at state and independent institutions. The idea for the TEG was formulated by Dr. Gary Price, 1960 HPU graduate.

Lynn Humeniuk said it’s important for students to be active and engaged citizens.

“The men and women who walk the Capitol halls work for us,” she said. “It’s important for us to be informed and knowledgeable about the laws they are passing.”


Photo cutlines:

Top: Students in Dan Humeniuk’s Social Welfare class and Lynn Humeniuk’s Problems of Contemporary Society class recently toured the Texas State Capitol. Back row, from left: Heather Hildebrand, Eva Ozuna, Lawrence Martinez, Roberto Godinez, Neal Kucinski and Michael Bailey.

Center row, from left: Dan Humeniuk, Selena Castillo, Amy Tyler, Lynn Humeniuk, Lorenzo Flores, Amy Segura and Jordan Mays.

Front row, from left: Mackenzie Gill, Maggie Van Nes, Jordan Brown, Peyton Walker, Paula Johnson, Sierra Damron and Danyel Bradley.

Bottom: Five HPU students traveled to Austin recently to participate in the Tuition Equalization Grant Advocacy Day at the Capitol. Left to right: James Abbatiello, Ryan Mason, J’Lee McCabe, TaShana Hooker and Emily Selman.

HPU band sorority to host brisket fundraiser

BROWNWOOD – April 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary band sorority, will host a brisket dinner at Brownwood’s Coggin Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Suggested donations are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and children ages 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit the HPU band program.

The meal will include sliced brisket, potato salad, beans and desserts.

“There will also be music and we encourage people to bring their lawn chairs or use the tables provided in the park,” said Olivia Belsher, the group’s historian/alumni secretary.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

HPU’s Athletic Training Education Program receives accreditation

2C_CAATE_Seal_Accr Progam_VFBROWNWOOD – April 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Athletic Training Education Program was recently notified of its successful accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

As a result of this achievement, students in the program may now sit for the Athletic Training Board of Certification examination to become certified athletic trainers through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA). Prior to CAATE accreditation, Howard Payne University students could only meet the requirements for Texas State Licensure. Almost all other states in the U.S. and many countries require NATA certification to practice as an athletic trainer.

According to NATA, athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

“It has been a long process to develop the degree and obtain CAATE accreditation,” said Mike Terrill, director of HPU’s Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) and assistant professor of athletic training.

Terrill, previously HPU’s head athletic trainer, transitioned to his faculty role in the fall of 2011 to create ATEP and begin the accreditation-seeking process.

“The university could not have obtained this goal without help and support from the HPU family of administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni,” he said. “We’re very excited to offer our students this opportunity to become industry-standard certified athletic trainers.”

To learn more about becoming a student in Howard Payne University’s Athletic Training Education Program, contact the Office of Admission at or by phone at (325) 649-8020 or (800) 880-4478. More information about the program may also be found at

HPU exhibiting works of Pam Chadwick Aloisa through April 29

Pam Aloisa artwork for webBROWNWOOD – April 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University is exhibiting paintings by Pam Chadwick Aloisa, gallery director and professor of art history and art at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. The show, housed in HPU’s Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery located inside the Doakie Day Art Center, will run through Wednesday, April 29.

Titled “First Person Passages,” the exhibit discloses strong personal narratives, some fictional and enhanced, revealing underlying truths about life, work, relationships and the world around us.

“‘Passage’ can refer to a pathway, a safe retreat, a transition, a moving experience, a farewell or a major life change,” said the artist. “It can also mean a way toward a destination or a psychological state of moving on. The ‘First Person Passages’ exhibit features human-interest stories of my life that also operate as metaphors for the myriad meanings of the word ‘passage’.”

Aloisa’s paintings have won national and regional awards since 1986. She completed a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees while on active duty in the Air Force, studying under renowned artists Leon Golub, Judith Brodsky and Ida Lorentzen.

“Ms. Aloisa’s paintings reveal her varied interests in time and interaction with people,” said David Harmon, chair of HPU’s Department of Art. “Time is a fleeting phenomenon we all experience as we engage our lives. Preserving memory is what she does best in these works of expressionism.”

HPU’s gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information about the show, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.


Photo cutline: The works of Pam Chadwick Aloisa, including this painting titled “Grandmother Worked With Her Hands,” are on display through April 29 at HPU’s Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery.

HPU’s library to host book sale

HPU Walker Memorial Library book sale for webBROWNWOOD – April 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library will host a book sale Friday, May 1, through Saturday, May 2. Public hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Approximately 4,500 items are for sale including best sellers, atlases and books on theology, art, history and more.

Prices range from 50 cents to $2 and funds raised will go toward library modernization efforts.

“We’re continually looking for ways to beautify and modernize the library for the enjoyment of our students, faculty and staff,” said Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries at HPU. “There are so many wonderful titles available for sale. We invite everyone to come out and library book sale for webbrowse the selections.”

For more information, contact HPU’s Walker Memorial Library at (325) 649-8602 or


Photo cutlines: HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will host a book sale Friday, May 1, through Saturday, May 2.

Alex Taliaferro, a student worker in HPU’s Walker Memorial Library, sorts the books that will be available for sale May 1-2.

HPU music students, faculty perform in New Braunfels

Brauntex Marquee for webBROWNWOOD – April 17, 2015 – The Brauntex Performing Arts Theater in New Braunfels recently played host to students and faculty from Howard Payne University’s flagship campus in Brownwood. More than 150 guests from the community enjoyed Monday evening’s concert titled “A Joyful Heart.”

Performers included the HPU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Goacher, professor of music; the Symphonic Band under the direction of Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands; and the Heritage Singers under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities. Additional performers included Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Greg Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music; and Hannah Strebeck, senior music education major and recipient of the prestigious Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship.

HPU has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since 2012, offering degrees for undergraduate and graduate students as well as coursework for dual-credit students. The university is planning a permanent campus in New Braunfels as part of the Veramendi development project.

Symphonic Band for webFor more information about Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center, visit or call (830) 629-2366.


Photo cutlines:

The Brauntex Performing Arts Theater marquee announces the HPU concert.

HPU’s Symphonic Band was among the evening’s performers.

HPU students excel at Prague Model United Nations Conference

DeLoach and McConnell in Prague for webBy Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – April 16, 2015 – Howard Payne University students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently participated in the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. DeLoach and McConnell served as chair of the Security Council and co-chair of the Disarmament and International Security Committee, respectively.

DeLoach, a senior from San Angelo, and McConnell, a senior from Burleson, have participated in Model UN conferences since 2013. Their experiences and track record at conferences across Europe prompted the Prague conference to offer them chair and co-chair positions on elite councils.

“That Cara and Mike would be chosen for such an honor speaks volumes not only about their unique abilities as demonstrated at previous Model UN conferences, but also reveals that the HPU Model United Nations Team is making a name for itself and raising HPU’s international profile,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

With previous experience at conferences in Stockholm, Rome and Istanbul, DeLoach came well-prepared to chair the Security Council, the highest-level committee in Model UN. The Security Council deals with the most prevalent topics in the real United Nations, such as the current conflict with ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“Having the opportunity to preside over the Security Council at the Prague conference was an honor and a unique experience that I will never forget,” said DeLoach. “I was able to facilitate debates on the topic of ISIL with students from all over the world, develop friendships abroad and learn about a new culture.”

McConnell helped chair the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the first arm of the General Assembly. DISEC deals with issues regarding the promotion, establishment and subsequent maintenance of global peace while simultaneously working to prevent weapons proliferation.

“My committee, comprised of students from all over Europe and parts of the United States, tackled the difficult and pressing issues of demilitarizing the Arctic region and the threat of terrorist groups obtaining weapons of mass destruction,” said McConnell.

Part of the experience of Model UN is to travel to different cities around the world, where students can fellowship with peers, develop skills for future careers and immerse themselves in new cultures.

“Prague itself was incredibly beautiful, mixing Old World architecture with modern structures in a seamless and beautiful fashion,” said McConnell.

DeLoach said touring Prague, visiting the castle and eating at the Café Louvre were just a few of the wonderful memories she will have for the rest of her life.

“Participating in HPU’s Model United Nations program has allowed me to learn so much about myself and other people, and for that I will always be grateful,” she said.

DeLoach, McConnell and other members of HPU’s Model UN team additionally traveled to Münster, Germany, competing in the Münster University International Model United Nations Conference, between March 28 and April 1.


Photo cutline: HPU students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently held elite positions at the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague.

HPU’s speech and debate team ends season with awards in D.C., Oklahoma and Colorado

ssb spring 2015 season for webBROWNWOOD – April 16, 2015 – From Washington, D.C., to Denver, Colorado, HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team has had a winning competition circuit this spring.

HPU’s debate team received an invitation to compete in the American Enterprise Institute Capitalism and Values Tournament, held recently in Washington, D.C. The debate team of Adam Jones, junior communication and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Irving, and Braxton Clark, freshman communication and political science major from Southlake, advanced to the semifinal round in the tournament.

“I am incredibly proud of this team and their accomplishment at this tournament,” said Dr. Julie Welker, SSB coach and chair of the Department of Communication. “They competed against some of the best teams in the nation.”

Jones said that the trip to D.C. and the tournament really impacted his life.

“Being able to travel to a place so rich in history and debate about issues that matter with students who share my beliefs was a fantastic experience that I will not soon forget,” he said.

While Jones and Clark were in D.C., the rest of the team competed in the Sweetheart Swing held at Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma. The team of Kaleigh Tankersley, senior communication major from Iraan, and Marcos Corley, senior criminal justice major from Corpus Christi, advanced to semifinals in this tournament.

“The OU tournament is very competitive,” said Dr. Welker. “We meet teams from all across the Midwest, one of the toughest parliamentary debate circuits in the U.S.”

Team captain Tankersley said that she always enjoys attending the OU tournament.

“We had the opportunity to compete against some great universities and put all of our hard work to the test, and we came out on top,” she said.

Dr. Welker added that she was very impressed with this team of seniors.

“They have both been on the team their entire time at HPU and their experience paid off at this tournament,” she said.

In individual speaking events at the tournament, Tankersley advanced to finals in impromptu speaking.

The team’s final tournament of the year was the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament, held at Colorado Christian University.

The team won second place Debate Sweeps, Division II, and third place overall Individual Events Sweeps, Division III. The divisions are based on the number of entries per school.

“This year we only took four students to compete at nationals,” said Dr. Welker. “Despite our low numbers, HPU’s speech and debate team remained strong and walked away with very impressive awards. These awards show that even with a small team we are extremely competitive.”

In individual events, Braxton Clark placed second in extemporaneous speaking and fifth in impromptu speaking.

Senior Ashley Moon, communication major from Waxahachie, in her first year of competitive speech and debate, was named the National Christian College Forensics Invitational novice national champion in International Public Debate Association (IPDA) style debate. Moon also placed sixth in novice impromptu speaking.

“I invited Ashley to join the team this semester, knowing that she was an articulate speaker,” said Dr. Welker. “She has proven herself to be an outstanding speaker and debater. Winning novice national champion in IPDA debate is outstanding!”

Moon said that debating at the tournament was an amazing experience.

“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to debate and speak about religious issues because they are relevant to my life. The debates were challenging and stimulating,” she said.

Moon is the first IPDA debate national champion HPU has ever had.

Freshman Luis Rodriguez Ortiz, an English and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Brownsville, also competed on the team.

HPU speech and debate continues to expand its competitive endeavors, competing in three debate formats. They compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA), which is the largest intercollegiate debate association in the United States. Member schools engage in two-on-two debate, with the resolutions or topics changing for each round of competition.

They also compete in the International Public Debate Association, which is one of the fastest-growing interscholastic debate associations in the nation. IPDA debate is one-on-one debate, in which the resolutions or topics change for each round of competition.

The team also competes in the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) style debate, also known as British parliamentary debate. The Student Speaker Bureau travels to Oxford, England, each fall to compete in the third largest debate tournament in the world.
In each style of debate, students will compete in a minimum of five to six preliminary rounds of debate. Topics range from domestic, world, political, value and fact debates.

“I can’t say enough about this group of students,” said Dr. Welker. “Intercollegiate is a highly competitive arena. Students don’t just study one issue or one topic all year – they must be well-versed in a wide scope of topics and be prepared to discuss any one of those topics with minimal preparation. They are truly an outstanding group of students.”


Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently completed a successful season. Back row, left to right: Luis Rodriguez Ortiz, Braxton Clark, Marcos Corley and Adam Jones. Front row, left to right: Dr. Julie Welker, Ashley Moon and Kaleigh Tankersley.