News Archives

HPU to host Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential biographer Edmund Morris

edmund_morris_for_webBROWNWOOD – January 23, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host a lecture by presidential biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris on Monday, February 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m., in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event.

Morris, noted presidential biographer and lecturer, spent several years as President Ronald Reagan’s official biographer and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. Additionally, his book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Morris is a frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs. His HPU lecture is titled “The American Presidency: Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.”

“HPU and the Brownwood community are very fortunate to host a distinguished lecturer such as Edmund Morris,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program. “He is highly in-demand as a speaker and nationally acclaimed expert on the American presidency. With the country having recently observed the presidential election and inauguration, this is sure to be a fascinating and timely lecture event.”

Morris was born and educated in Kenya and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He has authored several books throughout his career and extensively written on the topics of literature and music for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper’s Magazine. His television appearances include a two-part profile segment on 60 Minutes. Among other elite venues, he has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities.

Books are available to purchase online before January 30. To reserve a seat at the lecture and/or order a book, visit Those who purchase a book may pick it up and have it signed on the day of the event. No books will be available for purchase at the lecture.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications at (325) 649-8009 or via e-mail at


Photo cutline: The public is invited to attend a lecture by noted presidential biographer Edmund Morris at HPU.

Worship event to focus on HPU provost book

BROWNWOOD – January 16, 2013 – A book by Dr. Mark Tew, Howard Payne University provost and chief academic officer, will be the focal point of a worship event at San Saba’s First Baptist Church this Sunday, January 20, beginning at 6 p.m.

During the event, the Gospel of Luke will be studied using music, art, dance, poetry, drama, media and the spoken word. Dr. Tew’s book, “Luke: Gospel to the Nameless and Faceless,” will be used to guide the production.

Dr. Tew’s book on Luke was published in December 2011 and combines a detailed examination of the Greek text, a fresh translation of the Gospel and a commitment to presenting the meaning of the Gospel in a fluid and contemporary fashion. Dr. Tew will share passages from his book during the event.

Also performing will be Mike Lewis, painter; Margo Truelson, dancer; the Austin String Quartet and the San Saba First Baptist Church Praise Team. Other HPU faculty/staff members involved include Stephen Goacher, professor of music; Danny Ingram, instructor of music; Stephen Sullivan, admission counselor and Mobile Go Center coordinator; and Dr. Rob Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education. A number of HPU students and alumni will also perform.

San Saba’s First Baptist Church is located at 208 W. Wallace, San Saba, TX 76877. For more information, call (325) 372-5761 or go to


HPU honors 288 students for academic success in fall 2012 semester

BROWNWOOD – January 16, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced its academic honors for the fall 2012 semester. Students must earn a 4.0 grade point average to be named to the President’s List, a 3.65-3.99 grade point average to be named to the Dean’s List and a 3.50-3.64 grade point average to be named to the Honor Roll.

Receiving honors were:

Abby Laurel Parmelly, Dean’s List
Ryan Cade Smith, Honor Roll

Jonathan Dallas Harrott, Dean’s List

Thomas Jerome Head, President’s List
Ruby Patricia Johnson, Dean’s List

Kaitlin Shawna Leslie, Dean’s List
Linsey Leeann Reed, Honor Roll

Allen Glenn Andrus, Dean’s List

Larissa K. Lynskey, Dean’s List

Apex, N.C.
Jessica Marie Terway, Dean’s List

Samuel Storm Marich-Edwan, Honor Roll
Allison Ann Ninedorf, Dean’s List

Ryan Heath Colvin, President’s List
Sarah Ruth Davies, President’s List
Jasmine R. Glaser, Dean’s List
Danny Jaime, Honor Roll
John David King, President’s List
Rebekah Elizabeth Weaver, President’s List

Balch Springs
Edgar Villa, Honor Roll

Samantha Avery Bly, President’s List
Bertha Mireya Mendoza, President’s List
Presley Neshaydith Parker, President’s List
Jessica Lynann Ramirez, Dean’s List
Zachary James Tharp, President’s List
Kaitlin Nicole Vernon, Dean’s List

Dylan Shane Wright, Honor Roll

Tyler Aaron Gaddis, Dean’s List

Brittney Michelle Flores, Honor Roll

Ben Wheeler
Jarrod Wayne White, Dean’s List

Big Spring
Ethan Michael Yeats, President’s List

Mary Elizabeth Vasquez, President’s List

Boylston, Mass.
Catherine Macdonald Mullaney, President’s List

Susan Nicole Lohn, Honor Roll

Micah Brannan Huebner, President’s List

Katy Alaine Nix, Honor Roll

Kali Rachel Parks, Honor Roll

Brittany Kristin Beelby, President’s List
Nicholas Calvin Bennie, Honor Roll
Joel Eliezer Berends, President’s List
Shelby Nicole Byrd, Dean’s List
Juanita Mercedes Cardenas, President’s List
Natalie Nicole Cardenas, Honor Roll
Chasity Dawn Cartwright, Dean’s List
Taylor Mckay Combs, Dean’s List
Amber Diane Corley, President’s List
Shannon E. Costello, President’s List
Dustin Jayme Crager, Honor Roll
Shylah Marie Cutbirth, Honor Roll
Ennis Davila, President’s List
Carminia Del Toro, Dean’s List
Joshua Allen Dillard, President’s List
Rubin Abraham Dillard, Dean’s List
Jeffrey Scott Edmondson, President’s List
Justin Allen Fisher, President’s List
Zachary Benjamin Gafford, President’s List
Bradi Nicole Gill, President’s List
Daniel Aaron Harmon, Honor Roll
Michael Jeffrey Harmon, Dean’s List
Christy Benae Hazelwood, Honor Roll
Matthew James Hazelwood, Dean’s List
Lara Leeann Hernandez, Dean’s List
Hayden Bryce Hewitt, President’s List
Jeremy Allen Hogue, Dean’s List
Houston Chase Holmes, President’s List
Molly Jane Hull, President’s List
Jared Briant Huntley, Dean’s List
Megan Michele Irwin, Dean’s List
Erica Danielle Jordan, President’s List
Julie RayAnn Kennedy, Dean’s List
Kimberley Kay Lilley, Dean’s List
Ashley Elyssa Maley, Honor Roll
Dana Brooke Marrs, Honor Roll
Valerie Hanna Marrs, President’s List
Jarrod Scott McCandless, Dean’s List
Sean Peter McMahan, Honor Roll
Saulo Elias Mendoza, Dean’s List
Maitreyee Narendra Nigalye, President’s List
Cameron Derrick Polaski, Dean’s List
Jessica Marie Powers, President’s List
Mary Meagan Raschke, President’s List
Stephany Denise Sanchez, Honor Roll
Ethan Michael Selman, Dean’s List
Jherica Larie Simental, Dean’s List
Tracer Louis Skelton, Honor Roll
Hillary Grace Stippick, President’s List
Barbara Louise Tiner, President’s List
Jarrod Smith Tipton, Dean’s List
Brogan Shea Turner, President’s List
Sierra Montana Westerman, Honor Roll
Shandi Denise Winstead, Honor Roll
Joshua Blain Woods, President’s List

Aaran Wiley Hopkins, President’s List

Cristalyn Hope Fitzgerald, President’s List
Caleb Michael McConnell, President’s List

Kaitlyn Erin Cochrum, Dean’s List

Anna Karissa McCay, Dean’s List

Canyon Lake
Ashley Marie Krohn, Dean’s List

Corissa Lynn Brown, President’s List
Erik Bryan Swenson, Honor Roll

Cedar Park
Regan Lee Hogan, President’s List
Ryan David Hogan, President’s List
Emily Janice Peisker, Honor Roll
Laura Ruth Peisker, President’s List

Brittany Morgan Cavness, President’s List

Clovis, N.M.
Heather Diane Cooke, President’s List

Molly Christine Pritchard, Dean’s List

Nathan Wayne Byrd, President’s List
Ricardo Martinez, Honor Roll
James Matthew Smith, Honor Roll
Laurie Elizabeth Smith, Dean’s List
Wesley Jacob Wilkerson, Dean’s List

Katie Elizabeth Poerner, President’s List

Commerce, Mich.
Stephanie Marie Boggs, Dean’s List

Kellee Taylor Morgan Greenwood, Dean’s List

Copperas Cove
Anthony Dane Bryant, Honor Roll

Corpus Christi
Jacob Alexander Aschmutat, President’s List
Timothy Devon Hardy, President’s List
Samuel Lang Hoffman, Honor Roll

Jacelynn Carol Cunningham, Dean’s List

Cross Plains
Samuel Colton Rockett, Dean’s List
James Lowell Sullivan, Dean’s List

Lance Vaughn Forehand, Dean’s List

Jessica Brooke Taylor, Dean’s List

Michael Angelo Crunelle, Dean’s List

Clarissa Leigh Toler, Honor Roll

Lauraleticia Alvarado, Dean’s List
Phillip Karl Bertrand, President’s List
Shelby Jayne Creed, Honor Roll
Conner Mac Drew, President’s List
Addison Bryant Ebarb, Honor Roll
Kelli Diane Ezzell, President’s List
Dacia D’Shea Griffin, Dean’s List
Kevin Fitzgerald Holamon, President’s List
Sara Jayne Jones, Dean’s List
Mark Alan Parker, Honor Roll
Bo Grant Ross, Honor Roll
Jasimine Monae Sterling, Dean’s List
Stefani Lynette Williams, Dean’s List

Keeley Nicole Lowrance, President’s List

Baylee Elizabeth Wolcott, Dean’s List

El Paso
Martha Alicia Barranco, Dean’s List
Heidi Veronica Hernandez, Dean’s List
Itza Mar Jaramillo, Honor Roll
Grace Christine Stout, Honor Roll

Erie, Colo.
Hannah Elizabeth Jansen, Dean’s List

Cote Charles Schacherl, Honor Roll

Daniel William Taylor, Dean’s List

Flower Mound
Donald Lee Brake, President’s List
Clinton Lee Hawkins, Dean’s List
Hannah Marie Hicks, Dean’s List

Fort Davis
Kyla Claire Zimdars, Honor Roll

Fort Myers, Fla.
Sarah Anne Weber, President’s List

Fort Worth
Michelle Danielle Bates, Honor Roll
Sarah Ashley Moreau, Honor Roll

Chandler Jacob Condra, President’s List

Amanda Ruth Driggers, Dean’s List

Marlie Amanda Austin, Dean’s List
Rachel M. Ellington, Dean’s List

McKamie Claryse Place, Dean’s List

George West
Hillary Deanne Sellman, Honor Roll

Brittany Rachelle Bailey, Honor Roll
Jonathon Alan Dobernecki, Honor Roll
Lindsey Elise Jones, President’s List
Ethan Zachary West, Dean’s List
Zachary Charles White, Honor Roll

Melanie Paige Robison, President’s List

Glen Rose
Caidon Breanne George, Dean’s List

Tolli Bre Wylie, Dean’s List

William Hays Massey, Honor Roll
Janakay Frances Oliver, Honor Roll
Jaime Lynn Speegle, President’s List
Anna Prestwood Spruell, Dean’s List

Jaime Leann Johnston, Honor Roll

Lori Renee Horn, President’s List
Tyler Kirk Jones, President’s List
Brady Lee Timmons, President’s List
Lawrence Ross Whittet, Dean’s List

Richard Austin Young, Dean’s List

Cheryl Lynn Sarem, President’s List

Highland Village
Samuel Thomas Dollahite, Dean’s List

Jessi Nicole Jordan, President’s List

Hobbs, N.M.
Joshua Paul Puckett, Dean’s List

Kathryn Marie Barrackman, Dean’s List
Tonya Kara Bloomer, President’s List
Kerrie Diane Ford, President’s List
Dariann Renae Reed, Honor Roll

Taylor Grace Cook, President’s List

Kyndal Nicole Broome, Dean’s List

Morgan Michelle Griffith, President’s List

Iowa Park
Joshua Lee Farquharson, Honor Roll

Kaleigh Jo Tankersley, Honor Roll

Andrew Garrett Hultin, Honor Roll

Natalie Margarita Batres, Honor Roll

Allison Nicole Mantell, Dean’s List

Allyson Michelle Gainey, President’s List
Trent Cameron Gainey, Dean’s List

Amanda Michelle Cruddas, Dean’s List

Lillie Claire Davis, Honor Roll
Jennifer Lynn Hilla, Dean’s List
Kelsan Marie Wolverton, Honor Roll

Michelle Marie Hawkins, President’s List

Kaitlyn Leigh Kelm, Dean’s List

Timothy Layne Counce, Dean’s List

Kyle Ray Huesing, Dean’s List

Steven Austin Bolton, President’s List
William Colton Curry, President’s List
Benjamin Taylor Finlayson, Dean’s List

Katie Rose Bonner, President’s List

Bryan Ross Pate, Dean’s List

David Bryant Rucker, Dean’s List

Nellie Beau Brieanna Clevenger, President’s List
Rebecca Danielle Knighton, President’s List
Gage Logan Smith, Honor Roll

Gabriella Glenn Guest, Dean’s List

Ethan Lynn Fisher, President’s List

Naples, Fla.
Robin Elizabeth Scofield, Dean’s List

Katie Dawn Murphy, President’s List

Timber Lee Curtis, President’s List

Courtney Ray Andrews, Dean’s List
Ashley Ann Wellborn, Dean’s List
Courtney Lynn Wilmoth, Dean’s List

Allison Paige Morrison, Dean’s List

Danin Renee Wilson, Dean’s List

Jonathan Rick Henderson, President’s List

Jessica Marie Baniewicz, President’s List

Erica Renae Lopez, Honor Roll

Port Arthur
Sharon Elizabeth Jarquin, President’s List

Red Oak
Analicia Gabriella Guerrero, President’s List

Ivyanne Alyssa Nichols, President’s List

Carlee Linae Ammons, President’s List

Rising Star
Julieann Marie Steubing, Dean’s List

Nathanael Adams, Honor Roll
Cantrell Oldham Miller, Honor Roll

Molly Blair O’Brien, President’s List
Blaine Michael Wynn, Dean’s List

Matthew Allen Melendez, Honor Roll
Michael Anthony Melendez, Dean’s List

Round Rock
Kyle Edward Kulczyk, Dean’s List

Kyle Andrew Heidelberg, President’s List
Tyler Matthew Heidelberg, President’s List
Adrianna Nicole Perez, Dean’s List

Royse City
Hannah Marie Strebeck, Dean’s List

Emily Marie Bird, Dean’s List

Cara Cathleen Shelton, President’s List

Michael Joe Sellers, Dean’s List
Paul Jefferson Warren, Dean’s List

San Angelo
Cara Ann DeLoach, President’s List
Kristin Leeann Haman, President’s List
Rachel Louise Wohl, President’s List
Sarah Amanda Yeats, Honor Roll

San Antonio
Rebecca Marie Etter, Honor Roll
Angelica Maria Gray, Dean’s List
Victoria Rene Krawczynski, President’s List

San Saba
Marshal Lynn Mcintosh, President’s List

Santa Anna
Shelbie Paige DeLeon, President’s List
Jonathan Shayne Holland, Dean’s List
Jordan Ashleigh Jewell, Dean’s List

Ryan Shane Klose, Honor Roll

Kathryn Alaine Burns, Dean’s List

Leslie Anne Jones, Honor Roll

Sierra Blanca
Rachel Jean Moore, Dean’s List

Spring Branch
Ashley Ann Biering, Dean’s List

Mallory Laurette Orms, President’s List

Courtney Alyse Officer, Dean’s List
Garrett Lee Sadler, Honor Roll

Whitney Joy Sirois, Dean’s List

Timothy Cole Rhoades, Honor Roll
Bryson Taylor Wallace, Honor Roll

Madeleine Leigh Daugherty, President’s List
Macy Catherine McPherson, Dean’s List

Haley Clair Jones, President’s List
Taylor Brooke Jordan, Honor Roll
Jack Burton Wells, President’s List
Lauren Danielle Wells, President’s List

Ashleigh Renee Felkins, President’s List

Ruth Lynn Tapley, Honor Roll

Sarah Delyn Belser, Dean’s List

Neva Marie Bowers, Honor Roll

Jake Cameron Shelton, President’s List

Camryn Leigh D’Rubio, President’s List

Nicole Ann Bird, Dean’s List

Ashley Marie Moon, President’s List
Michael Nathan Snow, Dean’s List
Rachel Leigh Terry, President’s List

Gary Cayden McDonald, Dean’s List

Katelyn Marie Wood, Honor Roll

Zachary Edward Herman, Dean’s List

Lacy Harrison Culpepper, President’s List

HPU’s Penny University ministry brings together a community of learners

By Rachel Ellington, HPU freshman

BROWNWOOD – December 18, 2012 – At Howard Payne University, there are many exciting organizations with which to get involved. One of the most popular choices is the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), which has many opportunities for students including one of the newest ministries, Penny University.

Penny University is “a habitat for conversation,” says ministry leader Mary Vasquez, a sophomore from Blanket. It is an informal gathering where students and faculty can come together to discuss and ask questions about a broad range of topics concerning them as Christian members of society. For each topic being discussed, an HPU professor who is knowledgeable on the subject is asked to join the conversation. Anyone on campus or even from the community is welcome to attend.

Penny University began durinpenny_university_for_webg the spring semester of 2012, when Keith Platte, BSM director, was listening to a podcast discussing different fun facts about coffee. One of these facts happened to be about 18th-century coffee shops in England called “penny universities.” These establishments were places where people would pay a penny to drink coffee, share ideas and learn from each other freely. Penny universities were unique because, in the midst of a socially divided society, the customers were from a wide range of backgrounds. The main patrons, however, were students from the local universities. HPU’s BSM leadership team hopes to create this same kind of informal learning community. The main goals of Penny University are growth, discipleship and evangelism.

The ministry will continue in the spring 2013 semester. Dates and times will be announced when finalized. For more information about HPU’s Penny University or other BSM ministries, contact Keith Platte at (325) 649-8319 or via e-mail at


Photo cutline: Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies at HPU, center, leads a discussion for the BSM’s Penny University during the fall 2012 semester. Students pictured are David Stippick, left, a junior from Brownwood, and Mary Vasquez, a sophomore from Blanket. Photo by Jes Miera, HPU junior.

HPU faculty and staff support Hope Home Ministry

hope_home_donation_for_webBROWNWOOD – December 18, 2012 – Howard Payne University recently presented a gift of $800 to Hope Home Ministry of Brownwood. The funds were collected during the annual President’s Christmas Reception for HPU faculty and staff.

Founded by Chassidy Carroll and Beka Mullins, both 2008 HPU graduates, Hope Home is a faith-based transitional home for young women who are released from juvenile correctional facilities. The program focuses on teaching girls the life skills they need to become responsible adults and giving them true hope through a growing relationship with Jesus.

For more information about the organization, visit


Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, presents a gift representing an $800 donation to Chassidy Carroll, co-founder and program director of Hope Home Ministry of Brownwood.

Community invited to learn more about HPU’s MBA degree offered in New Braunfels

BROWNWOOD – December 18, 2012 – Those who may be interested in pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard Payne University in New Braunfels are invited to attend a free informational session on Monday, Jan. 7, at 6:00 p.m. The one-hour event will be held at the Aflac Suite located on the second floor at 1259 Loop 337 N., New Braunfels, TX, 78131.

MBA coursework will be offered in New Braunfels beginning in mid-January, pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Designed to work around busy schedules, the MBA degree can be achieved in as few as 12 months, with all courses offered at night and on weekends.

“We hope that New Braunfels and the surrounding communities will attend this special informational session for a chance to learn more about this educational opportunity,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business. “We look forward to getting to know our prospective students and answer any questions they may have.”

Though the program has a business core, it also includes courses such as organizational communication and psychological applications, designed to add a deeper understanding of practical skills to business and management applications. Prerequisite self-study course work is available for non-business undergraduates entering the program.

HPU began offering courses in New Braunfels in the fall 2012 semester. Until the permanent campus structure is constructed as part of the new Veramendi project, courses are being offered at the Aflac Suite, New Braunfels High School and online.

Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external programs and church relations, oversees enrollment services and development of the New Braunfels campus.

“It’s been such a joy to meet so many wonderful folks here in New Braunfels,” he said. “We are so excited to have Howard Payne University be a part of the community and to serve the area with a quality Master of Business Administration degree program.”

For more information about the MBA program, visit or call (325) 649-8704. To learn more about HPU’s New Braunfels Center, visit or call (325) 649-8023.


HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom raises money for missions

jake_spins_wheel_for_webBROWNWOOD – December 17, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry recently completed the fall 2012 semester with the annual “Mustache Wheel of Doom” fundraiser. The popular event raised $3,513 for missions and left several HPU men with attention-getting facial hair throughout final exams week.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, spent the month of November growing beards while collecting money for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. Go Now sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The teams that raised the least amount of money spun the “Mustache Wheel of Doom” and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. The choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“One of the great things about the Mustache Wheel of Doom is that, as an event that is seen by many people on campus, it is also generating interest about the opportunity for our students to take part in Go Now Missions,” said Keith Platte, BSM director. “In growing beards, collecting money and shaving, we generate a lot of interest from people who are curious about what the money goes toward and that interest gives an opportunity to either sign up for Go Now Missions as a summer missionary or for our students to share the gospel with them.”james_timmons_beard_for_web

The winning team collected $2,226 and avoided spinning the wheel. Team members were Corgan Andrews, a junior from Paradise; Michael Ballejo, a sophomore from Brownwood; Luke Brown, a freshman from Center; Kyle Hamlin, a senior from Palacios; Javier Luna, a freshman from El Paso; Lawrence Martinez, a freshman from Pflugerville; Anthony McCarson, a freshman from San Angelo; Quinton Poe, a junior from Dripping Springs; Paul Warren, a junior from Salado; Jared Weaver, a junior from Comanche; and Zach White, a freshman from Georgetown.

Other participating students included Bracken Bean, a junior from Brady; Carl Bromley, a junior from Tomball; Reid Burkett, a December graduate from Georgetown; Carson Burns, a sophomore from Abilene; Ryan Colvin, a senior from Austin; Colton Curry, a senior from Lubbock; Dillon Doty, a sophomore from Balch Springs; Timmy Emery, a freshman from Brady; Ben Finlayson, a sophomore from Lubbock; Trent Gainey, a junior from Kermit; Gabe Garza, a sophomore from San Antonio; Rick Henderson, a freshman from Boyd; Philip Jorgensen, a December graduate from Richardson; Xavier McFalls, a freshman from Amarillo; Sam Powers, a junior from Brownwood; Zach Quinteros, a sophomore from Early; Cole Rhoades, a senior from Sweetwater; Louis Robles, a freshman from Florence; Garrett Sadler, a junior from Stephenville; Josh Snow, a senior from Waxahachie; Chris Thompson, a senior from Roanoke; James Timmons, a senior from Universal City; Jordan Villanueva, a senior from Azle; and Brandon Yost, a sophomore from Roseville, Calif.

Faculty and staff sponsors included Platte; Mike Daub, associate professor of accounting; Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students; Tyler Sellers, associate dean of students and director of student activities; Shawn Shreves, associate professor of computer information systems; and Jake Sneath, residence hall director for Taylor Hall.jordan_villanueva_beard_for_web


Photo cutlines: Jake Sneath, residence hall director for Taylor Hall, prepares to spin the Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Senior James Timmons shows off his new half-beard look.

Senior Jordan Villanueva had his beard shaved into stripes after he spun the Mustache Wheel of Doom.

HPU’s Death and Dying course prepares students for life

By Courtney Wilmoth, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2012 – The name is sure to get attention – “Death and Dying.” Then one may wonder what a class called Death and Dying is like – perhaps morbid, definitely somber, maybe even depressing. Even so, Howard Payne University’s 8 a.m. class this fall reached the maximum enrollment and even had a waiting list.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of sociology and chair of the criminal justice program, teaches the class. She points out that the required textbook is titled Death & Dying, Life & Living. Students look at life every day during the class. They examine trends and processes of how and when dying occurs within ethnicities and around the world.

Humeniuk can remember the first time she was asked to teach the class in 2001.

“I was not happy about it,” she said. “I thought no one would talk.”

More than 40 students enrolled in the class, and before long Humeniuk was having them raise their hands so everyone could have a chance to speak. This was her seventh semester to teach the class, and she passionately believes every student should take it.

Her goal for the class is to prepare students to cope with sudden as well as anticipated death. No matter the career a student chooses, Humeniuk also seeks to relate the material in ways that will apply to a student’s career path.

Students are required to write journals, based on topics provided by Humeniuk.

“I learn a lot about my students through their journals,” she said.

Senior communication major Molly Marriott of Corpus Christi decided to take the class because she heard from her peers that it was interesting. She soon found the journals to be beneficial.

“It’s a good way to learn a lot about ourselves and how we would handle things,” Marriott said.

A number of guest speakers shared their own experiences with death. They included parents of children lost to suicide, automobile accidents and fires, as well as while traveling abroad. The class also heard from a couple who is dealing with a brain tumor and people who work in hospice care. Students visited a funeral home and volunteered at Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood during the semester, completing tasks such as distributing flags to veterans’ graves, trimming weeds around tombstones and assisting with office work.

Junior criminal justice major Daniel Taylor of Florence enjoyed the Greenleaf Cemetery project.

“I felt it allowed me to do something meaningful for others who have passed before me,” he said.

Along with the traditional lectures, guest speakers and volunteer work, Humeniuk shared her own personal stories about death and encouraged students to maintain healthy lifestyles. She regularly presented students with preventive measures to take care of their own bodies, discussed the value of nutrition and encouraged students to keep others safe, using videos that address texting and driving.

Humeniuk says issues of eternal life do come up in class, and she is thankful to work at a Christian university where conversations like this can happen. Students learn from each other, and honesty and respect are valued during class discussions.

“You’re going to get three hours of credit,” she said, “but you’re going to get a lot more than that.”

Give yourself the gift of an HPU graduate education this holiday season

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2012 – This Christmas, Howard Payne University is encouraging people from Brownwood and beyond to give themselves the gift of a master’s education from HPU. The university offers four master’s degree programs, with a new semester beginning January 15.

The newest graduate program at HPU, the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, will provide preparation for those who will minister to people through the local church and other related ministries, as well as provide a foundation for further graduate theological education. The 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to be accessible to ministry students who are currently serving in locations away from the Brownwood area, and relocation is not required.

The second master’s option from HPU’s School of Christian Studies is the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. This program provides preparation for those who will minister to teenagers and their families through the local church and other related ministries. The curriculum contains a combination of courses that emphasize biblical, theological and practical application. Like the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree, the 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to work with the schedules of those serving away from the Brownwood area.

Those who are interested in becoming a school principal in the State of Texas are encouraged to apply to HPU’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership program. With a 100 percent online delivery, this 30-hour, non-thesis degree allows students to attain their professional goals and advance their careers on their own schedule.

HPU’s Master of Business Administration degree is also designed to work around busy schedules. All courses are offered at night and on weekends and the 30-hour, non-thesis program can be completed in as few as 12 months. HPU’s MBA program concentrates on equipping students for future leadership roles, while also aiding them in their current careers.

For more information about HPU’s master’s programs, or any of the more than 100 undergraduate majors, minors and pre-professional programs, visit or call the university’s Office of Admission at 1-800-880-4478 or 325-649-8020.