News Archives

Recent HPU graduate accepted into forensic science graduate program

Kierstyn Evans for webBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2017 – Among the Howard Payne University seniors who crossed the stage during HPU’s recent Commencement ceremony was Kierstyn Evans of Anson. Evans, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic science, has been accepted into the forensic science graduate program at Texas Tech University.

Evans is a lifelong fan of Texas Tech and originally planned to earn her undergraduate degree there as well.

“Tech was my dream school,” she said. “I wasn’t planning on going anywhere else.”

Upon learning that the university did not offer an undergraduate forensic science major, however, she was left with a big choice.

“I was either going to stick with forensic science and go to a different school or change my major to go to my dream school,” she said.

Despite being accepted to Texas Tech during her senior year of high school, she decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in forensic science. She took to the Internet to research her options.

Around that same time, she learned about HPU through her high school band director and associate band director, both of whom are alumni. When HPU came up in her searches for undergraduate forensic science programs in Texas, she decided to visit campus.

“I remember that my tour guide talked about how close everyone is on campus,” Evans said. “The more I looked into Howard Payne, the more I liked it.”

The forensic science offering at HPU is a relatively unique program, said Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of physical science and director of the chemistry program.

“Most universities that offer training in forensic science include it as an emphasis under criminal justice, rather than as a standalone major,” he said.

A forensic science major combined with HPU’s friendly campus atmosphere made the university an obvious choice for Evans. She served as a Jacket Ambassador for HPU’s Office of Admission as a student, leading her own university tours.

“I told prospective students that they will have professors who truly care about them,” she said. “There was a professor I had my freshman year who still knew my major and remembered things we talked about years later. I don’t think you can get that from other universities.”

Though it wasn’t what she originally planned, Evans is happy with her decision to come to HPU first.

“I love Howard Payne,” she said. “Especially being from a small town, I feel like I would have gotten lost in the crowd at Tech. I like the small classes at HPU.”

Dr. Smith said Evans is the first student whose progress he has witnessed from beginning to end.

“She enrolled in general chemistry I with me and concluded in instrumental analysis this spring,” he said. “Few students have been willing to enroll in the full complement of chemistry courses that the forensic science degree requires, but Kierstyn persevered. I am proud of her accomplishment and look forward to news of her continued success.”

Another big factor in Evans’ decision to come to HPU was the Central Texas Scholarship which awards substantial financial assistance to graduates from high schools in Jones County and other counties in the Central Texas area. For more information about this and other financial aid opportunities, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Kierstyn Evans, a recent HPU graduate, has been accepted into the forensic science graduate program at Texas Tech University.

HPU honors criminal justice interns

criminal justice internsBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s criminal justice program recently ended the spring 2017 semester by recognizing 19 students for the completion of internships.

The students completed 150 hours of service which reflected three credit hours toward their majors in criminal justice. Internships included working with “at risk” students and adults at local, state and federal agencies as well as positions with law enforcement agencies and many other service organizations that help students prepare for future careers in the field of criminal justice.

“These students gave 150 hours to the agencies where they served and in the process gained valuable hands-on experience in the career fields they have chosen to pursue,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program. “I am always very grateful to all the agencies that accept our interns as they guide them to become professionals in the field.”

Those recognized included Rebecca Blohm of Midlothian, intern with the Ron Jackson Unit; Jerry Bromley of Santa Anna, intern with the San Saba Probation Department; Balentin Carranco of Georgetown, intern with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Shanique Davis-Campbell of Savannah, Georgia, intern with the Savannah County Sheriff’s Office; Jordan Easterling of Junction, intern with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department; Roberto Godinez of El Paso, intern with the El Paso Police Department; James Hair of Brownwood, intern with the City of Early; Brady Hardin of Fort Worth, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Jack Judd of Brownwood, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Taylor Kent of Blanket, intern with Haynes Law Firm; Daniel Meza of Brownwood, intern with the Boys & Girls Club of Brown County; Kyle Ramon of Floresville, intern with the Brownwood Police Department; Stephen Skelton of Brownwood, intern with Brownwood Independent School District; Serayah Smith of Fredericksburg, intern with the Fredericksburg Police Department; Wesley Smith of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, intern with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Michelle Teague of Gorman, intern with Hope Home Ministry; Niki Terway of Brownwood, intern with New Horizons Ranch; Blake Wynn of Rockwall, intern with HPU’s Department of Public Safety; and Andres Zambrano of Brownwood, intern with Johnson Law Firm.

Internship supervisors included Deputy Pete Bastardo, Brown County Sheriff’s Office; Chassidy Carroll, Hope Home Ministry; Officer Kyle Coker, San Saba Probation Department; Officer David Creed, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Assistant Chief James Fuller, Brownwood Police Department; Mayor Stephen Haynes, Haynes Law Firm; Jason Johnson, Johnson Law Firm; Lauren Jones, Ron Jackson Unit; Larry McConn, City of Early; Lee McHorse, New Horizons Ranch; Assistant Chief Bob Pacatte, HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Maria Suarez, El Paso Police Department; Chief Steven Wetz, Fredericksburg Police Department; Danny Willingham, Boys & Girls Club of Brown County; and Captain Malcolm Wilkes, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Also in attendance was Sheriff Vance Hill, Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2017 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: HPU criminal justice interns are pictured with field supervisors and HPU faculty. Left to right: Officer David Creed, Chief Paul Lilly, Blake Wynn, Jack Judd, Sheriff Vance Hill, Michelle Teague, Deputy Pete Bastardo, Wesley Smith, Daniel Meza, Kyle Ramon, Brady Hardin, James Hair, Taylor Kent, Lynn Humeniuk and Assistant Chief James Fuller. Interns not pictured are Rebecca Blohm, Jerry Bromley, Shanique Campbell-Davis, Balentin Carranco, Jordan Easterling, Roberto Godinez, Stephen Skelton, Serayah Smith, Niki Terway and Andres Zambrano.

HPU’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda brings home several awards from state competition

Phi Beta LambdaBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2017 – Students from Howard Payne University’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda recently won several awards at the State Leadership Conference (SLC) at San Jacinto College Maritime Campus in LaPorte. These wins qualify them for HPU’s third showing in recent history at the National Leadership Conference to be held this year in Anaheim, California, June 24-27.

Jody Loudamy of Goldthwaite and Jessica Harris of Brownwood, both May 2017 graduates, made the trip to the SLC which resulted in their wins for the third year in a row. Connor Vara, junior from Brownwood, also won on his first trip to state and will represent HPU at the national conference this summer.

The three were accompanied by their adviser, Mike Daub, associate professor of accounting at HPU. Six other students competed by completing comprehensive exams and/or projects at HPU prior to the SLC.

The three attending the conference came in first place in the Texas Trivia Challenge on information about Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, beating teams from schools across Texas as the only team with a positive score in a “Jeopardy!”-format competition.
HPU swept the competition in Personal Finance with Loudamy receiving first place, Harris receiving second place and Ryan Mason, junior from Houston, placing third.

“This is the first time that a team from one school swept the awards for Personal Finance,” Daub said.

HPU students won five additional awards. Harris placed third in Retail Management; Hannah Ball, May graduate from Justin, placed second in both Computer Applications and Project Management; Madelyn Deviney, junior from Bulverde, placed second in Entrepreneurship Concepts; and Vara placed second in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.

Phi Beta Lambda is the university level of Future Business Leaders of America. State and national leadership conferences allow students to demonstrate their academic preparation and develop their leadership skills by competing against students from all over the state and nation in 55 different competitive events. These competitive events cover technology, public speaking, business, accounting, finance, economics, management, marketing and more.


Cutline: Students from HPU’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda recently competed in the State Leadership Conference. Left to right: Adviser Mike Daub, Hannah Ball, Ryan Mason, Jessica Harris, Connor Vara, Madelyn Deviney and Jody Loudamy.

Registration opens for HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars day camps

operation_innovationBROWNWOOD – May 12, 2017 – Summer is here, but fun and learning continue at Howard Payne University! Registration is now open for HPU’s popular Summer Scholars and Young Scholars day camps scheduled July 17-21 from 9 a.m. to noon each day. The theme is “Operation Innovation” and the programs feature instruction in a variety of subjects including robotics and 3D printing. The camps are open to all students in first through sixth grades.

In the Summer Scholars program, students entering fourth through sixth grades will study robotics, 3D printing, science and recreation. The Young Scholars program is designed for children entering first through third grades and the campers will receive instruction in robotics, science and recreation.

Returning as instructors this summer are Estevan Arbaiza, head men’s soccer coach at HPU who will lead recreation for both camps; Tami Hull, science teacher and robotics coach at Early Middle School who will teach robotics for Summer Scholars; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology at HPU who will teach science for Young Scholars; Keith Taylor, robotics coach at Early Elementary School who will teach robotics for Young Scholars; and Dr. Lester Towell, professor and chair of HPU’s Department of Computer Information Systems who will teach 3D printing for Summer Scholars.

“We’re excited to welcome back a fantastic group of teachers for the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars camps,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies. “These camps are unlike any other you will find in the area. We focus on innovative learning and having a great time. Many of our campers come back year after year.”

The camps will be held in HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. Program participants will also have supervised access to HPU’s gym, climbing wall and other campus locations.

Cost for the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs is $100 per student and includes a souvenir, snacks and supplies. The deadline for registration is July 14.

Online registration is available at For more information about the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs, contact Dr. Welker at 325-649-8508 or via e-mail at

HPU students named 2017 Young Maston Scholars by Logsdon Seminary

Information for this press release was provided by Hardin-Simmons University.

Caitlin Alexander for web
Adam Jones for web

BROWNWOOD – May 5, 2017 – Howard Payne University students Caitlin Alexander, junior from Brownwood, and Adam Jones, senior from Irving, were among 18 Texas Baptist students recently honored as 2017 Young Maston Scholars by Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary. The awards were announced during the 17th annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics held on the HSU campus.

Each year, officials from partnering Texas Baptist universities nominate two students from their universities to become Young Maston Scholars, an award recognizing outstanding undergraduate students for their interest in, engagement with and integration of Christian ethics. Nominations for the award are based upon a student’s demonstrated faithfulness to the ethical example of Christ; a commitment to Christian ethics lived out in theological inquiry and academic excellence; an established reputation among peers for ethical Christian leadership; and an articulated clarity in an occupational expression of ministry, though it is not required to be in a congregational setting.

Alexander majors in cross-cultural studies and elementary education. Jones, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student, majors in Christian education and youth ministry. Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies, nominated the pair for the award.

“I was proud to nominate Caitlin and Adam for this honor from our sister institution,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “They are both excellent representatives of HPU’s values and commitment to Christian education.”

For more information about Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies, visit or call 325-649-8403. More information about Hardin-Simmons University may be found at

HPU New Braunfels Center to host 5K race

HPU 5000 2017 logo for newsBROWNWOOD – May 5, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center will host its second-annual HPU 5000, a 5K race, next Saturday, May 13. The run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. at Pavilion 5 of New Braunfels’ Landa Park. Proceeds from the event will be used to establish scholarships for HPU New Braunfels Center students in need, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD.

Interested participants may register for the race by visiting Entry fees are $25 for early registration and $30 on the day of the event. A free t-shirt and gift bag are included with registration.

“We had a great turnout last year and we’re expecting a large crowd again this year,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies. “This is a fun event and a great way to learn more about HPU’s mission in New Braunfels while enjoying the beautiful scenery at Landa Park.”

Based in Brownwood for more than 125 years, HPU has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since March 2012 when the HPU Board of Trustees approved extending education to the community. Since that time, the HPU New Braunfels Center has served more than 130 students in its graduate and undergraduate programs. In fall 2016, the center opened a new facility at 4102 Loop 337, Suite 100, in New Braunfels, and is planning to build a permanent residential campus in conjunction with the Veramendi development project.

“We’ve received a tremendous amount of support from the New Braunfels community over the past five years,” said Dr. Meinecke. “We’re thankful to the community and to the generous sponsors who have made the HPU 5000 possible.”

Sponsors include:

Title Sponsors – Supplize and Veramendi

Gold Sponsors – HMT Engineering & Surveying, McKenna Foundation and Prosperity Bank

Silver Sponsors – Raba Kistner Consultants, Seidel Construction and Texas Goldstar Real Estate

Bronze Sponsors – Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, Comal Custom Homes, Edward Jones, Mark Hampton – Century 21 Randall Morris & Associates, Merchant Network, Rougeux and Associates and Soleus Running/Adao Global

In-Kind Sponsors – Orange Leaf and Rockin’ R

For more information about the HPU 5000 or HPU’s academic offerings in New Braunfels, visit or contact the HPU New Braunfels Center at 830-629-2366 or via e-mail at

HPU kinesiology majors serve local Head Start programs

Kinesiology studentBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2017 – Howard Payne University kinesiology majors spent four weeks in March and April putting their knowledge about childhood motor development to good use. More than 320 children, ages 1 to 5 and enrolled in the Brownwood and Comanche Early Head Start and Head Start programs, practiced essential motor skills under the guidance of the HPU students.

Two of the department’s graduate assistants, Chassidy Holloway of LaFayette, Alabama, and Stanley Roffe of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, were present throughout the four weekly sessions and provided onsite leadership and coordination.

Holloway, who will receive her Master of Education degree in sport and wellness leadership on May 6 and completed her undergraduate degree at a different university, noted the impact of the undergraduate students on the children in the program.

“Smiles accompanied the movement tasks we challenged them with,” she said. “I wish I had been able to experience this during my undergraduate program.”

Dr. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology, said early movement proficiency is foundational to a lifetime of meaningful physical activity.

“Those connections with academic performance are widely known,” he said. “When Lesa McKee and Robin Harmon, directors of Region 14 and 15 Head Start, reached out to us in January, we saw an opportunity to make a difference in so many children’s lives and we’re blessed to have been a part of this.”

To learn more about HPU’s Department of Kinesiology, visit


Cutline: HPU student Daniel Lemus, junior kinesiology major from Salado, supervises Head Start students’ jumping techniques.

HPU’s Project Cinderella provides prom dresses for more than 50 area high schoolers

Spruill with prom dressBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Club recently sponsored Project Cinderella, providing many young women from area high schools with like-new prom dresses. The club distributed more than 50 dresses at the annual event.

The Social Work Club created a boutique experience for the young women and their families, complete with dresses, music and a fitting room. The project was housed inside HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice.

“As a club, we love knowing that every girl who comes in and gets a dress gets to have her Cinderella moment,” said Sierra Spruill, junior from Ranger. Spruill serves as president of the Social Work Club. “Imagining a girl not attending prom because she couldn’t afford or find a dress makes my heart ache. Every girl deserves the chance to go to prom.”

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2017 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Photo cutline: Sierra Spruill, president of HPU’s Social Work Club, displays a dress at the club’s annual Project Cinderella event.

HPU honors six students for servant leadership

HPU Nat Tracy Awards 2017 for webBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2017 – Six Howard Payne University students were recently honored for acts of servant leadership on campus and in the community. The awards were presented during HPU’s annual Servant Leadership Program.

“Formally recognizing something like servant leadership is an indication that it is an attribute highly valued by the university,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies. “As a Christian university, we cherish the type of servant leadership demonstrated most clearly by Jesus Christ.”

Chad Anders, senior communication major from Midlothian, and Kara Strange, senior business administration major from Fredericksburg, were presented the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award. HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to juniors Trey Carpenter, Christian education major from Hamilton; Zoe Emley, family studies major from Natalia; Kindell Hill, cross-cultural studies major from Jarrell; and Cassia Rose, junior theatre major from Winnsboro.

HPU Servant Leader Awards 2017 for webThe Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was established in 1998 to honor the life of the late Dr. Nat Tracy, a member of HPU’s Bible faculty from 1950 to 1975.

Anders is a four-year member of the Yellow Jacket baseball team and is on the Student Athlete Captains Leadership Team. He has participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years, serving as president of the organization during the 2016-17 academic year. He has also participated in Baptist Student Ministry and serves on the BSM leadership team. Anders has been a member of the Iota Chi Alpha fraternity for two years.

Strange has participated in numerous HPU organizations and activities including University Singers, Concert Choir, Jacket Journey and Student-Led Worship. She is a small-group leader and on the worship team at First United Methodist Church in Brownwood and has participated in three summer mission projects during her time at HPU. Additionally, she serves at Hope Home Ministry in Brownwood and is a member and former treasurer of the Delta Chi Rho sorority.

Established in 2007 by the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation, the HPU Servant Leadership Award recognizes student excellence in the areas of leadership and service. A $1,000 scholarship is provided to each recipient of the award, and each student designates $250 of the scholarship award to be given to his or her chosen charity.

Carpenter is active in HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. He served as a Jacket Ambassador and is a former student worker in the university’s Office of Admission. He currently works as a resident assistant in HPU’s Taylor Hall. Carpenter served at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings in the summer of 2016, helping to lead 15 young people to profess faith in Christ and four young people to renew their faith commitments to Christ.

Emley is a member of the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team and was recently elected as the Gamma Beta Phi sorority chaplain. She has served in several roles at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood, most recently as music ministry intern. She additionally served at New Horizons Ranch in Brownwood as a girls’ group mentor, Bible study leader and music minister. Emley represented HPU at the Christian Association of Student Leaders conference this year and has participated in Go Now Missions and Beach Reach.

Hill serves as a Jacket Ambassador and is a student worker in the Office of Admission and in the university’s mail room. She is a three-year member of Gamma Beta Phi and has served as the sorority’s chaplain. She has been a member of Ministerial Alliance and has served in the youth ministry at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church. Hill currently mentors a high school girl through the Early ISD ACE program.

Rose is a student in HPU’s Department of Theatre and has participated in several of the department’s productions. She is active in her church, First Baptist Church in May, and spends a great deal of time ministering to her peers at HPU.

Nominations for both the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award and the HPU Servant Leadership Award are solicited each spring from HPU staff, faculty and students.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2017 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Photo cutlines:

Nat Tracy Servant Leader Awards were presented to HPU seniors Chad Anders and Kara Strange.

HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to HPU juniors, from left, Kindell Hill, Cassia Rose, Zoe Emley and Trey Carpenter.

HPU to confer 161 degrees this Saturday

BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2017 – Howard Payne University will graduate 161 students during the spring Commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 6, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. The Coliseum is located at 500 E. Baker Street in Brownwood.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Delivering the charge to the graduates is Dr. Danny Reeves ’94, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana and president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Additional program participants include: Corey Ash ’92, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, faculty president and associate professor of physical science; Leigh Ann Glaze, registrar; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of the Christian studies graduate programs and professor of Christian studies; Dr. P. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology; Matthew Haynie ’09, president of the Alumni Association; Dr. Millard J. Kimery, Jr., dean of the School of Humanities and professor of English; Thomas Kyle, candidate for graduation; Dr. Brad Lemler, dean of the School of Business and professor of accounting; Dr. Rodney McGlothlin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Brownwood; Dr. Matthew McNiece ’03, director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history; Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education; Dr. Debra Powell, associate professor of business administration; Carter Sharpe, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

Commencement will be preceded on Friday, May 5, by the 60th-annual Chime Out ceremony, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.