BROWNWOOD – 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.
The 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.”
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.