News Archives

HPU criminal justice student assesses mock crime scene

Mock Crime Scene 2018 2BROWNWOOD – May 24, 2018 – Howard Payne University sophomore Cody Ewing, criminal justice major from Valley Mills, gathers evidence at a mock crime scene where an alleged assault took place in the office of Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the Criminal Justice Program. The mock crime scene project is part of HPU’s Criminal Investigation course that helps students become familiar with procedures on gathering evidence that can be defended in a court of law. Bob Pacatte, director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety and chief of police, was instrumental in setting up the mock crime scene for the students.

Cutline: HPU criminal justice student assesses mock crime scene

HPU’s Dr. Derek Smith leads forensic science workshop for local elementary students

Dr. Derek Smith Forensic Science WorkshopBROWNWOOD – May 23, 2018 – During the spring 2018 semester, Howard Payne University’s Dr. Derek L. Smith, associate professor of chemistry, conducted a forensic science workshop for 35 local elementary students at the Texas 4-H Conference Center at Lake Brownwood.

The workshop was sponsored by the Andy Roddick Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational enrichment for low-income students.

The young investigators undertook blood droplet height-angle analysis as well as fingerprint collection and development with enhancement powders.

Dr. Smith praised the purpose of the Andy Roddick Foundation.

“These workshops provide an excellent opportunity for children of any social status –
disadvantaged or not – to explore current fields of study and form a familiarity that can lead to future exploration and professional opportunities,” he said.

In past years, Dr. Pam Bryant, dean of HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics, has presented workshops on astronomy and star viewing to similar groups with equal success.

“These opportunities are important for the participants and our faculty alike, as well as the larger community,” Dr. Bryant commented. “We are honored that education- and enrichment-based groups would invite us to participate.”

Drs. Smith and Bryant agree that the School of Science and Mathematics looks forward to leading another science-based, hands-on workshop next year and express thanks to the funding organizations and facilitators for their sponsorship.

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Cutline: HPU’s Dr. Derek Smith conducts a forensic science workshop for 35 local elementary students.

HPU Sumners Scholars attend public policy lecture by Alan M. Dershowitz

BROWNWOOD – May 23, 2018 – Four students from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently attended a public policy lecture through the Institute for Policy Innovation. Alan M. Dershowitz, acclaimed civil liberties attorney, spoke on the topic “The Constitution: Rights and Wrongs” as part of the IPI’s Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series.

Students attending the lecture were Rachel Hughes, senior from Llano; Tyler Olin, junior from Howe; Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne; and Rachel White, senior from Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

HPU Sumners Scholars are selected for the competitive four-semester program after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation. The foundation provides a $7,500-per-semester stipend for its participating students to be used for tuition, fees, books or room and board. Additionally, the students are invited to attend annual leadership and policy analysis conferences, such as this one, to supplement their learning.

Named for its founder, former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.

“The Sumners Foundation is committed to promoting programs that increase understanding of civic responsibility and personal potential which is of great interest and importance to faculty and students in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of the Honors Academy and chair and professor of history and government. “We’re very thankful that our students have opportunities such as these through the Sumners Foundation.”

More information about the Academy and the Sumners program may be found at www.hputx.edu/academy and www.hputx.edu/sumners, respectively.

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HPU honors six students for servant leadership

Nat Tracy Servant Leader awards 2018, Josh Dykes, Jordan PitmanBROWNWOOD – May 22, 2018 – 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.

The Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was presented to spring 2018 graduates Josh Dykes and Jordan Pitman. Dykes, a native of Mount Pleasant, majored in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and youth ministry with a minor in Spanish. Pitman, a native of Bangs, majored in cross-cultural studies with a minor in psychology.

HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to juniors Jessica Catlett, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social work major from Alleyton; Sarah Fernandez, education major from Goliad; Caleb Kostreva, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science major from Clifton, Colorado; and Emma Reed, Guy D. Newman Honors academy major and family studies major from Arlington.

“Formally recognizing 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.”

The 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.

Dykes is the son of Chris and Martha Dykes of Mount Pleasant. He was involved in the Ministerial Alliance, Student Government Association, Student Appeals Committee, Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), BSM state lead team, Mock Trial and Model United Nations and Delta Epsilon Omega Christian-service fraternity. He also served as a resident assistant in one of the men’s residence halls. Dykes received the Servant Leadership Award in 2017, made honorable mention as Model United Nations delegate in 2017, received the Model United Nations Distinguished Delegation Award in the fall of 2017 and was the outstanding youth ministry student in 2017. He serves in youth ministry at Southside Baptist Church in Brownwood and plans to spend the next year doing mission work in Gracias, Honduras, with 61 Isaiah Ministries.

Pitman is the daughter of Seth and Amy Pitman of Bangs. She was involved in the Ministerial Alliance in which she served as vice president and president, Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority, BSM, BSM state lead team, Jacket Ambassadors, Psi Chi International Psychology Honor Society and Gamma Beta Phi honor society. She also served as a student worker for HPU’s University Services office running A/V for campus events. Pitman has served as a Mission Friends leader to children at Zephyr Baptist Church in Zephyr, a youth worker at First Baptist Church in Bangs and part of HPU’s summer staff working with and serving the needs of the university’s summer camps. She was honored as a Currie-Strickland Scholar in Christian Ethics and Theology in 2017 and a Young Maston Scholar in 2018. Pitman plans to finish her Master of Arts degree in theology and ministry at HPU in spring 2019. After completing her education, she plans to work in immediate-disaster-response ministry by running an organization that can monitor weather patterns and deploy relief and aid teams soon after disasters occur.

HPU Servant Leadership Awards 2018Established in 2007 by the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation, the HPU Servant Leadership Award recognizes student excellence in the areas of service and leadership. 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.

Catlett is the daughter of Bart and Amy Catlett of Alleyton. A Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, she is also involved in the Social Work Club, BSM leadership team, Gamma Beta Phi honor society and Spring Sing committee for 2017. Catlett has also served as a resident assistant in the women’s residence hall on campus. She volunteers in the children’s AWANA program at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood and at Good Samaritan Ministries in Brownwood. She has been an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 2013. After she graduates, Catlett wants to become a licensed social worker.

Fernandez is the daughter of Lee and Nycki Fernandez of Goliad. She is involved in the BSM and Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority, in which she is the organization’s vice president for philanthropy and missions. Fernandez interns at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood and has participated many times in the “Love Brownwood” ministry that her church hosts as well as other mission- and child-related ministries. After she graduates, she plans to be a teacher and also hopes to work with victims of human-trafficking in whatever way God leads, whether by volunteering or being part of an organization that spreads awareness.

Kostreva is the son of Kyle and Michelle Kostreva of Clifton, Colorado. He is involved in the BSM through its drama ministry, community groups, student-led worship and leadership team. He is also involved in the Alpha Psi Omega theatre organization, HPU theatre, Mock Trial team and the Model United Nations team. Kostreva is a resident assistant at one of the men’s residence halls on campus and is part of the Student Government Association as well as the Christian Association of Student Leaders 2019 conference planning committee. He also studied abroad in China during 2016 and had the opportunity to volunteer at the Shanghai Healing Home, an orphanage for disabled and special-needs children. When he graduates, Kostreva plans to engage in humanitarian aid and policy development for underserved and oppressed populations throughout the world.

Reed is the daughter of Philip and Regina Reed of Arlington. A Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, she is also involved in the Model United Nations team, Gamma Beta Phi honor society and Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority in which she serves as meeting facilitator. Reed was also the Christian Association of Student Leaders executive committee president. After she graduates, Reed plans to become a Child Life specialist working in children’s hospitals with kids and their families. She will pursue a graduate degree and certification from the Association of Child Life Professionals.

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

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutlines:

  1. Nat Tracy Servant Leader Awards were presented to HPU seniors Josh Dykes and Jordan Pitman.

2.  HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to HPU juniors, from left, Jessica Catlett, Sarah Fernandez, Caleb Kostreva and Emma Reed.

Three HPU seniors honored at annual Sumners Scholars Banquet

Sumners Scholars graduates 2018BROWNWOOD – May 21, 2018 – Three graduating seniors from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy were honored during the recent Sumners Scholars Banquet. The students, who were selected during their junior year as Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholars, were each awarded a plaque and a copy of the book “The Wisdom of Hatton W. Sumners and The Sumners Foundation Scholarships.”

Honored for completing four semesters as Sumners Scholars were Rachel Hughes of Llano, Isaac Sommers of Boerne and Rachel White of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The students also took the opportunity to express gratitude for the opportunities provided to them by the foundation.

The highly competitive and prestigious Sumners Scholar program offers students the opportunity to attend special lectures, seminars and conferences featuring world-renowned leaders from both public and private sectors. It also provides a generous scholarship of $7,500 per semester for two years. Students from the Honors Academy are selected following an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation.

Named for its founder, former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.

“We’re very thankful for the Sumners Foundation and its continued support of HPU and its students,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Academy.

For more information about the Sumners Scholars program at HPU, visit www.hputx.edu/sumners.

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Cutline: Three HPU students were honored during the university’s annual Sumners Scholars Banquet. Left to right: Rachel White, Rachel Hughes and Isaac Sommers.

HPU announces search committee for next president

BROWNWOOD – May 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Board of Trustees has named a committee to conduct the search for the institution’s next president. The move follows the recent announcement of Dr. Bill Ellis’ upcoming retirement as president and transition to the role of chancellor.

The search committee is chaired by Dr. David Lowrie, senior pastor from Decatur and member of HPU’s Board of Trustees. Other committee members from the Board of Trustees are Ronnie D. Andrews, HPU alumnus and business executive from Houston; Marc Dingler, HPU alumnus and attorney from Midland; Carter M. Sharpe, insurance executive from Brownwood; Jonathan “Jonny” Snow, HPU alumnus and professional clothier from Dallas; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee are Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology; and Hunter Sims, athletic director.

“The members of this search committee have a wide range of experiences and perspectives, but they all share a heartfelt commitment to Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am confident in their ability to locate the right candidate and I appreciate their leadership through this process.”

Dr. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, will take office as HPU’s interim president on June 1.

For more information about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.

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Registration open for HPU’s Summer and Young Scholars camps

Summer and Young Scholars logoBROWNWOOD – May 18, 2018 – Registration is now open for Howard Payne University’s Summer and Young Scholars day camps for children entering first through sixth grades. The camps, scheduled July 16-20 from 9 a.m. to noon each day, feature fun and innovative instruction in a variety of subjects.

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 music, robotics, science and recreation.

“The students always have a great time and the parents appreciate that their children have something fun and educational to do during the summer,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies. “Many of our campers return to the program each year.”

The camps will be held in HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. Program participants will also have supervised access to HPU’s wellness center, 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.

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

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HPU’s Central Texas Scholarship offers financial assistance to area students

HPU campus skylineBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – The Central Texas Scholarship offered by Howard Payne University provides financial support to area students. The scholarship awards $15,000 annually, totaling $60,000 over four years to each eligible student. Students become eligible for the scholarship if they are graduates of high schools in the Central Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements for HPU and enroll full time in the fall and spring semesters.

HPU’s Central Texas Scholarship area encompasses high schools or homeschools in Bell, Blanco, Bosque, Burnet, Coke, Concho, Coryell, Erath, Fisher, Gillespie, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Jones, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, McLellan, Menard, Nolan, Palo Pinto, Runnels, Schleicher, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Sutton, Taylor, Tom Green and Williamson counties.

Students have the opportunity to thrive in HPU’s Christ-focused atmosphere while choosing from more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. HPU students benefit from a 10:1 student-faculty ratio that affords more individualized interaction and attention.

Numerous opportunities for extracurricular student involvement at HPU include the Baptist Student Ministry, collegiate athletics, intramural sports, Moot Court, Model U.N. and Student Speaker Bureau, along with many more student events and activities. Athletes at HPU compete in the NCAA Division III’s American Southwest Conference in six men’s sports and six women’s sports.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about the Central Texas scholarship and other opportunities at HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu or contact the Office of Admission at enroll@hputx.edu or 325-649-8020.

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Cutline: Located in Brownwood, Howard Payne University offers the Central Texas Scholarship specifically to area students.

HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship offers financial assistance to students from local area

HPU seal on gateBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – The Heart of Texas Scholarship offered by Howard Payne University provides financial support to future students from Brown and surrounding counties. The scholarship awards $15,000 annually, totaling $60,000 over four years to each eligible student. Students become eligible for the scholarship if they are graduates of high schools in the Heart of Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements for HPU and enroll full time in the fall and spring semesters.

The Heart of Texas area encompasses high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties.

Caleb Callaway, sophomore Christian studies major from Early and Heart of Texas scholarship recipient, said the scholarship has proven to be helpful to him as he studies at HPU.

“The Heart of Texas Scholarship helps me to pursue my desire to get a Christian education,” said Callaway. “Having the Heart of Texas Scholarship gives me a lot of financial security.”

Students have the opportunity to thrive in HPU’s Christ-focused atmosphere while choosing from more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. HPU students benefit from a 10:1 student-faculty ratio that affords more individualized interaction and attention.

Hannah Williams, a fellow Heart of Texas scholarship recipient and sophomore elementary education major from May, notes that this interaction is a significant benefit of studying at HPU.

“I love how the professors love the students like their own families,” said Williams. “That’s exactly what HPU is – a family.”

Numerous opportunities for extracurricular student involvement at HPU include the Baptist Student Ministry, collegiate athletics, intramural sports, Moot Court, Model U.N. and Student Speaker Bureau, along with many more student events and activities. Athletes at HPU compete in the NCAA Division III’s American Southwest Conference in six men’s sports and six women’s sports.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Located in Brownwood, Howard Payne University offers the Heart of Texas Scholarship specifically to students in Brown County and surrounding counties.

HPU students give presentation at Texas Academy of Science meeting

Cooper presentingBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – Two Howard Payne University chemistry majors recently presented at the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting at Midland College. Abraham Cooper, senior biochemistry and piano performance major from Early, and Richard Treviso III, junior chemistry major from Oak Cliff, each presented on different aspects of implementing cactus fiber and mucilage for water purification.

Faculty advisors Dr. Derek L. Smith, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Dennis Gibson, assistant professor of physical sciences, accompanied the students to the conference and, under their guidance, the students explored different aspects of the potential benefits of the abundant natural material that has been demonstrated to be effective at removing heavy metals from contaminated waters.

Treviso presentingTreviso confirmed that the gelling extract also reduces calcium and magnesium concentrations.

“Even if waters are not impacted by heavy metals, such as arsenic, the quality can be impaired by excessive hardness that is treatable with this method,” he said.

Cooper focused his presentation on the potential biocidal effects of the cactus fibers. To date, the natural fibers have only been applied to inorganic contaminants, but biological impurities may also be present.

“The results are preliminary but indicate that the water treated with fibers impedes the development of bacterial colonies on culture plates,” he said.

Dr. Smith said that, to his knowledge, this is the first application of this proven treatment method to this class of contaminant.

“This could be significant for communities where water sources are bacterial-laden rather than mineral-laden,” he said.

The trip was facilitated by faculty development funds.

“Those in the research group are greatly appreciative for the sponsorship that allows students to participate in technical conferences,” said Dr. Smith.

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Cutlines: HPU senior Abraham Cooper of Early presents at the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting at Midland College.

Richard Treviso III, HPU junior from Oak Cliff, speaks to attendees of the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting.