Monthly News Archives: August 2019

HPU announces inauguration of Dr. Cory Hines as 20th president

Howard Payne University proudly announces the inauguration of Cory Hines, Ph.D., as the 20th president in the institution’s 130-year history. Inauguration activities are scheduled for September 17-21, 2019, with the Inauguration Ceremony to be held on September 18 at 2 p.m. in Mims Auditorium.

Other activities open to the public include the Inaugural Chapel Service at 10 a.m. on September 18; the Inaugural Reception, following the Inauguration Ceremony; and the Inaugural HPU Family Tailgate, scheduled for 11 a.m. on September 21, preceding the HPU football game at Gordon Wood Stadium. Details on inauguration activities are available at

“On behalf of the Howard Payne University Board of Trustees, I am pleased to invite the public to our campus as we formally inaugurate Dr. Cory Hines as our new president,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “HPU has planned a full slate of meaningful activities that will appropriately honor our institution’s past as well as the exciting new era that has already begun under Dr. Hines’ leadership.”

Dr. Hines, a 1997 graduate of HPU, was named president at a special meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees on March 18, 2019. His first official day in office was April 1.

“The circumstances of these past few months have reminded me again and again how blessed I am to have been called to lead my treasured alma mater,” Dr. Hines said. “I am both honored and humbled by these upcoming inauguration activities, and I look forward to joining with the extended HPU family as together we celebrate this university and express our gratitude to God for His faithfulness to HPU throughout the past 130 years.”

Dr. Hines, a native of Gainesville, Texas, earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from HPU in 1997. He pursued graduate work at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned the Master of Arts degree in Christian education in 2000, and Dallas Baptist University, where he earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies – higher education in 2012.

Prior to his return to HPU, Dr. Hines served as an administrator at Dallas Baptist University. During his years at DBU, he held various leadership roles as vice president in the areas of enrollment, advancement, graduate affairs, external affairs, and alumni and community relations. He also taught at DBU and provided leadership in the creation of several graduate programs there. His professional experience also includes full-time ministry, having served as executive pastor and student pastor at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church (now The Avenue Church) in Waxahachie.

Dr. Hines and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Mackenzie and Caleb.


Cutline: Dr. Cory Hines, pictured at Howard Payne University’s Commencement ceremony in May, will be inaugurated as the institution’s 20th president on September 18.

Patterson follows Justice through HPU’s biomedical science program

Howard Payne University’s biomedical science program reached two significant milestones recently with the graduation of its first program participant and the admittance of its second student. Hannah Justice of Brownwood, who was admitted to the program as a sophomore in 2017, graduated in May and Morgan Patterson, a junior from Kerrville, will begin coursework in the program this fall.

The demanding program prepares students for various health professions through challenging coursework similar to what they will encounter as graduate students. To be considered for admission to the program, students must complete 60 semester hours with a GPA of at least 3.0, complete required biology and chemistry courses, submit an application packet to the program and interview with the Biomedical Science Admissions Committee.

“HPU students pursuing the biomedical science degree will begin as a biology major,” said Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology and director of HPU’s biomedical science program. “Once they’ve met the requirements for admission, they can then apply to become a Biomedical Scholar and finish their HPU degree in biomedical science.”

From her perspective as a newly minted HPU graduate, Justice appreciates the ways the experience prepared her for her future in the medical field and for life.

“This program is very rigorous,” Justice said, “but you’re given so many resources and get to be in a program that’s specifically tailored to what you want to do. It has definitely prepared me to go to graduate school. Working with Dr. Hutchins has also been very rewarding. She has given me guidance in the classroom and in life and has encouraged me, supported me and believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself.”

Justice largely attributed her completion of the program to the support of friends, family and others in the HPU community. She explained that being at HPU helped her to focus on Christ as the motivation for her hard work.

“You need people in your life who are there to encourage you and also keep you humble,” she said. “The great thing about this program being at HPU is that it provides that kind of accountability by reminding you of who you are in Christ and who you’re doing this for.”

Justice also gave advice for those preparing to enroll in the program in the future.

“Don’t let the hard work scare you,” she said. “Pursuing any sort of pre-health profession is sometimes dubbed as impossible, especially if you’re attending a small university, but if you are willing to put in the hard work and be diligent then it’s completely possible.”

Justice has been accepted to her first choice of medical schools, Texas Tech University, where she will be studying for the next four years. She will then participate in a residency program for three to five years to become board certified in a specialty of her choosing.

“When working with our department to design the biomedical science program, I had students like Hannah in mind,” said Dr. Hutchins. “She is driven, curious and has a love of science and people. She persevered through hard semesters and allowed the Lord to guide her as she made decisions about her future. Getting to mentor Hannah over the last few years has been such a treasure to me.”

As Justice was wrapping up her time in the biomedical program and at HPU, Patterson was just getting started. She completed her sophomore year and is majoring in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy as well as biomedical science. She interviewed for admission to the program in spring 2019.

“I was nervous for my interview, but I’m really excited to be the next person in the program,” said Patterson. “I‘ve known my whole life that I’ve wanted to be somewhere in the health field. When I applied to HPU I just knew that this program was my best chance at getting into a graduate school in the health field.”

Patterson said she has wanted to be a veterinarian since high school, but was unsure until college.

“When I was in high school I wanted to be a vet, but I thought I wasn’t cut out for it,” she said. “When I came to college that changed. In our health professions seminar class with Dr. Hutchins we heard from a local veterinarian and everything he said just really spoke to me. I just felt that was where God was calling me.”

Though initially nervous, Patterson is excited to begin work in the program.

“I’m looking forward to all of the opportunities that it’s going to open up for me, such as getting to meet professionals who are already in the field,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to working with Dr. Hutchins. I think she does a great job at connecting students to the right resources and the right people.”

Dr. Hutchins is confident that Patterson will thrive in the program and is eager to see her grow in her field of study.

“Morgan joins our biomedical science program this year having already demonstrated that she can handle rigor in the Honors Academy and her science courses, all while being a collegiate athlete,” said Dr. Hutchins. “Each of those alone is challenging! In addition, Morgan is incredibly humble and kind. I am excited to walk that road with her as she prepares for a profession in veterinarian medicine. She will be excellent.”

As Dr. Hutchins looks to the future of the program, she expresses her enthusiasm for the students and for the university’s positioning to help equip them for meaningful careers.

“Hannah, Morgan and other Biomedical Scholars who come through our program will take with them not only their academic training in the sciences, but also their Christian liberal arts education and worldview,” said Dr. Hutchins. “These things will help ground them as they become health care providers.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: HPU graduate Hannah Justice (left) stands with junior Morgan Patterson (right). They are the first and second students, respectively, to enroll in HPU’s biomedical science program. Justice completed the program and graduated in May 2019.

HPU’s Dr. Derek Smith and Frank Ritter ’17 instruct students at 4-H Horizons Camp

Dr. Derek L. Smith, former associate professor of chemistry at Howard Payne University, and Frank Ritter ’17 recently led a workshop for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students during the 4-H Horizons Camp, sponsored by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service and HPU.

The camp is held each year at the Texas 4-H Conference Center on Lake Brownwood with up to 100 elementary and middle school student participants. During the four-day camp, youth spend six hours per day studying in a project area of their choosing, such as woodworking, veterinary science, wildlife and STEM-robotic.

This year, 15 students chose the STEM-robotics track. These students learned how to build and program Lego robots, construct trebuchets, test water quality and explore forensic science through pattern recognition in fingerprints and microscopic examination of hair samples.

“These hands-on activities make learning fun, while reinforcing teamwork and communication skills in these talented kids,” said David Smith, the camp’s administrator. “Most of our content experts and project leaders come from within the Extension, but these kids benefit every year from the outside expertise that local professionals, such as Frank and Derek, possess.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Dr. Derek Smith, former associate professor of chemistry, and Frank Ritter ’17, led a workshop for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math as part of the 4-H Horizons Camp at the 4-H State Conference Center.

HPU to host Part-Time Job and Internship Fair August 28

Howard Payne University’s Office of Career Services invites area businesses and organizations to participate in its Part-Time Job and Internship Fair. The event will be held on August 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites.

Employers will meet one-on-one with and accept applications from students seeking positions in a variety of professions. A six-foot-long table and two chairs will be provided for displaying organization information. Electrical outlets and Wi-Fi access will also be available to each registered employer. Private interview areas will also be made available to prospective employers upon request.

“Part-time employment can be dually beneficial,” said Tammy Arreola, HPU’s career services coordinator. “Employers are connected to a young and motivated workforce while students have the opportunity to earn workplace experience that can act as a supplement to traditional classroom education.”

A light breakfast, pizza and beverages will be provided for attendees and participating businesses. Table coverings are required. If an employer does not have a table cover, HPU will provide one for a $20 fee payable at the time of registration. Employers may register for a booth online at Registration ends August 23.

Howard Payne University is a Christ-centered, close-knit academy, located in the heart of Texas since 1889. HPU has extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels. More than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs are offered by the university. Since 1889, more than 17,000 students have graduated from HPU.

For more information about the Part-Time Job and Internship Fair, please contact Tammy Arreola at 325-649-8630 or