News Archives: Alumni Relations

Esther Camacho of Flagstaff among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

CamachoBROWNWOOD – October 5, 2017 – Esther Camacho of Flagstaff, Arizona, has been named the 2017 Coming Home Queen by Howard Payne University. She is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Camacho and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

A 1963 HPU graduate, Camacho earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with minors in history and Spanish before going on to earn a master’s degree from Baylor University and counselor certification from Southwest Texas State University. She served as a Texas educator for more than 30 years with school districts in Anton, Goliad, Abilene and Brownwood. She additionally worked at HPU’s Walker Memorial Library for six years. Camacho was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Omega, an international society for women educators, for 30 years.

Camacho taught Sunday School and was on several committees through her church. She has also served on the Board of Directors of HPU’s Alumni Association. An HPU endowed scholarship was created in memory of her parents, Zenaido and Petra Camacho, and has helped many students attend the university.

Camacho said her HPU professors were good role models who encouraged her to do her best.

“Striving to do my best helped me to gain self-confidence when I began my teaching career,” she said.

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Cutline: Esther Camacho of Flagstaff is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

HPU Homecoming 2017 scheduled October 20-21

HC Logo 2017BROWNWOOD – October 3, 2017 – Howard Payne University alumni, friends, students, personnel and guests from the community are destined for a memory-filled weekend as The Yellow Jacket Express – Homecoming 2017 arrives on campus. The train-themed weekend, October 20-21, features more than 30 events, many of which will appeal to the entire community.

Alumni and visitors may register for Homecoming events online. Some events require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8044 or via e-mail at alumni@hputx.edu.

Laura Benoit, HPU’s director of alumni relations, said she is looking forward to the many events scheduled on campus and around town.

“Of particular interest this year is our bonfire and fireworks display, which many from the community enjoyed last year,” she said. “We’re excited to bring it back, and this year the event will take place at the Bert V. Massey II Sports Complex.”

The bonfire and fireworks display begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 20. The sports complex is located at 2301 Dickman Drive in Brownwood, near the Camp Bowie Aquatic Center.

Additional events are highlighted below.

Performances of “The Pirates of Penzance” will be held in Mims Auditorium on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at 325-649-8044.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will open its Archival Display and Treasure Room to the public Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 8:15 a.m. to noon.

“Self-Curated 2 Exhibition,” the artwork of the Brownwood Art Association, will be exhibited in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery located inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. Gallery hours during Homecoming weekend are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon honoring the Class of 1967, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

The Booksaw Off the Rails Escape Room, hosted by the Walker Memorial Library, is scheduled Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Homecoming Court will be presented during Homecoming Convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday in Mims Auditorium.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. During the banquet, the Homecoming 2017 honorees will be recognized. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Following the banquet on Friday will be Cobbler on the Campus sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria. This event begins at 7:30 p.m. at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall.

Friday evening will conclude with a bonfire and fireworks display (time and location listed above).

The Alumni Association Remembrance and Reflection, a time designated to gather in memory of alumni who have passed away, will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall by the statue.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. Also at 8 a.m. on Saturday will be the Class of 1972 45th Reunion Breakfast in the dining hall, the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast in Bullion Suite A of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in Bullion Suite C.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The parade will begin at the Brownwood Coliseum, travel down Center Ave. and end at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Avenue.

Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, featuring games and other free activities for children, will be held from 10:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

A Family Picnic Lunch, sponsored by Visit Early Texas, will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall and Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Choir Concert at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

A variety of departmental and student-organization receptions will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

A pep rally will be held prior to the football game, beginning at 3 p.m., at Festival Park at Gordon Wood Stadium. Additionally, all HPU classes are invited to participate in a tailgate event featuring snacks and beverages. A reception for the African-American Alumni Chapter will also be held as a tailgate event at this time.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Sul Ross State University at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

A variety of reunions, athletic events and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events and ticket prices are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

In addition to the sponsors mentioned above, HPU thanks the following business for their support: Willie’s T’s (Homecoming t-shirt sponsor), Marsh & McLennan Agency, Mills County State Bank, Dr Pepper Bottling, United Supermarkets, Citizens National Bank, Down Home Digital, Early Blooms & Things, Painter & Johnson Financial, PF&E Oil Company, Porter Insurance Agency, TexasBank, John Woolsey Ice House, and Smith & Sharpe Insurance Agencies.

HPU names Laura Benoit director of alumni relations

Laura Benoit director for webBROWNWOOD – September 28, 2017 – Howard Payne University recently named Laura Benoit as director of alumni relations. Benoit joined the university’s staff in October 2014 as assistant director of alumni relations and was promoted in 2016 to the position of associate director.

“Laura has been a valuable member of our staff for the past three years and is a natural fit in this role,” said Randy Yeakley, vice president for development. “We’re proud to have her working with our vast network of alumni and former students.”

Benoit said she’s enjoyed meeting many of HPU’s alumni and friends.

“These individuals helped shape the university’s rich history, so it’s a joy to have the opportunity to develop relationships with them,” she said.

Prior to arriving at HPU, Benoit served as director of parent relations for Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, New York. She and her husband, Joseph, have two adult children, Amanda and Aaron.

Among other responsibilities at HPU, Benoit will oversee the university’s Homecoming celebrations each fall. HPU’s Homecoming 2017 festivities are slated for October 20-21.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8044 or alumni@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Laura Benoit was recently named director of alumni relations at HPU.

Mark Albin of Crandall among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

AlbinBROWNWOOD – September 26, 2017 – Mark Albin of Crandall has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Grand Marshal. He is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s 2017 Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Albin and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

A 1979 HPU graduate, Albin earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree in religious education with a minor in recreation. He was very involved at HPU, participating in the Ministerial Alliance, Dorm Council, Student Foundation, intramurals and the Baptist Student Union among other activities.

He has served as a youth minister and educator and has been in the pawn shop business for more than 30 years. He is an active member at Point View Baptist Church in Combine, served eight years on the Crandall ISD School Board and is a retired Crandall volunteer firefighter.

Albin and his wife, Beth, have three children – Angela, Amanda and Adam – and four grandchildren. Angela and her husband, Tim Groves, are both HPU graduates.

He said that HPU’s small-school atmosphere prepared him for future success.

“Howard Payne is a place where a student, usually away from home for the first time, can develop lifelong relationships in a safe environment,” he said. “I’m truly thankful to be an alumnus of this wonderful university.”

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Cutline: Mark Albin of Crandall is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

Dr. Allen Reed of Brownwood among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

ReedBROWNWOOD – September 22, 2017 – Dr. Allen Reed of Brownwood has been named a recipient of Howard Payne University’s Medal of Service. He is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s 2017 Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Dr. Reed and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

After 34 years of service to the university, Dr. Reed retired from HPU in May 2015 as professor of music and university organist. Dr. Reed was an integral member of HPU’s faculty, serving as teacher, performer, mentor, colleague and leader.

He continues to lend his musical talents to the university, often serving as organist for HPU concerts. He additionally plays the organ at Brownwood’s First Baptist Church and Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.

He and his wife, Judy, have three children, Elisabeth, Katie ’01 and David ’05. Additionally, the couple has four grandchildren.

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Cutline: Dr. Allen Reed of Brownwood is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

Mac Eric Villanueba of Paradise among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

Villanueba HC HonoreeBROWNWOOD – September 15, 2017 – Mac Eric “Villy” Villanueba of Paradise has been named Outstanding Young Graduate by Howard Payne University. He is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s 2017 Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Villanueba and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Villanueba graduated from HPU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and a minor in Spanish. While a student, he participated in the Sigma Theta Phi fraternity and the Student Planning Committee.

Since graduating, he has served as a patrol deputy with the Hood County Sheriff’s Office and is currently a patrol corporal for Palmer Police Department. Earlier in 2017, he was honored by the Garland Police Department for taking heroic, life-saving actions in rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle.

He is active in his church, Watermark Community Church of Dallas, where he serves with the young adults ministry and plays in the church league softball team.

He believes the biggest way HPU prepared him for success was by teaching him how to be a Christ-like servant.

“As a supervisor, I get to be a servant to my officers and I get an opportunity to reveal to them a Christ-centered style of leadership,” he said. “I honestly believe that I would have not learned all of these things if it were not for HPU.”

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Cutline: Mac Eric “Villy” Villanueba of Paradise is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

Dr. Mark Baker of Fort Worth among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

Dr Mark BakerBROWNWOOD – September 11, 2017 – Dr. Mark Baker of Fort Worth has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of Howard Payne University. He is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s 2017 Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Dr. Baker and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Dr. Baker, HPU class of 1972, earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. While at HPU, he participated in the Yellow Jacket Band, Gamma Beta Phi Society, Kappa Kappa Psi-Zeta Beta Chapter and Alpha Chi-Texas Pi Chapter. Following graduation, Dr. Baker earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internship at Public Health Services Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, and his residency at Fort Worth Osteopathic Medical Center. Dr. Baker currently serves at Graham Regional Medical Center.

He has received many honors and awards throughout his career including Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (1995); Fellow in American Osteopathic College of Radiology (2005); Dean’s Award for Philanthropy – Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (2006); Honorary Doctorate Degree from Rocky Vista University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (2017); and Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association (2017).

He has numerous publications to his credit, and his professional activities and civic engagement are extensive. He and his wife, Rita, have two adult children, Christopher and Carrie.

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Cutline: Dr. Mark Baker of Fort Worth is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

Candis Hicks of San Angelo among HPU Homecoming 2017 honorees

Candis HicksBROWNWOOD – August 29, 2017 – Candis (Rodgers) Hicks of San Angelo has been named a Distinguished Alumna of Howard Payne University. She is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s 2017 Homecoming festivities, October 20-21. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Hicks and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 20, beginning at 6 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Hicks completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree from HPU in 1978. While at the university, she was involved with Baptist Student Union and A Cappella Choir. She was also a class officer her junior and senior years. Upon graduating from HPU, she earned a Master of Music Education degree and administrative certification from Angelo State University.

She has completed 31 years in public education, including time spent as a choral music teacher, principal and private studio voice and piano teacher. She has also served as a wedding coordinator and as a consultant for the San Angelo Symphony. Her civic involvement includes serving with Young Life San Angelo, a children’s ministry, as well as teaching Sunday School and being active in Bible study through her church. She has one son, Hunter Rodgers Hicks.

Hicks said attending and graduating from HPU was one of the greatest blessings in her life.

“Howard Payne brought forth a missions heart in me that had been building since childhood,” she said. “The spiritual emphasis and spirit of the campus gave me a foundation for both good and bad times that lay ahead. The education classes were specific in what teaching would entail and the camaraderie with other music majors, as well as the choral experiences, gave me a great starting point, support system and network.”

For more information about HPU Homecoming 2017, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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Cutline: Candis (Rodgers) Hicks ’78 is among nine who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2017 activities, October 20-21.

HPU confers 134 degrees at close of spring 2017 semester

BROWNWOOD – June 22, 2017 – Howard Payne University awarded 134 degrees during its Commencement ceremony held at the close of the spring 2017 semester.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and other university representatives conferred the degrees.

Students must have a 3.55-3.69 grade-point average to graduate Cum Laude; a 3.70-3.84 GPA to graduate Magna Cum Laude; and a 3.85-4.0 GPA to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Graduates included:

Alleyton
Danielle Mae Parkhurst – Bachelor of Arts in social science (global studies)

Anson
Kierstyn Lauren Evans – Bachelor of Science in forensic science

Arlington
Tayler Brittany Rushing – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)

Austin
Ashley Paige Miller – Bachelor of Science in psychology (general)

Ballinger
Ely Chance Self – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, Magna Cum Laude

Bangs
Don Leland Greenwood – Bachelor of Science in psychology (counseling/clinical), Summa Cum Laude
Katherine Elizabeth Hailey – Bachelor of Science in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and social science (jurisprudence), Summa Cum Laude
Melissa Dawn Ramirez – Bachelor of Science in biology

Boerne
Daniel Harris – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages and cross-cultural studies

Brady
Bracken Cole Bean – Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Brownwood
Elizabeth Sue Allen – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies and English
Chad Holman Anders – Bachelor of Arts in communication studies (public and media)
Abby Noelle Anguiano – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)
Tammy Fay Arreola – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education), Cum Laude
Christy Renee Ash – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development), Magna Cum Laude
Gabriel Wise Cardenas – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Teresa E. Cavitt – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
Abram L. Choate – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
James David Crow – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Magna Cum Laude
Kegan Dean Duncan – Master of Business Administration
Shannon Rose Ellis – Bachelor of Arts in family studies
Cherita Mae George – Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading (high school: grade 8-12)
Jennifer Lee Gwathmey – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Jessica Leigh Harris – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Amelia M. Iafrate – Master of Business Administration
David Andrew Lambert – Bachelor of Arts in history (high school: grade 8-12)
Stephen A. Lynn – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
William Hays Massey – Master of Business Administration
Jordan Audrey Mays – Bachelor of Arts in family studies
Daniel Juan Meza – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Jakob Richard Morris – Bachelor of Arts in English
Eanna Martin O’Gorman – Master of Business Administration
Eva Adelaida Ozuna – Bachelor of Arts in family studies
Priscilla Lynn Rodriguez – Bachelor of Science in biology
William Thomas Rumfield – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)
Stephen Kelly Skelton – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Stephanie B. Turney-Ivey – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
Mari Amy Villarreal – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Brittony Nicole Walker – Bachelor of Science in family studies

Bryan
Dezmun D’Andre Williams – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Cibolo
Gabriela Castillo – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Cleburne
Taylor Renea Bicknell – Bachelor of Business Administration in management

Copperas Cove
Robert Vincent Martinez – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

Desoto
Sharon Allen Wolverton – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Magna Cum Laude

Dublin
Aaron Robert Callaway – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Early
Chad Worth Burleson – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Colby Scott Compton – Bachelor of Arts in studio art, Cum Laude
Kelly Franks – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)
Thomas Harrison Givan – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Magna Cum Laude

Eastland
Cody Neal Perrin – Bachelor of Arts in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and history (European emphasis), Magna Cum Laude
Dezeray Dawn Tafte – Bachelor of Science in athletic training

El Paso
Sarahi Castillo – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Roxana Cofresi – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (Bible concentration)
Isabel Gonzalez – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Cum Laude
Brian Alan Seguin – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)

Ferris
Olivia Ann Belsher – Bachelor of Arts in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Summa Cum Laude

Florence
John Curtis Elmore – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership

Floresville
Kyle Alan Ramon – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Fort Worth
Keafer King Clegg – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
Trey Weldon Franks – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing
Hannah Elise Williamson – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (all-level certification), Magna Cum Laude

Fredericksburg
Kara Rene Strange – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Georgetown
Isaac Harrison Howell – Bachelor of Arts in theatre
Rachel Ann Mahagan – Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems, Summa Cum Laude
Mason Marie Samsel – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Summa Cum Laude
Sydney Drew Spencer – Bachelor of Arts in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and social science (global studies), Magna Cum Laude
Scott Thomas Turner – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Aaron William Walling – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude

Goldthwaite
Priscilla Deann Gilbert – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)
Julie Marie Hart – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Summa Cum Laude
Jody Michael Loudamy – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Summa Cum Laude

Granbury
Kayla Michelle Smith – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)

Greenville
Anna Lauren Jeffers – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education, Magna Cum Laude

Gunter
J Brian Bailey – Bachelor of Science in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and social science (jurisprudence)

Hallettsville
Dillon Keith McCord – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages and youth ministry

Harper
Taylor Kay Reid – Bachelor of Science in biology

Huntington
Tonya Gale Williams – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Cum Laude

Justin
Hannah Joan Ball – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development), Magna Cum Laude

Kaufman
Daniel Esperon Palacios – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

Kerrville
James Vincent Abbatiello – Bachelor of Arts in communication studies (public and media), Summa Cum Laude

Kingsville
Brett Ollen Quackenbush – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Las Cruces, New Mexico
David S. Goniotakis – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (biblical languages concentration)

Lexington
Joshua N. O’Conner – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Lockhart
Josiah James Horton – Bachelor of Music in church music (voice)

Lytle
Jaclyn Rose Bonner – Bachelor of Arts in communication studies (public and media), Summa Cum Laude

Mansfield
Mikayla Elizabeth Burckhard – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing

May
Vanessa Monique Pate – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Magna Cum Laude
Amber Rose Shipman – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Magna Cum Laude

Midland
Garland Lucas Burge – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership
Andrew Mitchell Erwin – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting
MaryClaire Swallow – Bachelor of Science in family studies

Mission
Gil Eduardo Jaime – Bachelor of Science in biochemistry

Montgomery
Candace Leeann Montgomery – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Magna Cum Laude

New Braunfels
Jana Lee Acosta – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Matthew Ryan Aguirre – Master of Business Administration
Alicia Dees – Master of Business Administration
Dallas Joe Freeman – Bachelor of Science in business administration, Summa Cum Laude
Matthew Alexander Nunez – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
Daniel Reina – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration
Jennifer Ann Sanders – Bachelor of Science in business administration, Summa Cum Laude
Sandi Renee Shahan – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

Nocona
Rebecca Nicole Hamilton – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6), Summa Cum Laude

Oakland, California
Sabrina M. Ochoa – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Odessa
Alex Jay Sanchez – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Orange Grove
Sara Ashleigh Wood – Bachelor of Science in life science (high school: grade 8-12)

Perryton
Keaton James Fletcher – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude

Pleasant Hill, California
Jack Henry Judd – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice (forensic science), Magna Cum Laude

Ponder
Jorden Alexander Young – Master of Education in sport wellness and leadership

Ralls
Amber Jo Willson – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Roanoke
Roderick Boardman Adams – Bachelor of Science in English language arts and reading (high school: grade 8-12)

Robert Lee
Lubbock Michelle Roe – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (youth ministry concentration)

Rockwall
Blake Robert Wynn – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice (forensic science)

Saginaw
Elizabeth Anne Fargo – Bachelor of Science in athletic training

Salado
Thomas Parker Kyle – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies, Summa Cum Laude

San Angelo
Anthony Edward McCarson – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

San Antonio
Andrew Uriah Collazo – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages
Taylor Gorman – Bachelor of Science in business administration, Cum Laude
Arthur Joseph Hettler – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification), Cum Laude
William Rangel-Alfaro – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Jacqueline Marie Vega – Bachelor of Science in psychology (general)
Nathan Richard Weyrauch – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

San Marcos
Erin Renee’ Hudson – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Savannah, Georgia
Shanique Denise Davis-Campbell – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Scurry
Rachel Renea Hitt – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Seguin
Robin Rae Kunkel – Master of Business Administration

Southlake
Braxton Stone Clark – Bachelor of Arts in social science (global studies), Magna Cum Laude

Springtown
Elizabeth Ann Rainey – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)

Temple
Zachary Paul Eller – Bachelor of Arts in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and political science (pre-law) and Bachelor of Science in business administration, Magna Cum Laude

Waskom
Diana Rebeca Puente Chavar – Bachelor of Arts in Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and political science/pre-law, Summa Cum Laude

Weatherford
Morgan Paige Ashmore – Bachelor of Arts in communication studies (public and media), Magna Cum Laude
Kaylee Jae Blevins – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)
Bailey Michelle Waller – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood-grade 6)

Wilmer
Lamonica M. Sharp – Master of Education in instructional leadership

HPU alumnus honored for heroism

Eric VillanuebaBROWNWOOD – June 1, 2017 – Corporal Eric “Villy” Villanueba, a 2014 Howard Payne University graduate, was recently honored by the Garland Police Department for taking heroic, life-saving actions after rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle.

Cpl. Villanueba, then a deputy in the Hood County Sheriff’s Office, was on his way home from work last November when he witnessed the single-vehicle accident in Garland. A car went over a bridge, landed on its hood and immediately caught on fire.

“It was about two or three in the morning and I was the only one around,” said Cpl. Villanueba. “I sprinted down the hill praying that there wasn’t more than one person in the car because I knew it would be hard to get everyone out.”

As the flames were near the front of the vehicle, Cpl. Villanueba used his baton to break the back window and a knife to cut through the deployed airbags. Unable to see clearly, he called out but received no response.

“I crawled into the car and saw someone in the driver’s seat, hanging from the seatbelt,” he said. “She was unresponsive and bleeding severely.”

As the flames grew closer, Cpl. Villanueba cut the woman’s seatbelt and began to drag her toward the back window. Others had arrived on scene by that time and helped him pull the woman from the car.

“By God’s grace, it was perfect timing,” he said. “The car engulfed in flames as soon as we got out.”

Cpl. Villanueba, now an officer with Palmer Police Department, credits his training for his quick actions.

“We’re trained to do things like that even if our lives are at risk,” he said. “My only thought was to save as many people as I could.”

He is thankful for education he received through HPU’s criminal justice program.

“Howard Payne gave me a servant’s heart,” he said. “Professors like Lynn Humeniuk teach you how to serve others and be there for others. HPU is where I rededicated my life to God.”

Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program, said she was not surprised to learn that Cpl. Villanueba saved a life.

“He was born to serve and protect,” she said. “As an undergraduate on the HPU campus, Villy was popular with faculty and students and he was a leader who continually gave above and beyond what was needed to get a job completed. I have seen him several times since November and only learned last week from someone else that he saved a woman’s life. He is humble in that way, and a true professional in every sense of the word. I am very proud of this HPU graduate from the criminal justice program, and I know that God will continue to use him in a mighty way.”

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Cutline: Corporal Eric “Villy” Villanueba, a 2014 HPU graduate, was recently honored by the Garland Police Department for his heroic, life-saving actions.