News Archives: School of Humanities

HPU Moot Court wins Baylor University tournament

BROWNWOOD – November 29, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team recently triumphed at the Baylor University Moot Court Invitational tournament, competing against nine colleges and universities from across Texas and the neighboring states.

Four HPU students competed at the event – partners Jordan Hahn, junior from Burnet, and Lucy Manning, sophomore from Fort Worth, and partners Bailey Myler, senior from Brownwood, and Lauren Piper, freshman from Early.

Hahn and Manning advanced to out-rounds on day two and defeated the University of North Texas in the final round to win the tournament. Awards were also given to the top eight speakers at the tournament. Manning placed 5th, Myler placed 4th and Hahn was the top speaker at the event.

“This was the first tournament of the year for these four competitors and they did an amazing job,” said Lorianna Kelley, team adviser and assistant professor of government. “I am so proud of all the hard work the team has put in already this year, and I am confident they will continue to prevail at our upcoming tournaments.”

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Cutline: HPU’s Moot Court team recently triumphed at the Baylor University Moot Court Invitational tournament. Left to right: Lauren Piper, Bailey Myler, Jordan Hahn and Lucy Manning.

HPU senior Caleb Kostreva reflects on summer internship with 21Wilberforce

Caleb KostrevaBROWNWOOD – November 14, 2018 – During the summer, Howard Payne University senior Caleb Kostreva had the opportunity to work with Christian human rights organization 21Wilberforce through a 10-week internship program.

Kostreva, a native of Clifton, Colorado, is a double major in social sciences with a global studies emphasis and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy with an English minor. He is active in Student Government Association as the presiding senior senator. His other involvements include participation in Model U.N. and the Baptist Student Ministry. He also works as a residence hall assistant and with the HPU Office of Institutional Advancement.

According to the organization’s website, 21Wilberforce takes its name from 19th century British parliamentarian William Wilberforce, who led a successful abolitionist movement in England, using collaborative partnerships, grassroots empowerment and policy campaigns. By adopting these strategies, the organization is dedicated to defending people of faith internationally and the expanding religious freedom.

“The freedom of belief leads to a lot of other freedoms,” Kostreva said. “Countries that have more religious freedom have better economies, better gender equality and all these other positive things connected to religious freedom – not perfect, but better.”

Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history and government, said Kostreva is an example of the ideals of the Honors Academy.

“Caleb’s desire to participate in an internship of this quality with an organization with this mission is a perfect demonstration of the alignment of the Academy’s motto: Facing the Future with Faith and Knowledge,” said Dr. McNiece. “We’re immensely proud of his work this summer, and eager to see where and how he applies this passion next.”

Kostreva, along with four other college students from institutions across the United States, worked with 21Wilberforce in the Washington, D.C. area meeting with legislators and planning events. Through the internship, he was able to experience firsthand some of the actions commonplace to the formation of United States policy on global issues such as human rights.

“It’s something that you won’t find interning for other organizations,” he said. “They see it as a professional-development internship, making it a really unique opportunity I really appreciated.”

A key contribution of Kostreva’s to 21Wilberforce’s work during the summer was a rally he planned highlighting the plight of prisoners of conscience, or political prisoners, in China.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) all spoke at the rally in support of such prisoners. The rally was held on the one-year anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize recipient and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo’s death. Xiaobo died in imprisonment following his 2008 arrest for helping to write and publish Charter 08, advocating for the shifting of China’s political system toward democracy.

“Religious freedom isn’t about advancing one specific faith, but it allows the common exchange of ideas,” Kostreva said. “In a society that allows people to have diverse beliefs, it means that people of all faiths have the ability to believe what they want, and it especially opens the door for Christians to spread the light.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 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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Cutline: HPU senior Caleb Kostreva spent the summer working with human rights advocacy organization 21Wilberforce.

Local officers speak to HPU’s Spanish for Law Enforcement class

Spanish for Law EnforcementBROWNWOOD – October 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course recently hosted local officers who offered students a unique perspective on challenges that may arise in law enforcement and the opportunities available to Spanish-speaking officers.

Speaking to students were Mike Corley, retired Brownwood Chief of Police; Trooper Chris Delgado with the Texas Department of Public Safety; and Officer Roberto Rodriguez of the Brownwood Police Department.

Spanish for Law Enforcement is an elective track offered to HPU criminal justice students who receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Dr. Danny Brunette-Lopez, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, teaches the course.

In addition to studying the Spanish language, students learn about Hispanic culture and customs including body language and common perceptions of law enforcement.

“Having a knowledge of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture ensures our future officers are better able to protect and serve all individuals,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “It can help prevent racial profiling and is vital to the safety of the officers as well as those with whom they come into contact.”

The law enforcement officers shared stories of specific situations they have encountered where a knowledge of the Spanish language was – or would have been – helpful.

“These criminal justice students are now better prepared to resolve situations peacefully,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “That is the ultimate goal of this course.”

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program, also attended the presentation.

“These professional men place, or have placed, their lives on the line every single day for this community,” she said. “Their combined experience and knowledge as law enforcement officers verifies the vision that Dr. Brunette-López had years ago when he and I met about the possibility of combining Spanish and career choices. This is a unique academic course that most universities our size do not offer. I am very grateful that HPU prepares students to become law enforcement practitioners as the future of this great state of Texas continues to change demographics.”

Students in the course include Ruben Cruz, sophomore from Irving; Julissa Ibarra, sophomore from San Antonio; Adrian Jaramillo, freshman from Palmer; Juan Luna, junior from San Angelo; Victoria Maldonado, junior from Brownwood; Crystal Ochoa, senior from Early; and Kayla Rayos, sophomore from Houston.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 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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Cutline: Local officers recently spoke with students in HPU’s Spanish for Law Enforcement class. Left to right: DPS Trooper Chris Delgado, Brownwood Police Department Patrol Officer Roberto Rodríguez, Former Brownwood Police Chief Mike Corley, Juan Luna, Ruben Cruz, Crystal Ochoa, Adrian Jaramillo, Kayla Rayos, Victoria Maldonado, Julissa Ibarra and Dr. Danny Brunette-López.

HPU Moot Court has successful showing at first tournament of 2018-19

moot court 2018 for webBROWNWOOD – October 17, 2018 – The newest members of Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team fared well at the first tournament of the 2018-19 academic year, the St. Mary’s School of Law Moot Court Invitational.

Representing HPU in this tournament were Reagan Coleman, freshman from Houston; Conner Faught, junior from Brownfield; Sierra Ross, sophomore from Canton; and Madison Zardiackas, freshman from Lockhart.

All four finished in the top half as individual speakers, with Ross and Faught advancing to the semifinal round.

“This tournament is very early in the season, and these four only had a few weeks to research a complicated constitutional issue, write legal arguments and practice delivering those arguments before a panel of judges,” said Lorianna Kelley, team adviser and assistant professor of government. “I could not be prouder of their success and am excited to watch their continued performance throughout the year and for the rest of their college careers.”

HPU is now enrolling for the spring 2019 semester. 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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Cutline: The newest members of HPU’s Moot Court team competed well at the first tournament of the 2018-19 academic year. Left to right: Conner Faught, Sierra Ross, Madison Zardiackas and Reagan Coleman.

Texas Senate honors HPU Moot Court team

Moot Court Senate Proclamation for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2018 – Texas State Senator Dawn Buckingham has authored Senate Proclamation No. 569 in honor of HPU’s Moot Court program and team members Jordan Hahn, junior from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, May 2018 graduate from Boerne. Moot Court is a competition during which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases in front of judges, designed to simulate argument before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Hahn and Sommers, now in his first year at Harvard Law School, brought home numerous Moot Court awards during their time together at HPU. Most notably, the team was named 2018 National Brief Writing Champions, HPU’s second national championship title in the history of collegiate Moot Court.

“HPU is very proud of Jordan and Isaac, and their adviser Professor Lorianna Kelley,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and chair and associate professor of history and government. “We’re thankful that the Texas Senate and Senator Buckingham honored them in this prestigious way.”

HPU is now enrolling for the spring 2019 semester. 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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Cutline: Texas State Senator Dawn Buckingham authored Senate Proclamation No. 569 in honor of HPU’s Moot Court team. Pictured are Jordan Hahn, senior, and Lorianna Kelley, Moot Court adviser and assistant professor of government. Not pictured is Isaac Sommers, May 2018 graduate.

HPU to host The ARK’s candlelight vigil for victims of domestic abuse

Empty Shoes displayBROWNWOOD – October 11, 2018 – Brownwood’s The ARK (Advocacy, Respect, Kindness) Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter will host a candlelight vigil, open to the public, at Howard Payne University’s Bettie and Robert Girling Center for Social Justice. The event, to be held Thursday, October 18, at 6 p.m., is a time to honor the victims of domestic abuse, celebrate the survivors and announce the community’s commitment to ending domestic violence. Survivors of domestic violence will also speak at the event.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The vigil is held at HPU each year in conjunction with The ARK’s Empty Shoes display. Each pair of shoes in the exhibit represents a Central Texas individual who has died as a result of domestic violence. The display will open on Monday, October 15, and be available until the afternoon of Friday, October 19.

According to information provided by The ARK, one in four women and one in seven men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Additionally, more than 12 million people in the United States over the course of a year are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner.

“Domestic violence is a social problem that affects both men and women of any socioeconomic class, culture or ethnicity,” said Rachel Derrington, assistant professor of social work and director of HPU’s social work program. “As a community we can commit to ending domestic violence by increasing awareness, assisting victims and their children and teaching individuals how to recognize healthy relationships.”

For more information, contact The ARK at 325-643-2699.

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Cutline: The ARK will host the Empty Shoes display and a candlelight vigil at HPU. Each pair of shoes in the display represents a Central Texas individual who has died as a result of domestic violence.

Accreditation of HPU’s social work program reaffirmed until 2025

BROWNWOOD – August 10, 2018 – The Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation announced during the spring 2018 semester that the accreditation of Howard Payne University’s social work program has been reaffirmed until 2025. The program was first accredited by CSWE in 1997 and has been subsequently reaccredited on three occasions.

Graduates from accredited social work programs are eligible to take the state’s baccalaureate social work licensing exam, which enhances their employability. Additionally, for those planning to attend graduate schools upon completing their degrees at HPU, participation in an accredited undergraduate program such as HPU’s will reduce the number of hours required to obtain a Master of Social Work degree.

More than 20 alumni from HPU’s social work program are employed in the helping profession in the Brownwood community.

“HPU’s social work program has a long history of preparing students to help meet the needs of those at the margins of society,” said Dr. Millard Kimery, dean of HPU’s School of Humanities. “We’re proud to receive this notice of our reaffirmation and look forward to another seven years of excellence.”

The program’s accreditation was reaffirmed during the tenure of Dan Humeniuk, now retired from his role as assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology.

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BGCT continues support of HPU’s restorative justice emphasis

BROWNWOOD – July 25, 2018 – Howard Payne University has received 2018 funding for the restorative justice emphasis of its criminal justice program from the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The BGCT has assisted with the emphasis since 2006.

Restorative justice is a practice that assists in repairing harm when unacceptable behavior has made a negative impact on a victim or a community such as a school, town or neighborhood. Many churches believe in the practice and work with universities to provide programs that equip students with communication, social work and criminal justice training.

The Christian Life Commission is a strong proponent of restorative justice, providing resources to churches and other organizations affiliated with the BGCT. A page on the BGCT’s website (www.texasbaptists.org) says restorative justice reflects biblical principles and encourages Christian leaders to make empathy an essential part of their response toward victims and offenders.

Personnel from the BGCT met with Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, and representatives from seven other private Christian universities more than a decade ago to propose starting a focus on restorative justice in the universities’ criminal justice programs. HPU was the only university at that time to accept the funding.

The restorative justice emphasis is available for criminal justice majors and minors but is not limited to that department. Over the years, students from social work and psychology have completed restorative justice courses and students from other majors also have the opportunity to use elective hours to complete these courses. The criminal justice department offers a four-class rotation that grants students certificates of completion after conclusion. The BGCT assists with funding to pay an adjunct instructor to teach the classes each semester both in the undergraduate and graduate programs. The funds have also been used to sponsor a trip for a professor and a student to present a topic on restorative justice at an academic conference.

Students in the program have gone on to assist the community by aiding juvenile and adult probation programs, the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Complex, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Trucore, local attorney offices, local youth ministries and more programs outside the Brownwood area.

“As a Christian university, we delight in the opportunity to teach those going into fields of criminal justice how to steward relationships of forgiveness and healing between offenders, victims, families and communities at large,” said Humeniuk. “We’re thankful to the BGCT for its ongoing support of our students.”
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HPU students complete semester-long criminal justice internships

CRJ internsBROWNWOOD – May 30, 2018 – Ten Howard Payne University students were recently honored for the successful completion of criminal justice internships. The students and their supervising agencies were recognized at the end of the spring 2018 semester at a luncheon held at Section Hand Steakhouse in Brownwood.

Criminal justice majors are required to complete 150 hours of service with an agency or organization which reflects three credit hours toward their degrees. Internships include working with “at risk” students and adults at local, state and federal agencies as well as positions with law firms, law enforcement agencies and many other opportunities that help students prepare for a future in the field of criminal justice.

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of the criminal justice program, expressed her appreciation to the individuals who mentored the HPU students throughout the length of their internships.

“Their guidance is very beneficial to the interns,” Humeniuk said. “Our students are well poised to enter careers in the field of criminal justice due to their own hard work and the mentorship from their supervisors. The men and women from our supervising agencies go above and beyond to model the true meaning of how to serve and protect. Our criminal justice program and our interns are truly blessed.”

Criminal justice interns for the 2017-2018 academic year included Amber Carroll, junior from Brownwood, intern at Hope Home Ministry; Andria Garza, senior from San Antonio, intern at Steele Law Firm; Matthew Gomez, senior from Brownwood, intern at Comanche County Probation Department; Alsatia Jowers, senior from Brownwood, intern at New Horizons; Keeley McKinney, senior from Poth, intern at the Ron Jackson Unit; Krystal Moreno, senior from Marion, intern at the Brownwood Police Department; Jacob Salazar, senior from Lockhart, intern at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office; Kyle Steele, senior from Brownwood, intern at the Brown County District Attorney’s Office; Michael Thomas, junior from Brownwood, intern at the Texas Department of Public Safety; and Jeremiah Wenzel, senior from Brownwood, intern at Comanche County Probation Department.

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Cutline: HPU’s criminal justice interns are pictured with their supervisors and HPU faculty and staff. From left to right are Gina Gibbs, instructor of criminal justice; Dr. Millard Kimery, dean of HPU’s School of Humanities; Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program; Rebecca Cadena, supervisor at Ron Jackson Unit; Keeley McKinney, intern; Kyle Steele, intern; Alsatia Jowers, intern; Matthew Gomez, intern; Amber Carroll, intern; Jeremiah Wenzel, intern; Krystal Moreno, intern; Michael Thomas, intern; Cynthia Givan, departmental administrative assistant; and Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry.

Not pictured are interns Andria Garza and Jacob Salazar and supervisors Chassidy Carroll (Hope Home Ministry), Sgt. Scott Fraiser (Texas Department of Public Safety), Assistant Chief James Fuller (Brownwood Police Department), Regina Johnson (Comanche County Adult Probation), Chief Mike Lummus (Travis County District Attorney’s Office), Michael Murray (Brown County District Attorney’s Office), Todd Steele (Steele Law Firm) and Niki Terway (New Horizons).

HPU freshman receives Sheriffs’ Association of Texas scholarship

Ratliff and HillBROWNWOOD – May 25, 2018 – William Ratliff, Howard Payne University freshman from Kyle, has been awarded a scholarship by the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas. Sheriff Vance Hill of Brown County presented the award to Ratliff during a luncheon held at the end of the spring 2018 semester.

Ratliff is a criminal justice major and a member of the HPU Yellow Jacket football team.

“I would like to thank the Sheriffs’ Association for granting me this scholarship and Sheriff Hill for presenting it to me,” said Ratliff.

The Sheriffs’ Association of Texas offers scholarships to eligible students pursuing an academic degree at a college or university. In addition to the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas scholarships, several others are made available through the generosity of individuals or organizations. These funds are managed by the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas to award to qualified students. The scholarships are awarded once in the spring semester and once in the fall semester of each year.

Each applicant must have a parent in law enforcement in Texas; must be a high school graduate and have completed at least one semester of college; must be enrolled in a college or university, in an academic course of study, as a full-time student during the semester the application is submitted; must be younger than 25 years of age at time of application; must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5; and must not have been convicted of a crime which would make an individual ineligible for employment in his/her field of study.

For the spring 2018 semester, the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas awarded 16 scholarships to students throughout the state.

“Will Ratliff is an outstanding young man who is a blessing to have in the classroom,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program. “I am grateful to Sheriff Hill for all his support with the criminal justice program at HPU and for representing the Sheriffs’ Association that is so generous with its funds.”

For more information about the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, visit www.sheriffstx.org.

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Cutline: Sheriff Vance Hill of Brown County (right) recently presented the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas scholarship to HPU freshman William Ratliff.