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HPU announces dates for Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs

summer_scholars_2012_robotics_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 30, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host its annual Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs July 15-19 from 9 a.m. to noon on HPU’s Academy of Freedom campus. The programs, for students in first through sixth grades, will feature innovative instruction in a variety of subjects. The theme for this year is “Brainpower and the Body.”

“We have an outstanding lineup of HPU professors and area public-school teachers who are experts in the fields of study they will be teaching our students,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs. Dr. Welker is the chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication at HPU. “The curriculum this year includes biology, robotics and its application in the medical field, reading and, of course, our popular physical activities.”

This year’s Summer Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins, seventh-grade language arts teacher and head cross-country coach at Early Middle School and assistant basketball and track coach at Early High School; Tami Hull, sixth-grade science teacher at Early Middle School and coach of the robotics and University Interscholastic League science and mathematics teams; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology at HPU, who holds a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in the area of science education; and Dr. Evelyn Romig, professor of English at HPU, who holds a doctoral degree in English.

Young Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins; Deanna Erxleben, adjunct instructor of music at HPU, who holds a master’s degree in vocal performance with a concentration in voice science and pedagogy reading; Jennifer McKibben, eighth-grade science teacher at Early Middle School; and Clairissa Tucker, second-grade biology teacher at Bangs ISD who holds a master’s degree in education.

In the Summer Scholars program, students entering fourth through sixth grades will study biology, physical education, robotics, computer graphics and reading. The Young Scholars program is designed for children entering first through third grades. The campers will receive instruction in biology, physical education, music and reading.

“We focus on creative problem solving, science and reading activities related to our theme,” Welker said. “We like to think of our camp as brain exercise for kids during the summer. It gives children a chance to sharpen their intellectual skills midsummer.”

Cost for the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs is $100 per student and includes a souvenir, snacks and supplies. The deadline for registration is July 10.

“We look forward to providing quality education for kids in a fun, summer-camp environment at HPU,” Welker said. “We want students to be challenged, learn something new and have a great time.”

Online registration is available at For more information about the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs, contact Dr. Welker at (325) 649-8508 or via e-mail at You can also join the Facebook group by searching for “Summer and Young Scholars” on


Photo cutline: Students receive a lesson in robotics from Tami Hull during the 2012 Summer Scholars program at HPU. Hull, who coached Early I.S.D. robotics teams to state competitions for the past three years, will return to teach at HPU’s camp this summer.