News Archives

HPU students and alumni serve at 2018 Wyoming Youth Evangelism Conference

Wyoming photo for webBROWNWOOD – June 27, 2018 – Howard Payne University students and alumni were among a group of 13 from May First Baptist Church that traveled to Wyoming toward the end of the spring semester to serve at the state’s Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC). The event was held at College Heights Baptist Church in Casper, Wyoming.

HPU students who made the trip were junior Isaac Williams, college minister at May FBC; sophomore Eli Williams, church intern at May FBC; freshman Hannah Williams; and sophomore Abi Brown. Alumni who served were Dr. Nicholas Ewen ’02, assistant professor of theatre at HPU and music minister at May FBC; Clarrisa Ewen ’96; and Dustin Wright ’12, youth minister at Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Brownwood. Kase Cox, Taylor Cox, Josh McFarland, Wayne Snell, Linzie Wright and Bethanie Ewen, daughter of the Ewens and dual-credit student at HPU also participated.

While there, the group served in many capacities. Dr. Ewen preached during the general sessions at the conference, Eli Williams led worship and Isaac Williams spoke to students during a small-group session.

Lynda Roark, director of Wyoming YEC, invited the group to lead at this year’s conference. Roark is also the director of Mountain Top Assembly Baptist Camp in Casper, Wyoming, where members of the group have served during the past two summers.

“This group has had a huge impact on the entire state of Wyoming by encouraging, evangelizing and discipling an entire generation of Wyoming’s young Christian minds and hearts,” said Roark.

Dr. Ewen has a long-existing connection to the state, having grown up in Wyoming and attending the camp.

“It was a huge honor and wonderful experience to go back to Wyoming with a group of talented and passionate HPU students,” said Dr. Ewen.

Isaac Williams will continue to serve in Wyoming over the summer as an intern at Mountain Top Assembly Baptist Camp.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( 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


Cutline: HPU students and alumni were among a group that traveled to Wyoming to speak and lead worship at the state’s 2018 Youth Evangelism Conference.

Enrollment for HPU’s Summer and Young Scholars camps nearing capacity

Young and Summer Scholars 2017BROWNWOOD – June 12, 2018 – Those interested in enrolling their children in Howard Payne University’s Summer and Young Scholars camps are encouraged to act quickly as several of the classes are nearing capacity. The day camps are for children entering first through sixth grades and are scheduled July 16-20 from 9 a.m. to noon each day.

As in years past, the popular camps 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. Campers in the Young Scholars program, for children entering first through third grades, will receive instruction in music, robotics, science and recreation.

The subjects are led by HPU personnel and others from the community. This year’s instructors include Tami Hull, 7th grade science teacher at Early Middle School; Dalton Hutchins, HPU’s head tennis coach; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology at HPU; Jennifer Reeves, private vocal instructor and teacher at Cross Classical Academy; Keith Taylor, retired science teacher from Early Elementary School and robotics coach at Cross Classical Academy; Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems and chair of HPU’s Department of Computer Information Systems; and Dr. Craig Younce, associate professor of biology and chair of HPU’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies, is director of the Young and Summer Scholars program, and Sydney Spencer, administrative assistant for HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics, serves as administrative assistant for the camps.

“As always, our camps are led this year by an all-star lineup of instructors including our own exceptional HPU faculty and staff members,” said Dr. Welker. “Mrs. Hull and Mr. Taylor have each led numerous teams to state robotics competitions. Mrs. Reeves, who is new to our camps this year, is an experienced and gifted vocal instructor.”

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 For more information about the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs, contact Dr. Welker at 325-649-8508 or via e-mail at


Cutline: Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology at HPU, leads campers in a science experiment during HPU’s 2017 Young and Summer Scholars camps.

HPU to host Swingin’ Stingers Band 50th reunion concert

1971-72 Swingin' Stinger BandBROWNWOOD – June 11, 2018 – Howard Payne University will host a 50th anniversary reunion concert of the university’s legendary Swingin’ Stingers Band on Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m. The free concert will be presented at Mims Auditorium on the university’s campus and is open to the public.

Retired USAF Lt. Col. Doug Jackson, who is a 1972 graduate of HPU, has organized a band reunion that will culminate on Sunday with the concert.

The band will be made primarily of alumni who were in the band during Greg Berry’s tenure at HPU, and Berry will once again take the podium to direct the band for this special reunion concert. Berry was the band director from 1968-1976.

For more information, contact Jackson at or Laura Benoit, director of alumni relations, at or 325-649-8007.


Cutline: HPU’s legendary Swingin’ Stingers Band, shown in a 1972 yearbook photo, will present a concert on July 1.

HPU honors 241 for academic success during spring 2018 semester

HPU campus skylineBROWNWOOD, TEXAS – June 11, 2018 – Howard Payne University honored 241 students for academic success during the spring 2018 semester. Students must earn a 4.0 grade point average to be named to the President’s List, a 3.65-3.99 grade point average to be named to the Dean’s List and a 3.5-3.64 grade point average to be named to the Honor Roll.

Receiving honors were:

Kylie Johnson, President’s List

Miranda Rice, Honor Roll

Skyler Schoolfield, President’s List

Brianna Weaver, President’s List

Jessica Catlett, President’s List

Cyle Johnson, Dean’s List
Audrey Kirkland, President’s List
Natalie Stephens, President’s List

Bryan Bourque, Dean’s List
Taylor Davis, President’s List

Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Rachel White, Dean’s List

Emma Reed, President’s List
Cade Varrichio, Honor Roll

Erin Buergner, President’s List
Christopher Dunn, Dean’s List
Marissa Godbey, President’s List
Riley Morrison, Honor Roll
Luke Victor, Honor Roll

Jarryd Evans, Dean’s List
Landon James, Honor Roll
Jordan Pitman, President’s List

Rickey Guillory, Dean’s List

Abigail Miller, President’s List

Charles Lewis, Honor Roll

Suzanne Schad, President’s List

Travis Adams, Dean’s List
Amy Baskin, Dean’s List
Kelsy Bellah, President’s List
Audrey Binion, Honor Roll
Kaitlyn Bush, President’s List
Kinsey Colegrove, Dean’s List
Amanda Collins, President’s List
Regina Dunlap, President’s List
Tanya Glasscock, President’s List
Kristen Herring, President’s List
Kindell Hill, Honor Roll
Tiffany Hogue, Honor Roll
Kimberlyn Ho, President’s List
Sierra Jackson, President’s List
Hannah Justice, President’s List
Joel Justice, President’s List
Weston Kirbo, Dean’s List
Jensen Limer, President’s List
Cheyanne Lovelady, Dean’s List
Jennifer Martinez, Honor Roll
Grace Milcherska, President’s List
Pearline Minor, Honor Roll
Marleyna Murray, President’s List
Bailey Myler, Honor Roll
Hannah Netherton, President’s List
Debbie Odom, President’s List
Shantel Oplotnik, Dean’s List
Seth Owen, Dean’s List
Tandi Patton, President’s List
Tanner Pennington, President’s List
Aaron Pulley, Honor Roll
Gip Sills, Dean’s List
Isaac Sommers, President’s List
Stephanie Tarigan, Dean’s List
Stephanie Thompson, President’s List
Chancey Thurmon, Dean’s List
Keegan Torres, President’s List
Brayden Towell, Dean’s List
Connor Vara, Honor Roll
Caitlin Vincent, President’s List
Tricia Webb, Dean’s List

McKenna Walker, Honor Roll

Preston Davis, President’s List
Madelyn Deviney, Dean’s List

Lexie Hobby, President’s List

Jordan Hahn, President’s List

Caddo Mills
Tabitha Moore, Honor Roll

Sierra Ross, President’s List

Canyon Country, California
Matthew Davis, Honor Roll

Canyon Lake
Alyssa Henry, Dean’s List

Cedar Park
Nicole Goodwin, Dean’s List

Madison Neal, Dean’s List
Carter Renfro, Honor Roll

Robert Caraway, Honor Roll
Tonya Thompson, Honor Roll
Camille Webb, President’s List

Clifton, Colorado
Caleb Kostreva, President’s List

Allison Auvenshine, President’s List
Enna Carroll, Dean’s List
Collin Davis, Honor Roll
Meagan Hanson, President’s List
Jaze Randolph, Dean’s List

Ryan Mason, Dean’s List

Sadee Regian, Honor Roll

Audrey Simpson, President’s List

Cecily McIlwain, Honor Roll

Spencer Wolverton, President’s List

Hunter Coffee, Dean’s List
Shaunna Connelly, Dean’s List
Abraham Cooper, President’s List
Jakayli Coppic, Honor Roll
Conner Drew, President’s List
Jacob Ledbetter, Honor Roll
Dylan Person, Dean’s List
Meagan Sessler, Dean’s List

Anna McBride, Dean’s List

Karla Zachary, President’s List

El Paso
Rodolfo Castro, Honor Roll
Mary Martinez, Honor Roll

Dorian Buitron, Dean’s List

Brittany Cortez, Dean’s List

Fort Worth
Andrew Errico, Dean’s List
Brooke Gibbs, President’s List
Lucy Manning, President’s List
Reed Shelley, President’s List
Collin Wright, Dean’s List

Kalin Brown, President’s List

Rebekah Barnett, President’s List

Garden Ridge
Camila Cotter, Dean’s List

Augusta Johnson, Dean’s List

Breanna Hunt, Honor Roll
Ty Wright, Honor Roll

Ryan Miles, Dean’s List

Sarah Fernandez, Honor Roll
Hanna Henson, President’s List

Seth Rainey, Dean’s List

McKinzey Boyer, Dean’s List
Madison Miller, Dean’s List
Katelyn O’Conner, President’s List

Grand Prairie
Gabriella Diaz De Leon, Dean’s List

Haltom City
Dayane Gutierrez, President’s List

Kade Kahanek, Honor Roll

Trey Carpenter, Dean’s List

Harker Heights
Jada Evans, President’s List
Anna Leffers, President’s List

Cody Hughes, President’s List

Kira Teel, Honor Roll

Sara Heinrichs, President’s List

Jeremiah Wenzel, Dean’s List

Lindsey Krueger, President’s List

Hunter Bazan, President’s List

John Killough, Dean’s List

Noah Acord, Honor Roll

Abner Reyes, President’s List

Anissa Peralta, Dean’s List

Julia James, President’s List

Anastasia Willis, Dean’s List

Talon Davis-Rentfro, Honor Roll

Tyla Tipton, Honor Roll
Maggie Van Nes, Dean’s List

Hailey Green, President’s List

Catrina Hooten, President’s List
Morgan Patterson, President’s List

Kaytlin Hunkins, Dean’s List
Tyler James, Honor Roll

Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Wesley Smith, Dean’s List

Hope Veroneau, Dean’s List

Matthew Martin, Dean’s List

Lebanon, Oregon
Joshua Gerig, Dean’s List

Little Elm
Kailey Doering, President’s List
Brady Wade, President’s List

Rachel Hughes, Dean’s List

Jacob Salazar, Honor Roll

Rebekah Lytle, President’s List

Rachel Henry, Honor Roll

Donna Moses, Dean’s List
Hannah Williams, President’s List

Emily Villarreal, Dean’s List

Tara Carroll, President’s List
Fred Zavala, President’s List

Kori Harrison, Honor Roll
Harlei Struck, Dean’s List

Stephen Featherston, Honor Roll

Kimberly Bogart, President’s List
Britt Boler, Dean’s List
Jacob Lehrer, Honor Roll

Emily Ball, Dean’s List
James Laney, Dean’s List

Midway, Arkansas
David Manolof, Dean’s List
Jessica Swonger, President’s List

Garrett Ford, Honor Roll

Mount Pleasant
Paul Chandler, President’s List
Maci Dorsey, President’s List
Joshua Dykes, Dean’s List

Zoe Emley, Honor Roll
Andrew Overmiller, Honor Roll

New Braunfels
Emily Dixon, President’s List
Adelaide Joralemon, President’s List
Travis Kiers, Honor Roll
Eric Lehr, President’s List

Carissa Higbee, President’s List

North Richland Hills
Lacey Eagan, President’s List

Larry Potter, Dean’s List
Destiny Ramirez, President’s List
Julie Yarbro, Honor Roll

Colton Horton, Honor Roll

Pipe Creek
Aryn Morris, President’s List

Grant Saltar, Dean’s List

Keeley McKinney, Dean’s List

Scott Wright, President’s List

Rio Hondo
Josue Garza, Dean’s List

Rising Star
Kinsey Nall, President’s List

Michaela Brandt, Dean’s List

Benjamin Blanchard, President’s List
Brian Blanchard, Dean’s List
Erin Blanchard, Dean’s List

Round Rock
Stephanie Rike, President’s List
Penny Stehlik President’s List

Rachel Carpenter, President’s List
Austin Miller, Honor Roll

Runaway Bay
Lainee Hasty, Dean’s List

San Angelo
Wesley Haman, Dean’s List
Juan Luna, Honor Roll
Adriana Mata, Dean’s List
Erin McCleer, President’s List

San Antonio
Brittany Brown, President’s List
DeVanté Donald, Honor Roll
Sabrina Martinez, President’s List
Collin Salyers, President’s List
Micah Smith, President’s List

San Saba
Caelob, Hardman, Honor Roll

Jenna Stuard, President’s List

Britni Hays, Honor Roll

Shadd Cole, Dean’s List

Michael Hazard, President’s List

Elizabeth Reynolds, President’s List

Cali Brockway, President’s List

Trophy Club
Chase Pittman, Honor Roll

Sierra Bennett, President’s List
Lillie McDonald, Dean’s List

Kayla Chadwick, Honor Roll

Ariana Rehm, President’s List

Valley Mills
Lance Bracco, Honor Roll

Chandler Clark, Honor Roll
Chelsey Harris, Dean’s List

Daniela Puente, Dean’s List

Kaitlyn Harrison, President’s List

Sidney Ganus, President’s List
Michael Nowak, Honor Roll

Morgan Andie McCoy, President’s List

Cassia Rose, President’s List

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( 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


Howard Payne University graduate Isaac Sommers prepares for Harvard Law School

Isaac Sommers photo for releaseBROWNWOOD – June 4, 2018 – Months before graduating from Howard Payne University in the spring of 2018, Isaac Sommers was already readying himself for the next step in his academic career.

He graduated May 5 from HPU with a double major in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy, and social science with an emphasis in jurisprudence.

Sommers was informed of his acceptance to Harvard Law School in March. He said he is quite excited about pursuing his unique opportunity this fall.

“Harvard Law School has plenty of resources and many areas of focus in terms of what is available to study, which will open a lot of doors for me,” said Sommers.

He said his educational path has been influenced through the instruction he has received at HPU.

“I’m interested in going into public service and working in government,” said Sommers. “The Honors Academy is very oriented toward people who want to go that route. The focus on civic leadership and public policy offered in the Honors Academy are two things that are very much related to public service.”

Dr. Matthew McNiece, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy director and associate professor of history and government, said that Sommers has been an excellent student in the Honors Academy.

“We’re incredibly proud of Isaac’s accomplishments both inside and outside the classroom,” said Dr. McNiece. “He is a tremendous example of the Honors Academy’s motto, ‘Facing the Future with Faith and Knowledge,’ and we are eager to see how God continues to use him for great things both at Harvard and beyond.”

During his time at HPU, Sommers was very active in campus activities and student leadership roles. He was particularly involved in Student Government (SGA), serving as a freshman class senator in fall 2014, sophomore class presiding senator from fall 2015 through spring 2016, SGA vice president from fall 2016 through spring 2017 and SGA president from fall 2017 through spring 2018.

Sommers was also the captain of the Moot Court team, was the vice president of Gamma Beta Phi national honors and service society and participated in Student Speaker Bureau for several years.

“Through his involvement in SGA, Isaac has faithfully served as an advocate for HPU students and the entire HPU community,” said Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president of student life and dean of students. “His love for the Lord, commitment to learning, sense of humor and concern for others have positively influenced our campus.”

His alma mater has also had a personal impact on Sommers.

“I started off much more introverted than I am now, though I still consider myself a pretty strong introvert,” he said. “HPU gave me the opportunity to come out of my shell in that sense and embrace the community that it has, because there really is a great community here.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( 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


Cutline: Recent HPU graduate Isaac Sommers is set to attend Harvard Law School in the fall.

HPU honors 70 students at Academic Awards Convocation

BROWNWOOD – June 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University honored 70 students for academic achievements at a ceremony held near the end of the spring 2018 semester. The students were recognized during the university’s annual Academic Awards Convocation.

Receiving awards were:

Skyler Schoolfield, Outstanding Mock Trial Student, Outstanding Student in Library Science

Brianna Weaver, English Academic Achievement Award
Cole Bene’, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Chemistry

Jay Holland, Outstanding Male General Kinesiology Student

Taylor Davis, Outstanding Music Major (Vocal) Lower Division

Reagan McKinley Grisham, Outstanding Upper Division Communication Studies Student
Emma Reed, Outstanding Model UN Student, Outstanding Student in Family Studies

Marissa Godbey, Outstanding Music Major (Vocal) Upper Division
Riley Morrison, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Engineering Science

Corey Martinez, Outstanding Male Athletic Training Student
Jordan Pitman, Outstanding Christian Studies Student

Djimonii Rai Jackson, Outstanding Student in Marketing
Khyce Randall , Paul Jay Cunningham Memorial Award

Jeffrey Gilseth, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Chemistry

Suzanne Schad, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Lower Division

Katie Ash, Outstanding New All-Level Teacher, Outstanding Candidate For Graduation In Computer Information Systems
Regina Dunlap, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Chemistry
Regina Mayrene Fleming, Outstanding Perseverance Award
Christopher Freeland, Outstanding Student Speaker Bureau Member, Texas All-State Forensics Squad
Kindell Hill, Outstanding Cross-Cultural Studies Student
Alsatia Jowers, Honor Award in Criminal Justice
Hannah Justice, Outstanding Upper Division Biology Student
Joel Justice, Outstanding History Student
Cheyanne Lovelady, Tami Pattillo Memorial Award
Seth Owen, Outstanding Male Physical Education All-Level Certification Student
Jay Sauce, Outstanding Biblical Languages Student
Isaac Sommers, Outstanding Government Student, Outstanding Moot Court Student
Andrew Stevenson, Outstanding New Secondary Teacher
Stephanie Tarigan, Outstanding Student in Mathematics
Caitlin Vincent, Outstanding Cross-Cultural Studies Student
Katelyn Zimmer, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Upper Division

Paighton McNeely, Outstanding Female General Kinesiology Student

Jordan Hahn, Glenn Hopp Outstanding Writing Award, Outstanding Lower Division Student Of Spanish, Outstanding Moot Court Student

Kristin Cunningham, Outstanding Female Physical Education All-Level Certification Student

Katie Straach, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher

Jaze Randolph, Outstanding Student In Accounting, Male ASC Medal of Honor Award

Ryan Wesley Mason, Outstanding Student in Accounting, Emphasis in Finance

Abraham Cooper, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Upper Division
Frank Ritter, Outstanding Non-traditional Student
Austin Caleb Throckmorton, Outstanding Student in Management

El Paso
Marina Sheets-Ochoa, Outstanding Swarm Yearbook Staff Member

Hanna Henson, Outstanding Bible Student, Honor Award in Psychology, Outstanding Student in Library Science

Seth Rainey, Outstanding Lower Division Communication Studies Student

Katelyn O’Conner, Outstanding Youth Ministry Student

Harker Heights
Jada Ciera Evans, Outstanding Student in Accounting

Lydia Heinrichs, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher
Sara Heinrichs, Most Promising Newcomer in Theatre

Lindsey Krueger, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Lower Division

William Noah Payne, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Engineering Science

Kathleen Cravey, English Academic Achievement Award

Abner Abdia Reyes, American Ideals Award

Julia Lynne James, Outstanding Student in Accounting

Morgan Patterson, Outstanding Student in General Biology

Little Elm
Rachel Crane, Outstanding Candidate for Graduation in Biology

Justin Hughes, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Engineering Science
Rachel Hughes, Outstanding Yellow Jacket Newspaper Staff Member

Rebekah Lytle, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Communication Studies

Sarah Abigail Brown, Outstanding Lower Division Student of Spanish, Jack White Character Scholarship Award

Mount Pleasant
Josh Dykes, Outstanding Christian Studies Student

Sierra Spruill, Honor Award in Social Work

Round Rock
Shawn Brody, HPU Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete

Michael Ryan Hazard, Outstanding Student in the School of Business

Holly Leatherman, Outstanding Student in Mathematics Education

Kayla Boucher, Female ASC Medal of Honor Award

Ethan Molnari, Outstanding Practical Theology Student

Ariana Rehm, Outstanding Female Athletic Training Student

Valley Mills
Lance Bracco, Outstanding Lower Division Biology Student

Kaitlyn Harrison, HPU Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete

Cassia Rose, Outstanding Upper Division Student of Spanish, Outstanding Achievement in Theatre

Montana Phelps, Outstanding Candidate for Graduation in Engineering Science

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( 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


HPU’s School of Education honors future teachers

Clinical teachers groupBROWNWOOD – May 31, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Education recently recognized 19 graduating seniors at the Clinical Teacher Reception, held to honor the completion of their work in the school’s Educator Preparation Program.

HPU students honored at the ceremony were Katie Ash, a technology applications major from Brownwood; Kelsy Bellah, an English/language arts/reading major from Brownwood; Sierra Bennett, an elementary education major from Tuscola; Erin Buergner, a math education major from Austin; Dorian Buitron, a music education major from Floresville; Kristin Cunningham, a physical education major from Carrollton; Rachel Henry, an elementary education major from Malakoff; Carissa Higbee, a music education major from Newark; Daniel Lemus, a physical education major from Salado; Corey Martinez, a physical education major from Bangs; Cassandra Mendez, a math education major from Brownwood; Abigail Miller, an elementary education major from Belton; Kinsey Nall, an elementary education major from Rising Star; Judy Pack, a music education major from Fort Worth; Matthew Parks, a physical education major from Georgetown; Tandi Patton, an elementary education major from Brownwood; Micah Smith, an elementary education major from San Antonio; Andrew Stevenson, a social studies composite major from Brownwood; and Fred Zavala, an English/language arts/reading major from McKinney.

Jeremy Bartley, pre-K teacher at the Jane Long Early Childhood Center in Abilene, served as the guest speaker for the event. Bartley earned two degrees from HPU: the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2014 and the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership in 2018.

Additional program participants included Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lauren Kirk, instructor of education; Susan Sharp, teacher certification officer; and Jill Underwood, instructor of education. Other representatives of the School of Education in attendance were Amy Briley, administrative assistant, and Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education.

Teacher reception candle ceremonyThe reception concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony. Area teachers, in whose classrooms the HPU students served as student teachers, lit candles held by the students, symbolizing the transfer of knowledge and the carrying forward of that knowledge into classrooms where these future teachers will serve.

“We are so proud of these students who have worked diligently to learn how to be the teachers of tomorrow,” said Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education. “Likewise, we are greatly indebted to teachers from Bangs, Brownwood and Early who have welcomed them into their classrooms, modeled great teaching and provided a venue in which the students could grow and develop as educators.”


Photo cutline: HPU students recognized at the Clinical Teacher Reception are, front row from left, Abigail Miller, Cassandra Mendez, Carissa Cromer, Kinsey Nall and Judy Pack; middle row from left, Tandi Patton, Sierra Bennett, Rachel Henry, Dorian Buitron, Erin Buergner and Fred Zavala; and, back row from left, Corey Martinez, Matthew Parks, Kelsy Bellah, Kristen Cunningham, Andrew Stevenson, Katie Ash, Daniel Lemus and Micah Smith.

Photo cutline: Teachers from the area light candles held by HPU students as part of the recent Clinical Teacher Reception held on the HPU campus.

HPU among beneficiaries of TexasBank’s generosity

TexasBank scholarship group photoBROWNWOOD – May 31, 2018 – Howard Payne University is among several local and area educational institutions benefitting from $88,000 in scholarship funds TexasBank has gifted this year through the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation.

In addition to HPU, which received $25,000, institutions benefitting from these funds include Tarleton State University and Texas State Technical College Regents Circle. Additional scholarships totaling $33,000 have been gifted to graduating high school students from Brown, Comanche, Eastland and Erath Counties.

“HPU is thankful for community partners like TexasBank,” said Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president for development. “The institution’s investment in HPU students and other students throughout the community and area will pay dividends for many years to come.”

TexasBank is a community bank committed to serving all customers in Brown, Comanche, Eastland and Erath Counties, as well as all neighboring counties. TexasBank has 10 conveniently located full-service banking centers in the region.

“The Board and Ownership of TexasBank is proud to continue our commitment to the education of future leaders of the communities we serve in Brown, Comanche, Eastland and Erath Counties,” said Greg Dodds, TexasBank president and CEO in a news release issued by the bank. “We believe the success of these up and coming leaders adds to the long-term stability of the economies of our communities. Making a real difference in the lives of these students and their families is what community banking is all about; it sets us apart and nothing is more rewarding.”


Cutline: Several HPU students are current recipients of the James and Dorothy Doss Scholarship distributed by TexasBank. Left to right: Hayley Megarity, Conner Drew, Devin Caraway, Keegan Torres, Greg Dodds (TexasBank president and CEO), Dr. Bill Ellis (HPU president), Jaze Randolph and Peyton Donahoo.

HPU’s accelerated Christian studies program provides the opportunity to earn two degrees in five years

Dr. Wheelington grad class 2018BROWNWOOD – May 31, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies offers its majors the opportunity to complete either a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry or a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry one year after completing an undergraduate degree.

Students who have completed 75 hours of classes and have a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply for entry to the accelerated master’s program. In the accelerated program, students take 12 hours of graduate classes as a part of their undergraduate studies. These hours also count toward a 42-hour graduate degree.

Anna Lauren Jeffers is a graduate student in the program set to graduate in December 2018. She is currently serving at West University Baptist Church in Houston as the KidStuff preschool ministry director. Because of this position, she has been able to see how the program is benefiting her.

“I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to work towards my master’s degree while also being surrounded and supported by professors who cared about me as a student, a person and a minister,” said Jeffers. “I am able to be a better minister because of this investment.”

The accelerated master’s program was begun in 2012 to allow Christian studies majors to efficiently earn a graduate degree. At HPU, there is financial assistance available to graduate students in the School of Christian Studies.

“We offer a church match scholarship for grad students,” said Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of graduate programs in the School of Christian Studies. “If a church gives $100 per hour, HPU will match that.”

He added that there is an additional benefit for students of the accelerated program. Typically, graduate courses in the School of Christian Studies will include students who are currently serving as full-time ministers in churches.

“When you are in this accelerated program, you are in classes with our other grad students, so you begin to build this great network of fellow students,” said Dr. Gramling. “If you can make some lifelong friends in ministry, they will be a wonderful network of encouragement and support to you in the days to come.”

Another important feature is the focus of the Christian studies faculty, staff and students.

“This is the part in the journey where students get to come and be prepared for what it is God is calling them to do,” said Dr. Gramling. “We do not want you to major in Christian studies unless you sense God has put it in your heart to do that. That is a great thing for us though because we get to welcome in men and women who feel called by God to a certain ministry vocation.”

Jeffers noted the ways her classes in the accelerated program have taught her and encouraged growth.

“I learned valuable lessons in the classroom that challenged me to think deeper and grow in knowledge,” she said. “I also learned equally important lessons out of the classroom about serving and loving people by watching the professors at HPU embody their teaching.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( 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


Cutline: Undergraduate students at HPU have the opportunity to take graduate courses through the accelerated Christian studies program.

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.


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).