Monthly News Archives: August 2012

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program announces fall classes

BROWNWOOD – August 31, 2012 – The Pre-College Music and Art Program at Howard Payne University is hosting fall classes in music and art. Classes and lessons are available for both children and adults, and the registration deadline for the fall semester is Friday, September 7.

Music classes offered this fall include: Piano, Voice, Strings, Guitar, Band Instruments, Kindermusik and the new Kids’ Musical Theatre Chorus, “Stinger Singers.” Art classes include Beginning and Intermediate Drawing and Painting.

“The Pre-College Music and Art Program at HPU is designed to serve Brownwood and the surrounding communities in providing music and art lessons to children and adults,” said Diane Owens, program director. “Our program fosters the love of music and art inherent in all students and seeks to develop these abilities in each individual. We welcome the opportunity to work with you and hope that your experiences will be fulfilling and rewarding.”

For more information about the program, contact Owens at 325-649-8501 or via e-mail at You may also contact Jill Holamon, administrative assistant in the School of Music and Fine Arts, at 325-649-8500 or via e-mail at

Dr. Richard Jackson speaks at HPU Convocation

BROWNWOOD – August 31, 2012 – Dr. Richard Jackson, Howard Payne University alumnus and interim pastor of First Baptist Church of San Angelo, addressed new and returning HPU students, faculty and staff during University Convocation on Wednesday. University Convocation marks the first chapel service of the 2012-13 academic year, and faculty and various administrators donned academic regalia for the service.

richard_jackson_for_webDr. Jackson earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from HPU and the Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He has served as pastor at churches in Bangs, May, Bluff Dale, Cleburne and Sulphur Springs. Dr. Jackson also served the North Phoenix Baptist Church for more than 25 years prior to his retirement. During his time in Phoenix, he led his church to grow from fewer than 500 members to 22,000 members. Dr. Jackson served on HPU’s Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004.

Additional Convocation program participants included Dr. Bill Ellis, president; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; Wendy Grooms, associate professor of math; Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, professor of theatre; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, faculty assembly president and professor of music; and Jeremy Bartley, Student Government Association president.


Photo cutline: Dr. Richard Jackson addressed the HPU community during University Convocation.

ICUT Foundation awards UPS scholarship to Howard Payne University junior

BROWNWOOD – August 28, 2012 – Samantha Guerrero, a Howard Payne University junior from Big Lake, has been selected to receive a $2,400 UPS Scholarship provided through the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation.

Guerrero, the daughter of Juan and Gloria Guerrero of Big Lake, is a 2010 graduate of Reagan County High School. She is an English major working toward her goal of becoming a teacher and coach, and she competes on both the tennis and cheer teams. She also works as a dance instructor at the Boys & Girls Club of Brown County.

The ICUT Foundation is a 510(c) (3) charitable organization operated by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, a statewide association for private colleges and universities. ICUT Foundation is an affiliate of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Since 1985, The UPS Foundation has funded more than $2.1 million in scholarships for Texas students. At the national level, CIC teams up with the UPS Foundation to distribute funding of the UPS Scholarship. This year, CIC awarded nearly $1.5 million in scholarships from its UPS Educational Endowment Fund to private institutions of higher learning across the nation, including a grant of $86,400 to the ICUT Foundation. The college or university awards these scholarships based on the students’ academic achievement and financial need.

“In 2011, The UPS Foundation and UPS employees directed $93.5 million in philanthropy and in-kind services, including more than 1.6 million hours of volunteer service, to the local communities in which we operate,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “UPS is proud to continue that spirit of giving by partnering with CIC to support thousands of students working to become the leaders of tomorrow by obtaining an education from our nation’s private colleges.”

The CIC-UPS Educational Endowment Fund, which is held and administered by CIC, funds the UPS Scholarships. Since its inception, this fund has generated nearly $49 million in scholarship aid to support more than 17,000 students.

“Through this national scholarship program, CIC and UPS are delighted to make it possible for 609 deserving young men and women to attend the private college or university of their choice,” said Richard Ekman, president of CIC. “By directly assisting students with significant financial need, CIC and UPS are helping a new generation of students achieve their dreams of a college education.”

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 640 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars and other programs that help institutions to improve the quality of education, administrative and financial performance and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

The UPS Foundation (NYSE: UPS), which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011, is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national and global communities. In 2010, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $95 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS foundation can be found on the web at UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight, the facilitation of international trade and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. UPS news is available at

The ICUT Foundation is the state member of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). The Foundation includes 36 member independent colleges and universities. It represents the interests and protects and promotes the general welfare of the non-profit, tax-exempt independent colleges and universities located in Texas.

Public invited to tomorrow’s memorial service for former HPU dean

BROWNWOOD – Aug. 24, 2012 – The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Dr. George Baker, former dean of Howard Payne University’s School of Music, tomorrow, August 25, at 2 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

george_bakerDr. Baker, who resided in Granbury, passed away Sunday, July 22, after a lengthy illness. He and his wife, Sara, who was an associate professor of music, retired from HPU in 1998. Along with Mrs. Baker, Dr. Baker served on the President’s Development Council at HPU.

“We hope you make plans to attend this remembrance and celebration of Dr. Baker’s life,” said Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music and fine arts and extended education at HPU. “Please remember also to keep his family and friends in your prayers during this time.”

There will be a reception immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the George and Sara Baker Music Endowed Scholarship Fund at HPU.


Photo cutline: HPU will hold a memorial service for Dr. George Baker, former dean of the School of Music.

HPU to offer courses in New Braunfels this fall

BROWNWOOD – Aug. 22, 2012 – Howard Payne University will offer classes this fall at New Braunfels High School in advance of a permanent campus currently in development. The university, which has partnered with the Veramendi development project to bring higher education to the Comal/Guadalupe County area, will offer five undergraduate courses beginning on Aug. 27.

HPU, based in Brownwood for nearly 125 years, will provide the same high-quality educational experiences in New Braunfels that generations of students have known at the main campus.

Until HPU’s permanent campus in New Braunfels is constructed as part of the exciting new Veramendi project, courses will be offered at New Braunfels High School and online. The fall 2012 schedule includes the following courses: College Algebra, Music Appreciation, Principles of Personal Fitness and Wellness, U.S. History to 1877 and American Government. Expanded course offerings including full-degree programs and the Master of Business Administration degree will be presented in future semesters.

Students studying at HPU in New Braunfels are also encouraged to look into the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership program, available entirely online. This program is designed to prepare students to become certified principals in the State of Texas.

Registration for the fall 2012 semester will take place Monday, August 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Oakwood Baptist Church, located at 2154 Loop 337 N in New Braunfels. High school students planning to take courses for dual credit should contact their high school counselors for more details about registration. High school graduates interested in pursuing course credit for degree purposes should call 325-649-8025.

To find out more, e-mail, call 325-649-8025 or visit For more information about the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership, visit

HPU welcomes new faculty for fall 2012

BROWNWOOD – August 21, 2012 – Howard Payne University welcomes two new faculty members beginning this fall. David Harmon will serve as professor of art and chair of the art department and Dr. Shane Kendell will serve as assistant professor of chemistry.

new_faculty_fall_2012_for_webHarmon received his bachelor’s degree from Webster University and master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He previously served as associate professor of art, director of the Red Planes Art Gallery and temporary chair at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan.; as professor of art at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga.; and as the chair and associate professor of art at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.

Kendell received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of New England at Armidale in Australia. He previously served at R.G. Cole High School in San Antonio and as an adjunct professor of chemistry at Northwest Vista College. He also taught freshman chemistry lab courses at Trinity University in San Antonio. In addition, Kendell had a chemistry lecturing appointment and served as a teaching assistant at the University of New England.

“These two gentlemen will make excellent additions to the faculty here at HPU,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “Howard Payne University faculty members demonstrate the highest academic standards and we are confident Mr. Harmon and Dr. Kendell will help foster our students’ intellect while also guiding them to become Godly men and women.”


Photo cutline: David Harmon, left, and Dr. Shane Kendell, recently joined the faculty at HPU

HPU athletic trainer treats injuries while sharing the word of Christ

BROWNWOOD – August 14, 2012 – According to Kara Taylor, assistant athletic trainer at Howard Payne University, no sports medicine professional would leave home without basic supplies.

“I keep rolls of athletic tape in my car, in my backpack,” she said. “It’s in our DNA, or maybe it’s drilled into us in school.”

csma_ukraine_for_webTaylor and other athletic trainers are always prepared to attend to people’s physical injuries but, more importantly, a unique ministry has developed in which they can also address their spiritual needs. Taylor volunteers as director of mobilization and volunteers with the Christian Sports Medicine Alliance (CSMA), an organization that allows sports medicine professionals the opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ through their gifts and talents around the world.

She recently returned from mission trips to Costa Rica and Ukraine sponsored by the organization. She had a similar purpose in each country – to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sports medicine.

“We were able to spend only a week in Costa Rica,” she said. “We spoke at the University of Costa Rica and Santa Paula University about the similarities and differences in sports medicine between their country and ours, and we showed them what we do in the field.”

They also had the opportunity to meet and demonstrate the importance of proper warm-ups and stretching to members of the University of Costa Rica men’s basketball team, a few local soccer teams and a ladies’ fitness group.

Taylor wrote periodic updates to her friends, family and supporters of her mission work back home. She shared an experience from a soccer game she attended.

“One girl had been hurt the previous day and the coach asked if I could take a look at her,” Taylor wrote. “She had a muscle strain in her thigh. I was able to explain to her and her family what that meant and how to take care of herself and get better. They were very thankful we were there. We were probably the only sports medicine professionals they had ever met. What a blessing to be able to help others!”

Just a few weeks after she returned home to the U.S., Taylor traveled to Ukraine where she spent two weeks working with the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) organization.

The first week in Ukraine, she assisted with the FCA Power Camp for children ages 8 to 16. Five schools and churches participated in the camp which encompassed lessons in 10 different sports.

“The children started every day by warming up and reciting the Lord’s Prayer,” Taylor said. “Then they would split up into huddles, grouped by ages. They would play sports and have a huddle time of Bible lessons. On the medical side of things, I gave out a few Band-Aids and cleaned up some scrapes and bruises. Praise God there was nothing more serious.”

During her second week in Ukraine, Taylor gave presentations to government sports medicine professionals in the city of Rivne and at the International University of Economics and Humanities.

“We took six 50-pound bags of donated supplies to leave with them,” Taylor said. “It was our way of saying, ‘The Lord has blessed us so we can bless you.’”

During her visits to both Costa Rica and Ukraine, Taylor was questioned about what it means to be a Christian sports medicine professional.

“We were able to share our testimonies and let the Lord lead how we spoke, without ‘preaching’ to them,” she said.

Mike Jones is HPU’s athletic director and Taylor’s supervisor.

“Kara has a heart for missions and a great desire to share Christ through sports medicine,” he said. “It is wonderful to see staff members volunteer their time to serve others and spread the Gospel. I am very proud of her and glad she is on our staff.”

Taylor developed many friendships in Ukraine and Costa Rica that will last a lifetime. She specifically mentions a young woman named Tanya.

“She knew no English, but wanted to learn,” Taylor said. “We began learning each other’s languages together and became fast friends. We worked on English and Ukrainian between sports and she sat with me during one of the huddle times at camp. I was able to tell her in Ukrainian that I love her and that I love Jesus Christ. The people of Ukraine are open, waiting to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and feel the love of our Savior. The opportunities for CSMA to be used there in the future are endless.”

The Christian Sports Medicine Alliance, made up of 45 volunteers from 15 states across the U.S., bills itself as “medicine with a mission.” It was founded in 2009 by Paul Waller, who serves as the president. The group aims to provide sports medicine professionals with opportunities to participate in mission projects around the world. For more information about the organization, visit or e-mail


Photo cutline: Kara Taylor, right, assistant athletic trainer at HPU, demonstrates sports medicine techniques while on a mission trip to Ukraine.

HPU students serve in leadership roles with FCA

BROWNWOOD – August 14, 2012 – Two Howard Payne University students recently attended a summer camp sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Taylor Castleberry, a senior business administration major from Paradise, and Corbin Young, a 2010 graduate and current student in the youth ministry master’s program from Brownwood, attended the FCA Sports Camp 2012 held at Texas A&M University.

young_and_castleberry_for_webYoung is the Brownwood-area representative for the FCA and has an office located on the HPU campus. He serves 31 secondary schools in addition to his role at HPU.

More than 1,000 people attended the sports camp at Texas A&M, making it the largest FCA camp in the country this year. Athletes competed and trained in their selected sports of football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, softball and cross-country and were instructed by some of the best high school coaches across the state. According to Young, however, it was much more than just a sports camp.

“Athletes grew stronger in their sport and, even more importantly, in their faith and relationship with our Father in Heaven,” he said. “Hundreds of students were introduced to the love of Jesus and received Christ for the first time, while others repented and re-committed their lives to God.”

Castleberry served as a small-group huddle leader.

“While practices and training were a success, God used our time on the field and free time together to open the door for me to share the love of Christ with the students all week,” he said. “These kids came from every walk of life, but we were all brothers. Getting to serve them strengthened my faith and love for Christ. I went to bless those kids, but was blessed tenfold in return. I thank God for that week and for the power of FCA.”

For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit Young also blogs about the Brownwood-area FCA at


Photo cutline: Corbin Young, left, and Taylor Castleberry are back on the HPU campus after attending the FCA Sports Camp 2012 at Texas A&M University.

HPU dean publishes book on autism

BROWNWOOD – Aug. 7, 2012 – Though not a student or employee at Howard Payne University, Joel Tucker is widely recognized on campus. His father, Dr. Robert Tucker, serves as the dean of music and fine arts and extended education at HPU, and Joel is on campus often, visiting his father or stopping by Fambrough’s Grill and Eatery for a burger and Coke. Dr. Tucker recently wrote a book inspired by Joel, titled “Like a Crown: Adventures in Autism.”

like_a_crown_coverTucker’s book discusses the trials and joys of raising Joel, 22, autistic from birth. Tucker and his wife, Clairissa, have two other sons – Jacob, 25, and Jordan, 19.

A television reporter from Abilene was on campus recently to interview Dr. Tucker and Joel.

“My other children excelled academically, but Joel is gifted in his own way,” Tucker told the reporter. “Raising him was a different set of challenges, so that changed our family dynamic quite a bit.”

Dr. Tucker began chronicling his experiences, which eventually led to 49 chapters of anecdotes, advice, conversations with his son and more.

The chapters are of different lengths and can be read in any order. The book is intended for parents, educators, employers, community leaders and anyone else whose life might intersect with autism in some way.

Clairissa Tucker designed the book jacket, which features a photo of Joel when he was 14. The meaning of the title, “Like a Crown,” is revealed at the end of the book.rob_tucker

Dr. Tucker said that Joel does not fully grasp the concept of having a book written about him, but that his son did enjoy seeing himself on television.

Published by AuthorHouse, the book is available in paperback and hardcover as well as electronically, and can be purchased from Barnes and Noble,, and Apple iBooks.

“‘Like a Crown’ is a delightful addition to Dr. Tucker’s record of scholarly contributions,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “In addition to this important work on autism, Dr. Tucker is a published composer, a sought-after music adjudicator and a frequent author in music education journals. I am proud of and appreciate his leadership as an educator, scholar and citizen.”

The Tuckers are available for workshops and presentations on Autism Spectrum Disorders. They hope their experiences will be beneficial to other families.

Writes Dr. Tucker, “We now recognize the blessing poured upon us in the form of this incredible boy – Joel. We did not deserve him, but he is ours just the same. For that we are lucky and thankful.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music and fine arts and extended education at HPU, recently published his first book, “Like a Crown: Adventures in Autism.”

HPU students work to fulfill the Great Commission

BROWNWOOD – Aug. 1, 2012 – The Gospel of Matthew records some of the last words Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples while on earth. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

go_now_groupFour Howard Payne University students, who served as close to home as Tennessee and as far away as Uganda, obeyed Christ’s Great Commission this summer through mission trips coordinated through the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions and HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

The students – Marlie Austin, Kathryn Burns, Bianca Monge and Rebekah Steadman – first learned of the opportunities through a missions fair held on the HPU campus. They then went through a process called Discovery Weekend, in which they were interviewed in small groups by the Go Now Missions team. The weekend helped them focus on discovering what God is doing in their hearts and shed light on where He was leading them to serve.

They chose mission fields based on God’s calling and opportunities available through Go Now.

“Go Now has been a great way for our Howard Payne students to serve because they match, equip and send students to places that are in need and places that are well-suited for each student,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s BSM. “It’s not the places that are special, but the people these students encounter while they are there.”

Austin, a sophomore from Garland, spent her summer in Orlando, Fla., volunteering at a resort for terminally ill children and their families. She also shared the Gospel at local hotel pools through Vacation Bible School-like activities and working with children in area churches.

“Marlie is a great example of someone who serves even when the chips are down,” said Platte. “I know that she had a tough time with being away from home for the entire summer, but she has seen God show her so many things. Most recently, her team performed some skits at a local church with a small congregation. Afterward, four people received Jesus in their lives. I am so proud of Marlie for being such a great witness for Jesus Christ.”

Burns, a senior from Segiun, and Steadman, a sophomore from Fort Worth, were partnered with a Nashville church to help establish more churches in the area and minister to people of various backgrounds.

“Kathryn and Rebekah were specifically tasked with reaching out to people of a Kurdish Arabic background in Nashville,” said Platte. “They helped to build relationships with the people in the area, shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and furthered the Kingdom. They worked with many refugees in the Nashville Metro area and built friendships with Buddhists, Muslims and many others of different faith backgrounds.”

Monge, a senior from Fort Worth, served in Uganda, where she lived in an orphanage and helped with the overall care of the children.

“I can think of no better ministry for Bianca,” said Platte. “She has a heart for people. While at Howard Payne, studying to be an elementary school teacher, she has also led our senior adult ministry. What a range of people to minister! I know that she will hold those Ugandan children in her heart and she was blessed to serve them.”

Platte shared a letter from Monge that summarized her experience in Uganda, as well as some of the experiences of the other missionaries serving this summer.

Monge wrote, “Within the two months I played several different roles for these children. I gently sat my “patients” down as I cleaned and bandaged their scraped knees and legs. I played the role of a chef as I helped prepare dinners for 25 people each night. I was a teacher when I prepared preschool activities to help the younger children learn their letters, or helped the older ones finish their homework.

“I was an artist when the kids marveled at my basic Play-Doh sculptures. I was a musician when I simply clapped my hands and sang silly made up songs to them. I was an athlete when I played ‘Duck Duck Goose’ and was never tagged. I was a washing machine when cleaning their clothes and a towel when they hugged me with their dirt-filled hands. I was a book when they wanted to be told a story and a pillow when they laid their heads on my shoulder to rest. I was a tree when they wanted to climb on my shoulders, arms and legs when playing outside. I was a student as they taught me daily how to have childlike faith and showed me what it looks like to have a joyous heart.”

Platte said the students gained more than they gave through their experiences.

“I am confident the things they will remember most will be the people they got to encounter and how God used them to help bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth,” he said. “They are taking the Great Commission seriously and I know that they will be changed individuals because of it.”


Photo cutline: Four HPU students served this summer through opportunities coordinated by Go Now Missions and HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. They are, from left, Kathryn Burns, Marlie Austin, Bianca Monge and Rebekah Steadman.