Monthly News Archives: December 2014

Mustache fun funds mission trips for HPU students

MWOD 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 19, 2014 – Howard Payne University recently ended the fall 2014 semester with the annual “Mustache Wheel of Doom” fundraiser sponsored by the Baptist Student Ministry. The popular event raised $2,933 for missions and left several HPU men with interesting facial hair throughout final exams week.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while collecting money for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. Go Now sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The teams that raised the least amount of money spun the “Mustache Wheel of Doom” and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. This year’s choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“I love this time of year and all the fun that the Mustache Wheel brings,” said Keith Platte, HPU’s BSM director. “Plus, it is all for a good cause. It is great to see so many students who will do something silly or crazy for the sake of raising money to help others serve on mission trips. This is a pretty selfless act, especially when you see the kinds of beards some of the guys have to wear during finals week.”

Three HPU students will take part in Go Now experiences this year. Ruby Johnson, a senior from Alvarado, and Xavier McFalls, a junior from Amarillo, will both serve in the mission field during Christmas break. Rebekah Steadman, a December graduate from Fort Worth, will serve overseas during the spring semester.

Samuel Marich-Edwan, a senior from Arlington and Mustache Wheel of Doom participant, said he always enjoys the atmosphere the event creates.

“It is a great way to raise funds to help a wonderful cause, but it is also an incredibly fun and exciting event as well,” he said.

Platte said the BSM and the Mustache Wheel of Doom are both part of a bigger plan to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world.

“I am glad that we can do that by growing beards and raising money, but we are always looking for ways that we can share the love and joy of Jesus,” he said.


Photo cutline: Emily Selman, a sophomore from Red Oak, shaves stripes into the beard of Scott Turner, a junior from Georgetown, as part of HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser event. Photo by Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore.

HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2014 – Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 22, through Friday, Jan. 2, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Monday, Jan. 5.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement (The Harrison House), located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23, and Wednesday, Dec. 31, to process end-of-the-year gifts. The Office of Institutional Advancement may be reached at (325) 649-8006 or (800) 950-8465.

HPU’s spring 2015 semester begins Monday, Jan. 12.

HPU students partner with Brownwood High School in hands-on project

By Chandler Condra, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2014 – During the fall 2014 semester, senior business students enrolled in Human Resource Management (HRM) at Howard Payne University worked with Brownwood High School students on a project designed to strengthen the relationship between the two schools and create a hands-on learning experience for both parties.

In an effort to provide both sets of students with valuable experiences, the focus of the project was résumé and job interview strategies. HPU students were responsible for researching and developing comprehensive résumé and interview workshops for the high school students to attend.

HRM interview at BHS for webDr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, instructed the HRM students and oversaw the application of the project.

“Service learning is a growing field in education, and I believed there was a way to marry the needs of local high school students with the needs of college students,” said Dr. Kelley. “When you teach something you learn more about it, and I knew if I could get my students to teach something to the high school students, they would internalize more of the data they experience.”

The process began by creating three mock job descriptions outlining available positions in three fictitious companies. HPU students delivered brief presentations on the best practices in résumé writing and job interviewing, and the BHS students were tasked to create their own unique résumés for one of the three available positions and submit them for comments. After revising their résumés, the BHS students brought their final copies and were individually interviewed by students from the HRM class for the jobs the high school students selected.

Both sets of students gained hands-on experience with the materials they were tasked to create. For BHS students, this included a simulated testing of their knowledge of proper résumé format and interview etiquette. HPU students learned to design job descriptions, present created materials and interview prospective employees.

The Human Resource Management class consisted of 12 students who worked directly with more than 80 BHS students.

“Academics and the real world are very different,” said Dr. Kelley. “You don’t take tests in the real world. You create presentations, you seek value and you create value. That’s what we did here. We created value.”

Dr. Kelley was not alone in his thoughts. Coach David Edgin, who oversaw the BHS students involved, felt his classes gained much from the experience.

“Our résumé and interview assignment with HPU was beneficial for everyone involved,” said Edgin. “High school students need to know how to write professional résumés and how a true interview for a professional job should be handled.”

Students of the Human Resource Management class also believed the experience was valuable to them. Brittany Cavness, a senior from Lampasas, enjoyed the project and thinks it will help her when looking for a job in the future.

“The practicality of this project was refreshing,” said Cavness. “Having real-world experience is something we can use to get a leg up in our résumés.”

Dr. Kelley believes experiential assignments are the best way to introduce business students to the standards to which they will be held after graduation.

“When we use applied experiences, we require our students to meet a certain realistic standard of competence,” he said. “If you cannot sell your work then you bring no value to your employer. Brownwood ISD saw value in the project, so we are creating value for the community and thereby excelling at that level of competence.”


Photo cutline: HPU student J.T. Muzquiz conducts a mock job interview for a student at Brownwood High School.

HPU criminal justice students complete internships

crj interns december 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 12, 2014 – Five Howard Payne University students were recently honored for the successful completion of criminal justice internships. The students and their mentors were recognized at a luncheon held at a local restaurant.

Students are required to complete 150 hours of service which reflects three credit hours toward their major in criminal justice. 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.

According to Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, the internships are designed to match students’ interests and career goals.

“We’re very appreciative of the agencies and organizations that offer expertise and guidance to our students,” she said. “We’re fortunate to be able to collaborate with them and we feel confident that our students are positive additions to their workforce as well.”

Participating students were Austin Burt, senior from Sweetwater, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Kyle Dennis, senior from Placentia, Calif., intern at Haynes Law Firm; Paola Guzman, senior from Brownwood, intern at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Matthew Simons, senior from Bangs, intern at G4S: The Oaks; and Luis Solis, senior from Prosper, intern at Brownwood Police Department.


Photo cutline: Five HPU students recently completed internships in the field of criminal justice. The students are pictured with their internship mentors and members of the HPU faculty. Left to right: Dr. Paul Lilly, assistant professor of criminal justice, chief of police and director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Mike Smith, attorney with Haynes Law Firm; Kyle Dennis, intern at Haynes Law Firm; Bob Pacatte, assistant chief of police and assistant director of HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program; Austin Burt, intern at HPU’s Department of Public Safety; Paola Guzman, intern at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Bob Contreras, family liaison specialist at Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; Matthew Simons, intern at G4S: The Oaks; Tyrene Green, superintendent at G4S: The Oaks; Luis Solis, intern at Brownwood Police Department; and Mike Corley, chief of police at Brownwood Police Department.

HPU presents Spirit of Social Work Award to Brownwood’s Doak Givan

Spirit of Social Work Award 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 11, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Advisory Board recently presented its Spirit of Social Work Award to Doak Givan of Brownwood. The award is presented annually to an individual whose career reflects an outstanding contribution to the social work profession or to the field of human services in general.

Givan has served as executive director of Brownwood’s Family Services Center for 15 years, leading the program to increased outreach in the community. His previous career experience includes work with the Texas Department of Corrections, the Permian Basin Community Center for MHMR in Midland and the Betty Hardwick Center in Abilene.

He additionally has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America and serves as the chairperson of the Community Interagency Committee, the Community Children’s Advisory Committee and the Brown County Home Solutions Board of Directors. He also initiated the “Inside Out Dad” parenting program at the TR Havins Unit in Brownwood.

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology, is among the members of the Social Work Advisory Board.

“The board was honored to present this award to Mr. Givan,” he said. “His career and character greatly reflect everything that those in the field of human services strive to accomplish.”

Givan’s wife, Cynthia, serves as administrative assistant for the English and criminal justice departments at HPU. They have three sons – Wesley, Keith and Thomas, an HPU sophomore.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Dan Humeniuk, left, recently presented the Spirit of Social Work Award to Doak Givan, executive director of Brownwood’s Family Services Center.

Daniels, champion team inducted into ASC Hall of Honor

Champs Stuckly for webRICHARDSON, Texas – Meia Daniels and the 2007-2008 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in the Class of 2014-15 members of the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor.

The Class of 2014-15 represents the fifth group inducted to the ASC Hall of Honor and includes the first team to be honored. The American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor recognizes outstanding former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams who brought pride and honor to the conference through their contributions. On-campus recognition ceremonies are planned for each Hall of Honor inductee during February.

Meia Daniels and the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in between the women’s and men’s basketball home games on Saturday, February 21, 2015 in the Brownwood Coliseum.

Read the full story on the HPU Sports website.

Photo by Derrick Stuckly, Brownwood Bulletin

HPU law enforcement personnel participate in FBI forum

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – December 11, 2014 –Dr. Paul Lilly and Chief Bob Pacatte, the leaders of Howard Payne University’s Department of Public Safety, recently attended a Critical Incident and Active Shooter Response roundtable discussion and training session held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dr. Lilly serves as chief of police and assistant professor of criminal justice and Chief Pacatte serves as assistant chief of police.

The HPU law enforcement personnel were personally requested to attend the seminar by Janet Thomas, the event coordinator and FBI special agent. Dr. Lilly and Chief Pacatte contributed to the roundtable discussion along with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Abilene Police Department, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, the Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office command staff, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Eastland Police Department and personnel from Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.

The four-hour training and discussion session emphasized response procedures for critical incidents, specifically shootings in populated areas such as shopping and retail centers and college and university campuses.

Participants in the exercise were afforded the opportunity to share their training and field experiences as well as departmental response protocol for critical incidents. Additional topics included information about first-respondent approaches to incidents, maintaining and developing policies as guidelines during events and issuing imperative emergency medical attention to potential victims.

“I feel these types of training programs are extremely important,” said Dr. Lilly. “It’s unfortunate that we should have to train for these types of incidents, but that is the reality of the world in which we live today. The more we train, the better we are able to serve the public and respond professionally should something like this ever actually occur here.”

Dr. Lilly reports that the creation of HPU DPS has directly correlated to a noticeable crime reduction on and immediately around campus. He attributes this positive report to the advanced training of HPU DPS personnel and recruitment of veteran officers who have had years of experience in the law enforcement field, equipping them to provide proficient protection and service to the HPU community.

He also notes the importance of partnering with local law enforcement.

“As proud as we are of the advancements we have made with regard to campus public safety, we must note that the successes we have experienced would not have been possible without the help from the Brownwood Police Department and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office,” Dr. Lilly says. “By working together we make a united force ready to deal with these types of critical incidents, should they occur on or near the campus.”

HPU introduces scholarship for local law enforcement officers

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University has now made college degrees more affordable for local law enforcement officers. HPU recently announced that officers who are currently certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement may receive scholarships to take criminal justice classes at no cost for tuition. The officer must be working toward his or her first bachelor’s degree, meet unconditional admission requirements, major in criminal justice and be actively practicing in the field of law enforcement.

The scholarship is available at the Brownwood campus as well as at HPU’s New Braunfels and El Paso extension centers.

Chief Mike Corley of the Brownwood Police Department has worked closely with the faculty and students in HPU’s criminal justice program.

“We have HPU students intern at the police department almost every semester,” he said. “HPU’s criminal justice program is strong and growing by leaps and bounds. The scholarship for law enforcement personnel sounds awesome. What could be better?”

Lynn Humeniuk serves as associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and as director of HPU’s criminal justice program.

“HPU has a unique opportunity for peace officers who serve in the Central Texas area to aid them with obtaining their bachelor’s degrees,” she said. “It seems only fitting that we extend this scholarship to those men and women who choose to protect and serve.”

HPU is now enrolling for the spring semester. To get started, contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or

For more information about Howard Payne University, visit

HPU Commencement scheduled for Saturday

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s December Commencement will be held this Saturday, December 13, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer 93 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Mary E. Carpenter ’75, HPU faculty member in the School of Christian Studies from 2005 to 2012, will deliver the charge to the graduates.

Additional program participants include Corey Ash ’92, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Rev. Mary D’Alessio, pastor of Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church in Liberty Hill, S.C.; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of the graduate program in youth ministry and professor of Christian studies; Rev. Philip D. May ’79, minister of music at Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown; Dr. Justin D. Murphy, dean of the School of Humanities, professor of history and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy; Dr. Lois Patton, director of the graduate program in business administration and professor of business administration; Dr. Leslie Plagens, dean of the School of Business and professor of business administration; Debbie Prude ’78, president of HPU’s Alumni Association; Dr. Joe Robinson, director of the instructional leadership graduate program and associate professor of education; Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Carter Sharpe, first vice chairman of the HPU Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; Mary Elizabeth Vasquez, graduating senior from Blanket; Lana Wagner ’97, registrar; Dr. Julie Welker ’94, faculty president, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication Studies; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

The Commencement ceremony will be preceded on Friday, December 12, by Chime Out, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

HPU celebrates the season with Christmas on the Plaza

Christmas on the Plaza for webBy Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2014 – Music, Scripture readings, beautiful lights and hot cocoa once again marked the official beginning of the Christmas season at Howard Payne University. HPU recently hosted its annual Christmas on the Plaza event sponsored by the Student Activities Council (SAC).

Students, alumni and HPU personnel gathered around Old Main Tower on Tuesday, December 2, to sing carols led by Efrain Garces, sophomore from San Antonio; Bobby Martinez, sophomore from Copperas Cove; Rebekah Johnson, senior from Missoula, Mont.; and Daniel Palacios, sophomore from Kaufman. Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, then read the Christmas story as those gathered honored the birth and life of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Dr. Bill Fowler, associate professor of Christian studies and 1975 HPU graduate, was chosen by SAC as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Fowler talked about “going all in” just as Jesus exemplified through His life, earthly ministry and, ultimately, His death on the cross.

Following the program, the HPU maintenance team illuminated Old Main Park and other parts of campus with Christmas lights, which are enjoyed by both the campus community and those who drive by the university on Austin Avenue.

President Ellis and his wife, Dr. Diana Ellis, also opened their home to the student body for an evening of fellowship over hot cocoa and Christmas cookies.

Francie Clark, director of student activities, spoke of the significance of Christmas on the Plaza.

“This event serves as a great reminder that Christmas is not just about the lights and hot chocolate but also about the birth of Jesus,” she said. “We are very fortunate to work at a university where the president reads the biblical Christmas story to all the students. This tradition represents Howard Payne’s values and the blessing the university is to so many people.”


Photo cutline: HPU students celebrate Christmas on the Plaza festivities. Gathered around the Christmas lights are (back row, from left) Jaclyn Bonner, Caitlin Wood, Bailey Waller, Nicole Hamilton, Jenna Underwood and Mason Samsel. Students in the front row, from left, are Hannah Williamson, Emily Selman and Olivia Belsher.