Monthly News Archives: January 2015

HPU alumnus Dr. Juan Andrade named a “Chicagoan of the Year”

Dr Juan Andrade Jr for webBROWNWOOD – January 30, 2015 – Dr. Juan Andrade Jr., a 1970 Howard Payne University graduate, was recently named a “Chicagoan of the Year (2014)” by Chicago Magazine. Originally from Brownwood, Dr. Andrade serves as president of the Chicago-based United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI).

After graduating from HPU, Dr. Andrade went on to complete a master’s degree at Antioch College in Ohio, doctoral and education specialist degrees from Northern Illinois University and a post-doctorate master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. HPU awarded Dr. Andrade an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 1999, one of five he has received to date.

The USHLI is one of the most powerful and recognized Latino organizations in the country, organizing and conducting nonpartisan voter registration and leadership development programs in 40 states. According to the organization, Dr. Andrade is the fourth of only five Latinos in history to be decorated by the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) “for the performance of exemplary deeds of service for the nation” and “promoting leadership and civic participation.” He also received the Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico, the nation’s highest honor presented to a civilian not living in Mexico.

Dr. Andrade remains a staunch supporter of HPU. In 1974, he founded the Dr. José Rivas Memorial Scholarship Fund and in 2001 created the Hispanic Alumni Fellowship Scholarship Fund to assist Hispanic students attending the university.

“Dr. Andrade’s continuous support of HPU is a blessing to the university, and we’re exceedingly proud of his accomplishments,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, president.

In a video produced by Chicago Magazine, Dr. Andrade said his career has been a great journey.

“I couldn’t have dreamed a dream bigger than what I’m living today,” he said.

He encourages young people to pursue their own dreams while reaching out to others.

“Servant leadership is not about how high you can climb,” he said. “It’s how wide you can reach. If we let our dreams drive our vision, we can be about the business of reaching far and wide. We can get our arms around as many people as we can and lift them up rather than just trying to elevate ourselves to the highest point possible.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Juan Andrade Jr., 1970 HPU alumnus, was recently named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago Magazine.

HPU to celebrate Black History Month with special Chapel service

BROWNWOOD – January 30, 2015 – Howard Payne University will celebrate the lives and achievements of African-Americans during the past 100 years at a Black History Recognition Chapel service on Wednesday, February 4, at 10 a.m. The service, to be held in the university’s Mims Auditorium, is hosted each year in honor of Black History Month.

HPU students and members of the HPU African-American Alumni Association will be the primary participants and act as narrators for the presentation. Alexandra Galloway ’11 serves as the association’s president. The program is written and directed by Wilbert Rogers ’75. Gladys Murray ’79 serves as the assistant coordinator and technical specialist.

The program will celebrate significant events and accomplishments from each decade, including a special remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

“We’re very thankful for the leadership of Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Murray in developing an educational, creative, and inspiring program for our campus community,” said Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students.

HPU honors 255 for academic success during fall 2014 semester

BROWNWOOD – January 29, 2015 – Howard Payne University honored 255 students for academic success during the fall 2014 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:

Taryn Tynille Massey, President’s List
Ryan Cade Smith, President’s List

Skyler Savanna Schoolfield, President’s List

Ruby Patricia Johnson, Dean’s List

Tori Ann Moore, Dean’s List

Whitney Nicole Turnacliff, President’s List

Kierstyn Lauren Evans, Dean’s List

Apex, N.C.
Kristen Nicole Terway, Dean’s List

Arkadelphia, Ark.
Rachel L. White, Honor Roll

Samuel Storm Marich-Edwan, Dean’s List

Erin Elizabeth Buergner, Dean’s List
Hannah Denise Gaskamp, President’s List
Rebekah Elizabeth Weaver, President’s List

Balch Springs
Edgar Villa, Dean’s List

Callie Ann Adams, Dean’s List
Don L. Greenwood, Honor Roll
Victoria Lee Hardin, President’s List
Courtney Caprice Seybert, Dean’s List
Matthew Allen Simons, Honor Roll
Kaitlin Nicole Vernon, Dean’s List

Bryan Austin Baker, Dean’s List

Conner Trent Fisher, President’s List

Big Spring
Ethan Michael Yeats, President’s List

Katrina Nicole Mann, Honor Roll
Jakob Stefan Morgan, President’s List
Trevor Christopher Ray, Dean’s List
Cullan Ross Tidwell, President’s List
Mary Elizabeth Vasquez, Honor Roll

Bloomfield, N.M.
Shaefer Mcintyre Church, Honor Roll

Blooming Grove
Amy Danielle Baskin, President’s List

Daniel Edward Harris, Honor Roll
Isaac Conrad Sommers, President’s List
Danielle Paige Strickland, Honor Roll

Janis Dianne Groves, President’s List

Micah Brannan Huebner, Dean’s List

Allison Victoria Eaton, President’s List

Luis Arturo Rodriguez Ortiz, Dean’s List

Christy Renee Ash, Dean’s List
Melissa R. Bernal, President’s List
Blake Lawton Biessener, President’s List
Shelby Nicole Byrd, Honor Roll
Christina Calleros, Dean’s List
Selena Leonor Castillo, Honor Roll
Dustin Jayme Crager, Dean’s List
James David Crow, Dean’s List
Presley Neshaydith Davila, President’s List
Raymundo Delgado, Honor Roll
Jesus Antonio Esparza, Dean’s List
Lexie Shana Farar, Honor Roll
Justin Allen Fisher, Dean’s List
Chelsea Nicole Garcia, President’s List
Shelby Dale Glover, Dean’s List
Amanda Carlie Gober, President’s List
Kellee Taylor Morgan Greenwood, Honor Roll
Stephanie Ann Gutierrez, President’s List
Michael Jeffrey Harmon, Dean’s List
Christy Benae Hazelwood, President’s List
Matthew James Hazelwood, Dean’s List
Molly Jane Hull, Honor Roll
Kelcie Michelle Hunter, President’s List
Jerry Talton Hurt, President’s List
Cynthia Lisett Ibarra, Honor Roll
Megan Michele Irwin, President’s List
Alsatia Reighn Jowers, Honor Roll
Summer Christine King, President’s List
Kindry Cruz Kirbo, President’s List
Bethany Mae Lee, President’s List
Adam Justin Lloyd, Dean’s List
Kensey Dena Martinez, Honor Roll
Bridgette Taylor Mayfield, Honor Roll
Natalie Ann Mayo, Honor Roll
Dillon Layne McDugle, Dean’s List
Shauntel Charity McGlothin, Dean’s List
Lindsey Rachel McKinney, Honor Roll
Saulo Elias Mendoza, President’s List
Jason Alexander Murphy, Honor Roll
Kristin Maike Musgrove, Honor Roll
Tandi Joy Patton, Honor Roll
Andrea Shannon Peaster, President’s List
Sydnee Paige Petty, Dean’s List
Stormy San Miguel, Dean’s List
Shana Diann Sliger, Dean’s List
Taylor McKay Snow, Dean’s List
Chelsea Louise Taylor, Honor Roll
Chelsea Lynn Thomason, President’s List
Brogan Shea Turner, President’s List
Stephanie Michelle Upfold, President’s List
Sierra Montana Westerman, President’s List
Laura Caroll Whiteley, President’s List
Andres Jose Zambrano, Honor Roll

Aaran Wiley Hopkins, President’s List

Blake Tyler Arbogast, Honor Roll

Caleb Michael McConnell, President’s List

Kristian Jalyn Simpson, President’s List

Caddo Mills
Savannah Jade Moore, Honor Roll

Brooke Lyndsey Goad, President’s List

TaShana Rae Hooker, Dean’s List
Courtney Alyse Officer, President’s List

Cedar Park
Emily Janice Peisker, Dean’s List

Garrett Dean Ratliff, Honor Roll

Ruth Ann Davis, Dean’s List

Cathryn Michaela Rasbury, Dean’s List

Neal Edward Kucinski, Honor Roll

Jessica Nicole Morales, Dean’s List
Allison Kate Straach, Dean’s List

Nathan Wayne Byrd, Dean’s List
Kaeli Breann Goodgion, Honor Roll
Angela Rose Parker, Dean’s List
Jaze Mance Randolph, President’s List
James Matthew Smith, President’s List

Copperas Cove
Anthony Dane Bryant, Dean’s List

Corpus Christi
Marcos Jeffrey Corley, Honor Roll

Cross Plains
James Lowell Sullivan, President’s List

Kelsan Marie Wolverton, President’s List
Sharon Allen Wolverton, Honor Roll

Bridgette Lee Cummings, Honor Roll

Dripping Springs
Elliott Nicole Gray, Honor Roll

Clarissa Leigh Toler, Dean’s List

Ryan Mathew Contreras, Dean’s List
Thomas Harrison Givan, Dean’s List
Kevin Fitzgerald Holamon, President’s List
Lillian Murselle McMillan, President’s List
Joanne Jeanette Melton, Dean’s List
Kristen Alexandra Perry, Honor Roll
Christine Nicole Salmon, Honor Roll
Wesley Timothy Smith, Honor Roll
Sydni Brooke Thompson, President’s List

Tiffani Rose Peeples, President’s List
Cody Neal Perrin, Honor Roll

El Paso
Roberto Francisco Godinez, Honor Roll
Christina Noriz, Dean’s List

Olivia Ann Belsher, Dean’s List

Luis Anthony Robles, President’s List

Fort Worth
Hannah Joan Ball, President’s List
Kevin Ray Leis, Dean’s List
Vivian Thi Nguyen, Dean’s List
Rebekah Lindsay Steadman, Honor Roll
Hannah Elise Williamson, Dean’s List

Chandler Jacob Condra, President’s List
Tate Sullivan, President’s List

Will Orion Roberts, Dean’s List

Amanda Ruth Driggers, President’s List

Gage Logan Smith, Dean’s List

Marlie Amanda Austin, Honor Roll
Rachel Marie Ellington, Honor Roll

Michael Clifton Bailey, Honor Roll
Rachel Ann Mahagan, President’s List
Sydney Drew Spencer, President’s List
Cameron Andrew Wong, Dean’s List

Tolli Bre Wylie, President’s List

Julie Marie Hart, Dean’s List
Jody Michael Loudamy, President’s List

Evan Andrew Fleming, Honor Roll

Michelle Elaine Teague, Dean’s List

Sierra Maurette Damron, Dean’s List
Tyler Kirk Jones, Dean’s List

Grand Prairie
Tayler Brittany Rushing, Honor Roll

Anna Lauren Jeffers, Dean’s List

J Brian Bailey, President’s List
Richard Austin Young, President’s List

Harker Heights
Derek Nathan Anderson, Honor Roll

Taylor Kay Reid, President’s List

Lydia Mae Heinrichs, President’s List

Jessi Nicole Jordan, President’s List

Tonya Kara Bloomer, President’s List

Carrie Deann Leach, President’s List

Iowa Park
Joshua Lee Farquharson, Honor Roll

Kaleigh Jo Tankersley, President’s List

Adam McCoy Jones, Honor Roll
Abner Abdia Reyes, Dean’s List

Chelsey Breanne Cathey, Dean’s List

Kindell Amon Hill, Dean’s List

Kevin Benjamin Domingue, Dean’s List

James Vincent Abbatiello, President’s List

Keandra Chante Gray, Dean’s List
Kaytlin Dianne Hunkins, President’s List
Karyea’ Tayon Oliver, Dean’s List

Brett Ollen Quackenbush, Dean’s List

Brittany Morgan Cavness, President’s List
Jennifer Lynn Hilla, President’s List

Landrum, S.C.
Mason Joseph Bird, Dean’s List

Las Cruces, N.M.
David S. Goniotakis, Dean’s List

Dulcie Nicole Pepe, Honor Roll
Ethan Zachary West, Dean’s List

Liberty Hill
Mason Marie Samsel, Dean’s List

Rachel Elizabeth Hughes, Dean’s List

Jaclyn Rose Bonner, President’s List
Katie Rose Bonner, President’s List
Rebekah Joyce Lytle, President’s List

Desarai Lynn Beatty, Dean’s List
Rebecca Danielle McFarland, Dean’s List
Amber Rose Shipman, Dean’s List

Fred Zavala, President’s List

Lazhay Tranisha Winn, Dean’s List

Hope Elizabeth D’Alessio, Honor Roll
Jeffery Grant Franklin, Honor Roll

Rebecca May Blohm, Honor Roll
Tyler Christopher Colburn, Honor Roll
Gabriella Glenn Guest, Dean’s List
Connor John Roberts, Honor Roll

Caitlin Courtney Wood, Dean’s List

Mineral Wells
Gabriella Marie Kindle, Dean’s List

Candace Leeann Montgomery, Dean’s List

Andrew William Overmiller, Honor Roll

New Braunfels
Dallas Joe Freeman, Dean’s List

Carissa Caley Cromer, President’s List

Rebecca Nicole Hamilton, President’s List

Jacob Grant Cowling, Honor Roll

Christopher Glen Mitchell, President’s List

Keaton James Fletcher, Dean’s List

Placentia, Calif.
Kyle James Dennis, President’s List

Kelsie Lyn Piland, President’s List

Jorden Alexander Young, Honor Roll

Luis Alfredo Solis, Dean’s List

Red Oak
Tiffany Michelle Bullock, Dean’s List
Brittany Taylor Davis, Dean’s List

Ivyanne Alyssa Nichols, President’s List

Richland Hills
Christian Dawnleigh Havens, Dean’s List
Luke G. Jester, Dean’s List

Rising Star
Emily Louise Murphree, President’s List
Dale Ross Self, Honor Roll

Cantrell Oldham Miller, Dean’s List

Round Rock
Shawn Michel-Alexa Brody, Dean’s List

Adrianna Nicole Perez, Honor Roll

Royse City
Hannah Marie Strebeck, President’s List

Thomas Parker Kyle, President’s List

San Angelo
Kyndal Nicole Broome, Dean’s List
Cara Ann DeLoach, President’s List
Kristin Leeann Haman, President’s List

San Antonio
Jasimine Monae Bryant, President’s List
Angelica Maria Gray, President’s List
Victoria Rene Krawczynski, President’s List

San Juan
Lorien Elisse Rubio, Honor Roll

Sarah Jane Van Remmen, Dean’s List

Vanessa Mae Marquez, Dean’s List

Ashley Paige Krueger, Dean’s List

Braxton Stone Clark, Dean’s List

Colette Cailin Wilcoxen, Dean’s List

Paula Michelle Johnson, Honor Roll

Joel Torres Muzquiz, Dean’s List

Courtney Jean Tatum, President’s List

Michael Ryan Hazard, President’s List
Bryson Taylor Wallace, Honor Roll

Zachary Paul Eller, President’s List
Macy Catherine McPherson, Dean’s List

Jack Burton Wells, Dean’s List

Taryn Cheney Cover, President’s List
Ethan Chase Molnari, Dean’s List

Sierra Dawn Bennett, Dean’s List

Camryn Leigh D’Rubio, Honor Roll

Diana Rebeca Puente Chavar, President’s List

Waurika, Okla.
Courtney Elise Howard, Honor Roll

Michael Nathan Snow, President’s List

Andrew Kirk Stevenson, Dean’s List

Patrick Brady Hibbitts, Honor Roll

Lacy Harrison Culpepper, President’s List

HPU graduates 76 at Commencement in December

BROWNWOOD – January 29, 2015 – Howard Payne University graduated 76 students during its Commencement ceremony held at the close of the fall 2014 semester.

Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer, and other university representatives conferred the degrees.

Students must have a 3.55-3.69 grade-point average to graduate Cum Laude; a 3.70-3.84 GPA to graduate Magna Cum Laude; and a 3.85-4.0 GPA to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Graduates included:

Alexandria, La.
Jeremy Andrew Perkins – Bachelor of Science in mathematics

Tori Ann Moore – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Whitney Nicole Turnacliff – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Apex, N.C.
Jessica Marie Terway – Bachelor of Arts in English, language arts, and reading (grade 4-8)

Garrett Samuel Garner – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Jennifer Michelle Goff – Bachelor of Arts in family studies

Balch Springs
Edgar Villa – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing

Joey Lee Lewis – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Christopher Paul Martinez – Bachelor of Arts in English
Jessica Lynann Ramirez – Bachelor of Arts in social studies composite (grade 8-12) and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy
Matthew Allen Simons – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Jamie Michelle Tish – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Big Lake
Samantha Lynn Guerrero – Bachelor of Science in English, language arts and reading (grade 8-12)

Mary Elizabeth Vasquez – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages and English, Cum Laude

Bracken Cole Bean – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry

Kassey Diane Nix – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Dillon Cole Adams – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Jeremy Holland Newman Bartley – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Carson Brent Burns – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Tyler Sean Cooper – Bachelor of Music in music-instrumental (all-level certification)
Shelby Jayne Creed – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Jeffrey Scott Edmondson – Bachelor of Science in business administration, Magna Cum Laude
Stephanie Ann Gutierrez – Bachelor of Arts in social work
Paola Guzman – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice
Jeremy Allen Hogue – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development), Magna Cum Laude
Audrey Faye Lasserre – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies
Bethany Mae Lee – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication)
Matthew James Lowrey – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)
Ana Laura Romero – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Coby Nicole Sauce – Master of Business Administration in business administration
David Philip Sheffield – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Stephen Arthur Sullivan – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Aaran Wiley Hopkins – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies, Summa Cum Laude

Canyon Lake
Ashley Marie Krohn – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Jessica Nicole Morales – Bachelor of Science in psychology

James Matthew Smith – Bachelor of Science in mathematics, Magna Cum Laude

Commerce, Mich.
Stephanie Marie Boggs – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Tresta Larae Donahoo – Bachelor of Science in psychology
Raymond Charles Gerth – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Kevin Fitzgerald Holamon – Bachelor of Science in political science/pre-law, Summa Cum Laude
Kevin Edward Kirk – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Amber Dawn Poulter – Bachelor of Arts in English
Bo Grant Ross – Master of Business Administration in business administration

El Paso
Lorena Anchondo – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration
Itza Mar Jaramillo – Bachelor of Arts in social studies composite, Cum Laude
Davita Solorzano – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration
Jacque Lynn Valdez – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business management, Magna Cum Laude

Fayetteville, N.C.
Tracy Lynn Tucker – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (Bible concentration), Summa Cum Laude

Fort Worth
Rebekah Lindsay Steadman – Bachelor of Arts in social work

Lucas Wayne Creed – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Kara Ann May – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Edward Scott Martinez – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Tonya Kara Bloomer – Bachelor of Arts in social work, Summa Cum Laude

Amanda Michelle Cruddas – Bachelor of Arts in English, language arts and reading (grade 8-12), Magna Cum Laude

Lisa Janelle Stogner – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Lone Oak
Christopher James Schumann – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)

Jacob Josaiah Carrillo – Bachelor of Arts in communication (organizational and leadership communication)

Hope Elizabeth D’Alessio – Bachelor of Arts in family psychology

Missoula, Mont.
Rebekah Leigh Johnson – Bachelor of Arts in history (general)

New Braunfels
Linda Selma Cox – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Oak Leaf
Courtney Elizabeth Beene – Bachelor of Arts in English, language arts and reading (grade 8-12)

Corgan Mitchell Andrews – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

Placentia, Calif.
Kyle James Dennis – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Luis Alfredo Solis – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice

Red Oak
Raven Diane Wilson – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

San Antonio
Jasimine Monae Bryant – Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Magna Cum Laude
Rebecca Marie Etter – Bachelor of Arts in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Cum Laude
Savannah Rose Mora – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Anthony Jase Waller – Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Joel Torres Muzquiz – Bachelor of Business Administration in management

Corbin Heath Young – Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Jose Angelo Mata – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Austin James Burt – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Macy Catherine McPherson – Bachelor of Science in biology, Magna Cum Laude

Neva Marie Bowers – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Cum Laude

James Russell Snow – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

HPU’s New Braunfels Center begins spring 2015 with increased enrollment

HPU NB Sign for webBROWNWOOD – January 22, 2015 – Fifty students are enrolled for the spring 2015 semester at Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center, continuing a trend of steady growth for the center since it first began offering classes in spring 2013.

“We began with six students in 2013 and have since graduated eight Master of Business Administration students with three more walking the stage at Commencement this May,” says campus administrator Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

The New Braunfels Center will also graduate its first undergraduate student at the May Commencement services to be held at HPU’s main campus in Brownwood.

Some of the center’s enrollment growth is due to students enjoying the easy transition from area high schools to HPU.

“My professors this year were some of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” says Abby Congdon, HPU New Braunfels freshman and 2014 New Braunfels High School graduate. “They were unbiased, caring and always willing to help me, whether it was class related or not.”

Tara Roussette, MBA student and regional director for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, says she chose to further her education at HPU because of the intimate class sizes, rigorous curriculum, relevance to her career and perfect location in New Braunfels.

“I am a resident of Comal County, I work in Comal County and now I am proud to say that I am a student in Comal County,” she says.

DJ Freeman, a New Braunfels resident and father of three, notes that the experience of going back to school has been easier than he imagined.

“As an adult, with a growing family and a busy work schedule, HPU courses have made achieving a college education easier than I could have ever imagined,” he says. “The staff and faculty have helped me immensely as I have begun this journey in pursuit of a college degree.”

1259 Building for webThe HPU New Braunfels Center administrative offices are located at 1259 Loop 337, Suite 100. MBA classes are held at the 1259 Building and undergraduate classes are held at New Braunfels High School until a permanent campus is built in conjunction with the Veramendi project. Visit to register for upcoming preview events and to learn more about how HPU New Braunfels Center can help you reach your educational goals.


Photo cutlines:

HPU NB Sign – A permanent HPU New Braunfels campus will be constructed in conjunction with the Veramendi development project.

1259 Building – Until the new campus facilities are constructed, the HPU New Braunfels Center’s administrative offices are located at 1259 Loop 337, Suite 100. MBA classes are held at the 1259 building and undergraduate classes are held at New Braunfels High School.

Howard Payne University to host Jazz Trumpet Day

By Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – January 22, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host a Jazz Trumpet Day on Saturday, January 31, presenting free clinics and concerts for teachers and students.

Keith Fiala for web_newsThe general public is invited to attend the entire event, but the featured program will be the jazz concert scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Mims Auditorium. This final event of the day will include performances by Keith Fiala and Gannon Phillips and will showcase the talent of the HPU Jazz Ensemble. Prior to the concert, both Fiala and Phillips will host clinics on big band and jazz techniques in the Davidson Music Complex.

Fiala, author, recording artist and lead trumpet player for Maynard Ferguson Big Band, is known for his versatile and innovative style. He currently works as a dedicated educator and clinician for Temple College and recently released an album called “Messages from the Other Side,” a collection of his own compositions and classic works.

phillips thumbPhillips is an accomplished professional trombonist, educator and clinician living in Abilene. He is an HPU graduate and became the low brass instructor at the university in 2014.

Stephen Goacher, professor of music, directs the HPU Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, said the concert will be a special experience for audiences.

“There is a high-voltage energy that results when accomplished professional musicians join with our enthusiastic students in creative performance,” he said. “This is a rare opportunity open to everyone in the greater Brownwood community to join us and share in a great musical event.”

For more information, visit or call HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


Photo cutlines: HPU will host Keith Fiala as he presents free clinics and concerts for area teachers and students.

Gannon Phillips, HPU trombone instructor, will also host clinics on big band and jazz techniques during HPU’s Jazz Trumpet Day.

HPU students advance to semifinals at national Moot Court tournament

By Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – January 22, 2015 – Howard Payne University students Isaac Sommers and Katie Rose Bonner advanced to the semifinals at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament held at Florida International University in Miami on January 16 and 17.

ACMA National Tournament for webFor the individual speaker awards, Sommers, a freshman from Boerne, placed third overall, while Bonner, a senior from Lytle, placed thirteenth overall. The awards were given to the top 30 speakers, with a total of 160 at this year’s competition.

Moot Court offers undergraduate students the opportunity to cultivate their understanding of law interpretation, analytical debate, jurisprudence and case precedents through Supreme Court argument simulation. Approximately 400 teams competed at 10 regional tournaments from October to November, allowing the top 20 to 25 percent to proceed to nationals.

For the first day of the tournament, each team competed in three rounds of competition. Two-judge panels evaluated the rounds, resulting with only six out of 80 teams winning all six judges’ ballots at the end of the day. Sommers and Bonner were one of those six teams, securing them a top position in the round of 32.

The final day of the tournament showed Sommers and Bonner defeating the College of Wooster and Texas A&M University to face the former national champions from Patrick Henry College. The HPU team worked through a challenging round of arguments and a tough panel of judges to beat the Patrick Henry team and advance to the final four.

In the final four round, Sommers and Bonner faced another Patrick Henry team and were narrowly defeated by a two-to-one decision from the three-judge panel.

For the first time, HPU also competed in the national Brief-Writing Competition, during which Sommers and Bonner were awarded the ninth best respondent brief from the 10 best submitted from each side of the argument (petitioner and respondent).

Professor Lorianna Kelley coaches the Moot Court students and traveled with them to the event. Dr. Justin D. Murphy serves as HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

“HPU has not advanced this far at the national tournament since Professor Kelley and Rob Welker were partners as students and won the championship more than a decade ago,” said Dr. Murphy. “HPU and the Academy are blessed to have students of the caliber of Katie and Isaac, and we are also blessed to have professors of the caliber of Professor Kelley.”


Photo cutline: Lorianna Kelley, center, coaches HPU Moot Court students including Katie Rose Bonner, left, and Isaac Sommers, right, who recently advanced to the semifinals at a national tournament.

HPU Currie-Strickland lectures to address Christianity, race in America

jennings for webBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2015 – “Being Christian in Racial America” is the topic for Howard Payne University’s upcoming eighth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics. The lectures will take place Thursday, February 12, and Friday, February 13, and are free to the public.

The Reverend Dr. Willie James Jennings, associate professor of theology and black church studies at Duke University Divinity School, will serve as this year’s guest speaker.

Thursday’s lecture, titled “The Risk of Being Christian in Racial America: Part One,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Jennings will deliver part two of the lecture on Friday beginning at 10 a.m. Both discussions will be held in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies, emphasized the timeliness of Dr. Jennings’ lectures.

“As recent events have so poignantly demonstrated, race relations continues to be a serious issue in America,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “It is essential that Christians learn to work together to improve relations among the people of our country and our world, because all people are created by God and deeply loved by Him.”

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dr. Jennings received his Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and theological studies from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.; and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C. Dr. Jennings, a systematic theologian, teaches in the areas of theology, black church and cultural studies, as well as post-colonial and race theory.

The author of numerous articles, Dr. Jennings’s recent work, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, published by Yale University Press, won the 2011 American Academy of Religion award for best book and is now becoming a standard text read in colleges, seminaries and universities. Dr. Jennings is also the recipient of the 2014 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his groundbreaking work on race and Christianity.

In addition to being a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities and seminaries, Dr. Jennings is also a regular workshop leader at pastor conferences. He is a consultant for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and for the Association of Theological Schools.

He serves along with his wife, the Reverend Joanne L. Browne Jennings, as an associate minister at the Mount Level Baptist Church in Durham, N.C. For many years, Dr. Jennings and Rev. Joanne Jennings served as interim pastors for several Presbyterian and Baptist churches in North Carolina. The Jennings have two daughters, Njeri and Safiya.

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

Admission is free but reservations are requested. For reservations or more information, please contact Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies by e-mail at or by phone at (325) 649-8403.


Photo cutline: The Reverend Dr. Willie James Jennings will address the topic “Being Christian in Racial America” during HPU’s eighth annual Currie-Strickland lectures.

HPU’s Natividad joins board of BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative

David Natividad for webBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2015 – David Natividad, a Howard Payne University admission counselor, recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Education Initiative (HEI) within the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The goal of the HEI is to prepare pre-kindergarten children for school and help students succeed through graduation and into college.

“The HEI works with young children and families to prepare them for school and it works with high school students who want to continue their education,” said Natividad, whose desire is to work with middle school and high school students. “We give information about colleges and also offer resources including GED preparation programs.”

Each year, the HEI, in partnership with the Convention’s Education Commission, raises funds to award at least 20 $1,000 scholarships to Hispanic students during the Hispanic Convention’s annual meeting.

Kevin Kirk, HPU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said Natividad is doing a great job leading the way for the university’s increased engagement with Texas Baptist Hispanic youth.

“We are very excited for the honor and for the opportunity David has to serve in this way,” Kirk said.

Photo cutline: HPU admission counselor David Natividad recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative.

Newest HPU master’s degree aims to improve lives through sports and wellness leadership

Hatcher and student for webBROWNWOOD – January 15, 2015 – Howard Payne University will soon offer a Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program to prepare those who are entering into or wish to advance in the sport and/or wellness industries.

Classes will begin in August for the fall 2015 semester and those interested are encouraged to attend one of two informational sessions to be held February 5 and February 19 at 6 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. Complimentary light refreshments will be served and those who attend will receive free admission to the Yellow Jacket basketball games that follow. The Lady Jackets will tip off at 5:30 p.m. each evening.

The SWELL program is an affordable option for those looking to impact lives through careers that emphasize the importance of health.

“Not only is SWELL the most affordable master’s degree in Texas for professionals entering or employed in the sport and wellness industries, we’ve also designed it to be one of the most accessible,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor.

The program is designed for both full-time and part-time students with most classes scheduled in the evenings to accommodate work schedules. Limited campus housing and board plans are available for those who may wish to live on campus. In addition, competitive graduate assistantships will be available to help offset the cost of tuition.

While many graduate programs across the country focus solely on either the sport industry or wellness industry, SWELL adapts the core knowledge and skill sets of each into a comprehensive program. Consequently, SWELL graduates may find greater career flexibility and opportunity for service.

“We’ve created a holistic program that includes instruction in a variety of topics that revolve around impacting the quality of life for American citizens,” said Dr. Hatcher. “As with all HPU academic programs, the SWELL courses will be enriched by the university’s faith tradition.”

Courses include instruction on legal and ethical aspects of sport/wellness, marketing and public relations, event planning, resource management and more. Students will enter the SWELL program in cohort groups, beginning fall 2015. The program consists of 10 courses and 30 graduate hours, and can be completed in 20 months.

For more information about the SWELL program, visit or e-mail


Photo cutline: Dr. Graham Hatcher, right, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor, serves as director of HPU’s new Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program.