Monthly News Archives: July 2015

HPU’s Dr. Nancy Romig presents Fitzgerald paper at Boston conference

Nancy Romig for webBROWNWOOD – July 31, 2015 – Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at Howard Payne University, recently presented a paper at the 26th annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

The ALA is a national association that encourages scholars to come together and share their research on and strategies for teaching American authors and writings.

Dr. Romig’s paper, titled “Fitzgerald’s Crisis of Masculinity in The Great Gatsby,” was presented during a discussion hosted by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Each presentation for the panel centered on Fitzgerald’s life and his works.

“My paper examined Fitzgerald’s personal life and how his anxieties about and desires to meet social expectations for masculine behavior caused him to construct the central male characters in The Great Gatsby, like Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan, in definite and extreme ways,” Dr. Romig said.

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, said he is proud of Dr. Romig’s academic accomplishments.

“Dr. Romig has struck a great balance between professional development and the needs of her students,” he said. “I’m impressed with the level of scholarship she is achieving.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at HPU, recently presented a paper on F. Scott Fitzgerald at the annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars program sets new attendance record

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 23, 2015 – A record number of children from around Texas attended this year’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs at Howard Payne University. A total of 111 children attended the five-day program which included lessons in robotics, 3D printing, science, music and physical education.

energy wars for webDr. Julie Welker, director of the program, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, believes the quality of the program and expertise of the instructors contributed greatly to the program’s success.

A wide variety of activities were offered throughout the week to expose students to different aspects of the arts and sciences.

“Students designed their own items and printed them on a 3D printer, designed and programmed their own wind-turbine robots, created stepping stones from recycled materials from Kohler and designed and built wind turbines and other self-propelled engines,” said Dr. Welker.

Dr. Welker was impressed by the initiative of the students during the week.

“This year’s student group was exceptional,” she said. “The students were hard-working and anxious to learn all about the different issues of energy conservation, sustainability practices and technology. Howard Payne is all about engaging our world with intellectual curiosity, and it was exciting to see so many local children join us this year.”

Instructors of the Young Scholars program, for children in first through third grades, included Deanna Erxleben, instructor of music at HPU; Keith Taylor, robotics coach at Early Elementary School; and Megan Wilson, ceramic project engineer at Kohler Company.

Instructors of the Summer Scholars program, for children in fourth through sixth grades, included Tami Hull, robotics coach at Early Middle School; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology at HPU; and Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems and chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems at HPU.

Melinda Elkins, Early ISD middle school teacher and coach, led physical education for both groups.

“Our instructors each year are outstanding and this time was no different,” Dr. Welker said.


Photo cutline: Dr. Kristen Hutchins measures the temperature in a solar oven constructed by fifth graders Kylie Chesser (center) and Ava Choate. The students made s’mores in their ovens.

HPU students recognized for academic achievement during spring 2015 semester

BROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently honored many students for academic success during the spring 2015 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, Dean’s List
Ryan Cade Smith, Dean’s List
Brittony Nicole Walker, Dean’s List

Skyler Savanna Schoolfield, Dean’s List

Ruby Patricia Johnson, 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

Hannah Denise Gaskamp, President’s List
Rebekah Elizabeth Weaver, President’s List

Ely Chance Self, President’s List

Callie Ann Adams, President’s List
Victoria Lee Hardin, President’s List
Charles Anthony Long, Honor Roll
Courtney Caprice Seybert, Honor Roll

Bryan Austin Baker, President’s List

Conner Trent Fisher, President’s List

Patricia Ann Burleson, Honor Roll
Katrina Nicole Mann, Honor Roll
Jakob Stefan Morgan, Honor Roll
Trevor Christopher Ray, President’s List
Cullan Ross Tidwell, President’s List

Bloomfield, N.M.
Shaefer McIntyre Church, President’s List

Blooming Grove
Amy Danielle Baskin, President’s List

Daniel Edward Harris, Honor Roll

Janis Dianne Groves, President’s List

Allison Victoria Eaton, President’s List

Luis Arturo Rodriguez Ortiz, Dean’s List

Christy Renee Ash, Honor Roll
Nicholas Calvin Bennie, Dean’s List
Sharon Michelle Berger, Honor Roll
Melissa R. Bernal, Dean’s List
Blake Lawton Biessener, President’s List
Christina Calleros, Dean’s List
Presley Neshaydith Davila, President’s List
Raymundo Delgado, Dean’s List
Caleb Nathan Dillard, Dean’s List
Jesus Antonio Esparza, Dean’s List
Chelsea Nicole Garcia, Dean’s List
Brady Wayne Glover, Honor Roll
Amanda Carlie Gober, President’s List
Aaron Albert Gomez, Honor Roll
Meagan Elizabeth Hall, Dean’s List
Michael Jeffrey Harmon, President’s List
Christy Benae Hazelwood, President’s List
Matthew James Hazelwood, President’s List
Kimberlyn Elaine Ho, Dean’s List
Molly Jane Hull, President’s List
Kelcie Michelle Hunter, President’s List
Alsatia Reighn Jowers, Dean’s List
Summer Christine King, Dean’s List
Kindry Cruz Kirbo, Dean’s List
Lindsey Rachel McKinney, Dean’s List
Saulo Elias Mendoza, President’s List
Kristin Maike Musgrove, Honor Roll
Kali Rachel Parks, Honor Roll
Andrea Shannon Peaster, President’s List
Sydnee Paige Petty, Dean’s List
Sandy Rodriguez, Honor Roll
Stormy San Miguel, Honor Roll
Taylor McKay Snow, Dean’s List
Chelsea Louise Taylor, Dean’s List
Brogan Shea Turner, President’s List
Laura Caroll Whiteley, President’s List
Andres Jose Zambrano, Honor Roll

Caleb Michael McConnell, Dean’s List

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

Cedar Park
Emily Janice Peisker, President’s List
Ethan Zachary West, Honor Roll

Geoffrey Vaughn Rolando, President’s List

Taylor Renea Bicknell, Honor Roll

Neal Edward Kucinski, President’s List

Nathan Wayne Byrd, Dean’s List
Angela Rose Parker, Honor Roll
Jaze Mance Randolph, Dean’s List

Corpus Christi
Samuel Lang Hoffman, Honor Roll

Cross Plains
James Lowell Sullivan, President’s List

Kelsan Marie Wolverton, President’s List
Sharon Allen Wolverton, Dean’s List

Clarissa Leigh Toler, Honor Roll

Melanie Elaine Clark, President’s List
Ryan Mathew Contreras, Dean’s List
Thomas Harrison Givan, President’s List
Holly Denise Jessup, Honor Roll
Morgan Tyler Lacy, Dean’s List
Christine Nicole Salmon, Dean’s List
Sydni Brooke Thompson, President’s List

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

El Paso
Yessenia Angelica Cazares, Honor Roll
Mark Andrew Montes, Dean’s List
Christina Noriz, President’s List
Grace Christine Stout, President’s List

Ashley Briann Chapman, Honor Roll

Erie, Colo.
Hannah Elizabeth Jansen, President’s List

Eufaula, Okla.
Erin E. McLeod, Honor Roll

Olivia Ann Belsher, President’s List

Luis Anthony Robles, Dean’s List

Fort Worth
Hannah Joan Ball, Honor Roll
Vivian Thi Nguyen, Dean’s List

Chandler Jacob Condra, President’s List
Asiyel Smith, Dean’s List
Tate Sullivan, Honor Roll

Will Orion Roberts, Dean’s List

Amanda Ruth Driggers, President’s List

Gage Logan Smith, Honor Roll

Marlie Amanda Austin, Dean’s List

Murry Roy Clingerman, Dean’s List
Colton Jess McCabe, Dean’s List

Rachel Ann Mahagan, President’s List
Sydney Drew Spencer, Dean’s List
Scott Thomas Turner, Honor Roll
Aaron William Walling, Dean’s List

Tolli Bre Wylie, President’s List

Julie Marie Hart, Honor Roll
Jody Michael Loudamy, President’s List
Janakay Frances Oliver, Dean’s List
Jaime Leann Swanner, President’s List

Michelle Elaine Teague, President’s List

Sierra Maurette Damron, President’s List
Tyler Kirk Jones, President’s List
Katelyn Leigh O’Conner, Dean’s List

Anna Lauren Jeffers, President’s List

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

Taylor Kay Reid, Dean’s List

Alexandra Rhea Taliaferro, Honor Roll

Lydia Mae Heinrichs, President’s List

Carrie Deann Leach, President’s List

Kaleigh Jo Tankersley, Dean’s List

Abner Abdia Reyes, Honor Roll

Kindell Amon Hill, President’s List

James Vincent Abbatiello, Dean’s List

Keandra Chante Gray, President’s List

Alissa Caitlan Brooks, Dean’s List

Brett Ollen Quackenbush, Dean’s List

Brittany Morgan Cavness, President’s List

Liberty Hill
Mason Marie Samsel, President’s List

Rachel Elizabeth Hughes, Honor Roll

Benjamin Paul Fountain, Honor Roll

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

Rebecca Danielle McFarland, President’s List
Nicole Mariah Nehf, Dean’s List
Vanessa Monique Pate, Dean’s List
Amber Rose Shipman, Dean’s List

Fred Zavala, Dean’s List

Lazhay Tranisha Winn, President’s List

Jeffery Grant Franklin, President’s List

Emily Nicole Ball, Dean’s List
Rebecca May Blohm, President’s List
Gabriella Glenn Guest, President’s List

Caitlin Courtney Wood, Honor Roll

Candace Leeann Montgomery, Dean’s List

New Braunfels
Kylie E. Cloud, President’s List
Dallas Joe Freeman, President’s List
Adam Richard Lalanne, Dean’s List
Francene Elizabeth Larrabee, Honor Roll

New London, Mo.
Allison Ann Ninedorf, Dean’s List

Carissa Caley Cromer, Dean’s List

Rebecca Nicole Hamilton, President’s List

Kaitlyn Nicole Bowling, Honor Roll

Christopher Glen Mitchell, President’s List

Keaton James Fletcher, Honor Roll

Burke Clifton Edwards, Dean’s List
Dillon Schuster Hughes, Dean’s List

Red Oak
Tiffany Michelle Bullock, Dean’s List
Nathan Richard Weyrauch, Honor Roll

Ivyanne Alyssa Nichols, President’s List

Richland Hills
Christian Dawnleigh Havens, Honor Roll

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

Adrianna Nicole Perez, Honor Roll

Royse City
Hannah Marie Strebeck, Dean’s List

Thomas Parker Kyle, President’s List
Ruben Daniel Lemus, Dean’s List
Michael Joe Sellers, President’s List

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

San Antonio
Alexis Ashley Acuna, Honor Roll
Taylor Ann Gorman, Honor Roll
Angelica Maria Gray, Dean’s List
Victoria Rene Krawczynski, President’s List

San Juan
Lorien Elisse Rubio, Dean’s List

Santa Anna
Shelbie Paige Deleon, President’s List

Vanessa Mae Marquez, President’s List

Joel Torres Muzquiz, Dean’s List

William Cody Cain, Honor Roll
Courtney Jean Tatum, Dean’s List

Michael Ryan Hazard, President’s List

Zachary Paul Eller, President’s List

Taryn Cheney Cover, Dean’s List

Nicole Ann Bird, Honor Roll

Diana Rebeca Puente Chavar, President’s List

Michael Nathan Snow, Dean’s List

Morgan Paige Ashmore, Honor Roll

Andrew Kirk Stevenson, Honor Roll

Wichita Falls
Eduardo Nunez, Dean’s List

Lacy Harrison Culpepper, President’s List

HPU hosts BGCT’s Super Summer camp for Texas youth

super summer 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently hosted the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Super Summer camp, a weeklong event designed to foster leadership skills in young Christians. In addition to hundreds of Texas youth, approximately 65 HPU alumni, students, faculty and staff members participated in the camp.

Youth ministers from churches across the state – 18 of them HPU alumni or graduate students – brought students to the camp. Additional Super Summer camps are hosted by other Texas Baptist universities throughout the summer.

At least nine of the young people who attended HPU’s Super Summer will start classes at the university in the fall.

Camp youth are divided into schools, designated by colors, based on their ages. This year, HPU was one of only two universities to also include a Purple School, which provides preparation for students who feel called to vocational Christian ministry. Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU, served as dean of the Purple School.

“Spending a week with some of the best youth ministers and students across the state is always encouraging and a blessing,” said Dr. Wheelington. “This year we even had one student from Haiti. Super Summer is a week of intense teaching and training to help students become more effective leaders, disciples and sharers of the Gospel in their schools, communities and homes.”

According to Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, other students also recognized God calling them to ministry throughout the week.

“I met two students who were not a part of Purple School who sensed during the week that God is calling them to vocational Christian ministry,” he said. “What a privilege for HPU to host such a week where God is at work in the hearts of so many students. I can’t imagine anything that would bring greater joy to the hearts of those who founded our university than to know the campus is being used for such events.”

Chuck Gartman ’72, adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Christian Studies and minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne, served as dean of Super Summer’s Leadership Forum at HPU.

“Howard Payne’s Leadership Forum at Super Summer continues to be a breath of fresh air for me personally as I facilitate this process,” he said. “Leaders have the opportunity to hear from some of our state’s best youth leaders and are also able to express concerns or sources of praise in their own settings. I’m privileged to be a part of this great opportunity for youth leaders around our state.”

Natalie Stary ’03, HPU admission counselor, coordinated HPU’s camp this year.

“Super Summer has had a huge impact on Baptist students for more than 40 years,” she said. “Super Summer at HPU will always be special to me because I attended as a student 19 years ago.”

It was during that time, Stary said, she felt called to ministry and to become a student at HPU.

“I feel very honored to get to now serve in a leadership role with the planning and implementation of Super Summer at Howard Payne,” she said. “The Lord continues to use Super Summer and HPU to train up future generations of Texas Baptists for His service locally and around the world.”


Photo cutline: Super Summer campers gather near HPU’s Old Main Tower.

Apply now for fall 2015 semester at HPU

BROWNWOOD – July 16, 2015 – Summer is passing quickly, but there is still time to apply for the fall 2015 semester at Howard Payne University. Visit us online at to complete a free application or to learn more about our academic offerings and student life.

Those living in Brown County or surrounding counties may be eligible for HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $56,000 over four years to eligible applicants. Numerous additional scholarships are also available. Contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or for more information.

HPU student studying in Mabee Center for webHPU offers more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs in six schools: business, Christian studies, education, humanities, music and fine arts, and science and mathematics. Additionally, the university offers five master’s degree programs: the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership.

HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy challenges students with a multidisciplinary curriculum and exciting travel opportunities. Co-curricular organizations include the Model United Nations, Moot Court and Student Speaker Bureau, and 30 student organizations round out the school’s extracurricular options.

Student athletes at HPU compete in six men’s and six women’s sports through the American Southwest Conference and others who enjoy athletics take part in well-attended intramural sporting competitions.

“Campus visits are a great way to learn more about the university and see if HPU is the right fit for you,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “It’s a great time to be a Yellow Jacket and we’re always excited to add more to our swarm.”

For more information about HPU, visit or contact the Office of Admission via any of the methods listed above.


Photo cutline: HPU offers students a high-quality educational experience in a friendly campus environment.

HPU students serve God and experience Spanish culture on Costa Rica trip

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 15, 2015 – Thirteen Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff members visited the country of Costa Rica following the end of the spring 2015 semester. The international experience was led by Carla Hawkins, then assistant professor of Spanish, and Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

hpu group at irazu volcano for webThe expedition was HPU’s first hybrid trip combining students from Spanish class with mission volunteers of the BSM. However, all students participated in each of the activities during the 11-day trip.

The students and supervisors made their first stop at Hogar De Vida, an orphanage, where they witnessed to others by serving and repainting parts of the facility.

“We spent the first three days serving at this orphanage in Atenas,” said Platte. “The workers there rely on volunteers like us to help maintain or repair the facility. We also helped lead devotionals.”

The group then spent three days in Cahuita along the eastern coast experiencing the Caribbean culture, three days in the central mountainous region of Costa Rica at Paraíso and three days in San Jose, Costa Rica’s largest city.

Activities included guided tours of the mountain ranges, coffee plantations, art and history museums, churches, marketplaces and more. The goal was to give students an immersive experience in the Spanish-American and Caribbean cultures in a range of locations.

“The country has so much culture and a rich history,” said Platte. “We visited their oldest still-attended church, which is even older than the United States.”

A common greeting in the country is “pura vida,” or “pure life.” It epitomizes the cultural experience of the HPU group, according to the students.

“I love that they all say ‘pura vida’ because it shows that they aren’t worried about other things and that they love the life they live,” said Adrienne Sanchez, junior Spanish major from Ozona.

The diversity of the culture, geography and opportunity for service made Costa Rica a prime choice for HPU’s first hybrid trip. The students studied the country before arriving to better appreciate the experience.

“From the relaxing lifestyle of the coast, to the beautiful views from the volcanoes, to the ever-busy life of the markets in the cities, Costa Rica has it all,” said Ashley Chapman, senior Spanish and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Ennis.

Additional students on the trip included Kyndal Broome, senior management major from San Angelo; Anthony Bryant, criminal justice major and May 2015 graduate from Copperas Cove; Tara Carroll, sophomore Spanish major from McKinney; Yessenia Cazares, senior psychology major from El Paso; Camryn Lopez, senior Spanish major from Wallis; Cody Perrin, junior history and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Eastland; Trystin Teale, freshman liberal arts major from Midland; Hannah Williamson, junior Spanish major from Fort Worth; and Mikayla Warren, senior cross-cultural studies major from Salado.


Photo cutline: A group from HPU is pictured at the top of the Irazú Volcano at a national park in Costa Rica. Back row, left to right: Keith Platte, Anthony Bryant, Cody Perrin and Trystin Teale. Middle row, left to right: Camryn Lopez, Mikayla Warren, Hannah Williamson, Adrienne Sanchez, Kyndal Broome, Yessenia Cazares and Tara Carroll. Front row, left to right: Ashley Chapman and Gustavo Abarca, the group’s tour guide. Not pictured is Carla Hawkins.

HPU’s Pre-College Music students earn state honors

BROWNWOOD – July 7, 2015 – Twenty-eight students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art program participated in the Texas Federation of Music Clubs (TFMC) State Competition recently, with many taking high honors. The program, part of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults.

The competition was held at Texas State University in San Marcos. Listed are the participants in the state competition and their ratings:

Vocal Solo/Musical Theatre
All State: Alex Fowler
Outstanding: Hannah Bessent, Angie Calfa, Kirsten Fijer, Kamry Keese, Mary McIver, Addison Miller, Sydney Neel, Shayna Oliver, Sarah Reeves, Drew Reynolds, Jordan Roberts and Ava Sparks-Hansen

Vocal Solo/Art Song
Outstanding: Addison Miller

Piano Solo
Outstanding: James Bautista, Michelle Cabrera, Becca Church, Vic Cooper, Christian Fijer, Alex Fowler, Kyle Ivy, Addison Miller, Michael Morales, Hannah Parson, Sarah Reeves, Natalee Rose, Cate Smith, Carter Wheeless and Trina Wheeless
Superior: Andrew Boren, Raya Hakim, Kamry Keese and Jordan Roberts

Forty-five students from the Pre-College program participated in the District 4A Junior Festival, held on the HPU campus in March. Of those students, 40 earned a “Superior” rating, making them eligible to compete in the TFMC Competition.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program, directed by Diane Owens, offers Kindermusik classes to pre-school children and lessons in art, musical instruments and voice to school-aged students and adults.

Enrollment for the fall semester will begin in mid-August. Classes begin on Labor Day and continue through mid-December. For more information, contact Owens at (325) 649-8501 or or Jill Holamon at (325) 649-8500 or

The Texas Federation of Music Clubs operates in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs. The NFMC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to music education and the promotion of creative and performing arts in America. Since its founding in 1898, the NFMC has grown into one of the world’s largest music organizations with club and individual members of all ages. The NFMC is charted by the Congress of the United States and is the only music organization member of the United Nations.

Dedicated to finding and fostering young musical talent, the NFMC conducts annual Junior Festivals with more than 120,000 participants. The NFMC offers more than three quarters of a million dollars in awards through state and national competitions. Federation members work to create a dynamic musical and cultural environment in their communities through education and sponsorship of musical events.


HPU New Braunfels Center to host preview events for undergraduate, graduate programs

nb center orientation for webBROWNWOOD – July 6, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center will host two preview events in July for those interested in learning more about undergraduate and graduate offerings in the community.

The center will host a casual get-together on Thursday, July 16, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt off Highway 46 in New Braunfels. Those interested in learning more about HPU will have an opportunity to spend time with the center’s staff members and enjoy a complimentary cup of frozen yogurt during this come-and-go event. Please register online in advance at

On Thursday, July 30, from noon to 1 p.m., the staff will host a free Master of Business Administration informational luncheon at Mamacita’s Restaurant off Interstate 35 in New Braunfels. Prospective MBA students will have the opportunity to chat with current students and staff members and receive all the information necessary to begin the program. Registration is also required online at

HPU has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since 2012, offering degrees for undergraduate and graduate students as well as coursework for dual-credit students. The university, with its flagship campus located in Brownwood, is planning a permanent campus in New Braunfels as part of the Veramendi development project.

Whitney Hooper, assistant director of admission for HPU’s extension centers, said she is excited to meet prospective students and help them learn more about starting or completing their education at HPU’s New Braunfels Center.

“We understand that enrolling at a university can be overwhelming for both undergraduate and graduate students,” she said. “That’s why we love hosting these informal events for our future students. We’ll share a lot of information with you and we’ll have fun at the same time.”

For more information about HPU’s New Braunfels Center, visit the website listed above, call (830) 629-2366 or e-mail


Photo cutline: HPU’s New Braunfels Center will host two preview events in July. Students are pictured attending an orientation session last fall.

HPU to host Moot Camp for up-and-coming debaters

isaac sommers for webBROWNWOOD – July 6, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host Moot Camp this Thursday through
Saturday, July 9-11. The camp is designed to prepare students in the introductory and advanced aspects of Moot Court, such as interpreting legal cases, writing and presenting legal arguments and responding to judges’ questions.

Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of political science at HPU, said Moot Court is a form of debate modeled after the U.S. appellate legal process. Kelley serves as adviser for HPU’s Moot Court team.

“Students at our camp will hone their skills by participating in a number of practice rounds,” she said. “They will also compete in a Moot Court mini-tournament.”

The camp’s lead instructor is HPU student Isaac Sommers, sophomore from Boerne, a two-time high school Washington College of Law National Champion, the 2014 Collegiate Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association Regional Champion and Best Oralist, and the 2015 American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship Semifinalist and 3rd Best Oralist.

“Isaac is an outstanding competitor and I’m excited to see him relay his knowledge and experience to our camp participants,” said Kelley.

The cost to participate is $160 and includes room and board. The camp is open to college students, rising college freshmen and high school debaters (age 16 and older) with two or more years of experience. For more information, visit


Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Isaac Sommers will serve as lead instructor at HPU’s Moot Camp this week. He is pictured following the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament held at Florida International University in January, during which he was named semifinalist and 3rd Best Oralist.

HPU’s Dr. Celeste Church named to new dean position

Celeste Church for webBROWNWOOD – July 1, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently announced Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music, has been appointed dean of institutional research and effectiveness, a newly created role at the university.

In her new position, Dr. Church will serve on the Deans’ Council and teach a reduced academic load in the music department.

“Elevating institutional research and effectiveness to the level of a dean’s appointment speaks to the university’s commitment to collecting and understanding data that will drive substantive conversations at an institution-wide level about retention, enrollment and the university’s ongoing improvement of its programs and services,” said Dr. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer.

Dr. Church joined HPU in 2004 and holds the Master of Church Music degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Texas Tech University. Her husband, Dr. Gregory Church, serves as associate professor of music at HPU.


Photo cutline: Dr. Celeste Church was recently named dean of institutional research and effectiveness at HPU.