Monthly News Archives: December 2016

Eight graduate from HPU’s New Braunfels Center

BROWNWOOD – December 15, 2016 – Eight students from Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center were recognized during the university’s Commencement ceremony in Brownwood on December 10. Two of the students completed degree requirements in May while the remaining six completed their degrees in December.

“We’re proud of these students and excited for their futures,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, HPU’s assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies. “We look forward to seeing the great things they will continue to do in life.”

HPU New Braunfels graduates included Glenda Brownlow, Bachelor of Science degree in business administration; Darryl Fresne, Master of Business Administration degree (May graduate); Ashley Greene, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in general studies; Justin Hall, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Christian studies (youth ministry concentration); Elizabeth Kensing, Master of Business Administration degree; Francene Larrabee, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in business administration (May graduate); Jolind Tavs, Master of Business Administration degree; and Courtney Wilder, Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

HPU’s New Braunfels Center is now enrolling for the spring 2017 semester. For more information, visit, call (830) 629-2366 or e-mail


Cutline: Recent graduates from HPU’s New Braunfels Center are pictured with university administration and faculty. Left to right: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Ashley Greene; Glenda Brownlow; Francene Larrabee; Justin Hall; Darryl Fresne; and Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies. Not pictured are Elizabeth Kensing, Jolind Tavs and Courtney Wilder.

Community Band to begin rehearsals at HPU

BROWNWOOD – December 13, 2016 –The Central Texas Community Band will begin rehearsals for the spring 2017 season on Monday, January 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the band hall of Howard Payne University’s Davidson Music Complex.

All musicians high school age and up are invited to bring their instruments and be a part of this community project. The band will rehearse varied literature to perform at its annual spring concert.

The band’s director is Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands at HPU, and several from the area will serve as guest conductors.

“It’s time to dust off that old clarinet or trombone and get back in the band,” said Ash.

For more information, contact Ash at 325-649-8502.


HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – December 12, 2016 – Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 19, through Friday, Dec. 30, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Monday, Jan. 2.

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. 27, to process end-of-the-year gifts. Gifts can also be arranged to be made in person or over the phone by calling (325) 649-8804 or (325) 649-8069 anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2017 semester begins Monday, Jan. 9.

Ten HPU students recognized for achievement in Spanish for Law Enforcement

spanish-for-law-enforcement-for-webBROWNWOOD – December 9, 2016 – Ten Howard Payne University students were recently recognized for the successful completion of the university’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course. Each student received a certificate recognizing his or her accomplishment.

Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, explained the importance of the course.

“Spanish for Law Enforcement is so necessary in our society today,” he said. “I believe that by knowing a second language, in this case Spanish, many situations faced by law enforcement officers can more quickly come to a peaceful resolution.”

The students learned vocabulary and phrases in Spanish and were taught the importance of establishing trust between members of the community and law enforcement officers.

“The students completed assigned tasks professionally and have worked together as a tight-knit group for the common good,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “I am so proud of what they have accomplished.”

Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, said a working knowledge of the Spanish language is an important skill that sets these candidates apart from many others entering the law enforcement profession.

“These students are well equipped to handle a wide variety of situations,” she said. “I look forward to seeing the great things they will accomplish in their law enforcement careers.”

The students who completed the course were Derick Boese, sophomore from Mercedes; Sebastian Contreras, senior from Brownwood; Jordan Easterling, junior from Junction; Lorenzo Flores, senior from Brownwood; Matthew Gomez, sophomore from Brownwood; Maria Mireles, junior from Brownwood; Krystal Moreno, junior from Marion; Kyle Ramon, senior from Floresville; Jacob Salazar, junior from Lockhart; and Serayah Smith, junior from Fredericksburg.


Cutline: Ten HPU students were recognized for the successful completion of the university’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course. Left to right: Kyle Ramon, Sebastian Contreras, Lorenzo Flores, Derick Boese, Matthew Gomez, Jordan Easterling, Jacob Salazar, Serayah Smith, Krystal Moreno and Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages. Not pictured is Maria Mireles.

HPU Model United Nations wins Distinguished Delegation award at national conference

By Jimmy Abbatiello, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Spain at the National MUN conference, which involved more than 1,000 participants from universities around the world. The team was presented a Distinguished Delegation award, with its representation of Spain among the top 23 percent of the more than 125 countries represented.

HPU students majoring in political science, history, family studies and communication met with others interested in developing possible solutions to world crises through a detailed recreation of the different bodies of the United Nations. MUN conferences have been established around the world, allowing students to learn how the United Nations functions internally and immerse themselves by becoming representatives of countries with views possibly different than their own. Delegates are expected to research their respective countries’ positions on certain subjects and debate from that perspective during formal and informal sessions. The end results are resolutions outlining how to effectively solve current problems which are submitted, debated and voted upon with the same procedures the actual UN utilizes.

Topics discussed in the various councils included the implication of technology on global security, international counterterrorism measures, empowering youth through sustainable development and promoting nuclear safety and security.

“Model United Nations, as always, opens doors for deeper cross-cultural communication,” said Braxton Clark, senior social science major from Southlake. “Learning the viewpoints of foreign students and working with them toward common goals allows us to grow as academics and become more well-rounded global citizens.”

Due to the timing of the conference, the group visited the Capitol in the midst of the presidential election. Some members even witnessed the president-elect’s motorcade as he left his first audience with Senate leadership. The team also was able to tour the facilities of the United States Department of Agriculture, meet and network with legal and communication staff and learn more about the day-to-day work of the executive branch. The delegates explored the major historical and political sites of Washington, D.C., including the National Mall, Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Museums and Mt. Vernon.

In addition to Clark, team members included Jimmy Abbatiello, senior from Kerrville; Mike Hord, freshman from Montgomery; Augusta Johnson, junior from Gatesville; Joel Justice, junior from Brownwood; Cody Perrin, senior from Eastland; Emma Reed, sophomore from Arlington; Sydney Spencer, senior from Georgetown; Penny Stehlik, freshman from Round Rock; and Caitlin Wood, senior from Miles.


Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently received a Distinguished Delegation award at a Washington, D.C., conference. Team members, pictured at the Potomac River making the HPU “sting ’em” gesture, are Cody Perrin, Joel Justice, Mike Hord, Caitlin Wood, Sydney Spencer, Braxton Clark, Penny Stehlik, Jimmy Abbatiello, Emma Reed and Augusta Johnson.

HPU students raise funds for missions through Mustache Wheel of Doom

kelley-mustache-wheel-of-doom-for-webBROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Several Howard Payne University men recently stepped up to the Baptist Student Ministry’s Mustache Wheel of Doom to learn the fate of their facial hair. The popular annual event raised more than $9,000 for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while raising money for the organization which sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

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

“Mustache Wheel of Doom is a fun event with a big impact on missions,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. “HPU students serve through Go Now Missions each year so we are excited to help support the organization.”

student-half-beard-for-webCutlines: Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, reacts after spinning the Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Paden Seidel, freshman from Proctor, shows off his half-beard following the Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser.

HPU El Paso students awarded Nassar scholarship

Nassar and studentsBROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s El Paso Center were recently awarded the Dr. Richard W. Nassar Annual Scholarship. The $500 scholarship is awarded to three deserving students each year.

This year’s recipients were Miguel A. Estrada, sophomore criminal justice major; Fernando L. Fernandez, freshman ministry major; and Veronica Quintero, senior business administration major.

Dr. Nassar, a published author and poet, was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 1975. He is an active member and ordained deacon of El Paso’s First Baptist Church. Dr. Nassar has focused his ministry on establishing a dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews. In December 2015, HPU granted Dr. Nassar its highest honor, the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

“Dr. Nassar has done great things for the Kingdom of God in El Paso and around the world,” said Dr. Adrian Gil, director of the El Paso Center and professor of business. “We’re pleased to award the scholarships in his honor.”

To learn more about scholarship opportunities at HPU’s El Paso Center, call 915-533-8500 or e-mail


Cutline: Three HPU El Paso students were recently awarded the Dr. Richard W. Nassar Annual Scholarship. Left to right: Dr. Richard Nassar, Miguel Estrada, Veronica Quintero and Fernando Fernandez.

HPU Commencement scheduled for Saturday

BROWNWOOD – December 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University will confer 100 degrees during its December Commencement ceremony this Saturday, December 10, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Terry Carter, 1974 HPU graduate and professor of Christian history and ministry at Ouachita Baptist University, will deliver the charge to the graduates.

Additional Commencement 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; Shaefer McIntyre Church, graduating senior; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, faculty president and associate professor of physical science; Jane Collette ’81, president of HPU’s Alumni Association; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of HPU’s graduate program in youth ministry and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Millard J. Kimery, dean of the School of Humanities and professor of English; Dr. Nancy Kucinski, dean of graduate studies and professor of management at Hardin-Simmons University; Dr. Brad Lemler, dean of the School of Business and professor of accounting; Dr. Matthew McNiece ’03, director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history; John Nickols, assistant professor of history and government; Dr. Debra Powell, associate professor of business administration; Carter Sharpe, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; Lana Wagner ’97, registrar; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

The Commencement ceremony will be preceded on Friday, December 9, 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’s Pre-College Music and Art program to host “Christmas at Heartland Mall”

BROWNWOOD – December 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art program will host its 22nd annual “Christmas at Heartland Mall” celebration on Sunday, December 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Heartland Mall in Early.

“Students in the program will present some wonderful vocal and instrumental Christmas selections to family and friends,” said Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct instructor in the School of Music and Fine Arts. “Please plan to join us for a musical Sunday afternoon at Heartland Mall.”

Additionally, the pre-college art students will have some of their recent work on exhibit for mall shoppers and other guests to see.

The event will be located at the main mall entrance near Sears.

The Pre-College Music and Art program serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. For more information, contact Owens at (325) 649-8501 or

HPU debaters score several awards at championship tournament

SSB Team PhotoBROWNWOOD – December 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University debaters Christopher Freeland and Tyler Olin were semifinalists in parliamentary debate at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association Fall Championship tournament held recently in Tyler. HPU competed against 23 universities.

The team of Freeland, sophomore biochemistry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Bangs, and Olin, sophomore social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, boosted the team’s overall rankings, allowing HPU to win second place in debate sweepstakes and fifth place in overall sweepstakes. Olin was also named top novice speaker in parliamentary debate.

Braxton Clark, senior social science global studies major from Southlake, was awarded third place overall debate speaker, and Isaac Sommers, senior social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major, was named ninth place top debate speaker.

“Our team did exceptionally well,” said Dr. Julie Welker, Student Speaker Bureau team coach, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies. “I’m proud of the way our team performed, and we are continuing to prepare for upcoming tournaments.”

Gabi McWhirter, senior theatre major from Brownwood, won fourth place in novice dramatic interpretation, and freshman Madi Neal, social science jurisprudence major from Chandler, won third place in novice impromptu speaking.

“Gabi and Madi are both new to our team and I’m thrilled at their excellent performances,” said Dr. Welker. “Breaking into novice finals at the fall championship tournament is always difficult, and these two competitors did a fantastic job at competition.”

HPU students also competed in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate format. Clark, Olin and Sommers all advanced to competition out-rounds. Clark won second place, Olin won third place and Sommers won fourth place in IPDA debate. HPU had three of the top four final places at the meet.

Students on the team also competed in individual events, including extemporaneous speaking (current events), impromptu speaking, prose, poetry, informative speaking, dramatic interpretation, duo interpretation and persuasive speaking.

Also competing were team members Morgan Ashmore, senior communication major from Weatherford; Andrea Balderas, junior biology major from Lytle; Erin Haley, freshman communication major from Mason; Mike Hord, freshman political science and social science jurisprudence major from Montgomery; Reagan Grisham, junior communication major from Arlington; Aimee Orozco, junior communication major from Shepherd; Isabelle Stahrfisher, freshman communication major from Fort Worth; and Haylee Williams, freshman communication major from Bellville.

The HPU team will next travel to Texas A&M University in February.


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau brought home several awards from a recent championship tournament. Pictured from left are: Dr. Julie Welker, Morgan Ashmore, Braxton Clark, Aimee Orozco, Isabella Stahrfisher, Madison Neal, Christopher Freeland, Gabi McWhirter, Erin Haley, Brooklyn Britton, Isaac Sommers, Andrea Balderas, Haylee Williams, Reagan Grisham, Tyler Olin and Ms. Sidni Kirby.