Monthly News Archives: December 2017

Dr. Robert Bicknell retires from HPU, named first Provost Emeritus

Tew, Bicknell and Ellis at Commencement for webBROWNWOOD – December 15, 2017 – Dr. Robert Bicknell, who has served at Howard Payne University for almost 30 years, retired from his role as accreditation liaison at the close of the fall 2017 semester after stepping down from his concurrent role as dean of extended education in May. In appreciation of Dr. Bicknell’s faithful service to the university, Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, named Dr. Bicknell HPU’s first Provost Emeritus.

Dr. Bicknell began his career at HPU in 1989 as vice president of academic affairs before being named provost. He has since served the university in a variety of administrative and academic roles. Prior to coming to HPU, Dr. Bicknell served at Enterprise State Junior College, Wayland Baptist University and Southwest Baptist University.

As accreditation liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Dr. Bicknell has successfully shepherded HPU through three decennial reaffirmations, numerous substantive change proposals and countless period reports and has served on 24 SACSCOC visiting and off-site committees, many of these as committee chair. He is a sought-after speaker regarding the subject of regional, peer-reviewed accreditation and is frequently enlisted as consultant to institutions beginning the reaffirmation process.

Dr. Bicknell also led the university in the innovation of distance learning, including the development of curriculum and the initiation of HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.

He is active in the community and has served as an officer of the Brownwood Rotary Club, the Brownwood Economic Development Corporation, the Brownwood Regional Medical Center Institutional Review Board, the Brownwood Technology Board and the West Texas Telecommunications Consortium.

Dr. Ellis informed Dr. Bicknell of his Provost Emeritus designation in a recent letter thanking the retiree for his many years of dedicated leadership.

“Your service to Howard Payne and your commitment to the cause of Christian higher education deserve nothing less,” Dr. Ellis wrote.

Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU’s provost and chief academic officer, commended Dr. Bicknell on his leadership and said his presence at HPU will be missed.

“Dr. Bicknell approached his time at HPU not only as his career but as his calling,” Dr. Tew said. “We’re appreciative of his dedication to the university and wish him all the best in the years to come.”


Cutline: A Resolution of Appreciation honoring Dr. Robert Bicknell was read during HPU’s fall 2017 Commencement ceremony. Left to right: Dr. W. Mark Tew, Dr. Bicknell and Dr. Bill Ellis.

HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2017 – Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 18, through Monday, January 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, 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 Thursday, December 21, and Friday, December 29, 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 anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2017 semester begins Monday, Jan. 8.


HPU hosts annual Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser

Bene wheel spin for webBROWNWOOD – December 13, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s annual Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser recently raised more than $5,000 for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. The event is sponsored by HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

Teams of male students, along with their personnel 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. Eleven HPU students have been interviewed to potentially serve as Go Now Missionaries during summer 2018.

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.

Twenty-nine students and five personnel members participated in the fundraiser, raising $5,106.

Lehrer beard stripes for web“Mustache Wheel of Doom is a fun event and we look forward to it every year,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s BSM. “We’re blessed to be able to support Go Now Missions and the people all over the world who are impacted by this ministry.”


Cutline: Junior Cole Bene reacts to his spin on HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Freshman Jacob Lehrer smiles as stripes are shaven into his beard following HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser.

HPU’s Clark-Goff serving on statewide boards for education deans

Kylah Clark-Goff 2017BROWNWOOD – December 12, 2017 – Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of Howard Payne University’s School of Education, began a term this fall as secretary of the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (TACTE). Additionally, Dr. Clark-Goff will begin a term in January as secretary of the Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (EDICUT).

Both organizations seek to promote effective teaching and quality education, with EDICUT specifically concentrating on teacher education in private universities and colleges.

Under Dr. Clark-Goff’s leadership, HPU’s School of Education strives to equip the next generation of educators to meet the needs of their future students through innovative, research-based pedagogical practices rooted in a Christian world view.

In addition to the Educator Preparation Program, HPU’s School of Education offers undergraduate degrees in kinesiology and athletic training. The school also offers two graduate degrees – the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and the Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership.

“HPU’s School of Education continues to flourish under Dr. Clark-Goff’s exceptional leadership,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer. “We’re thankful that she not only commits herself to her students and faculty, but to her own professional development through her service in organizations such as TACTE and EDICUT.”


Cutline: Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of HPU’s School of Education, serves as secretary of the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and will soon begin a term as secretary of the Education Deans of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.

HPU Model United Nations wins Distinguished Delegation Award at Seattle conference

MUN team in SeattleBROWNWOOD – December 11, 2017 – Howard Payne University recently competed at the Northwest Model United Nations Conference in Seattle, Washington, winning the Distinguished Delegation Award, second place for overall team performance.

Model United Nations takes current world issues and asks students, who represent various countries as delegates, to try to solve them through diplomatic means. Students learn the art of diplomacy through caucusing, writing position papers and presenting in formal settings, all while following the model of the United Nations.

In her role as the Delegate of Japan, Lainee Hasty, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and psychology major from Runaway Bay, won Outstanding Delegate. This is the highest award achievable on the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development committee.

Emma Reed, junior Honors Academy and family studies major from Arlington, serves as HPU’s head delegate, while Joel Justice, senior Honors Academy and history major from Brownwood, serves as co-delegate. Other HPU representatives at the conference included Alex Bingham, sophomore Bible major from Bridge City; Jessica Catlett, junior Honors Academy and social work major from Alleyton; Joshua Dykes, senior Honors Academy and youth ministry major from Mount Pleasant; Caleb Kostreva, junior Honors Academy and social science global studies major from Clifton, Colorado; Charles Lewis, sophomore Honors Academy and social science jurisprudence major from Boerne; Andie McCoy, junior Honors Academy and social studies composite major from Whitehouse; and Penny Stehlik, sophomore Honors Academy, English and social science global studies major from Round Rock.

Dr. Kevin Kelley, associate professor of psychology and chair of HPU’s Department of Psychology and Family Studies, serves as adviser for the Model United Nations team.

“Given the need for diplomacy in our current climate, I am very excited that HPU is building the next generation of ambassadors for peace,” he said. “Emma Reed and Joel Justice have done an excellent job leading their team to another victory. Lainee Hasty, just as she did last spring in Milan, Italy, took another Best Delegate Award. I am proud of everyone.”


Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently competed at the Northwest Model United Nations Conference in Seattle, Washington. Back row, from left: Alex Bingham, Charles Lewis, Joshua Dykes and Jessica Catlett. Front row, from left: Penny Stehlik, Andie McCoy, Joel Justice, Emma Reed, Lainee Hasty and Caleb Kostreva.

Community tours HPU’s newly remodeled science labs

Winebrenner labWinebrenner reception






BROWNWOOD – December 8, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s School of Science and Mathematics hosted an Open House last week to celebrate the newly remodeled science labs in HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science.

The reception took place in rooms 210, 211 and 212 of the facility, each of which have been remodeled for use by HPU students.

Winebrenner Hall, dedicated in 1962, contains classrooms, labs and offices for the School of Science and Mathematics. The facility is named for Dr. O.E. Winebrenner, former science department head, who served at HPU for more than 40 years.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics at 325-649-8400.


Cutline: One of HPU’s newly remodeled science labs is shown just prior to the Open House event.

A steady stream of HPU personnel, students and community members attended the come-and-go event.

HPU to confer 100 degrees this Saturday

May 2017 Commencement for webBROWNWOOD – December 7, 2017 – Howard Payne University will graduate 100 students during the fall Commencement ceremony this Saturday, December 9, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. The Coliseum is located at 500 E. Baker Street in Brownwood.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Delivering the charge to the graduates is Rev. Ray Still, senior pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels. Rev. Still is a member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and will begin a term as chairman of the board in January.

Rev. Ray StillAdditional 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; Bryan Baker, candidate for graduation; Dr. Robert Bicknell, accreditation liaison to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, faculty president and associate professor of physical science; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of the Christian studies graduate programs and professor of Christian studies; Matthew Haynie ’09, president of the Alumni Association; Dr. Millard J. Kimery, Jr., dean of the School of Humanities and professor of English; Dr. Brad Lemler, dean of the School of Business and professor of accounting; Dr. Wendy McNeeley, assistant vice president of university records; Dr. Matthew McNiece ’03, director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history; Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education; Dr. Debra Powell, associate professor of business administration; Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, assistant professor of music; Carter Sharpe, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

Commencement will be preceded on Friday, December 8, by the Chime Out ceremony, 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.


Cutline: Rev. Ray Still, senior pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, will deliver the charge to graduates at HPU’s Commencement ceremony this Saturday. Rev. Still is a member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and will begin a term as chairman of the board in January.

HPU’s Commencement will take place at the Brownwood Coliseum. The venue is pictured during HPU’s May 2017 Commencement ceremony.

HPU Moot Court ends season undefeated, prepares for nationals

HPU Moot Court for webBROWNWOOD – December 6, 2017 – With wins at two final tournaments, Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team ends its fall 2017 season undefeated. The team’s win at the last tournament of the fall secured HPU’s spot in the American Moot Court Association’s national competition to be held in January at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law.

“HPU will be one of the top-seeded teams at nationals and well set for success after an undefeated season,” said Lorianna Kelley, assistant professor of government and Moot Court adviser.

Teammates Jordan Hahn, sophomore from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, were named tournament champions at the St. Mary’s School of Law Invitational Tournament in October as well as at the Texas A&M University School of Law Regional Tournament in November.

At the October tournament, Hahn and Sommers defeated a team from Baylor University to win the tournament in the finals and teammates Justin Harris, senior from Fort Worth, and Bailey Myler, junior from Brownwood, were named octofinalists. HPU competitors were also recognized for their individual speaking skills. Myler was the overall seventh-best speaker, Hahn placed second and Sommers was the top speaker at the tournament.

Thirty-one teams competed at the regional tournament in November, representing 13 schools from across the country. HPU faced multiple schools, including the United States Air Force Academy, Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University and the University of Louisiana. Hahn and Sommers again defeated a team from Baylor University to be named tournament champions.

In addition to winning the tournament, Sommers was the seventh overall speaker and Hahn was the ninth. Harris and Myler attended the tournament and were in the top 50% for speaker points.

“The teams have worked so hard this year, refining arguments and practicing multiple times each week,” said Kelley. “Once again, their hard work has paid off, and they continue to impress lawyers and judges from across the state.”


Cutline: Howard Payne University’s Moot Court team ended its fall 2017 season undefeated. Left to right: Justin Harris, Isaac Sommers, Jordan Hahn and Bailey Myler.

Three students named first recipients of HPU El Paso Center Scholarship

HPU EP Alumni Association Members and Scholarship Recipients for webBROWNWOOD – December 5, 2017 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s El Paso Center were recently named recipients of the 2017-18 Howard Payne University El Paso Center Scholarship. The scholarship, in its inaugural year, was created by a donation from the Ladies Auxiliary of IBBI-HPU.

Recipients of the scholarship are Beatriz Cabrera, freshman general studies major; Melory Carter, junior general studies major; and Everardo Hernandez, Master of Business Administration student. Each student received a $500 scholarship.

IBBI, which stands for International Baptist Bible Institute, partnered with HPU in 1991 to create a baccalaureate degree program. Today, HPU’s El Paso Center awards four bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees. The Ladies Auxiliary of IBBI-HPU recently made a donation to the newly created HPU Alumni Association El Paso Chapter which, in turn, established the HPU El Paso Center Scholarship.

The officers of the Alumni Association El Paso Chapter and the chapter’s adviser, Dr. Adrian Gil, director of the El Paso Center and professor of business, have managed the process of creating the scholarship application, setting a deadlines schedule, creating a scholarship selection committee and awarding the scholarships.

“We were proud to award the first HPU El Paso Center Scholarships to these outstanding students,” said Dr. Gil. “These three students are diligent in their studies and most deserving of this award.”

Hernandez said he was grateful for the opportunity the scholarship provides him.

“It will help me offset some school costs which I had planned to cover with personal funding,” he said. “I am very thankful to the selection committee.”

Cabrera also expressed her appreciation.

“I am extremely grateful for the scholarship that I received,” she said. “It lifts some of the burden of paying for school and it feels good to have been chosen from the group of students here at Howard Payne. I absolutely love this school!”

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


Cutline: Three students from HPU’s El Paso Center were named the first recipients of the university’s HPU El Paso Center Scholarship. Seated, from left to right, are Everardo Hernandez, Beatriz Cabrera and Melory Carter. The scholarship recipients are pictured with officers from the HPU Alumni Association El Paso Chapter. Standing, from left to right, are Roxanne Jurado, treasurer, Blanca Gamez, president, Iban Torres, vice president, and Priscilla Macias, secretary.

HPU students meet professional sport teams’ communication staff members

Communication students and faculty at Ranger ballpark for webBROWNWOOD – December 4, 2017 – Students in Howard Payne University’s Sport, Media and Culture course within the university’s Department of Communication took two academic trips to professional sporting events this fall – a Texas Rangers baseball game and San Antonio Spurs basketball game – to meet with the communications staff of each organization.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, created the course.

“This communication studies course is designed to examine the interrelationship between sport and media in society and to examine how sport and sport discourse shapes cultural values,” she said. “Understanding how sport, media and culture intersect is important now more than ever with our instant access to information.”

Communication students and faculty at Alamo for webThe class attended a Texas Rangers game during the last week of the Major League Baseball regular season in September. The students met with four members of the Rangers’ marketing, communications and social media staff. Each staff member explained his or her role in the organization and answered questions from the students.

Madison Neal, sophomore communication major from Chandler, said she really enjoyed getting to meet the organizations’ social media directors.

“One person who really sparked my interest was Kaylan Eastepp, who is over all of the social media for the Rangers. She discussed the details of her job and her role as a woman in a professional men’s sports world,” Neal said.

Neal added that Eastepp was entertaining and informative because she talked about the huge impact of social media on our society and demonstrated that women can and do work in sports.

Jared Sandler, broadcaster for the Rangers, also spoke with the class, encouraging students entering the communications field to never give up. He told the class that he got both his job and internship from consistently e-mailing people and networking.

The students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Rangers’ facility, including a trip to the press box, the media room and a personal meeting with “Mr. Rangers,” Tom Grieve, himself. The students met with three other communications and marketing staff members.

The class also traveled to a Spurs game in San Antonio and met with four members of the Spurs communications staff, including marketing, public relations, social media and advertising personnel.

“We met Megan Julian, who is responsible for social media for the Spurs,” said Neal. “I always find the people who work in social media to be fascinating because they have such a large outreach.”

Julian is responsible for managing the Spurs’ Facebook and Twitter during the games, as well as for the layout and design of GIF images and highlight layouts.

“All of the speakers had a vast level of experience with internships, and each speaker recommended doing several internships, even if they are unpaid,” said Neal. “The trips provided us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what holds the public image of a sports team together as well as the final product in the enactment of the game. These opportunities allowed our class to learn more about communication careers in sports.”


Cutlines: Students and faculty from HPU’s Department of Communication pose in front of a Texas Rangers’ backdrop. While at the ballpark, they met with members of the Rangers’ communications staff.

Students and faculty from HPU’s Department of Communication visited the Alamo on the way to a San Antonio Spurs basketball game. At the game, they had the opportunity to meet with members of the Spurs’ communications staff.