HPU student leaders attend Christian Association of Student Leaders conference

HPU CASL GroupBROWNWOOD – February 23, 2018 – A group of Howard Payne University students attended the Christian Association of Student Leaders conference at Dallas Baptist University during the weekend of January 25-27.

Chartered by eight Baptist universities in Texas in 1998 and sponsored by the Congregational Leadership Team of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, CASL’s intention is to foster collaboration and idea sharing between student leaders from different universities. Through this, the goal of CASL is to create strong Christian leaders committed to the service of Christ.

Nineteen HPU students were selected by the Office of Student Life to serve as representatives from various aspects of campus life including Baptist Student Ministry, Chapel Worship Team, Greek Life, Intramurals, Jacket Journey, Residence Life, Student Activities Council and Student Government Association.

Representatives from six other Baptist universities joined HPU representatives at DBU for the conference.

“CASL reminds individual students that all of our schools have one common purpose of glorifying God and praising Him, helping us to stay focused in our organizations to achieve that one common goal,” said Emma Reed, a junior family studies and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Kennedale.

Joining Reed as HPU representatives were Keith Baker II, sophomore art major from Houston; Brooklyn Britton, sophomore English and history major from Brownwood; Jayland Brown, sophomore music major from Temple; Titus Brown, senior management major from New Roads, Louisiana; Caleb Callaway, sophomore youth ministry major from Early; Jessica Catlett, senior social work and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Alleyton; Devin Caraway, senior business administration major from Cisco; Karli Conrad, senior marketing major from Katy; Jaime Dodson, senior communication and psychology major from Cisco; Sawyer Fisher, junior business administration major from Bertram; Caleb Kostreva, junior global studies and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Clifton, Colorado; Charles Lewis, sophomore marketing and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Boerne; Jessica Meeks, junior family studies major from Bridgeport; Riley Morrison, senior marketing and engineering science major from Austin; Rachel Myers, junior education major from Buffalo Gap; Dani Puente, sophomore biochemistry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Waskom; Foga’a Solomona-Afoa, sophomore athletic training major from Fort Hood; and Haylee Williams, junior communication and practical theology major from Bellville.

The 2018 CASL conference featured speaker Marcus “Goodie” Goodloe, Ph.D., co-author of Habits: Six Steps to the Art of Influence. In addition, the conference offered student leaders the opportunity to meet with representatives from other schools, attend leadership workshops and collaborate in group sessions about service and improving campus life.

The encouragement offered by discussing problems and solutions with other students is very helpful, said several HPU student representatives.

“We do a lot of things well here at HPU and at CASL we learned things to bring back and apply in our organizations,” said Fisher.

Additionally, Baker commented that CASL made him grateful to be at HPU.

“We have wonderful resident directors and resident assistants here,” he said. “I’m happy to be here.”

Ultimately, the conference is a learning opportunity and chance to be encouraged for all the students who attend. HPU representatives have taken valuable lessons from the 2018 conference.

“It is encouraging to know that you share the struggles of people in similar positions,” said Reed, “but also that they have found solutions.”

The encouragement from other student leaders to continue striving to improve their respective campuses was appreciated by attendees of CASL.

“Being on the Student Activities Council, some events will work really well while others don’t,” said Solomona-Afoa. “CASL made me realize that it’s okay for things to not always go exactly as planned.”

In January 2019, HPU will host the CASL conference, an occasion for the university to show how it excels in fostering servant leadership and what makes the university unique.

“This is an exciting opportunity for HPU to be able to host CASL and a good opportunity for other students to see what a different campus looks like,” said Kostreva.

In anticipation of the 2019 conference, planning has already begun and HPU’s representatives are looking forward to hosting next year.

“We are very excited to be planning this conference and inviting our peers from across the state to our campus,” stated Reed. “We are in prayer that that we will glorify the Lord in this.”


Cutline: HPU representatives at the recent CASL conference put up HPU’s “Sting ’Em Jackets” hand sign. Pictured from left to right are (back row) Caleb Kostreva and Keith Baker II; (middle row) Jayland Brown, Charles Lewis, Rachel Myers, Jessica Catlett, Jessica Meeks, Jaime Dodson, Riley Morrison, Caleb Callaway and Sawyer Fisher; and (front row) Titus Brown, Devin Caraway, Karli Conrad, Emma Reed, Dani Puente, Brooklyn Britton, Haylee Williams and Foga’a Solomona-Afoa.