Around the State: HSU students deliver wheelchairs to Thailand

Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Hardin-Simmons University customize wheelchairs for disabled individuals in Thailand. (HSU Photo)

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Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Hardin-Simmons University donated and customized more than 200 wheelchairs for disabled individuals in Thailand. (HSU Photo)

Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Hardin-Simmons University donated and customized more than 200 wheelchairs for disabled individuals in Thailand. Working in partnership with Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life and the Thailand-based RICD Wheelchair Project, students journeyed to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Students assessed the needs of individuals, prayed with them and fitted wheelchairs to their specific needs. Modifications included adding cushions, installing footrests and adjusting leg straps. In preparation, the HSU students attended seminars about the proper use of wheelchairs, volunteered as short-term missionaries at the Joni and Friends Family for people with disabilities and played wheelchair basketball with professionals.

Baylor University President Linda Livingstone officially announced the school’s plans to pursue Research 1/Tier 1 classification, setting a goal of joining the nation’s top research universities. “Baylor University’s vision affirms that the world needs a preeminent research university that is unambiguously Christian, and we are uniquely positioned to achieve this goal by building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of research and service,” Livingstone said. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education designates 130 colleges and universities in the United States as R1, which are doctoral-granting institutions with the “highest research activity.” Baylor is among the 131 schools currently classified as R2—doctoral institutions with “higher research activity.” Baylor’s Illuminate strategic plan provides the framework and commitment to investment over the next decade that will guide the institution towards becoming a top national research university, Livingstone said.

New and returning students at Howard Payne University participated in a variety of community-wide service projects as part of SWARM—Serving With A Right Motive. Students volunteered at Good Samaritan Ministries, the ARK Domestic Violence Shelter, the Brownwood Area Community Garden and Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre. SWARM was one of the Jacket Journey welcome events at HPU. Others included Chime In, a ceremony symbolizing the beginning of students’ time at the university; Campus Celebration, a worship service organized by the HPU Baptist Student Ministry; and a free lunch for students and their families at the home of HPU President Cory Hines.

Jennifer Manning

Jennifer Manning, a University of Mary Hardin-Baylor trustee, was guest speaker at the university’s 174th Fall Convocation, marking the official opening of the new academic year. “I want to encourage you to strengthen yourself academically, spiritually, physically,” Manning told incoming students. She encouraged the students to seize every available opportunity to them to try something new. “Take charge and take a risk,” Manning said. “This is the perfect time in your life to step outside of your comfort zone.” Manning, who earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UMHB in 1994, is a partner in the accounting and business consulting division of Pattillo, Brown & Hill in Waco.

Hardin-Simmons University is piloting a recommended scholars admissions program in Abilene-area high schools. The modified test-optional program allows principals, teachers and counselors to recommend their students for admissions to the university. “We believe the high school academic record and the endorsement of trusted high school faculty and staff who know the student’s potential and capabilities are better predictors of college success than an ACT or SAT score,” said Vicki House, vice president for enrollment management at HSU. The university will evaluate data based on the class that participates in the pilot program to determine the viability of expanding the program to include other high schools in the future.


50th for the Neighbors International program at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco. The program offers seven levels of English-as-a-Second-Language classes. It also offers free to all Waco-area foreign-born internationals courses in citizenship, driver’s manual, piano, computer, fabric arts, Spanish, painting, scrapbooking, choral music, crafts and crochet/knitting. Last year, more than 200 internationals from more than 30 countries enrolled in the program, and more than 50 people a week meet each Sunday morning for a Bible study geared toward internationals.

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