Meet the HPU Star Gazers

This summer, a Howard Payne University alumni couple shared their passion for astronomy with several of the university’s youngest students.

Brad Riza, a retired U.S. Air Force chaplain, and his wife Joy, a retired science teacher, participated in the university’s Summer Scholars program for students entering fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

The couple brought special solar telescopes, allowing the students a rare view of the sun’s surface. Brad Riza, formerly director of missions for Paluxy Baptist Association and associate director of chaplaincy relations for Texas Baptists, now serves as resident astronomer for Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs are held each summer on the university campus. The Young Scholars program is open to students entering first through third grades.

Julie Welker, professor and communication department chair at HPU, directs the programs each year.

“The Rizas’ presentation was a great way to kick off the weeklong camp and get the kids excited for learning,” she said. “We’re extremely grateful to alumni and other community members who invest in our students each year.” “I am grateful for these teachers who devote their expertise to our summer camp each year,” Welker said. “Our students love hands-on activities and getting to learn in a university environment.”

Source: Baptist Standard