LU News Archive

LU hosts ExxonMobil Scholar in Residence speaker Ruby Payne

Lamar University’s College of Education will host Ruby Payne, expert in educational leadership as ExxonMobil Scholar in Residence, March 21 and 22. Payne will conduct workshops March 21 with the fall 2012 ExxonMobil student researchers in the College of Education, with staff from Smith Middle School in attendance at one of the sessions. Sessions begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Education and Human Development Building on the Lamar campus. 

Payne will then conduct a colloquium with faculty in the Mary and John Gray Library, Room 702, at 9 a.m., March 22. Faculty from Smith Middle School will join this colloquium as well.

She will also be the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Lamar University Education Research Conference the same day. Her visit is made possible by a generous gift from ExxonMobil.

The ExxonMobil Scholar-in-Residence Grants are designed to engage students in critical thinking, discussion and writing to allow them an opportunity to test solutions and discuss recommendations with experts. A faculty-student mixer was held on campus February 13 to honor the fall 2012 researchers who participated in the research and form the basis of workshop with the 2013 Scholar-in-Residence.

Participating faculty were Dorothy Sisk and Debra Troxclair of the Counseling and Pedagogy Departments, Jau-Jiin Chen in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, and Julia Yoo of the Pedagogy Department.

The fall 2012 ExxonMobil student researchers are Elizabeth Alpers, Nada Alzahrani, Majed Bagasi, Myra Bass, Debbie Bean, Lauren Bennett, Stacey Castolenia, Nikita Douglas, Vera Hafford, Rachel Henley, Melissa Johnson, Ana Mendez, Kyle Mays, Claire Miles, Sharon Oliver, Kristen Robbins, Maria Romero, Jace Runte, Cheryl Spangler, Vanessa Torres, Jessica Ward, and Yasmin Wingo.   

Ruby Payne is an author, speaker, publisher, and career educator. She graduated from Goshen College, Indiana, before earning her master’s degree from Western Michigan University and her doctorate from Loyola University, Illinois.

She has written and co-authored more than a dozen books surrounding issues of poverty in areas of education, social services, business, communities, churches, relationships and leadership.  Recognized internationally for her first foundational book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty”, Payne has helped students and adults of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success.

The lessons learned during those years led Payne to create Aha! Process, Inc., a company that educates about class and poverty.

“Ruby Payne has made a phenomenal impact on the education of students of poverty not only in the United States, but in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, China, Hungary, Slovakia and the United Kingdom,” said Dorothy Sisk, director of LU Gifted Education. “Her Aha! process brings on how to respond to the needs of students of poverty.”

As a publisher, she received a Gold Medal from Independent Publishers in the Education category and received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers in the Professional Development category, among many other awards.

"The two things that move a person out of poverty are education and relationships," Payne said.

For more information on the ExxonMobil Scholar-in-Residence program, contact Robin Latimer at (409) 880-8929, or