Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. is the founder of aha! Process and an author, speaker, publisher, and career educator. Recognized internationally for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, her foundational book and workshop, Dr. Payne has helped students and adults of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success.
As an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty, she has trained hundreds of thousands of professionals, from educators and school administrators to community, church, and business leaders.
Dr. Payne is available for keynote presentations at conferences and trainings at schools, communities, businesses, etc., for half- and full-day events. She has presented to groups in more than 10 countries and every state in the U.S. For more information, call (800) 424-9484 or request online.
Payne founded aha! Process in 1996 to offer a broad range of training solutions–workshops, consulting, books, and trainings for K–12, higher education, and communities—with a focus on creating sustainable success for everyone.
In the field of education, her career-long goal of offering strategies for successfully raising student achievement and overcoming economic class barriers has become the cornerstone of aha! Process’ K-12 work, used with school districts across the country. Dr. Payne’s work stems from more than 30 years of experience in public schools as a high school department head, principal, and central office administrator of staff development. Sequels to her original Framework book include Research-Based Strategies (2009) and School Improvement: 9 Systemic Processes to Raise Achievement (2010), coauthored with Donna Magee, Ed.D. View K-12 results.
In 2001 she coauthored Bridges Out of Poverty with Philip E. DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith as the organization branched out into working toward healthy, sustainable communities. Hear from Bridges Communities in their own words.
Dr. Payne has written and coauthored more than a dozen books besides the bestselling A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty. Her latest book, From Understanding Poverty to Developing Human Capacity (2012), includes articles, some of which were published in educational publications.
In 2011 two of her publications were honored: Removing the Mask: Giftedness in Poverty received a Gold Medal from Independent Publishers in the Education category, and Boys in Poverty: A Framework for Understanding Dropout (Solution Tree Press) received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers in the Professional Development category. Both titles were coauthored with the late Dr. Paul Slocumb.
Dr. Payne received a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana; a master’s degree in English literature from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.
View a map of places where aha! Process has been involved over the years.