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Visual timeline of the history

Originally, the Education Institute was called the Center for Initiatives in Education. It was founded in the early 80s by Dr. Margaret Dunn. Her background was in adult education, and her research interest was juvenile justice education. From 1988- 2008, the institute received funding from Texas Education Agency (TEA) for professional development.  

In 1988, Dr. Emily Miller Payne came to Texas State when approval was granted for a master’s in developmental education. In 1989, Dr. Payne started working as a contract trainer for the Center for Initiatives in Education when the master’s program in developmental education added a focus on adult education. In 1990, there was a name change to The Education Institute (TEI) when Dr. Payne became the director of the institute. Under her direction, the institute’s focus was on professional development in adult and developmental education. Dr. Payne retired from Texas State in 2020.  

In 2008, Dr. Larrotta started volunteering as grants proposal reviewer for The Education Institute. Since then, she has collaborated with TEI in different roles such as search committee member, trainer of English as second language (ESL) instructors, conference presenter, and expert consultant for grants. In 2016, Dr. Larrotta served as the subject matter and research expert for the ESL content standards and benchmarks integral to the Texas Adult Education and Literacy Standards. This project was implemented under a grant awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). In fall 2021, she became the Director of the Education Institute. Under her direction, the institute aims to become a global leader and partner conducting quality research and providing innovative education services to communities, school systems, professional organizations, and education institutions 

Dr. Emily Payne

Former Institute Director

Emily Payne, EdD, is a retired associate professor of the graduate programs in developmental education at Texas State University. Dr. Payne has a bachelor of arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s and doctorate from New Mexico State University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate students in education since 1971. Since 1991 she has worked with adult education grant-funded projects. Dr. Payne enjoys traveling in the Big Bend area during semester breaks.