Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Robbie Lyle Scholarship awarded to Keyun J. Payne-Allen


JONESBORO–Keyun J. Payne-Allen of Little Rock, a student at Arkansas State University, has been awarded the 2012 Robbie Lyle Scholarship, which is named after a pioneer and a staunch advocate for human rights.  The scholarship is awarded annually through the Arkansas Association of Student Assistance Programs (AASAP).

A 2010 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, Keyun joined the ASU freshman class that August and has flourished academically since that time. She is a participant in the federally funded Student Support Services program, directed by Jerrod O. Lockhart, in University College.  A former participant of the Classic Upward Bound Program at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Payne-Allen is majoring in early childhood education and plans to graduate in May 2014.

“I am very shocked and honored,” she remarked after being notified of her selection by Michelle Hardin, chair of the Robbie Lyle Scholarship Selection Committee. She will be recognized at the annual AASAP meeting on Sunday, Oct. 7, in Little Rock.

The honoree is the daughter of Evelyn Payne of Little Rock and Johnny Allen of North Little Rock.

Robbie Lyle, who lived most of her adult life in Jonesboro, was a public school teacher and higher education administrator and instructor for nearly 40 years.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas.  She then earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas, and a specialist’s degree in education from Arkansas State University.

She began her career at Granite Mountain Elementary School in Little Rock, then served as an administrator at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. She was the assistant dean of University College and the executive director of TRiO Programs, which included both Student Support Services and Classic Upward Bound at Arkansas State University, until she retired in 1992.

Lyle served as the president of the state (AASAP), regional (Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs – SWASAP), and National TRiO organizations while directing programs at Philander Smith College and ASU.

Retirement did not cause her passion for advocacy to diminish. She became an advocate and volunteer for the Rights in Education for Students and Parents and she established an African-American Cultural Center in Jonesboro.  She has produced a documentary titled “On Education in Craighead County: A Way Out for African-Americans,” and authored a book titled “God’s Amazing Grace, Mercy, & Black Gravy Brought Me Through” in 2008.

The Arkansas Association of Student Assistance Programs, Inc. (AASAP) is a non-profit organization with the purpose of advancing and defending the ideal equal educational opportunities for all TRiO-eligible individuals to encourage them to persist in achieving their educational goals.

#  #  #