Eastern Michigan University
Class of 2017 Scholarships
Eastern Michigan University
201 Boone Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Jennifer Fong, Director, Upward Bound
Bio: My early love for learning and education lead me to a career in education starting as a classroom teacher and then moving on to become Assistant Curator of Education at the Toledo Zoo, and then as Director of the Center for Professional Studies at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. Prior to coming to Eastern Michigan University, I served as Grants Administrator at Toledo School for the Arts. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Toledo, and a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lourdes University. I am currently completing an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Bowling Green State University where my research is focused on equity in education for underserved, urban students and schools.
Personal Info: A lifelong Toledo, Ohio resident, I love learning, traveling, cooking, and curling up with a good book. I also love spending time with family and friends, but I am most proud of my two beautiful children, Kevin & Katie.
I love my job because: As a first generation college student myself, I understand how critical it is for students to have a support system to succeed in high school and help them prepare for college and beyond. I am dedicated to helping our Upward Bound students achieve the dreams they have set for themselves and I enjoy watching them grow and develop into confident, successful young adults.
Haley Mulka, Academic Program Specialist
Bio: I served as a college admissions representative for 5 years and through that position uncovered a passion for college access and readiness. My mentors guided me to new opportunities to increase my knowledge and sharpen my skill set; I would not be here without them. I earned a Bachelor's degree in English/Journalism from Madonna University and a Master's degree in Higher Education: Student Affairs at EMU.
Personal Information: I love to learn and am extremely competitive, especially with board games and bowling. I listen to a wide variety of music and go to concerts whenever possible. For quieter moments, nothing beats hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains or kicking back with a Biggby latte and good book.
I love my job because: I understand how important it is as a student to feel supported as you prepare for success in high school and college, and I love to connect students to resources and networks that provide that support. It brings me a lot of joy to see students uncover their potential, discover new talents, and achieve their academic and personal goals.
Biyi Akinlude, Academic Program Specialist
Bio: I have served as a tutor and peer advisor with Upward Bound since October 2010 and earned my Bachelor's Degree in Biology during that 5 year period. I am currently working towards earning a Master's Degree in Business with a focus in Entrepreneurship. I lead the Men's Ministry at the University Christian Fellowship Church on EMU's campus.
Personal Information: I am the youngest of 7. I enjoy learning from different experiences and have never been one to limit myself. I strongly believe in dreams - whether it be pursuing mine or encouraging and supporting others to pursue theirs. I believe your dreams begin to come true when they become goals. I love playing games, especially board games. My favorites are Scrabble, Monopoly or Cash Flow and Chess. I credit my life today with three people: God who has preserved it, my Mother who has guided it and the many people who have influenced it whether positively or negatively, because it has and will all work out for good.
I love my job because: I get to be a light in the lives of the students and staff team. I understand the struggles of my students and know what it means for UB to be the only consistency in their lives. At the end of it all, it isn't about getting good grades or turing in the assignment on time, it is about building their character. This influences everything else.
Kim L. Rankins, Senior Secretary
Bio: I have worked a total 6.5 years at Eastern Michigan University in the Nursing Department and The Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities before starting with Upward Bound in 2008. I have Associate Degrees from Washtenaw Community College in Administrative Technology, Administrative Medical technology and a Certificate in Computer Applications. Currently, I am attending Eastern Michigan University and working toward completing my Bachelors degree in Business, Management, Marketing, and Technology.
Personal Information: I have two beautiful daughters and a wonderful grandson. I enjoy several activities with my family such as swimming, biking and traveling. My hobbies include crocheting and taking care of my flowers and plants. My participation in church is also very important to me.
I love my job because: The environment is very friendly. The staff and student workers work together in meeting the goal of Upward Bounds mission statement. I enjoy watching the hard work the students of Upward Bound do to excel as high academic achievers. It is an honor to be a part of this team.