Eastern Michigan University


Upward Bound
Eastern Michigan University
201 Boone Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: 734.487.0488
Fax: 734.487.5088 
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter




Meet the Staff 

Roderick Wallace, Director, Upward Bound 

Bio: I was born and raised in Flint, MI, where I graduated from Flint Central High School. I then attendedMr Wallace Eastern Michigan University and achieved bachelor's degrees in both History and African-American Studies. Soon after, I received my Masters in Education from Marygrove College. For almost 20 years, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of inner-city youth through my work as a teacher and school administrator. Prior to joining the team at EMU UB, I was honored to serve as an administrator at River Rouge High School, where we specialized in trauma-sensitive practices and raised several million dollars in scholarship funds for students.

Personal Information: I currently reside in Farmington Hills, MI with my wife, Michele, and my two children, Julian and Mia. I enjoy audio production and engineering, sports, and podcasting.

I love my job because: As a young man, the efforts of my family and people in our community helped me to achieve greatness, and it has been my life's work to pay that forward. Post-secondary education is a non-negotiable in today's global society, and I believe that all students deserve the support and guidance necessary to navigate through the challenge. We have a fantastic and energetic team that are on fire for achievement! 



Biyi Akinlude, Program Coordinator

Bio:  I have served as a tutor and peer advisor with Upward Bound since the Fall of 2010 and earned myBiyi Akinlude Bachelor's Degree in Biology during that 5 year period. 

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 take form when they become goals. I love playing games, especially board games. My favorites are Scrabble, Monopoly, 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 simply about getting good grades or turing in the assignment on time, but about building their character. This influences everything else. 

 Email:  [email protected]


Courtney Morris, College Success Specialist

Bio: As a Detroit Native, I graduated from Cass Technical High School (Detroit Public Schools). I then Courtney Morrisattended Schoolcraft College and later transferred to Eastern Michigan University. My bachelor's degree is in Health Administration & Social Work. After recognizing my purpose in education, I later graduated with a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs and Educational Leadership. 

I have spent much of my professional career engaging in many educational spaces. This includes working with first year students at Wayne State University, building Financial Wellness awareness for students at Central Michigan University, helping students navigate college as aspiring teachers with The Morris-Hood Educator Development Program at Saginaw Valley State University. Additionally, I have spent time in the K-12 system helping students navigate their post-secondary plans and served as a research assistant managing both quantitative and qualitative data. 

Personal Information: I enjoy traveling as it has served as a learning method! I love trying new foods that are rooted deeply in culture and history. I am a book fanatic!!! As a young child, I have always loved reading! I collect books of all sorts and sneakers. 

I love my job because: It is a part of who I am. I am a firm believer that education provides individual freedom; freedom to think, freedom to be, freedom to create. I love my job because I get to see students and families navigate what freedom means for them. I also love my job because I get to see the twinkle in the eyes of students as they transition from one journey to the next. 

Email: [email protected]


Kim L. Rankins, Senior Secretary

I have worked a total 6.5 years at Eastern Michigan University in the Nursing Department and The Kim RankinsInstitute 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.

Email: [email protected]



Make a Gift
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linked in
  • Blog EMU