Monshonda  • M.S. Education Administration
    Texas A & M

  • B.S. Rehabilitation Services
    Stephen F. Austin University
Monshonda Booker
Mrs. Monshonda Booker is the new Director for the Upward Bound Program at Kansas State University Salina. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services from Stephen F. Austin State University, and she has a Master of Science degree in Education Administration, with an emphasis in Student Affairs, from Texas A&M University. Mrs. Booker has a background in Academic Advising, facilitating a freshmen seminar for first generation and low income students, Student Conduct, Department of Family and Protective Services, prevention specialist for gateway drug usage by high school students, and working with at-risk youth. Being a first-generation student, she is very passionate about the importance of education and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students. Mrs. Booker is elated to work with staff, students, parents, and the K-State Salina community. Mrs. Booker is also committed to the mission and overall management of the Upward Bound Program, and the continued success of our students aspiring to achieve academic success. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling, and reading.

Emeryld Wills

  • B. A. Elementary Education K-6
     Bethany College
  • A.S. General Studies 
     Cloud County Community College





Emeryld Wills
Academic Services Coordinator

Emeryld Wills is the new Academic Services Coordinator for the Upward Bound Program at Kansas State University Salina. She is a former UB Program participant and has been working as a mentor for the Summer Component for the past four years. She graduated from Lincoln High School and obtained an Associates degree from Cloud County Community College, then transferred to Bethany College where she acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She is super excited to work with students and staff in her new position, as well as plan awesome events. In her spare time Emeryld enjoys spending time with her family, reading, singing, dancing, shopping, watching movies, and Pintresting!


Dawn Smith
Senior Administrative Assistant

Dawn Smith is the new Senior Administrative Assistant for the Upward Bound program at Kansas State University Salina. Dawn has extensive experience in grant administration, database management and business administration support.  In her spare time, Dawn enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and serving the Salina community as a volunteer to various organizations. Dawn participates in the YMCA Strong Kids fundraising campaign each year. Campaign funds received help with scholarships to Camp Wood, yearly memberships, and sliding scale for fees and dues when criteria is met. The children of our community greatly benefit from the campaign. Dawn is currently in her second 3-year term as a Salina Arts and Humanities Commissioner and recently appointed as out-going “Past President” of the Board. She has been volunteering with the Smoky Hill River Festival for several years and is currently on the Food Jury Committee that meets several times throughout the year to plan and prepare for the annual festival each June.


  • M. A. Gifted Ed. Emporia State University
  • B. A. English Ed. and Philosophy Bethany College

Darcy Leech
Academic English Tutor

As a former participant of the K-State Upward Bound Math/Science program, Darcy Leech is a welcome addition to the K-State Salina Upward Bound staff. Mrs. Leech is the English III and Advanced Placement Language and Composition teacher at Salina Central High School and provides beneficial literature and composition expertise as our UB English tutor. In her spare time, Darcy enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Eli.