Upward Bound Wichita Prep Staff
Ms. Deltha Colvin, Associate Vice President for Non-Traditional Students
Deltha Q. Colvin has more than 38 years of experience with TRIO programs. She has a unique knowledge of the needs of the participants in that she is a former Upward Bound student. Ms. Colvin is the assistant vice president for campus life responsible for Upward Bound and monitoring of eight other TRIO programs on the campus.
She has been dedicated to providing services to low-income and first-generation students all of her professional life. Colvin is an active member of professional associations and has held offices in the TRIO associations. Attendance at training sessions has helped Colvin to remain abreast of trends in education. She has attended numerous training workshops, trained colleagues and given presentations. Ms. Colvin is dedicated to the goal of equal access and equal educational opportunity for low-income and first-generation individuals.
Rhonda Hicks, Director Upward Bound Wichita Prep
Rhonda Hicks started with the Upward Bound Wichita Prep program in September 1999. Ms. Hicks' past experience as a Wichita State admissions representative and development coordinator (fundraiser) for the American Heart Association gives her the tools to bring enthusiasm and motivation to the Upward Bound students and to the Upward Bound program. Ms. Hicks graduated from South High School, Wichita, Kansas, where she participated in the Project Discovery program.
She was a first generation; limited income student who was not sure if she would attend college until her high school counselor introduced her to the Project Discovery program (a TRIO program). Once she continued to meet with her Project Discovery representative, she was empowered to attend Wichita State University and received a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing. Ms. Hicks received her master's in management Information systems from Friends University in January 2006. Ms. Hicks is a member of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel.
Jaya Escobar-Bhattacharjee, Associate Director
After high school graduation from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Jaya Escobar attended Wichita State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Ms. Escobar’s professional employment has been in service organizations advocating for youth and families. Employers have included Junior Achievement, SER Corporation, Wichita Acts on Truancy & USD 259 at John Marshall Middle School, Catholic Charities-St. Anthony Family Shelter, Hope Street Youth Development, and, currently serving as Associate Director at WSU’s Upward Bound Wichita Prep. Ms. Escobar has always been involved in her community through volunteer efforts, educational endeavors, event planning, and advocating for others.
Ms. Escobar has been a member of and held leadership positions with: Students Activities Council at WSU, Hispanic American Leadership Organization at WSU, MANA de Wichita, North End Celebrations & Grand Fiesta Patria Planning Committees, and the Hispanic /Native American Coalition. Ms. Escobar has had the privilege of serving on the Boards of Directors/Advisory Boards/ or Board of Trustees for: Campus Activities Center at WSU, Wichita ACTS on Truancy, Hispanic Opportunities & Potential Exploration Services, Institute of Minority Health Education & Research, the USD 259 Hispanic Advisory and currently the WSU College of Engineering Hispanic Advisory. Additionally, Ms. Escobar is currently serving as the board chair of Hunter Health Clinic. Ms. Escobar has also served the City of Wichita through the following boards: District VI Advisory, Short Term Housing Grant Review, Long Term Housing Grant Review, Community Service Block Grant Review, 21st Street Revitalization, Sedgwick County Department of Corrections, and currently the City Manager Review. Workshop topics Ms. Escobar enjoys facilitating include: Teams & Leaders, Goal Setting, Volunteering, and the Power of Words.
Travis Feeney, Academic Program/Database Coordinator
Mr. Travis Feeney is the Special Programs Assistant and Statistician for the UBWP Program. He has held a position with the program for over 13 years now. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at WSU and began working for the program as a student assistant. Later, he also became the part time statistician while continuing his studies in Business Administration. Upon completion of his degree, he began working full time as the special programs’ assistant. His responsibilities include keeping the student database, providing statistical data for the program, and organizing and printing many of the program’s forms and publications. He recently assumed the position of Academic Coordinator in addition to his other duties.
Mary Hutchinson, Saturday Sessions Coordinator
Emily Christensen, Administrative Specialist
Ms. Christensen is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Upward Bound Wichita Prep program. She is a graduate of WSU, where she studied English, communications, and anthropology. In her free time, Ms. Christensen enjoys swimming, cooking, biking, writing, and playing the ukulele. A passionate advocate for the arts, she serves on the advisory board for Harvester Arts and holds the position of communications director for ICT Soup, a creative crowdfunding dinner series. She has worked in different capacities for the Wichita Riverfest over the last couple of years, and looks forward to assuming the role of volunteer parade coordinator this year.