Upward Bound

Full-time Staff

Leanne Maxwell - Director
Director 3
I love the Upward Bound program, and I am thrilled to be a part of it! I was actually a low-income, first generation student, raised in the small southern Utah town of Glendale. I learned early from my parents that education is very important, so after I graduated from Valley High School, I was one of the few girls in my high school graduating class who went on to graduate college. I received a BA in Family and Consumer Science at Southern Utah State College (now Southern Utah University). I moved away from Cedar City for many years, but I returned in 1992 and immediately began taking classes to obtain my teacher certification in Home Economics. I continued on to complete a Masters in Education in May of 2000. I am thrilled to have a position with the SUU Upward Bound project because I love education and want all the UB students to love it too. I have been Director of Upward Bound at SUU since 1995 and I enjoy working with high school students because I believe that gaining an education is one of the most important things a person can do with their life! I'd like to see every student go to school after high school. I truly believe that the only thing more expensive than education is not obtaining an education!!

Spencer Kohler - Assistant Director
Spencer Kohler

I was also raised in a small town with limited opportunities for education but I had two great parents who encouraged me to complete my education. My parents were my examples because they both had bachelor degrees and had professions they were really successful with. Once I graduated Wasatch High School I attended Dixie State College (now University) and received an Associate’s Degree in Family Consumer Science. I transferred up to Utah State University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Consumer and Human Development. I finished my education at University of Phoenix in Psychological Counseling.

When I was finishing my degree at Utah State, I had the opportunity of doing an internship in a collage academic and counseling center and I have loved the profession ever since. I have had over a decade of experience counseling and advising students academically in a variety of different settings and it is what I am passionate about. I am excited about Upward Bound because post high school training is an essential part of life and our world will be a better place as more people look to sharpen their skills.

Katrina Empey - Administrative Assistant
Katrina Empey

I grew up in West Jordan, Utah, where I graduated from high school and began my first year of college. I started off as a freshman at Salt Lake Community College. After one year I wanted more opportunities and decided to move to Cedar City to continue my education at SUU. I am junior currently working hard toward my bachelor’s degree in Communication. I am hoping to one day be an event planner for large events with 500 people or more. My ultimate goal is to work for a non-profit organization such as Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have been working for Upward Bound for two years now and I love the program. It has been a great opportunity to work with the students. I am excited to be able to continue working with the students and help them have some of the amazing opportunities I have been fortunate to have.