Upward Bound Staff

Ophrah Payne     Ophrah Payne
TRIO Upward Bound


Ophrah Payne has previously worked with TRIO programs prior to her appointment as Coordinator for TRIO Upward Bound at the University of Memphis. Ophrah's leadership philosophy has been developed over many years of public service to the communities and residents of the city of Memphis. Ophrah has been a public servant her entire career and views it as a calling rather than simply a career choice. She has received both her B.S.P. in Health Administration from the University of Memphis and M.S. in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. A loyal advocate of student development, particularly for first generation, low income, and students with disabilities, Payne has dedicated her professional life to serving underserved youth.

James Beasley     James Beasley
Success Coach
TRIO Upward Bound


James Beasley is a native of Willisville, Arkansas and takes pride in his humble beginnings. As a military veteran of the United States Army, Beasley understands the importance of sacrifice and service to the community. Beasley received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Management and Technology in Arlington, Virginia, a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies with a concentration in Social Work and African American Studies from the University of Memphis (both with honors, Magna Cum Lauda). James was an active member of Upward Bound while in high school and also as an undergraduate student at the UofM. He was inducted into the Carson’s Circle, the highest award given to a University of Memphis senior. Beasley is committed to lifelong learning, and earned a Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies in May 2022.