Advising Staff


Dr. Tarah Sweeting-Trotter, Senior Director of Advising and Learning Support Services in the Center for Academic Success

I live in Springfield with my husband and three children. I have been with UIS since 2008 with 12 years of experience in higher education. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English from MacMurray College, a Master’s Degree in English from UIS, and a Ph.D. in English with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Saint Louis University. I have taught in various departments across campus including English, Capital Scholars Honors, Sociology/Anthropology, and Women and Gender Studies. I have also worked as an advisor and as the coordinator of the STARS living-learning community and the UIS Summer Bridge Program. When I am not working, I enjoy recreational and competitive running, watching and coaching my children’s athletic activities and reading.

Caitlin Perry, Office Support Specialist 

I have worked at the University of Illinois Springfield since October 2013 and joined the Center for Academic Success in February 2015. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English-Publishing from Illinois State University and am currently working toward a Master’s in Communication here at UIS. When I’m not helping students, I enjoy hiking, gardening, drinking coffee, and freelance editing and web design.


Carmalita Kemayo, Advisor

I originally hail from California and I have lived and worked in a number of locations throughout the country. As a nationally certified counselor and seasoned trainer, and diversity educator, I have engaged multiple populations in academic, corporate, and community environments. I am particularly interested in the effective application of knowledge to real life experience, and I hope to instill in my learners the insight to value their education as an investment and the skills to maximize the return on that investment. E-mail:

Mae Noll, Advisor

I am a Springfield native and longtime UIS presence. I completed my B.A. at Illinois College, my Masters at UIUC, and my teaching certificate at UIS. Prior to joining the UIS staff, I worked in Student Affairs and Academic Affairs at UIUC and Springfield College in Illinois. I focus on supporting student academic success, while matching students with opportunities for personal growth and leadership development. I want our students to feel part of a community that values them as individuals, supports them as scholars, and prepares them for life outside of the institution. E-mail:

Lori Benedict, Advisor Lori

I am a central Illinois native that has worked in higher education in many capacities. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling, along with Diversity in Management and Higher Education Management Advanced Certificates. My passion is student success and I have spent my entire career with that goal in mind. First in secondary special education, then in a variety of higher education positions including ISTEP Coordinator, Workforce Director, Psychology and Sociology Instructor, Financial Aid Advisor, and Academic Advisor. My goal here at UIS is to help students find their path, be it original or newly formed. My focus is on positively supporting student academic success while helping students see the value of their education and its later practical application to their career choice. Email:

Ignacio Alvarez, Advisor

I am a 1st generation college student from Los Angeles, CA. After earning my Associates degree from Riverside Community College, I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Lake Forest College in U.S. History and I received my Master’s Degree in History from Claremont Graduate University. Professionally, I have worked as an Educational Advisor for more than 9 years in higher education setting and I currently serve as the designated Academic Advisor for students in the Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success Living Learning Community (STARS) here at UIS. In addition, I also advise students with last names A-E who are not majoring in the Sciences, Pre-Nursing and Business concentrations. In my spare time, if I am not reading a history book or watching a documentary, I enjoy traveling around the world with my family. But most of all, I enjoy chatting with my students about their academic, career or personal aspiration. My door is always open to help students succeed. Email:

Nicole Hager, Director of Academic Support Services for Athletics FullSizeRender (1)

I am the 1st Director of Academic Support Services for Athletics in partnership between athletics and OASIS. My responsibilities include serving as academic advisor to undergraduate student athletes. I came to UIS from Robert Morris University where I served as a professor for 11 years. I also served as Faculty Advisor for the Eagle Scholar Program. I have a BA and MA in English from UIS and PhD work in American Literature from St. Louis University. I live in Springfield with my husband Peter and daughter Caroline. Email:

Student Workers

Brandon Hoskins, Peer Advisor Brandon picture

I am a junior majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Economics. I enjoy networking with other people with the same common goal of success. I would like to pursue a career in Business Analytic or Marketing. I’m also affiliated with other organizations and I enjoy aiding to make a change.

Alicia Woodman, Marketer

I am a junior double majoring in Legal Studies (concentration in Paralegal) and Communications with a Minor in Marketing. I currently am the Chair of SOFA, member of Christian Student Fellowship, and the social media marketer for Young Professional Marketers at UIS. My favorite part about working at OASIS is being able to make sure that students know what’s going on in our office and around campus.

Laura Dowds, Starfish Peer Advisor FullSizeRender

I am currently a junior, studying Interpersonal Communication and Public Health. My post-graduation plans are not set, but hopefully graduate school is somewhere in my future. I enjoy reading and writing and also love to travel. My goal is to visit every continent at some point in my life. I started working at OASIS at the beginning of the Fall Semester in 2015. I enjoy my role at OASIS because my job is to connect students with the resources within the University that will help them succeed if they are struggling in a class or in their personal life.

Patricia Mubirigi, Peer Advisor

I am a junior and I transferred to UIS after I received my associate of arts degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL. I am currently pursuing a Clinical Psychology major and with this degree, I hope to work as an advisor. Working as a peer advisor is something I feel greatful for, and by working as a peer advisor I hope to gain experience and meet great people along the way!

Daniel Rude, Peer Advisor

Daniel Rude picture I am currently a freshman from the northern suburbs of Chicago. I plan on majoring in Business Management and Political Science. I am excited to be working in advising to help my peers reach their aspirations. On campus, I am the secretary of the Resident Housing Association and a participant of the STARS program. These opportunities have allowed me to grow socially and as a student. With what I have learned in my experience at UIS, I have been able to gain valuable leadership experience. After I graduate, I plan to have a career in Business and Politics and I would like to run my own non-profit one day to help raise funds and awareness about education inequality. During my free time, I love keeping up with current events and having conversations about world events.

Sunil Devappa, Graduate Assistant

I am a graduate student majoring in Management Information Systems. Prior to working at OASIS, I was working as a Systems Engineer for IBM India Private Limited, at Bengaluru India. I enjoy working at OASIS because I get to learn about new technologies that are involved in Academics that drive the success factor at UIS. After graduation, I plan to become a Data Scientist in the field of Big Data and Business Intelligence. When I have time to myself, I read books, watch documentary videos and learn about the trends in technology.