Advising Staff


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

I live in Springfield with my husband and three children. I have been with UIS since 2008 with 10 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 her children’s athletic activities and reading.

Caitlin Perry, Office Support Specialist IMG_0104

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                                                                                 Carmalita new picture website

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, I have served 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 students the insight to value their education as an investment and the skills to maximize the return on that investment. E-mail:

Mae Noll, Advisor Mae picture

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, AdvisorLori picture

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

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I am a 1st Generation College Student from Los Angeles CA. I have worked in different departments at a community college in Southern California, Lake Forest College and UIS. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Lake Forest College in U.S. History with an emphasis in Mexico and U.S. Relations. I received my Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University in History and my MA thesis examined the influence that community organizing organization (PNOC) and the Chicano movement had on Pilsen, a Latino neighborhood in the City of Chicago. My involvement with student organizations like OLAS, MECHA, LET, and PUENTE Club was the main reason of this research focus. Professionally, I have worked as an Educational Advisor for more than 8 years in a higher education setting and I currently serve as the Academic Advisor for STARS Students and students with last names A-E. I enjoy traveling around the world with my wife and daughter. My passion for travel in the United States and abroad began with my study abroad in Florence, Italy, “Fuerza VIOLA.” But most of all, I enjoy watching the Chicago Bears win. Email

 Nicole Hager, Director of Academic Support Services for AthleticsFullSizeRender (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, Student Worker 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.

 Sada Patil, GA

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I am from India and I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems. I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computers. In my free time, I love to watch movies/television. I am a foodie and I love to try different types of food.

Tyrik Brown,  Student Worker Tyrik picture

I am a junior transfer student majoring in Criminal Justice. I received my Associates Degree from Lincoln College. I am from Chicago and in my free time I like to travel.

Alicia Woodman,  MarketerMy new website photo

I am a junior from Shipman, Illinois. I am double majoring in Legal Studies (concentration in Paralegal) and Communications with a Minor in Marketing. In my free time, I do homework or go to my meetings for the organizations that I am in- CSF, RHA, SAC, and SOFA. 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.

Peer Advisors

Tayla Jenkins, Peer Advisor Tayla picture

I am currently a senior here at UIS. I am from Chicago, IL and attended the largest all-girls Catholic school in the country (Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School). I am a Psychology major with a concentration in education, while my minor pertains to interpersonal communication. I plan to go to graduate school in order to obtain a masters in Psychology. In the future, I want to become a Child Psychologist. In my free time I like to read, sing, and travel. I love working in OASIS because it gives me a chance to help my fellow peers make their college journey easier and less stressful.

 Yvonne Ubi, Peer Advisor


I am a Senior majoring in Biological Sciences. I love working at OASIS because of the diversity, respect among the coworkers, team togetherness, friendliness and always filled with laughter. In my free time, I like to read, watch movies, play games or do assignments. My hobbies are dancing and playing.

Laura Dowds, Peer Advisor FullSizeRender

I am currently a junior and I am majoring in Elementary Education and Interpersonal Communication and I plan to become an elementary school teacher after graduation. I would also like to get my Master’s in education after working in the classroom for a few years. I spent one month of my summer working in schools in Uganda and am returning for two months next summer. I would love to return to Africa permanently someday to help with the educational efforts there. I love 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.