Photo of Dr. Tarah Sweeting-TrotterTarah Sweeting-Trotter, Senior Director of Advising and Learning Support Services & STARS Coordinator

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.


Photo of Ignacio AlvarezIgnacio Alvarez, Advisor & STARS Coordinator

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


Photo of Caitlin PerryCaitlin Perry, Office Support Specialist (The Learning Hub & OASIS)

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.



ErinErin Tomasino, Academic Skills Teaching Assistant (The Learning Hub)

Hello, my name is Erin Tomasino and I am a graduate student in the Human Development Counseling program here at UIS. My goal is to someday become a School Counselor here in the Springfield area. I received my Undergraduate Degree from Eastern Illinois University in Psychology and Criminology. Some of my hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, and going to concerts. I am very excited to be a part of The Learning Hub team and look forward to the opportunity to work with you to enhance your academic skills.


DanielDaniel Rude, Peer Advisor

Hello, I am currently a freshman planning on majoring in Business Management and Political Science. I am from the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. I am excited to be working in advising to help my peers reach their aspirations. In High School I was Student Body President and now in college I am secretary of the Resident Housing Association and a participant of the STARS program. This has 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. I plan to have a career in Business and Politics. I want to run my own non-for-profit one day to help raise funds and awareness about education inequality. I love keeping up with current events and having conversations about world events. ​