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

Dr. Tarah Sweeting-TrotterI 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.



Mae Noll, Advisor

mae nollI 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: mnoll1@uis.edu

Lori Benedict, Advisor

LoriI 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: lbene2@uis.edu

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: nhage01s@uis.edu

Dara Abina, Visiting Academic Success Coach and STARS Coordinator

College Access and Retention has always been my passion. This passion stems from working as a College Advisor with the Illinois College Advising Corps. As a College Advisor within a Chicago Public High School, I worked to increase the number of first-generation college going, low-income, and/or underrepresented students who apply, enter, and complete college. Simply put ” I help you finish what you started” every student deserves access to quality education. As the STARS Student Success Coach, I coordinate Summer Bridge, meet with students regularly to ensure continued academic success, develop programming for monthly mentoring program. I hold my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration. I hold a lot of my success to the quality education I received from UIS. UIS is truly a place that develops today’s leaders. I enjoy working out watching anything on Netflix’s and listening to all genres of music.

Student Workers

Patricia Mubirigi, Peer Advisor

Patricia MubirigiI am a senior 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 grateful for, and by working as a peer advisor I hope to gain experience and meet great people along the way!