The Learning Hub/CTL Alumni

Where are They Now? See what our alumni are doing!


Benjamin Taliana is currently working for Ameriprise Financial, a fortune 500 company based out of Minneapolis, as a System Analyst (programmer). He works in the Insurance & Annuties Technology department, where he maintains one of their many applications housing annuities. He currently resides in the Twin Cities.


Since graduating with a Masters in Human Developing Counseling from UIS, I have since relocated to Naples, FL. Currently, I work at Florida Gulf Coast University as an Academic Success Coach in the Center for Academic Achievement. When I am not working with students on academic skills and academic  success, I enjoy my time living the salt life by going to the beach, paddle boarding, and spending time with family.


After getting my M.A. in Public History at UIS, I followed my dream job out west to Kansas. As the curator for the Geary County Historical Society, I get to do what I love best every day–play with old dusty things and discover new (old) treasures. When I am not setting up an exhibit or covered in 100 year old dust in the museum, I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful Flint Hills where hiking and sightseeing is at a premium!



I have completed my MD at University of Illinois and am currently in residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in the specialty of anesthesiology.




Joe is currently completing his PhD in History at Kent State University in Ohio.




KristenI am now teaching 6th grade science at Bradley Central Middle School in Bradley, IL. I also coach tennis at the local high school.




Mark and Hayley

After graduating from UIS, Mark (’12) attended medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford as a member of the Rural Medical Education Program. Hayley (’14) and Mark were married in August of 2014 after Hayley completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies. They remained in Rockford until the spring of 2016 when Mark graduated medical school and they moved to Bryan, Texas. Mark is currently a resident at the Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency and plans to practice rural, full scope family medicine following completion of his training. Hayley is currently working for Keep Brazos Beautiful as Programs Manager and develops events that engage and educate the citizens of Brazos County to keep the community clean, green, and beautiful. Mark and Hayley have a dog, Leia, who keeps them very busy in their free time.


Michael Lotspeich is currently a doctoral student at Baylor University (Waco, Texas), studying Applied Sociology. His research uses an interdisciplinary approach to the broad fields of rural sociology, political geography, and public education, with a particular focus on the politics and discourses of stratification at the rural-urban nexus. He misses many things about The Learning Hub/CTL, including working with first-year students, introducing his co-workers to the theory of ‘twerking’, and not having office chair races during finals week.


Currently I’m working as a resource interpreter park ranger for the National Park Service at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!




RHS Spirit
I’m currently working at Rochester High School as a school counselor after graduating in 2010 with my MA in school counseling. This is my fifth year in the school counseling field and my fourth year at Rochester High. I have used my experience as a tutor at UIS to develop a peer tutoring program of my own at Rochester High, pairing National Honor Society upperclassmen with underclassmen who need one on one help with their coursework.



Since working at the CTL, I graduated from UIS with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology. I then joined AmeriCorps for the Illinois Public Health Association. After that I decided to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. After completing the required courses at Jefferson, I joined medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York. I completed my MPH simultaneously last December 2013. Right now I am a third year and doing core clinical rotations. I’m deciding on pursuing a career in either Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine, or Primary Care while focusing on public health and international health. During medical school I did two international humanitarian trips to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.


I’ve been employed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office doing digital forensics since graduating in 2013.


I’m obtaining my Master’s degree of Accounting on campus this semester, and I’m also in the GPSI program, and having my internship at the Illinois Department of Transportation.





In the early 19th century, the intellectual community of scientists, social reformers, educators, and philosophers flocked to New Harmony, Indiana, a town situated on the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. It was home to two Utopian communities: Harmonie (1814-1824), established by Johann Georg Rapp, and New Harmony (1825-1827), established by Robert Owen. Over the past eight months, one of our former writing TAs, Stephanie Riley, has been living and breathing all things related to New Harmony. She read, researched, wrote descriptions, and inputted metadata for over 1,200 documents, and all her hard work paid off as the collection is finally live! Stay tuned as Stephanie chronicles her experience as she made her way through the New Harmony Collections, writes educational materials on how to use digitized historical sources for research, and tutorials on how to read 19th century handwriting. What are you waiting for?! Stop taking those selfies and go read philosophical debates exchanged between two friends, discussions on how to improve the educational opportunities for everyone, not just the elites, and the overall intellectual climate of the early 1800s in the New Harmony Collections at the Indiana State Library now!


Since graduating in May 2013, I have been working for the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus. I have started my Master’s Degree in Public Administration at UIS and have opened my own indoor fastpitch softball academy in Springfield.




I’m currently at UIllinois College of Law. I spent the past summer as a law clerk in the law department of Mondelez International (formerly known as Kraft Foods Inc.), the world’s leader in the snacking industry (the Oreo people!). I graduate in 2016 and will likely practice commercial litigation. I’m on the job hunt now, so that, and my location, will hopefully be finalized soon.