Meet Our Staff

Rachel Hoover Picture 
Rachel Hoover              

Director of STAR Services

Phone: (409) 880-7202                      
Education: B.A. and M.A. in Sociology, Texas Tech University
Experience: Fifteen years in various higher education roles, starting as a tutor as an undergraduate and transitioning to a coordinator and director of multiple academic support programs, including supplemental instruction, tutoring, mentoring, first-year experience, and peer-assisted learning.

What she does for STAR Services: Rachel Hoover creates, implements, oversees and assesses a variety of programs designed to help students succeed at Lamar University. 

More about Rachel: Quotes serve as a great inspiration for me and I love to share them.

 “What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination.” ~Unknown


Tanya Hearn             

Administrative Associate, Sr.

Phone: (409) 880-7218                      
Education: Background in Elementary Education/English
Experience: Twenty-three years as a small business owner and fifteen years in children's ministry and youth mentoring.

What she does for STAR Services: Tanya Hearn provides administrative support and oversees the daily functions of the STAR Services main office.

More about Tanya: A few of my favorite things include spending time with my family, board games, fishing, and embroidery. My heartbeat is working with sugar, especially making cakes, cookies and candies for my family and friends.

 “The best thing about working with sugar is you get to eat your mistakes.” ~Tanya Hearn


Celine Hodge

Assistant Director, Cardinal Communities

Phone: (409) 880-8115
Education: M.A. in Medieval History, University of Toulouse Le Mirail (France), M.A. in International Relations, University of New Orleans
Experience: A dedicated Student Services professional with over 10 years in higher education.

What she does for STAR Services: Celine Hodge designs and implements the Cardinal Communities learning community program and oversees all professional and peer mentors.

More about Celine: I love statement glasses. One of my favorite hobbies is bicycle riding in Old Town with my two year old and my husband.

Sarah Ridley

Coordinator, Tutoring & SI

Phone: (409) 880-7283
Education: B.A. in English, Lamar University; M.A. in English, University of North Texas
Experience: Three years of tutoring for private and academic organizations along with a combined four years of teaching composition and college readiness courses at both the University of North Texas and Lamar Institute of Technology.

What she does for STAR Services: Sarah Ridley is responsible for the continued development, planning, and implementation of Tutoring Services programs. She works closely with students, academic and student service departments, faculty, and staff to ensure support services meet student and campus needs.

More about Sarah:  When I am not at work, I enjoy playing video games (poorly), doing yoga (creakily), running (slowly), and cooking (intermittently). Currently, I spend my spare weekends traveling around Texas looking for my travel trinity: a good bookstore, the perfect coffee shop, and an inimitable breakfast joint. Someday, a genius will combine all three, and that breakfast-bookstore is where I will live.

Picture of Kelly Elia
Kelly Elia

Administrative Assistant, Tutoring

Phone: (409) 880-7526
Experience: Ten years in banking and office administration.

What he does for STAR Services: Kelly Elia oversees the daily operations of The LU Tutoring Center by assisting students, maintaining tutors' schedules, and greeting and providing information to all visitors. He works closely with STAR Services staff to best ensure the implementation of quality tutoring. 

More about Kelly:  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, eating out, and trying new foods. I also like to volunteer and participate in various community service opportunities. I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and look forward to every football season.

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." -Unknown