Meet Our Staff

Rachel Hoover              

Director of STAR Services

Phone: (409) 880-7202                      

Education: B.A. and M.A. in Sociology, Texas Tech University

Experience: Twenty 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 academic coaching.

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


Theressa "Carol" Matherne

Customer Service Specialist, Sr.

Phone: (409) 880-7218

Education: B.B.A. in Office Administration, Lamar University

Experience: Twenty-three years in administrative support positions in private and state organizations and sixteen years of substitute teaching, tutoring, and assisting in public and private preschool and elementary education.

What she does for STAR Services: Carol Matherne provides administrative support for LU Success and STAR Services.

More about Carol: I am a band mom. I love spending time with my family, and one way to accomplish that is Friday night football in the fall. It makes for a fun date night and mom support. GO HAWKS!!!!

 Erin's Picture

Erin Tabor

Associate Director, STAR Services

Phone: (409) 880-8115

Education: B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Community Psychology, Lamar University

Experience: Over twelve years in higher education student support, including academic advising, directing a TRIO grant, as well as serving as the Associate Director for the Disability Resource Center. 

What she does for STAR Services: Erin Tabor assists the STAR Services director in overseeing STAR Services programming with a focus on the tutoring and collaborative learning programs, which support students in their learning journeys and overall success at Lamar University.

More about Erin: I love any opportunity to be creative from problem-solving at work to being crafty at home with sewing projects, drawing, or DIYing.

 Thelma Gutierrez

Thelma Gutierrez

Customer Service Specialist, Tutoring Services

Phone: (409) 880-7526

Education: High School

Experience: Twenty years in Customer Service and Administrative Support.  Excellent bi-lingual skills in writing, speaking, and reading.  Sixteen years in helping with Workforce System services, (job-search, education/training, support services, case management, and Management).

What she does for STAR Services: Connect students with Tutoring Services and oversee daily functions of The LU Tutoring Center. Intake, track and fill tutoring appointment requests and referrals utilizing Navigate system via e-mail, text, or calls.

More about Thelma: I enjoy spending time with my family. I love movies and the experience of going to the movie theater.

Picture of Whitney Murdock

Whitney Murdock

Coordinator, Academic Coaching

Phone: (409) 880-8029

Education: B.S. in Psychology, Lamar University 

Experience: Four years of higher education experience in peer mentorship, academic interest group facilitation, student development and leadership, along with five years’ experience with skills coaching, intervention, training, clinical staff supervision and contract management in behavioral mental health. Whitney is a McNair Scholars alumna with previous experience in grant funded research and is a graduate of Leadership Beaumont. 

What she does for STAR Services: Whitney Murdock is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and continued development of LU Success and Academic Coaching. She works closely with faculty, staff and students to provide collaborative learning and academic skills development strategies to support students in their continued success at Lamar University.  

More about Whitney: I am an artist, an aspiring counselor and I’m quite nerdy, so feel free to drop in for some quality conversation! I love finding out-of-the-box solutions and contributing to peoples’ well-being.  

Le' Toria Trahan

Le' Toria Trahan

Academic Specialist

Phone: (409) 880-7289

Education: B.S. in Psychology, M.ED. in Clinical mental Health, Lamar University

Experience: Nine years of higher education experience as a student assistant, peer mentor, group tutoring facilitator, and Academic Advisor.

What she does for STAR Services: Le' Toria Trahan is responsible for providing comprehensive academic support for students. She works with students individually and in groups to help them build the necessary skills to succeed at Lamar University.

More about Le' Toria: I love helping people learn more about themselves.


Kandice Boatwright

Academic Specialist

Phone: (409) 880-7668

Education: B.S. in Speech and Hearing Therapy and English, M.Ed. in Special Education, and Specialist of Education in Reading, Louisiana State University

Experience: Twenty-eight years in higher education as an undergraduate instructor of developmental reading and study skills and an academic support specialist.

What she does for STAR Services: Kandice Boatwright is responsible for providing comprehensive academic support for students through the LU Success program. She works with students individually and in groups to help them build the necessary skills to succeed at Lamar University.

More about Kandice: I enjoy working with and teaching students, as well as all outdoor pursuits.