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.


Demetrial Graham

Coordinator, LU Outreach & Support

Phone: (409) 880-8029

Education: B.A. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Management of Technical Education, Texas State University

Experience: Ten years of higher education experience as a tutoring lab assistant, peer mentor, career services intern, academic coaching graduate assistant, in-classroon support for first year experience course, academic advisor, and now a program coordinator.

What she does for STAR Services: Demetrial Graham coordinates programming that provides outreach and support to targeted groups of students to connect them with academic support resources, workshops, and events designed to help them succeed at Lamar University.

More about Demetrial: I love all things fine arts and poetry is my favorite!

"Remember, there are multiple ways to achieve your goals. You can never fail as long as you are true to yourself." ~Jordan R. Holmes


Kandice Boatwright

Student Support 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 Outreach & Support 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.