Staff Bios

Tom Moss | Interim Program Director

Tom Moss is the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at UIC. Moss helps coordinate such initiatives as UIC Summer College, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Office of Project Management for Student Success Initiatives, the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center, and the Office of First-Year Initiatives, which oversees UIC’s new transition coaching program. From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Moss was Associate Director of the First-Year Writing Program at UIC. Previously he was the assistant director of composition at Columbia College in Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University, where he also taught composition and tutored in the OSU Writing Center. In 2010, he received an MA in Communication from UIC.


Elizabeth Houlihan | Assistant Director 

Elizabeth has over 10 years of experience working with youth, adults and families in Chicago communities.  Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development from DePaul University. While receiving her degree, Elizabeth worked in the psychology department lab, helping to understand language and the brain. Elizabeth earned her M.Ed. in Youth Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She is the first in her family to earn a master’s degree and was also a first-generation undergraduate college student.

Elizabeth is passionate and dedicated to improving the lives of young adults as well as providing comprehensive services to students in order to promote academic success during their post-secondary experience! She is eager to support students in the transition from high school to college and hopes to see the cohort of 2016 walk on stage to receive their diplomas by 2020!


Brittney Beck | UIC Transition Coach

As an advocate for student access and success, Brittney has been assisting students with college attainment and retention for over five years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently in pursuit of a MEd in Instructional Leadership with a focus on Policy Studies. As the first of five children to obtain her college degree, she understands the obstacles that many of her students face, having navigated the road to degree attainment. She has a passion for educational equity that is driven by her personal and professional experiences in the field and her desire to promote equality through education and social awareness.


Daniel Brumbach | UIC Transition Coach

Dan has been working with youth, families and community members for the past 6 years. He was once told by his high school teacher that “you have a zero percent chance of success if you don’t even try”.  That helped shape who Dan is today and inspired his passion for working with youth.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Since that time Dan has worked and collaborated with various organizations in providing students with opportunities that lead to academic success. He is passionate about advocating for youth and is excited to be guiding students in the transition from high school to college.


Office of First Year Initiatives Student Employees

  • Kevin Kavalackal: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Neuroscience, Class of 2017
  • Diana Martinez: College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Class of 2018
  • Daniel De La Torre: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020
  • Tariyawn Knighten: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020
  • Kendra Clayton: College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Class of 2020
  • Tyler Castillo: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020