Mai Yer Yang

Mai Yer is a first generation college student who was born and raised in Ban Vinia Refugee Camp, Thailand. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old and resided in Akron, OH where they later moved to Sheboygan, WI. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Professional Development with the emphasis in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She has ten years of experience working in higher education specifically with traditionally underserved student populations and cultural programming.

Mai Yer loves to travel and eat local authentic food. She believes that the best way to learn about culture is through food. Her strengths are communication, adaptability, organization and event planning.


Olivia Clifton
Assistant Director

A proud first-generation graduate student at the UWM Zilber School of Public Health pursuing her MPH in Community and Behavioral Health Promotion. Olivia is originally from Villa Park, Illinois but moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin with her family when she was young. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is excited to be continuing her education in graduate school here. She has been with the Inclusive Excellence Center since 2014 and finds her job very rewarding. In her role as the coordinator for first-generation students, Olivia strives to connect students with the resources and tools that will help them to succeed. She is also an officer in UWM’s first-generation student organization. She appreciates diversity, authenticity, and community. She’s a homebody, dog lover, movie fanatic, and foodie. Apart from her role as a graduate student and employee, Olivia enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring Milwaukee, and playing board games.


Stephanie Castillo
DREAMERS Assistant

Stephanie is a junior studying social work and psychology and plans on continuing to graduate school and eventually getting her clinical license. As a returning adult student after her military service and two young children at home, she understands the variety of hardships and obstacles students can face and hopes that her position in the IEC will allow her to support and encourage her fellow classmates. She is particularly passionate about all individuals having access to higher education and is invested in helping undocumented students in her position as the DREAMER’s assistant. Stephanie is also an officer in an emerging organization on campus for 1stgeneration students and regularly volunteers on the weekends at La Causa. remove and add volunteers as a CASA Advocate. Stephanie enjoys exploring all the diverse festivals and events that Milwaukee offers but hopes to return to Washington in the future to raise her family.


Stephanie Narvaez
Graphic Designer

A committed and hard-working first-generation student and designer working on utilizing her skills within the city of Milwaukee. Stephanie was born in the States after her parents immigrated here from Mexico in 1990 seeking a better life and education for their children. Stephanie is a digital artist, music-festival lover, adventurer, and pasta enthusiast. Stephanie hopes to be a resource for first-generation students and others. She is currently a junior studying Design and Visual Communications with a minor in Art History. She strives to create innovate and effective design. Stephanie currently works as the graphic artist for the IEC and hopes to create impactful visuals and marketing for the team and their many helpful events. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, being in sweats, working on art, and hammocking.


Farok Rashid
Intercultural Assistant

A passionate and committed student working to foster a thriving environment for student development and engagement on diversity at UW-Milwaukee. Farok Rashid is a second-year student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Pre-Medicine track and minoring in Communication. He is a first generation college-bound student in his family. He was born and raised in Malaysia, where he immigrated to the U.S. in 2014 for a better life quality and education. Farok hopes to attend medical school after college, with the ultimate goal of becoming a family physician to give a helping hand in war-zone countries by joining Doctors Without Borders. He hopes to utilize IEC as a platform to increase cultural awareness and diminish ignorance in students, and help them establish connections with individuals from other cultures. He believes the more immersed we become in a cultural environment, the more the hidden core values of cultures are revealed to us. During his free time, Farok loves hiking and taking pictures of the living world around him.

Ivan Manuel
Lawton Assistant

Ivan is currently a Senior studying Marketing in the Lubar school of Business along with a minor in digital design. He was born and raised in Los Angeles California and moved to Milwaukee to be closer to family. He is in his final semester at UWM and is excited to graduate in December. He enjoys traveling and plans to go abroad following graduation.


Alondra Garcia
Intercultural Assistant

Alondra is a first-generation student majoring in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a focus in Advertising/Public Relations and a minor in Spanish with hopes to work in the entertainment business (specifically in the Chicano music industry). She was born and raised on the Southside of Milwaukee along with three other older siblings to Mexican parents from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Alondra is a music junkie who actually played the viola for 10 years, was in a mariachi for about five years and has even performed at Disneyland and traveled to Argentina, Uruguay, Austria and Hungary through with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra! She loves all things that has to do with art, music and food – especially Italian and Mexican. Aside from being an Intercultural Assistant at the IEC, she is also the Secretary of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee here at UWM and just recently joined Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., a Latina based multicultural sorority. If she isn’t doing homework at Rochambo, at meetings or at work, you can find Alondra planning trips on Google flights, listening to music, watching something on Netflix and cooking or baking in her free time!