Staff

Mai Yer Yang (she/her)
Director
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 but later moved to Sheboygan, WI. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Professional Development with an emphasis in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She has over 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 (she/her)
Assistant Director
Olivia, a proud first-generation graduate student at the UWM Zilber School of Public Health is pursuing her MPH in Community and Behavioral Health Promotion. Originally from Villa Park, Illinois, she moved with her family to Manitowoc, Wisconsin when she was young. Olivia 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 appreciates diversity, authenticity, and community. Olivia is 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.

Emily Grewe (she/they)
Graphic Designer
Emily, a rising senior majoring in Design and Visual Communications, was born and raised in the Suburbs of Chicago. They one day dream of becoming a Graphic Designer for a major company or any other work where she can be creative and interact with all kinds of people. Art has always been a passion of hers, along with creative writing and makeup. They are also a seasoned barista! Emily began working at the IEC in the summer, and she hopes to gain more experience in her field while also creating content that makes everyone of all identities feel welcome and heard. She strives to connect with others using art as creative outlets bring everyone together. When not working on design projects, Emily can be found organizing her Monster High Doll collection, watching bad reality shows, and drawing her own original characters.

Makayla Brame (she/her)
DREAMER’s Assistant
Makayla, a junior student double majoring in Sociology and Psychology, was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She transferred from the UWM at Waukesha campus where she graduated Spring 2021 with her Associate of Arts and Sciences degree. Makayla was an active member of the Waukesha campus and is excited to bring her experience and dedication to student life to the Milwaukee campus. Although she has no set plans for what she would like to do after college she does have a passion for helping others and would like to work with members of underserved communities such as juveniles, or on Native American reservations with a particular interest in the reservations her family is a part of or connected to. Makayla began working in the Inclusive Excellence Center in Summer 2021. She is excited to use her position to encourage diversity, equity, social justice, and promote an accepting environment for everyone. When she is not working Makayla enjoys hanging out with her 2 cats, watching crime shows or musical movie adaptations, playing video games, and spending time with friends.

Lydia McDowell (she/her)
Intercultural Assistant
Lydia is a first-generation student pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Communication. She dreams of becoming a school Psychologist or operating a halfway home. Lydia transferred to UWM her sophomore year and is now a senior. She is a proud bird-mom to her two cockatiels, Noodle and Tofu. In her spare time, she enjoys arts and crafts, the Sims 4, makeup, and spending time outdoors. Lydia began working in the Inclusive Excellence Center in Fall of 2021 and is thrilled to use her position to connect with students and bring awareness to diversity and inclusivity at UWM.

Mee Xiong (she/her) 
Intercultural Assistant
Mee is a first-generation, nontraditional college student who is pursuing a major in Early Childhood Education. She is from La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 2014, she moved to Wausau, Wisconsin where she has been married for over 8 years. She has over 10 years being a Medical Assistant before switching over her career to Early Childhood. Mee began working in the Inclusive Excellence Center in Spring of 2022 and she hopes to provide a welcoming and diverse environment for all students. Besides working at the Inclusive Excellence Center, she is also currently working at the Children Learning Center on the UW-M campus. Outside of school, Mee enjoys traveling, doing arts and crafts and spending quality time with her friends and family. 

Mehan Jinadasa (he/him)
Intercultural Assistant
 
Mehan, a first-generation international student who’s majoring in neuroscience and minoring in psychology, was born In Sri-Lanka but raised in several different countries, including UAE, KSA, Qatar, and Bahrain. He transferred to Milwaukee his sophomore year and now is a senior. He loves dogs, playing basketball and guitar, and taking his snake Sly for a walk. He began working in the Inclusive Excellence Center in the Spring of 2022 and hopes to help other first-generation students and all other students feel welcomed in UWM. He wants to become a cognitive neuroscientist after grad school and will love all the research that comes with it. 

In Loving Memory of Stephanie Narvaez

Stephanie was creative, kind, authentic and extraordinarily beautiful on the inside and out. She lit up any room and was the most wonderful addition to our team. Stephanie will always be in our hearts and a part of our family; we will treasure our memories and time spent with her forever. A beautiful soul is never forgotten.

Rest in peace Steph.