Lawton Advocates

Sandra Ascencio
Hi everyone! My name is Sandra Ascencio, and I am a Junior here at UWM. I am majoring in Marketing, Minoring in Spanish with concentration in business and, a certificate in International Business. I am a very busy person, and I am always on the go. Whenever I have free time, I like to either decompress by myself or chill with friends/family. I like to consider myself as openminded and I am always down to try new things in life! I am 100% Mexicana and extremely proud of where I come from! Raised by two immigrants and ready to conquer anything and everything! This will be my first year as a Lawton Advocate and second as a Lawton Scholar. I had an amazing advocate who was extremely helpful, and I want to be that person to the next. Excited on what’s yet to come and meet new faces!

Estela Rangel 
My name is Estela Rangel! My pronouns are she/her/hers and I am a senior this year majoring in Occupational Studies with a minor in Psychology. I was born in Los Angeles, CA but consider Milwaukee my true home since I was raised here for most of my life. I do research on campus and also work as a Student Coordinator at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In my free time, I love to paint, draw, and do crafts because I find it super fun! I have truly enjoyed being an Advocate and am looking forward to continuing this upcoming semester!

Romesh Jayasundara (Romesh Alex Jaya)
Romesh Alex Jaya is a Senior at UWM pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Born and raised in Texas, Romesh moved to Milwaukee back in June of 2014 after graduating high school in his hometown of Houston. Romesh took two gap years after moving to Milwaukee before applying to UWM. During his time at UWM, Romesh has performed in 10+ theatre productions in-and-around the greater-Milwaukee area. Romesh has been a recipient of the Lawton Scholarship for the past two years and is ecstatic to be joining the 2020-2021 academic year as an official Lawton Advocate. After graduation, Romesh hopes to book a Broadway national tour and ultimately originate a role in a musical, leading to his first Tony Award nomination and win!

Austin Ly
My name is Austin Wong Ly. I am a fourth-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am majoring in K-12 Theatre Education. I am fluent in Hmong and English. My goal is to become a theatre arts professor. I have been part of many musical productions throughout my life. I love being on the stage as it gives me experiences on how to be a performing artist and allows me to gain knowledge as a teaching artist. When I am not spending time with my academic and career goals, I am learning about religions and spirituality. I grew up as a Lutheran, but my college experience has opened my eyes to see many different perspectives about God/gods and the creation of the universe. Although I am a Christian, I enjoy praying at synagogues and meditating at Buddhist temples. I find peace in all religions. Lastly, I believe that love is love and that believing in humanity, that we are all one, will set us free from division.

Adilene Quezada 
Hi! My name is Adilene. I’m a Film major and planning to minor in JAMS soon! I love to talk about any form of fine arts and creating things. I like to think I’m pretty easy-going and have been told I’m a good listener so please feel free to ask for any sort of advice regarding classes, friendships, home life–anything!

Yer Thao
My name is Yer Thao. I graduated from South Division High School in 2017. I’m currently a full time, third-year student at UW-Milwaukee. I’m majoring in biochemistry with a biological science minor. I’m planning to go to medical school after graduating from UW-Milwaukee. My future career job is to be a doctor. A factor that influence my life is my family. Families have always been a big part in my life. They encourage and support in everything that I choose to do. I enjoy being with my siblings and experiencing things together. I also plan to visit South Korea with my siblings sometime in the future. Some things about myself that people around me usually notice are that I’m a very quiet and responsible person. My hobbies are watching drama and reading. I love watching Chinese, Korean and Thai drama. Whenever I have free time, I would read Chinese translated novel online.

Brianna Canales
Hey There! My name is Brianna (pronounced Bree- AN- uh) I love being called Bri – so don’t hesitate to use this nickname. I am studying Marketing & Advertising and I have an abundant interest in graphic design. With these 3 focuses I want to be a Creative Director at a fashion, beauty, or overall creative and progressive company in the future. If said company was in NYC – that would be the icing on the cake. Other important aspects of my identity are: I use the pronouns She/Her/Hers and I am a proud Afro-Latina woman. I enjoy getting involved with groups and events that coincide with my push to make all people feel safe in their identities.

I also love shopping (thrifty specifically), watching my newest tv addictions, and spending time with my family, friends, and my pitbull, Sophia. Before college I lived in a small town in Wisconsin. I came to UWM looking for more diversity, opportunity, and like-minded people. I have not been disappointed thus far! I am super excited to be a Lawton Advocate and I hope I can connect & help as many students who need more guidance on and off campus! Favorite Music Artist: Kehlani. Favorite Show: The Bold Type. Favorite Quote: Live Colorfully!

Sundance Duchow
Hey there! My name is Sundance, I’m a junior majoring in English at UWM. This is my first semester as a Lawton Advocate, so I’m very excited! I’m an officer for an amazing student organization on campus, Panthers Against Sexual Assault. In my free time, I love reading, cooking and grabbing coffee with friends.

Alexia Castillo
My name is Alexia Castillo, I prefer to be called Lexi. I am majoring in biochemistry and double minoring in Italian and biological science. I plan to go to medical school after I graduate. I hope to move to Italy and be a doctor there. Outside of school I really enjoy cooking, reading, calligraphy, and creating new coffee drinks! I am very passionate about school and learning. I hope to share that drive with others. 

I am very excited to be an Advocate! I have been told I am a great listener and shoulder to lean on, so feel free to reach out about anything. I am happy to support others and see others thrive in their success! 

Celina Xiong
My name is Celina
Xiong and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am currently a senior majoring in Biology with an emphasis in the Pre-Physician Assistant program. On campus, I am involved in the Asian Student Union and Hmong Student Association. I also work at the front desk at Sandburg Residence Hall, so feel free to swing by and say hi! I enjoy Hmong dancing, baking, watching horror movies, and going to concerts (pre-pandemic) in my free time. I am looking forward to graduating this year and gaining more experience in the healthcare field. 

Cianna Colon
My name is Cianna Colon and I am currently a senior at UWM. I am majoring in Nutritional Sciences and am Pre-physician assistant. I have been apart of the Lawton Program for three years which has helped me fund for my education and provided me with resources to help me succeed within my schooling and life in general. I am looking forward to what this year has to offer me, and to being back on campus!  

Diego Garcia
My name is Diego Garcia, and I am currently a Junior here at UWM. I am in the school of Engineering, majoring in Civil Engineering. In the future I hope to help my community anyway possible with my career. In my free time, I am usually playing soccer or spending time with my friends and family. I am looking forward to this upcoming school year because it has been a long time since I have been able to be on campus and learn in person. 

Eduardo Magallanes
My name is Eduardo Magallanes, but most people know me as Eddy or Lalo. I am a junior at UWM majoring in business marketing with a minor in music. I was born in Milwaukee, but my family is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico. I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and most of all playing music. Call me old fashioned, but I love Jazz and Latin American music. My main instrument is saxophone but I also play piano and Latin percussion. While I spend most of my day in my marketing classes, you can also catch me rehearsing with the UWM Jazz Big Band and the UWM Jazz Combo. If you see me around campus don’t be afraid to say hi! I promise I’m not as mean as I look. Look forward to meeting you!

Elliot Perez
My name is Elliott and I’m going to be a junior this year. I am currently a biomedical science major and have the goal of becoming an anesthesiologist assistant after I graduate. Outside of school, I enjoy staying active and going outdoors. This will be my first year as a Lawton advocate and I’m excited to help!

Glendalys Gonzalez
My name is Glenda Valdes and I’m a junior majoring in Journalism and Public Relations! I also have a minor in both Economics and International Studies. I am from Puerto Rico and I moved to the U.S about six years ago. I love to travel and this summer my family and I travelled to Europe for two weeks! I also worked as an Outreach Student Ambassador in UWM and this summer I was a Newsroom Intern at WISN (ABC) News. This fall you will probably see me around working at the Roberto Hernandez Center! Stop by to say hi!

Jesus Velarde
My name is Jesus Velarde, and I’m a Junior at UWM. I am majoring in communication and minoring in Spanish. I tend to be a busy person, when I have free time I spend it playing music. I play guitar and write music from time to time. I like to think of myself as a person who tries to see life from various perspectives, and find someway or another to seek the positive in times where it might seem there are none. I am of Latino background, and proud of the sacrifices my parents have made to bring me this far. This will be my first year as a Lawton Advocate and second year as a Lawton Scholar. I had a very helpful and insightful advocate who helped me a lot so far at my time at UWM. I hope I can be a helpful resource, and give students with the help they might need while at UWM. Excited to see what this year might bring!

Karen Rico
My name is Karen Rico and I’m a senior here at UWM. I’m majoring in healthcare Administration with a business minor and certificate in healthcare informatics. This will be my second year as a Lawton Advocate, and I have been a Lawton scholar for 3 years. Additionally, I am a part-time office assistant and peer mentor for Trio’s Student Support Services. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, watching movies, going to new restaurants, and shopping. I was born in Dallas but was raised in Milwaukee. I love traveling back to Dallas whenever I can to visit my family. I am a coffee lover who is always looking for new shops to try. 

Leilani  Cabán
My name is Leilani  Cabánand I am a proud 100% Puerto Rican woman born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. I’m currently a senior at UW-Milwaukee in the Lubar School of Business, majoring in IT Management. My friends would describe me as being a great listener, extremely driven, and a highly motivated individual that loves to see the glass half full. I love to travel, spend time with my friends and family, and of course shopping! This will be my first year as a Lawton Advocate and I am very excited to help, encourage and support my scholars in the same way my advocate helped me. I’m looking forward to this year with you all! 

Medalia Santos
My name is  Medalia  Santos. I  am a passionate Design and Visual Communication major at UW-Milwaukee. I grew up in Milwaukee, where as a child I always had an eye for design and a love for colors. Though it was not until my senior year of high school, where I discovered my love for design. I remember discovering that design is everywhere, from logos, posters, packaging, book covers, album covers and so much more. Making me realize that the possibilities are endless when it comes to design. Besides designing, some of my other passions are photography, editing, traveling, and spending quality time with my family. I look forward to being a Lawton Advocate this semester and can’t wait to get to know and support my Lawton scholars! 

Mee Xiong
My name  is  Mee Xiong from Wausau, WI. I am a senior majoring in  Early Childhood Education.  I’ve been married for 7 years I love meeting new faces and trying new things. Some of my hobbies include traveling,  cooking, and  arts and crafts. 

Mizuleyka McCarthy
Hi there, my name is Mizuleyka McCarthy and I am a junior majoring in Film and minoring in ASL. I am originally from Door County but love living in Milwaukee. My dream is to make my own films as well as write, so hopefully I can be on SNL someday. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, exploring the city with my puppy, reading, and taking pictures. This is my second semester as an advocate and I am beyond excited to have this opportunity so don’t be shy to reach out, we can always talk about movies, too!

Nawal Indhosacad
My name is Nawal Indhosacad and I am a senior here at UWM. My major is Criminal Justice and I plan on minoring in Arabic Language. Some facts about me are that I am a first generation student and come from Middle Eastern and African parents. I tend to always have a jam pack schedule because I am also a Resident Assistant in university housing. This is my first year being am Lawton advocate so I’m very excited and look forward to meeting everyone.

Nou Thao
My name is Nou Thao, I am a first-generation Hmong American woman, born and raised in the city of Milwaukee, WI. I have a large family and I am the third oldest out of ten, and the oldest daughter.
I am currently a 3rd-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) pursuing a major in Biomedical Sciences with a Laboratory Science emphasis. At the same time, I am minoring in both Psychology and Chemistry, obtaining a certificate in Hmong Diaspora Studies. Work-wise, I am a research assistant in the Biomedical Engineering department at UWM and a night shift emergency medical technician (EMT) at Bell Ambulance. 

Outside of education and career-focused aspects – I would describe myself as someone who is adventurous and spontaneous. I like to say I am internally an old lady, as I like to go on long walks on trails. At the same time, I enjoy activities that gets me moving, especially with cardio. I enjoy running, hiking, and playing sports with my younger siblings. You will always catch me with my phone out because I am all for catching candid memories whether it be in form of pictures or videos.  

As much of an adrenaline junkie I can be at times, I definitely love my own “me” time. Ways I relieve my stress are through cleaning my room, journaling, and doing skincare. The way I lose the most money is by, “supporting small local businesses”. Saying that makes me feel like I’m doing something for a great cause and I didn’t purchase an item by impulse. I enjoy a whole range of music from fobby Hmong music to modern American pop. I love long talks about one’s passions and career goals.  

My commitment to being a Lawton Advocate originates from my knowledge of the Hmong culture and my own core values of wanting to pursue higher education. Being a student myself, I can empathize with the students and understand their difficulty in adapting to the college lifestyle. Through my time with Lawton, I hope to provide myself as much as a form of service, resource, and support for the students so that they feel motivated in pursing their careers.  

Paola Espadas
My name is Paola Espadas. I am 20 years old and I am a Human Resources Management major. On my free time I like to spend time with my friends and going out to try new food. I also enjoy going on bike rides and having game nights at home with my roommates. 

Stacey Thao
My name is Stacey Thao and I am a senior at UWM, majoring in social work and minoring in sociology. I aspire to change and help the lives of those who are disadvantaged and are vulnerable, by supporting and uplifting them. I’m an open and sociable person who loves meeting new people. So don’t be afraid to approach me! I love watching dramas and TV shows. Ranging from Asian dramas (Thai, Chinese, and Korean), to American TV shows (comedy, crime, etc.). I also love singing, but I can’t guarantee that I’m a good singer. To relax or decompress, I love to hang around with friends and family, watch dramas, sleep, and play games! I can’t wait to see you all this year! 


Jonathan Stone
Hi, my name is Jonathan Stone, but I go by Jon. My pronouns are he/him/his. My race and ethnicity are Black (Jamaican) and White. I am pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree with aspirations of going to graduate school and later on receiving my PhD in Astronautical Engineering. I love sports like Volleyball and Basketball. I also love video games, new tech, and fashion. Lastly, I wanna bring up what living as black man in America means to me, I love to take part in activist events to help learn about how we can improve the world we live in. I look forward to being a Lawton Advocate and providing my support to individuals within this community. 

Joanna Paredes Jimenez
My name is Joanna Paredes and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a senior at UW-Milwaukee in the Lubar School of Business. I am double majoring in Marketing and Supply Chain and Operations Management with a certification in Entrepreneurship. I currently work 2 jobs and own a small business from home. I am a Marketing intern, an order fulfiller, and a lash technician. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, going to the gym, traveling, playing basketball, and reading. This is my 2nd year as a Lawton scholar but first year as a Lawton advocate so I am very excited to get to know all of you and provide all the assistance and support I can for you guys!

Jasmine Salton
My name is Jasmine Salton. I am currently a senior studying Community Engagement and Education with a minor in Counseling. I grew up here in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I like to spend majority of my time at the gym and watching documentaries. During my time in college, I have been an advocate for community service, Being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority inc. where service is priority, it has allowed me to show this advocacy more and reach out to others. I desire leadership and diversity and hope to spread this desire to those around me.