Lawton Advocates

lawton-scholar-tylerTyler Aguirre
My name is Tyler Aguirre and I am a Junior at UWM. I just Started the nursing program and I am very excited to start. I picked nursing as a career because I love to help people and really enjoy the science side to it. I am in NEP, which is a nursing program at UWM that offers me resources to better my academic and future work career. Outside of school I like to watch movies and Youtube. I also enjoy working on cars and learning about them.

lawton-scholar-DarianDarian Domek
My name is Darian Domek (she, her, hers) and I’m a Communications major and JAMS (Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies) minor. I’m currently a senior here at UWM and I will be graduating after the Fall 2020 semester. On my free time, I love to read, partake in outdoor activities, eat yummy food, and travel to new places. I’ve been a Lawton Scholar for three years and this will be my second year serving as a Lawton Scholar Success Advocate. I chose to become a Lawton Scholar Success Advocate because I enjoyed the help and guidance I received from previous advocates as well as Lawton staff and I hope to do the same for other scholars and future advocates. This semester, I’m looking forward to meeting all of my Lawton Scholars and assisting them through the process of transitioning from in-person to online schooling.

Jewel Lo
My name is Jewel Lo and I’m a senior majoring in Communication! On campus, I am involved in the Asian Student Union, Hmong Student Association, and Filipino Student Union and I work in the Business Administrative Office in University Housing. My pronouns are she/her/hers, I’m a boba connoisseur, love watermelons, and am currently growing an avocado tree! I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, embroidering, making Spotify playlists for every mood, and going on hikes for the views. I’m looking forward to creating greater connections with scholars this year, despite the virtuality.

Sarah Martinez
My name is Sarah Martinez and I am a senior majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology. My plan for life after UWM is to go to law school and work my way up to becoming a judge. When I am not at school, I am a manager at lululemon and if I am not at work, I enjoy watching the Bucks and the Brewers. I could talk baseball all day long. My goal is to give back to the program that has helped me get through college and there is no better way than being an advocate! This will be my second semester as a Lawton advocate, but my 3rd year in the program.

Taya Metzger 
My name is Taya Metzger and I am a senior majoring in Human Resources Management with a certificate in International Business. I currently have an internship with A. O. Smith World Headquarters and also work for the Milwaukee Bucks (Hoop Troop). I enjoy working with others and helping out in the community. In my free time I am huge sports fan, love the outdoors, and spending time with my family and friends. This is my third semester as an advocate and I am so excited to meet new faces and become a resource and help scholars through their academic journey.

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!

Claire Doering
Hi I’m Claire Doering, I am 21 years old and originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I am going to school for Business Marketing with a Certificate in International Business. I serve downtown and model on my free time!

Ximong Moua
My name is Ximong Moua. I am a Senior at UWM majoring in Healthcare Administration with a minor in business administration. My goal is to oversee a hospital so that we can provide optimal care towards our patients. During my free time I like to stay active. Some sports I play during my free time are basketball, volleyball, and tennis. If I am not playing any sports I am usually traveling, sightseeing or socializing. I enjoy meeting new people and stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things.

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!

Carly Rias 
My name is Carley Rias I am originally from Beaver Dam, WI. I am a senior at UWM this year and I am majoring in Elementary Education with a math minor. I also have a part time on campus job at the Children’s Learning Center as a Primary Caregiver which I love going to everyday. In my free time I enjoy practicing yoga, reading, cooking/baking and exploring Milwaukee, specifically coffee shops! This is my second year as an advocate for Lawton and my third year in the program. I am excited to see what the year has in store for me!

Isabella Marrero
Hi Everyone! My Name is Isabella Marrero. I am a Senior at UWM majoring in both Marketing and Supply Chain Management. This is my first year as a Lawton Advocate, but I have been a Lawton Scholar for the past 2 years. For the past 2 years I have been the Student Project Coordinator for UWM’s Union Marketing. Recently I have started a new internship as social media intern for Harley-Davidson. In my free time I love to play my guitar and ukulele. When it is warmer out, I like to take trips to Door County where I love to bike and paddle board. I look forward to meeting you all this school year!

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.

Xeng Vang
Xeng is an aspiring physician and plans to attend medical school. He is currently a junior majoring in Microbiology at UW-Milwaukee. Previously, he conducted research under Dr. Alan Mast at the Blood research Institute. Additionally, Xeng had made it to UWM’s 2016 Public Speaking Showcase and has presented his research with Dr. Alan Mast to the Medical College of Wisconsin. On his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, video games and hanging out with friends. This will be his first semester as a Lawton Scholar Advocate.


Perla Vainstein
My name is Perla Vainstein and I am a senior in the Nursing program here at UWM. I decided to become an advocate as I would like to give back to the programs at UWM that helped me grow and feel supported throughout my academic journey such as TRIO (student support services program) and Lawton. Being Hispanic-American and first-generation, I understand the struggles college can bring and I am glad to be able to help my scholars out. Outside of school I like to explore the city, test try new food places, and I’m always down to make new friends. I’ve always worked with people older than me through volunteer work such as at St. Luke’s hospital or kids/teens at Children’s hospital and through a program at UWM called Big Brother Big sister. This position will for sure be different for me than my most normal work but I am excited to be able to learn and work with the lawton team and my scholars!

Karina Montoto 
Karina Montoto is a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is majoring in Psychology and plans to pursue her PhD after graduating with her bachelors in 2021. Being a first-generation college student, she has pushed herself to take advantage of the many opportunities that UWM has to offer as she volunteers at the ABCD Brain Lab, is a part of the McNair Scholars Program, and has now taken on the role of becoming a Lawton Advocate. Fun facts about Karina—she’s a huge foodie, is an animal lover, enjoys traveling, and finds the beauty in all genres of music!

Jonathan Stone
Hi! My name is Jonathan Stone, but I go by Jon. I am Jamaican and white. I’m a mechanical engineering major with aspirations of going into the robotics or aerospace industry. I love sports like basketball and volleyball. As a black man living in America, I love to take part in activist events to help and learn about how we can improve the world we live in. I also love video’s games, new tech, and fashion. I look forward to being a Lawton Advocate and providing my support to individuals within this community.

Pang Houa Thao
Hello, my name is Pang Houa Thao and I am currently a senior. I am a first generation student majoring in Health Sciences. Some things I enjoy are collecting house plants, traveling and swimming. I have a pet bunny name Mochi who is a year old. I’m excited to meet all of you!

Tahismari Santiago
My name is Tahismari Santiago and I am a first-generation student here at UWM. I am a senior majoring in Marketing, and I am also the Treasurer for the Criminal Justice Student Association here at UWM. I currently work at a law firm in downtown Milwaukee and have been transitioning my legal clerk work to marketing work – and I am loving it! I am fluent in both Spanish and English, and conversational in French. In my free time I really enjoy tending to my houseplants and veggie garden, watching movies, cooking, and practicing my French. I try to watch one French movie (or French-language movie) a week to make sure I am always hearing it and practicing it. I am excited to be an advocate this year and help my scholars along the way!

Spencer Dane Tyson
Hello everyone! My name is Spencer Dane Tyson and I currently am a senior at UWM. My major is Media Studies and I’m looking to graduate this May. I’m originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin but have lived in Milwaukee over the course of the last 4 years. I love Milwaukee and some of my favorite things to do in the city are watching the Milwaukee Bucks, going to Bradford Beach, trying new restaurants and long-boarding. Besides being a Success Advocate for Lawton, I am also involved with the American Marketing Association Club on campus.

I am a super laid back person and love meeting new people. I’m always up for a good laugh or adventure. I’m excited to meet all of you and to be reacquainted with old friends. Looking forward to making the most out of this year despite these unusual times!

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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.

Emily Cruz
Hi, my name is Emily Cruz! I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I come to Milwaukee as soon as I graduated high school to be closer to my grandmother, and I then made UWM and Milwaukee my new home. I am currently a senior majoring in Social Work. Something I find really unique about my story is that I am a 4th generation Puerto Rican woman in my family living in the U.S and not Puerto Rico, but yet the first to go to college! My favorite part about being a Lawton Advocate is getting a chance to make new connections, while also being able to offer a support system for fellow students. I understand how hard things can get throughout the semester, and I am glad to offer help in any way shape, or form that I can! I love laughing, and joking around. My favorite thing to do is trying new food places, and I am always down for an adventure.