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-Darian An ambitious, full-time student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Darian is studying mass media communications and JAMS. Darian is friendly and outgoing and lets those qualities guide her in every aspect of her life. After graduation, she has a desire for a career in Communications management and development. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, she hopes to travel to bigger cities and leave her mark there. She wants to work as a brand strategist for a Fortune 500 company and hopes that her legacy inspires other young minority women like her.

Jewel Lo (
My name is Jewel Lo and I am a Junior majoring in Communication. This is my first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate. I am the President of the Asian Student Union and Filipino Student Union. I absolutely love going on food adventures in and out of Milwaukee, as well as staying in and out of Milwaukee, as well as staying in and watching movies. Most would describe me as funny and talkative, and I hope I can share those qualities of myself within the Lawton Scholars Program.

Sarah Martinez (
My name is Sarah Martinez and I am junior majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology. I have plans to eventually go to law school and eventually work my way up into being a judge. In my free time I like to hang out with my cat JJ (pictured above), workout at Orange Theory, read, and watch NBA or MLB. My current favorite show is “Bull”, but “The Office” is a lifetime favorite. I also love sports, my favorite teams to watch are the Brewers and the Bucks. I could talk about baseball all day every day. Anyway, this is my first semester as an advocate but my third semester in the program. I’m excited to be able to give back to the program that has already done so much for me.

Taya Metzger (
My name is Taya Metzger and I am a junior majoring in Human Resources Management. 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 first semester as an advocate and I am so excited to meet new faces and become a resource and help scholars through their academic journey.

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!

Rubi Navarro (
My name is Rubi Navarro dam a senior majoring in Biology. My hope is to go onto the medical school one day. During my free time, I like hanging out with my friends and going out to eat, especially during the weekends I like spending time with my family members as well, As a first-generation student going to college was tough for me, I hope to help other students in their journey throughout college.

Eveelid Quirino (
My name is Eveelid Quirino and I am currently a Junior at UWM majoring in Nursing. I am a first-generation student and I am thankful for those around me who support me every step of the way. This is my first year as a Lawton Advocate and my second year as a Lawton Scholar. As a student here at UWM I am involved in an on-campus organization called Colleges Against Cancer who partners with the American Caner Society to raise awareness and fight against cancer. When I am not in class or at work I enjoy hanging out with friends, listening to music or simply exploring Milwaukee, I look forward to working with all the Lawton Advocates and Scholars!

Estela Rangel (
My name is Estela Rangel! I am for Los Angeles, California but was raised in Milwaukee. I am a Campus Ambassador where I work with prospective students and their families, by giving campus tours. I am also a member of the maternal and Child Healthcare Pipeline Training Program (MCH) here at UWM where I work with other UWM students to help 7th and 8th graders prepare for High School. I also work alongside Dr. Moerchen doing research where we get to work with babies and look at their motor development, I am a junior pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Psychology. I truly love working with kids/teens, but I am open to woking with all ages throughout the lifespan. I hope to work in the mental health field and advocate for others and be a voice that inspires.

Carly Rias (
My name is Carley Rias I am originally from Beaver Dam, WI. I am a junior 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 doing yoga, reading, cooking/baking and exploring Milwaukee, specifically coffee shops! This is my first ear as an advocate for Lawton but my second year in the program. I am excited to see what they year has in store to take this time to learn and grow from the experience

Nancy Martinez (
My name is Nancy Martinez Ramirez and I am currently a junior at UWM. I am double majoring in political science: law related and economics. I love running and working out as well as meeting new people. My favorite color is blue and my favorite desert are brownies. I like to always be active and I enjoy learning new things everyday. I also speak Spanish and I am currently trying to learn French. Besides that, I have a 1 year old husky whose name is Luna and she is the sassiest dog I have ever met.

Felix Sanchez (
Felix Sanchez is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He intends to major in Biomedical Sciences: public Health Microbiology and minor in Chemistry as a pre-med student. Felix has been a part of the Apprenticeship in the Medience (AIM), Research Opportunity for Academic Development in Science (ROADS), Diversity Summer Health-Related Research education Program (DSHREP), and Student Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Professions (StEP-UP) at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After college, Felix wants to attend medical school. During his free time he likes to play video games and root for the Milwaukee Bucks. This’ll be his first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate.

Edgar Suarez-Benitez (
My name is Edgar Suarez-Benitez and I am a junior majoring in Marketing. I am a first-generation college student and I am from Waukesha, Wisconsin. I am currently on track to graduate in the Spring of 2021. This is my first year as a Lawton Advocate and I am looking forward to being a good resource for other students.

Gabrielle Thao (
My name is Gabrielle Thao and I am originally from a small town in Wisconsin called Wausau. I am currently a senior studying Biomedical Science with a sub major of Biomedical Science and a minor in Health Care Administration. I am also a Pre-Anesthesiologist Assistant student which is has pretty similar requirements to Pre-med. There is a demand now and especially in the future for Anesthesiologist Assistants and I figured why not pursue it as I am also interested in it. After I graduate, I plan to apply to the MSA program at the Medical College of Wisconsin to pursue Anesthesiologist Assistant. Aside from that, some fun facts about me is that I enjoy playing volleyball and tennis to keep myself active. I also love traveling especially with friends and family and trying new things. This past summer, myself and 13 others enjoyed a missions trip to Paris, France. I am very family oriented and enjoy spending time with them when I can. I also love boba tea and get it at least once a week. Some shows I’ve been watching as of recently on Netflix include The Witcher, Crash Landing on You, Raising Dion, Vagabond, and Chocolate. Overall, I look forward learning more about my fellow advocates and how to become a better team member as well as leader for this upcoming semester as an advocate.

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, videogames 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 currently a Junior in my 2nd semester of 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!