Lawton Advocates


Shirley Albiter

 Shirley Albiter is a third year Criminal Justice student here at UWM. She commutes daily from Wauwatosa, WI. Currently she works as a Campus Ambassador in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She also spent her summer here on campus as an Orientation Leader. After Undergrad she intends on pursuing her Masters in Administrative Leadership. During her time off she enjoys adventuring the outdoors with her younger siblings and family. This is her first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate.


Melissa Alvarez

My name is Melissa Alvarez and I am from Green Bay, WI, home of the Packers! This will be my third year at UWM and I have decided to pursue a degree in Marketing, so I can become a future event planner for non-profits. I am a first-generation college student and I owe my motivation for success to those around me that support me unconditionally. I enjoy being active, watching The Walking Dead, organizing, reading, napping, and spending time with loved ones. As much as I love to talk, I enjoy listening to those around me to learn from them. One thing I live by is that keeping an open mind can lead to new experiences.


Liliana Anderson

My name is Liliana Anderson, I am a Junior at UWM. I am a psychology major who aspires to be attending Law School after graduation for the Fall of 2019. In addition to being a student, I am also a wife and mother of three, soon to be four children. Although my daily life can be a little hectic, I am motivated to graduate and continue to work within my community to invoke social change and justice for the people impacted by certain circumstances like poverty, crime, and those who are suffering disadvantages based on their race/ethnicity. I am entering into my first year as a Lawton Success Scholar Advocate. I was interested in becoming an advocate because I am the oldest of five children and I’ve always been the leader in my family, the one that people turned to for advice, motivation, and sometimes just a listening ear. I would like to be that for all my scholars as well. I would like all students at UWM to know that despite whatever challenges you are going through today, that those challenges do not determine your tomorrow.


Jordan Andre

My name is Jordan Andre and I am a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am majoring in Actuarial Science with a minor in Economics. I currently work part time at Elements Massage. In my free time I enjoy going to concerts and watching movies. This will be my first semester as a Success Advocate and I’m really looking forward to it!



Austin Baldwin

My name is Austin Baldwin and I am currently a senior at UWM. I am double-majoring in History and Political Science with an emphasis on law studies. My ultimate goal is to attend law school after I graduate from UWM. My dream job would include working for the United Nations. I am a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta, the Political Science and History honors societies at UWM. Outside of school my hobbies include going on camping trips, hiking, and going to concerts with my friends. I see myself as someone who can make friends with anyone and all I really want to do is make people laugh. I am a very outgoing person and always look to continuously challenge myself to reach my goal of working within the international political field.


Alexis Barner

My name is Alexis Barner and I am a junior at UW- Milwaukee majoring in Biomedical Sciences. After graduation, I intend on applying to the Medical College of Wisconsin in pursuit of becoming a physician. I absolutely love helping and giving of my time and skills to my community. In the future, I wish to open a clinic for low income families. I love playing Phase 10, Life, and Catch Phrase with my friends; recently I have been learning how to play chess. My favorite place to go in Milwaukee is the Lakefront even when it’s bitter cold!



Nestor Murillo Barron

My name is Nestor Murillo Barron, I’m a senior working toward an Accounting degree here at UWM. I’m also a student worker in the Student Support Services Program and part of the Multicultural Mentoring program offered by the Lubar School of Business. As well as being part of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity. During my spare time I like to watch movies, read poems, draw, and play soccer. I cannot wait for the experiences that await by being part of the Lawton team.


Yasmina Bazie

My name is Yasmina, I am a junior majoring in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering here at UWM. I am also a first generation college student from Burkina Faso in West Africa. I move to the United States in 2013 and my native language is French. This is my first year as a Lawton Advocate, and I am so excited to meet new people in the program. I became a Lawton Advocate because I want to help my peers become more involved on campus. I love watching comedy movies, playing games, and most importantly, talking on the phone with my mom who lives in Africa. She is my hero and the person who made me who I am today. One of my goals in life is to make her proud.


Sydney Butow

Milwaukee native Sydney Butow is currently a junior in the School of Education. As an employee of both Milwaukee Public School District and South Milwaukee School District, she has gained experience working with a diverse array of people. She strongly believes good education should be prioritized and accessible to all. She encourages her students to feel empowered by education, encouraging open dialogue and respectful debates. She likes to surround herself with positive people. In her free time, Sydney can be found reading or watching Harry Potter. She is also a frequent traveler.


Ma Lee Cha

My name is Ma Lee Cha, a senior nursing student this year. I’m excited to say that this will be my third semester as a Lawton scholar advocate. An interesting fact about myself is that I’ve always wanted to become a nurse as a child so that I would play vital role in helping other. To list a few of my hobbies, I enjoy exploring the outdoor, learning, and spending quality time with family and friends. An individual’s academic experience is what he or she makes it, and I’m more then glad to be a part of Lawton scholars many advocates.


Youa Chang

My name is Youa Chang. I am a senior currently studying Accounting in the Lubar School of Business at UWM. This past year was my first year being in the Lawton Scholarship program so this year will be my first year being a Lawton Scholarship Success Advocate. Some things I like to do in my free time include learning how to cook and bake; learning to sew; and spending times with my family.


Madison Churchill

My name is Madison Churchill and I am a junior at UW-Milwaukee! I am majoring in Actuarial Science, with a minor in econ and business. I intend on graduating in December of 2019. I grew up in a small town in Southeast Wisconsin. Throughout high school I was heavily involved in volleyball, soccer, and FFA. I still love to watch and play sports, and have a huge passion for cooking. I also love the outdoors and adventuring with my friends and family! This is my first year as a Lawton Scholar Success Advocate, and I cannot wait for the year ahead of me!


 Olivia Clifton

My name is Olivia Clifton and I am a senior at UWM. My major is Biology with a Premed track and I will be graduating in May of 2018. I have been a Lawton Scholar Success Advocate for the past two academic years. I also work in the Inclusive Excellence Center as the office assistant for the Lawton Scholars Program. I love doing anything outdoors, trying new foods, and surrounding myself with family and friends. I look forward to another great year of being a part of the Lawton Scholars Program!


Kain Coronado

My name is Kain Coronado. I am from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am a senior majoring in Accounting with a Certificate in International Business. I enjoy spending my time watching and playing almost all sports as well as video games. My favorite team is the Philadelphia Eagles. I am a big animal guy, as I have countless pets at home. I also spend my free time volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in my hometown.


Quincy Drane

I am entering my final year as an undergraduate student. Currently I am obtaining my Bachelors of Science in Architectural Studies and a certificate in Urban Planning. This is my second year as an advocate and I’m excited for another year! Summer 2017 was great because I got to participate in a study abroad program and leave the country for the first time, traveling to France, Italy, and Greece! I am pretty involved on campus besides being a Lawton Scholar/Advocate. I am a student in the Honors College, on the newspaper committee for the Honors College, a member of the Bowling Club at UWM, the treasurer for all Sport Clubs, Vice President of an organization in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning titled National Organization for Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS), in pep band, and I hold an on-campus job through Peck School of the Arts Facilities. I enjoy planning for the future and figuring out countless possibilities—until my mind starts to overheat from thinking too much. Whenever I find free time, I like to dance or hang out with my friends and even though I love planning for the future, I remember to live for now because tomorrow may not come!

Andrew Flores

My name is Andrew Flores and I am in my Junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am originally from Kenosha, WI and am a first-generation college student. I enjoy spending time with friends and family as well as playing and watching sports. Since coming to Milwaukee I have grown proud to call this city home and I look forward to continue taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to me at UWM. 


Ciara Gaines

My name is Ciara and I am a first year Lawton Advocate. I am a junior standing and I am studying Human Resource Management. I am originally from Kenosha, WI which is just 45 minutes south from here. I have a pretty large family, and I am the youngest of 9. My favorite color is purple and my favorite food is cheese pizza. I look forward to working with the other Lawton Advocates and students, as this will be a new and exciting experience for myself.


Olivia Gloria

My name is Olivia Gloria, and I am a Biology and Pre-Dental student. I am a junior, and this is my first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate. I hope to make an impact and become a resource for students during my time as an advocate. I am involved in research and am interested in anything relating to bio-medical topics. I hike and run in my spare time. I am also heavily involved in volunteering throughout Milwaukee city.


Aleshea Her

My name is Aleshea Her and I am a fifth year at UWM. I will be graduating this year with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in hopes of attending graduate school outside of Wisconsin in the fall of 2018. Outside of school I am also a head varsity cheer coach at Brown Deer High School where I graduated from in 2013 and I am an intern at UWM’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership and Research (CCBLLR) office here on campus. With such a crazy schedule I don’t get a lot of down time, but when I do get time to relax I like to workout (mainly lift weights), read and be in the company of awesome people whether it be friends or family. Lastly, I am so excited to be a new member of the Lawton Scholar Success Advocate team this year!


Osama Hussein

Osama Hussein is currently a senior at UWM majoring in Biology and Spanish in addition to being in the Pre-Physician’s Assistant program. Hopefully by the end of the semester he will be finding out where he will be headed to PA school, which is very nerve wrecking but at the same time very exciting for him. This is currently his second year as a Lawton Advocate, and his first year as a Lead Advocate. He considers himself to be very fun, outgoing and a great person to be around. In addition to that he is also a very easy going person who enjoys going to different sporting events and spending as much time as possible with his family. What drives him to be the best possible version of himself is to make his family as proud of him as possible in addition to becoming the most successful PA possible.


Giselle Irankunda

My name is Giselle Irankunda, I am going in my 5th year at UWM in Civil Engineering. This is my 4th semester of being an advocate. I am the oldest of 10 in my family and the first one to go to college (First generation student). My goal in life is to never forget where I came from and the people who had a great impact on my life and that is my home countries Rwanda and Congo. I hope to use my degree to help with their infrastructures that still need to be improved.


Grauben Lara

My name is Grauben Lara and I am currently majoring in Psychology and Human Resource Management. I love helping people and understanding what exactly is going on in their minds. A lot of this stems from a show I’ve watched since I was younger which deems itself to be the “greatest social experiment on TV”: Survivor. I’ve marched two summers with a competitive drum and bugle corps from Minnesota called River City Rhythm where I play the snare drum. This group has given me the opportunity to travel to many different places in the U.S. and perform in front of thousands of people. I also have a current love for basketball. The Bucks are my favorite team and I have the privilege of working with the entertainment group at games and events, providing music through the drumline while watching my team play! Apart from that, I’ve slowly been growing an addiction to exercise. I translated my experience from playing soccer through high school into hard work in the gym and it really pays its dividends. I think of myself as optimistic and friendly, so if you see me around, don’t be afraid to say hi!


Visone Ly

Hello I am Visone Ly I am Hmong American with two sisters and three brothers. I was born in November 25, 1996 in Loas where all my sibling was born except my youngest brother. I move to the United States in year 2000 where I became a US citizen in year 2005. My main language is Hmong. I speak, read, and write in Hmong. English was my second language and growing up I had difficulties learning the language. I lived in Green Bay for seventeen years and my family still lives there. My two old sister and older brother are married. I am the second oldest son but I am the middle child out of all siblings. Growing up I didn’t really have a role model until I became involved in my faith. I learn a lot from the Christian faith and I took it very seriously. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing sports and playing instruments. I try to keep myself moving instead of staying still because I wanted to take as much opportunities as I can, being around people is always been a great passion of mind. My first job was at McDonalds then it became working at State Fair. I believe in giving back to the community and giving to others who have less then you. In the past I have been involved in a lot of volunteer opportunities and still am. I am currently studying nursing at UW – Milwaukee and a third year. It’s exciting to see what life has in store for me and everyone else.


Tou Jim Lee

My name is Tou Jim Lee, I am a senior studying Marketing at UW-Milwaukee. This will be my second year as a Lawton Scholars Advocate. Some of my hobbies include: tennis, social media marketing, learning and reading (no lie), cooking, creating spaces, video games, and going on adventures. Aside from Lawton, I am active in the entrepreneurship and innovation community at UW-Milwaukee and Milwaukee. You’ll find me either working with nonprofits or working with other young aspiring entrepreneurs and interesting personnel’s.


Eric G. Lira

My name is Eric G. Lira and I am currently a senior at UWM. I am majoring in Communications & have been a Lawton Advocate for about a year now. I am also Founding Father of Latino America Unida Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. When I am not at work or in class, I am usually listening to music or exploring Milwaukee. I also love going to concerts and traveling.


Michaela Miller

My name is Michaela Miller and I am going to be a senior at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee this year. I am an education major and will be certified to teach students first through eighth grade. I hope to work in the Milwaukee Public School System after I graduate. This will be my second semester as a Lawton Success Advocate and my sixth semester as a Lawton Scholar. In my free time I enjoy dancing and yoga. The past three years I danced for a team on campus called HYPE and I also work and practice and a studio called Yoga Six. This year I as a success advocate I hope to make some genuine relationships with my scholars and confidently direct them through the program and help them reach graduation


 Carlos Munoz Ornelas

My name is Carlos Munoz Ornelas. I am majoring in Finance with a certificate in International Business. I am currently an Associate Intern for The Giersh Group, Events Coordinator for Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc. UWM Colony, have a part-time job on campus in Mellencamp Hall and volunteer at the Boys and Girls club from time to time. I will be graduating this upcoming Fall 2018. I am a First-Generation Student and will be the first one to graduate from my family and hopefully my brothers will follow in my footsteps as well. This is my First semester being a Lawton Advocate and excited to learn about the job and meet new people. I am also a huge soccer fanatic. Nothing gets passed me in that topic. During my time in this position I hope I get to help as many students as I can and get them on track!


Izaiah Ramirez

My name is Izaiah Ramirez, I am a 4th year student at UW-Milwaukee and 2nd year BFA acting major in UWM’s PECK School of the Arts. Other passions of mine include dancing, singing, and writing. I enjoy getting to know people and make connections and am happy to be a member of the Lawton Scholars team.

Danielle Randle

Danielle Randle is a third year student at UWM pursuing a degree in Accounting. After graduating in the summer of 2019, she plans to move on to her master’s degree and will begin preparation for obtaining her Certified Public Accountant license. Apart from school, Danielle spends most of her time with her daughter who is her biggest motivation. She enjoys warm weather and suspenseful TV shows.


Odalyz Santiago (Odi)

My name is Odalyz Santiago also known as Odi. I was born Puerto Rico but moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 5. I go to Puerto Rico every summer since then to visit my family. I grew up being the only child and living with my mother. This year I will be a Lawton Scholars Advocate. I am majoring in Social Work. I will be graduating in Spring 2019. On my spare time, I enjoy reading, going on bike rides, and watching many television shows and movies as I can. I am very excited to become a Lawton Advocate and hope to help many students as I can.


Ge’kayla Telford

My name is Ge’kayla Telford, I am currently a second year senior here at The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. My current major and pursuit of study is to receive a BSA in Education. With the great intention to teach Secondary English Literature, and Theatre. My passions in life is to serve the people of my community and this world. Especially the youth of today by teaching and inspiring with my talents of artistry. With using a culmination of Art, Acting, Poetry, Music and literature, I plan to move a generation that constantly fights to find light in a dying world that’s in desperate need for someone to believe in them. I want to give people, but especially our youth, and current students that light, by believing in their dreams, teaching to bring forth their true potential,  and continuing to a service to people.


Paajtshab (Jessie) Thao

A creative designer who has a strong passion for art, music, and photography. Jessie is currently a junior at UW-Milwaukee majoring in Design and Visual Communication. She strives to create innovative and purposeful design while aiming for perfection. She believes that every experience provides a significant learning outcome(s). Jessie is also a first generation college student and loves being with family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, comfy clothes, and sleeping in on the weekends.


Jessica VanDerVoort

I am Jessica VanDerVoort and I am a senior here at UWM. I’m completing my degree in Business Administration-Marketing and have recently confirmed my gut instinct was right when choosing my major. I have spent the summer at an internship at Laughlin Constable working on the social media for two Global Beauty Brands and it has been an amazing learning experience. Learning what goes into working at a larger agency, but also realizing that this is where I want to be after graduating. Luckily, I will be staying at Laughlin during the fall semester diving into the account side of marketing. Outside of school and my Internship, I am an esthetician and a makeup artist in a salon, mostly working with bridal parties and applying semi-permanent eyelash extensions!


Jennifer Venancio

My name is Jennifer Venancio, I am currently a senior studying World Languages Education and Spanish. I have been a Lawton scholar for two years, this will be my first year as an advocate. I’m very excited to work closer with other Lawton scholars! I love traveling, reading and hiking. I became fascinated with the outdoors when I hiked Machu Picchu in Peru during my study abroad trip in 2016. I like reading Spanish literature because I’m able to learn about different cultures and history through fictional novels. I look forward to meeting you all soon!


Vanisha Walker

Vanisha Walker grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College. At Milwaukee Area Technical College, Vanisha was a Business and Entrepreneur major. After graduating from both programs Vanisha decided to attend University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. She’s currently a small business owner of Plush Beauty Lounge located in Milwaukee, WI. Vanisha loves spending time with her family, and visiting other countries. After graduation, Vanisha plans to open a finance company before entering a master’s program in Business Administration.


Kaocha Xiong

I am a UWM undergrad majoring in Finance. I plan to pursue my masters in accounting and CPA license after I graduate in Spring 2018. I enjoy volunteering for organizations that focus on local cleanup as well as organizations that seek to improve the education of diverse students. I like exploring the city of Milwaukee. My favorite places to go are Atwater Beach and the Milwaukee Public Museum. I enjoy helping others so don’t hesitate to ask me questions!