Lawton Advocates

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.

Tyler Aguirre


My name is Matida Bojang and I am a research scientist in pharmaceuticals as well as a biochemistry and pre-medical student at UWM, I am very interested in global health, and because of this I decided to start an organization that provides a platform for Blacks and allies interested in creating global health equality through dialog, brainstorming, innovation and technology for people living in low-income countries. I have had mentos throughout my entire life, whether it was from an academic standpoint or not, and I would like to provide the same support that was provided to me by my mentors to other scholars.

Matida Bojang


Vanessa Bravo is a senior majoring in Occupational Studies. She is involved in undergraduate research, and on her free time enjoys reading, doing yoga, and exercising.

Vanessa Bravo

My name is Alexis Barner and I am a senior majoring in Biological 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 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 goto in Milwaukee is the Lakefront, there’s just something about the waves and their motion that is awe-inspiring.

Alexis Barner


My name is Jordyn Campbell-Dodd and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I currently work full-time as a lead teacher at a daycare and part-time as a security officer. After graduation, I’m hoping to work with children in detention facilities. This is my first semester as a Lawton Scholar Advocate and I’m looking forward to taking on this new role!

Jordyn Campbell-Dodd



Stephanie is a Senior studying social work and plans on continuing to graduate school and eventually getting her clinical license. As a returning adult student after her military service and two young children at home, she understands the variety of hardships and obstacles students can face and hopes that her position at the IEC will allow her to support and encourage her fellow classmates. She is particularly passionate about all individuals having position as the DREAMER assistant. Stephanie is also an officer in an organization on campus for 1st generation students and regularly volunteers at Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center. Stephanie enjoys exploring al the diverse festivals and events that Milwaukee offers but hopes to return to Washington in the future to raise her family.

Stephanie Carmichael


Ajay is a Senior, majoring in Biological Sciences here at our UWM campus. He is a first-generation student who is striving to become a future physician. In his spare time, Ajay enjoys part-time research and also volunteers at youth clubs in effort to help better his community. He hopes to be a great resource to his peers and scholars.

Ajay Chawla


Ciara Gaines
My name is Ciara Gaines and I am a senior studying Human Resources Management. Post-graduation I plan to attend graduate school where I will be seeking my MBA with hopes to land my dream job in a managerial role. During my free-time I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors. This will be my third semester as a Lawton Advocate and I look forward to learning more and doing more in this leadership role. I am excited for this upcoming year and I can’t wait to work with my scholars and the other advocates.

Ciara Gaines


My name is Kiana Gasch, but everyone calls me Key. I am a Senior at UWM, majoring in Communication. I am originally from Texas, but grew up in Brillion, Wisconsin, which is about 30 minutes south of the Fox Valley area. I enjoy watching Netflix, playing softball, and going to new restaurants! I have traveled outside of the country and have seen first-hand how important access to proper education is, I am looking forward to making connections with others about their current and future education needs. This is my first year as a Lawton Advocate, and I’m excited to be a part of the team!

Kiana Gasch


Tyler Hernandez is currently a Junior in the Supply Chain and Operations Management program. While pursing his degree, he works at U.S. Bank as a bank teller and enjoys helping other people. During his off time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling and learning new things. This is his first year as a Lawton Success Advocate and he is excited to work with other great scholars at UWM.

Tyler Hernandez


Kirsten Leer is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, triple-majoring in Psychology, Classic Civilization, and Religious Studies. As a Senior Excellence in Research Awardee, McNair Scholar, and Honors College student, Leer has dedicated her undergraduate career to research. This fall she plans on applying for her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology.

Kirsten Leer


My name is Gabriela Leon, but you can call be Gaby. I’m originally from Kenosha, WI and I’m a first-generation college student. I moved to West Allis to be close to UWM. I decided to pursue a degree in Social Work, in order to help my community and youth along the way. Some of my hobbies include listening to music and watching movies. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with family and friends, I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Lawton Scholars Success Advocate team this year!

Gabriela Leon



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.

Jewel Lo


My name is Viscone which means “from wrong to right”, given to me by my parents. I am a fourth-year nursing student at UWM. I am the middle child of six kids, meaning I’m the unlucky one who has a lot on his plate. Fun fact about me is that we came to the United States in the year 2000. I am strong in my faith. Many people would describe me as mysterious and strange. If there is one thing I could change it would be my height. I am not a big fan of animals that can hurt you, but I do love farm animals, I was in the 2018 State Fair commercial and worked at St. Luke’s. Thanks for reading.

Visone Ly


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.

Rubi Navarro


My name is Bri and I’m going into my fourth and last year here at UW-Milwaukee. I’m majoring in Political Science with a Spanish minoring a Peace Studies Certificate. I hope yo go to Graduate School for International Studies next year. I love being involved and having on campus jobs. I was an orientation leader for two years and I currently serve as the president for Alpha Omicron Pi. I’m also  a first-generation student and can’t wait to guide other students as an advocate. In my free time, I enjoy reading new books and taking walks with my dog.

Briceida Perez


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!

Eveelid Quirino


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.

Estela Rangel


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.

Carly Rias

My name is Dennis Regalado and I am going to be entering my senior year at UW-Milwaukee. I am also very excited to be taking the role as an Advocate. Many people describe me as fun and intriguing. I enjoy spending my time going to see any new movie or hitting a workout at the Klotsche center! One of my many passions is exploring Milwaukee and taking advantage of what this loving city provides. Milwaukee is truly wonderful experience when talking the city with a group of friends.

Dennis Regalado


My name is Valerie and I am a junior in the Geoscience program. My ultimate goal is to go to grad school to earn my master’s degree in the geology/earth sciences. This is my first year as a Lawton Success Advocate. My goal through this position is to get to know and encourage other low-income, first-generation minority students like myself to aim higher in their education. I am involved in undergraduate research, volunteer with the Roberto Hernandez Center as much as possible, and will work as an SI leader and tutor at PASS in the Fall 2018. Aside from school, I love finding new shoes to watch, camping, and kayaking, I look forward to my role as a Lawton Advocate this year!

Valerie Rubalcava


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 nd root for the Milwaukee Bucks. This’ll be his first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate.

Felix Sanchez


Jessica Solorzano
My name is Jessica Solorzano. I am going into my third and final year here at UWM. I am majoring in Psychology. Once I graduate in the Spring, I plan to start a counseling psychology graduate program in the Fall of 2020. I am particularly interested in working within Student Affairs at the Undergraduate level. I work in the Office if Undergraduate Admission here at UWM, I am a student coordinator for Group Tours. My interest in Student Affrairs started after I became a Campus Ambassador (Tour Guide) for UWM. I Am a very proud of who I am culturally and ethnically. I am the President of the Latinx Student Union (LSU). I feel like as asson as I got involved with my student organization that is when I grew out of my shell. It has been a great experience to get involved here on campus as I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I am looking forward to working with Lawton Scholars as I know the processes and what being apart of the program is like given, I was just there last year. I am always willing to help where I can.


My name is Roxana Smith. I’m a senior studying CES at UWM. After undergrad, I will continue my education by studying Environmental Law. I enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures!

Roxana Smith


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.

Edgar Suarez-Benitez



Paajtshab Thao, but widely known as Jessie, is a creative designer who has a strong passion for art, music, and photography. She is currently a senior at UW-Milwaukee majoring in Design and Visual Communication. She strives to creative innovative and purposeful design while aiming for precision and believes that every experience provides a significant learning outcome(s). Jessie also holds multiple roles within the university beside Lawton Advocate. She is the Vice President Gen1.0, a student organization for first generation students. She landed an internship at the University Relations and Communications. She has also had the privilege to give out tours of the art and design department and be a classroom assistant within the introductory design course. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, teaching beginner piano at her home church, and more importantly being with her friends and family.

Paajtshab (Jessie) Thao


My name is Rose Thao and I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Health Care Administration with minors in business and health science. If I’m not studying in my favorite coffee shops, you can find me running, hiking, and boxing. I have a huge family including four sisters and two bothers long with lots of nieces and nephews! My dream job would be having a career that works directly to close the health disparity gap in minority groups in the Madison and Milwaukee areas. Fun fact about me: I run half-marathons!

Rose Thao


My name is Spencer Tyson and I am currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I’m majoring in Advertising while pursing a minor in Film. I am originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin but opportunity and diversity brought me to the city. I pride myself on being a hard-working individual while also being helpful to others. Helping people is important to me and I like to see other people succeed just as much as myself. I love sports and am a huge Milwaukee Bucks fan. I also happen to love food just as much, tacos being my favorite food. I love meeting and interacting with new people so if you ever see me around, don’t be afraid to say hi!

Spencer Tyson


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.

My name is Amaya Varela, and this is my first semester serving as a Lawton Advocate. I am so excite to grow into this role because I am passionate about working with students at UWM. I am my fourth year at UWM and I am studying social work. I plan to work at the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services after I graduate in May 2020. I enjoy getting work done at local coffee shops during the school year and trying out new restaurants all over Milwaukee. I look forward to being apart of the Lawton program for another semester.

Amaya Varela


My name is Joel Villarreal-Tellez and I was born and raised in Racine, WI. I’m majoring in Mechanical Engineering and I have plans after graduation to return for my MBA. During my free time, I love to work on my car and watch movies. This will be my first year as a Lawton Scholar Advocate and I am excited to work with my scholars and fellow advocates.

Joel Villarreal-Tellez

My name is Tamia Williams and I am a senior microbiology major at UWM. I am planning to apply to medical school during the 2020-2021 application cycle. I was born in Milwaukee, although I lived in Georgia from the ages of 7 to 15, when I returned to Milwaukee. This is my 3rd year as a dual scholar between Lawton and WiscAMP. I have made a lot of connections throughout my time at UWM and I would love to share these resources with other students in the program, so always feel free to ask questions. When I’m not heavily involved in helping others, I enjoy PC gaming and yoga.

Tamia Williams