Guadalupe Avalos

Year: Senior

Major: International Affairs

Minor: Human Resources & Health Studies

"If you have discipline, drive, and determination...nothing is impossible."

That saying describes the fuel which has led to my accomplishments today. I am a senior studying international affairs, concentrating on developing countries, with a minor in health studies. My interest in outreach programs, mentoring others, and networking has led me to strive for a career in public health. I have conducted research on Milwaukee's infant mortality rates as a McNair scholar. I also volunteer at various events throughout the year within Milwaukee. Additionally, I have mentored and tutored high school students both in Marquette’s Upward Bound program and as co-founder of an organization named ELLAS, which reaches out to girls in Milwaukee's urban high schools. Thanks to Marquette, I have studied abroad in London, have held various job positions, and involved myself with activities hosted by the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.

Aaron BatesAaron L. Bates


Year: Junior

Major: Computer Science


       “Those who fail but care passionately about their   

       mistakes try harder the next time to get it right!”


I am a junior studying computer science. My goal upon graduation is to become a web developer helping people design and implement websites for multi-purposes while continuing to develop my own creative side while working. I'm from Milwaukee and am a huge sports fan. I love to do creative writing and self-reflect as often as possible to make sure what I learn can be applied in other areas in life. I also love to travel. I believe the more places one goes, the greater the mind opens up. I'm also a big proponent of volunteering my time to help communities and individuals have the opportunity to achieve more in life like I have had the blessing of being able to do. I also believe it is important to show the world there are people who can make a difference no matter how big or small it is—just do something great and worthwhile.


Tyrone L. Bowden (‘TJ’)

Year: Junior

Major:  Broadcast Electronic Communication and

Corporate Communication

Minor:  Performing Arts

“In high school, I was able to stand up as a minority by taking a leadership role in school while representing two religious affiliations.”

Tyrone Bowden has found his following in the professional media technology of theater, dance, and radio production. As host, producer, and programming intern, Tyrone thrives in team environments that provide creative direction for radio shows. His media work so far has focused on mass media, but his other activities show hands-on community involvement. By participating in the Dorothy Day Social Justice Program, and his current social involvement, Repairers of the Breach, Tyrone teaches his acquaintances that “Community Inclusive Leadership Living” points the way for leadership.  In the spirit of giving back through volunteer service, Tyrone has mentored in the Chicago Young Mentoring Program (2009), and in Friend/Family Health Fairs (2010).

Maritza Contreras

Year: Senior

Major:  Nursing

Minor: Information Technology


“I know how essential the smallest details are to caring for a patient, and because of this drive, I know that I will succeed in my nursing vocation and in life by making a difference in the lives of others.”


I believe the efficient delivery of today’s medical diagnosis/treatment depends on information technology nearly as much as on biomedical knowledge and interpersonal communication skills. I have made it a priority to take a forward role in promoting public health care and active citizenship by encouraging ethnic cultural diversity and workplace gender equity. Some of the service-based organizations that I have actively participated in include School of Nursing’s Project BEYOND, MU’s Global Village as an Ambassador, one-on-one mentoring with the YMCA, MU’s Mardi GRAS as a volunteer in New Orleans, and Marquette’s Action Program as a leader that helped develop “students into conscious individuals knowledgeable of poverty, racism, and the disabled in our society.” I have also held a Director’s Team role in Women & Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE), a nationally-recognized mentorship program, focusing on various topics aimed at lifting teen self-esteem, sexual awareness, and persistence to upper level education, essentially empowering one another, one generation at a time. Our student-led organization paired a college female student with a 9-13 year old mentee from Bethune Academy, a middle school

in Milwaukee. I have also participated as a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar for two consecutive summers. During winter break this year, I traveled to Nicaragua on a Medical/Public Health Brigade.

I have also been blessed with various academic awards, including the Urban Scholarship, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Scholarship and the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship. Upon graduation in May 2014, I plan to pursue a Masters of Public Health and eventually a doctorate degree in Nursing.

Ericka Daniels Ericka L. Daniels


Year: Senior

Major: Psychology


  “Not only do I want to have a plan for my life and

 success, but also I want others around me to do the same."


I am a senior studying psychology. After earning my Bachelor's degree, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. As a McNair Scholar, I conducted research on aggression victimization and perpetration in adolescent relationships under the mentorship of Dr. John Grych (Department of Psychology at Marquette University). I have presented my research at McNair conferences in Lake Geneva, WI, and Baltimore, MD, and at an undergraduate research symposium at Marquette. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, reading, and shopping. I also like to meet new people, laugh, and have fun.

Cicely HunterCicely B. Hunter

Year: Senior

Major: History and Political Science

Minor: Africana Studies


“I am willing to give my all to help others for the sake  of God’s Kingdom, because I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

Cicely Hunter anticipates receiving her Marquette         University BA Degree in History/Political Science/Africana Studies at Commencement, May 2014. A person who demonstrates success in academic achievement, Cicely also keeps an eye on the spiritual principles that order her studies. Overall, she feels committed “to helping others and leading by example.” She has been in several programs during her time at Marquette and each one of them has contributed to her development. She has completed two vigorous summers of the McNair Program and also had the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. through the Les Aspin Student Government Program. It was there that she found her love for politics and realized her possibilities were limitless. Another life-changing experience was her trip to Ghana, Africa during winter break in 2012-2013. Cicely believes her leadership skills are maturing because of these experiences and the positions she has held on campus. TRIO, Les Aspin, Marquette faculty and staff, collectively, have given her all the love and support she needs to “be the difference” for others in the life she intends to lead. 

Vanessa Lopez Vanessa Lopez

Year: Junior

Major: Criminology


As I recall my life, I now see that all the obstacles I had to overcome along my path were for a purpose.


I will graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminology with a minor in Health Studies. Apart from being a McNair Scholar, I am also a recipient of the Urban Scholarship. I am interested in health care issues and plan on pursuing my master’s in public health. I hope to work with other professionals to improve public health within national and international communities.

Joseph Martinez II Joseph Martinez II


Year: Junior

Major: Spanish


“I am a very social person by nature and love to meet new people.”


Joseph Martinez, II anticipates receiving his Marquette University BA Degree in Spanish at Commencement, May 2014. For Joseph Martinez II, motivation has launched him into a compelling cultural adventure here at Marquette University. He credits his mother, his uncle (a Marquette alumnus), and his teachers as mentors he hopes to emulate. Joseph lives on the CommUNITY floor in McCormick Residence Hall where he serves as an Ambassador for Marquette. These ambassadors honor diversity through activities that welcome Marquette’s International students into the campus community. Beyond his diplomatic duties, Joseph has accepted the position of Internal Public Relations Officer for the Bayanihan Student Organization. He helps plan the group’s annual off-campus retreat and engages members in as many on-campus events as possible. 

Anna O. Ogunkunle

Anna O. Ogunkunle


Year: Junior

Major: Public Relations & Spanish


“Organization, accountability, initiative, and achievement are attributes I believe a leader should possess.”



My name is Anna Ogunkunle, and I'm a junior in the College of Communications. I am double majoring in Public Relations and Spanish. I'm involved in many different organizations at Marquette including the Sande Robinson Emerging Leaders. I'm Vice President of Marquette's African Students Association, PR of Christian Fellowship of Marquette, a mentor for the PUMP Program and SUSTAIN, member of PRSSA and Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society. In my free time I like to go to Marquette Late Night events, volunteer when I can, watch TV and movies, and develop my entertainment blog.

Amber J. PowellAmber J. Powell

Year: Senior

Major: Criminology and Law Studies/Spanish


“My life goal is to reach out to minority communities and to help those who are struggling, whether from financial burdens or from abusive relations.”



My name is Amber Joy Powell and I am a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am currently majoring in Criminology & Law Studies and minoring in Spanish for the Business Professionals. I have been a proud member of the Latin American Student Organization since 2011. Recently I was inducted into the Marquette Sigma Delta Pi Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica. I was honored to participate in the McNair Scholars Program last summer, where I conducted research on adult and child sexual assault adjudication. In addition, I enjoy volunteering at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center at Aurora Sinai. Some awards and scholarships include the Nicole Ellis Foundation Scholarship, the Ethnic Alumni Scholarship, and the Journal Foundation Francis D and Jane Keough Kelly Fund. My hobbies and interests include research, music, and photography.

Ayah SarsourAyah Sarsour

Year: Sophomore

Major: Political Science and Corporate Communication


“Because my morals define me more than my achievements, I believe in social responsibility and in the power of the people.


Ayah Sarsour anticipates receiving her Marquette University BA Degree in Political Science at Commencement, May 2015. Ayah believes that each of us is so much more than the sum of one’s “likes and dislikes” or list of accomplishments. She values the scholarships and awards that have allowed her to study at Marquette and at the Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington D.C. Ayah hopes to attend graduate school, earn a law degree, and become an elected U.S. Congresswoman from Wisconsin. However, no matter what the future holds, Ayah confidently depends on Divine guidance to lead her to a life in which she can “be a voice for the People […] a person who cares, and a person who’s willing to try."

Tommy C. Walls, Jr.Tommy C. Walls, Jr.


Year: Junior

Major: Social Welfare and Justice


Overall, it is time we stop complaining and start doing to let our youth community know they matter!


Tommy Walls, Jr. anticipates receiving his Marquette University BA Degree in Social Welfare and Justice at Commencement, May 2014.  “Activism” has become the watch-word for Tommy who has recovered from a troubled childhood to experience encouragement in Milwaukee from such community youth service organizations as Boys & Girls Club and Peers. Success in these leadership roles inspired Tommy to lead 12 high school students into organizing a city-wide non-violence initiative, called Summer of Peace that received a Peace Award from Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis. This young scholar has created a student organization at Marquette University, called Allies of The Club,  a student group based on the “get one, give one” principle that passes on leadership skills to other college students who in turn will establish additional leadership. Tommy is a McNair scholar, and he spent the fall semester of 2012 studying at the Les Aspin Center for Government and, during winter break, another several weeks studying in Ghana, Africa. Since he expects either to become a school social worker or to begin a non-profit career in youth development, Tommy believes partaking in the SREL group already has made him a better community leader.









Educational Opportunity Program

EOP is an academic program that motivates and enables low-income and first generation students, whose parents do not have a baccalaureate degree, to enter and succeed in higher education. See all the programs that Educational Opportunity Programs include.