The first Hispanic-American woman nominated to serve as the top lawyer for the Army is a University of Connecticut graduate.

President Donald Trump nominated Michele Pearce to the position of General Counsel of the Army. After participating hearings by the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Pearce now waits for the Senate to vote on and approve her nomination.

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a father who served as a chief petty officer in the Navy, Pearce said in an article by the Army News Service that she wanted to join the armed forces, but her parents also pushed her to pursue law. Pearce earned her law degree from the UConn School of Law in 1996, according to her LinkedIn profile.

After graduation, Pearce joined the Air Force. She served until 2009 as a judge advocate. Pearce also worked as counsel to the House Committee on Armed Services, a Senior Defense Policy Advisor to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Associate and Deputy General Counsel to the Department of Defense. In January, Pearce became Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Army.

Paulina Maranges Pérez, a seventh-semester student with an individualized major in development and genetics, is the president of UConn’s Puerto Rican Student Association (PuRSA). Pérez said that she hopes Pearce’s nomination leads to more representation for the Latinx community.

“Michele Pearce encompasses the essence of Puerto Rican strength, resilience, and determination. One of my biggest hopes with her nomination is for the future generation of the Latinx diaspora to see themselves represented in her,” Pérez said. “Seeing Michele represent the Latinx Community, and specifically, the Puerto Rican community, brings me hope for a better future — one where the United States government represents the diverse population that continues to grow within the country.”