Featured Colleague: Terry Rafter-Carles Inspires Students and Faculty

By Wendy Jo Moyer

Seeing hundreds of her students successfully graduate Valencia and take the next step in their journey through life inspires Terry Rafter-Carles. With a passion for learning, she first joined the College in 2005 and has since held the roles of professor of student success, internship coordinator for the Center for High Tech Training for Individuals with Disabilities, grant coordinator for the Single Parent, Displaced Homemaker program and now faculty, New Student Experience, a unique role in which she works as an instructor and a student advisor. This dual role involves helping students gain success skills and learn how to navigate college successfully, while providing both career and academic advising. And when she’s not inspiring our students to reach for better futures, she’s coaching faculty in their own professional development.

“Terry is a phenomenal educator, professional development course facilitator and valued work team member,” shared Alex Penn, faculty developer and instructional designer. “As busy as Terry is, she never misses a deadline, provides timely, thoughtful and quality feedback on our course design processes and genuinely cares about her fellow faculty members and students. She is tech-savvy, skilled at her craft and infuses a bit of fun in to everything she does.”

Leonard Bass, campus dean, learning support, and Terry’s supervisor, agrees with Alex. “Terry is the consummate educator. Her passion for learning and trying new and innovative pedagogical approaches inspires her peers and her students.”

Over the past 13 years, Terry has grown to love Valencia because the culture fosters and encourages creativity and growth within professions. She also enjoys the friendships she’s made with her colleagues and that there’s always someone to help when needed in our collaborative environment. She’s inspired to come to work each day by those colleagues, her students and Valencia’s leadership.

As Terry reflected on what Valencia means to the community, she shared that the College provides “open access to a quality education and life-long learning opportunities. It’s a place where people care.”

Terry earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counselor education, school counseling and guidance services from the University of Central Florida. During her free time, she enjoys photography, adventures with family and friends, laughing and — not grading papers.

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.


  • Alex Penn said:

    Congratulations, Terry! I am happy to see you being recognized in The Grove as the first "Featured Colleague" for 2018! Thank you for all that you do and continue to do to make our NSE Trainings the best that they can be.

    PMTue, 02 Jan 2018 16:54:53 +0000Tue, 02 Jan 2018 16:54:53 +0000pm18,4:54 pm

  • Amy Love said:

    Congrats Terry! This is very much deserved.

    You are the very best and I appreciate all the help you have given me over the years!!

    AMWed, 03 Jan 2018 10:03:28 +0000Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:03:28 +0000am18,10:03 am

  • Lisa Potchen said:

    Congratulations Terry! Wonderful article. You are a great teacher, colleague and friend. I'm very lucky to know you and Valencia is lucky to have you!

    PMSat, 13 Jan 2018 22:14:11 +0000Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:14:11 +0000pm18,10:14 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Featured Colleague: Makendy Jacob Plays a Starring Role...

    Tuesday, February 15, 2022 By Jennifer Keefe As we all know, Valencia College prides itself in finding top-notch talent to help the sometimes impossible become possible for our students. But for Makendy Jacob, student services advisor for the Downtown Campus, life is all about using his skills to create that kind of magic, both on and […]

    Featured Colleague: Valencia College Empowered Anna...

    Tuesday, August 10, 2021 By Wendy Jo Moyer If it weren’t for a friend who led her to Valencia College, Anna Castillo may not be the same person she is today. When she was in high school, that friend encouraged her to join him at a Valencia College presentation. And now, seven years later, she owes her […]