In Memory of Raquel Morales

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Raquel Morales, coordinator, program advisor, passed away on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Raquel had a long history with Valencia, beginning as a student in 1994. Although she was offered admission to Rollins College, she was drawn to Valencia after witnessing a peer advisor presentation on date rape during her senior year. She was so intrigued by the presentation that she applied for and was selected for a peer advisor position at Valencia, becoming the youngest peer advisor ever hired without any previous college experience.

Raquel completed her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication at Rollins College. Upon graduation, she still yearned for the work that she’d done with Valencia. And in July 1998, she found work in the East Campus Advising Center, first as a part-time academic advisor (called an educational advisor at the time), which became a full-time role in March 2001. In her role as an academic advisor, she assisted with the Peer Educator program, helped international students with immigration and served as the interim international advisor after Lori Sunday — who originally hired Raquel — retired from the role.

“I served in this position for 16 years and enjoyed every minute of it, as it gave me a chance to assist students in their pursuit of education both inside and outside of the classroom,” she recounted when interviewed in April 2015 for a featured colleague article. “I was able to optimize students’ accomplishments and learning experiences by giving them the LifeMap tools that help empower them to be productive, successful and independent learners. I feel accomplished and successful when my students are successful.”

In October 2013, Raquel transitioned into a role as coordinator, career program advisor for pre-nursing students on West Campus, followed by her most-current role as coordinator, program advisor on East Campus. She was also a mentor for the Valencia Horizon Scholars program (formerly, Take Stock in Children).

Many years ago, Raquel shared a special recipe for Tres Leches (three-milk cake) with Martie Berrios, academic advisor.

“It is a simple recipe, and every time she brought this to any potluck in the office, it was the first dessert to go,” Martie explained, adding that traditional Tres Leches recipes require heavy whipping cream, but Raquel’s includes half and half.

Enjoy her recipe below:


GoFundMe account has been set up by Rachel’s family. The family asks that in place of flowers or other gifts that are customary in mourning loved ones, contributions be made to the account. All contributions will be used to assist Rachel’s son —Mason— to cover needs he will have during this challenging phase of his life.

A celebration of life for Raquel Morales will be held at her home on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Please drop by briefly between 2 – 6 p.m. at 3084 Harbor Lake Court, Oviedo. RSVP (407) 491-2143. All are welcome.



  • Jen P said:

    Such a bright soul. Miss her greatly.

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 16:09:05 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 16:09:05 +0000pm20,4:09 pm

  • Celeste H. said:

    Her spirit will forever soar.

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 17:21:52 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 17:21:52 +0000pm20,5:21 pm

  • Laura Skelton said:

    I'm saddened to hear of Raquel's passing. Her hard-work and her personality will not be forgotten. Her memory will always shine brightly. Rest peacefully Raquel.

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 17:37:00 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 17:37:00 +0000pm20,5:37 pm

  • Mary Ann Tudor said:

    Too young, too soon ~ Raquel was always willing to give of herself unselfishly. I am so proud of all her accomplishments. I will always cherish our special lunch times and private conversations between us. Raquel had a heart of gold, especially for the love of her life, her son Mason. I will miss her dearly ~ til we meet again!

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 19:12:16 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 19:12:16 +0000pm20,7:12 pm

  • Ana Biascoechea said:

    Sweet, sweet Raquel always with a smile and going above and beyond for the students. Generous and caring. Gone too soon! You will be missed and will never be forgotten. Rest with the angels Raquel.

    PMTue, 23 Jun 2020 21:22:59 +0000Tue, 23 Jun 2020 21:22:59 +0000pm20,9:22 pm

  • Kelley Matlock said:

    Raquel was a gentle soul. Just talking with her was calming. But beyond those two qualities, what I remember when her name is mentioned is her low-key fighting spirit. So often I knew she was struggling with sickness and pain. She never complained, she never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her, she maintained her smile and I am truly saddened she is no longer with us. Rest in painless peace Raquel

    AMWed, 24 Jun 2020 09:59:27 +0000Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:59:27 +0000am20,9:59 am

  • Penny Conners said:

    Raquel did indeed have a heart of gold. No matter how down and out her circumstances were at times, she always had a smile on her face and an uplifting spirit within her. Valencia was truly blessed to have her for so many years as she touched many peoples lives. Rest in peace dear Raquel.

    PMWed, 24 Jun 2020 13:19:18 +0000Wed, 24 Jun 2020 13:19:18 +0000pm20,1:19 pm

  • MIke Bosley said:

    Raquel served as an amazing example to our students, she will be remembered for her enthusiastic attitude and commitment to all of us. Raquel will be missed.

    PMWed, 24 Jun 2020 17:39:17 +0000Wed, 24 Jun 2020 17:39:17 +0000pm20,5:39 pm

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