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:
A 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.