Associate Professor of Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts Wilfredo de Ràfols was awarded with one of this year’s Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents’ Academic Advisor Awards. This annual award honors outstanding academic student advising.
Although he’s been teaching for nearly 30 years, de Ràfols said he is still learning and that he can always do better. He currently serves as the director of the graduate program in World Languages and Literatures and always puts his students first.
“My biggest rewards really come from my students,” de Ràfols said.
His commitment is to his students and he always makes sure to understand their aspirations, interests and goals, to better mentor them during their graduate education.
Two of the most important values de Ràfols aims to instill in students is honesty, followed by collaboration among each other. His advising philosophy statement certainly reflects this and guides students toward courage and professionalism for open communication and honesty.
He said it’s also really important to him to provide an atmosphere full of curiosity and inquisitiveness that’s conducive to learning.
Although, the pandemic has impacted communication in teaching and learning, de Ràfols continues to look at the positive outcomes in higher education. Efficiency and technology have allowed for more streamlined communication and collaboration.
The enthusiastic advisor said his job isn’t finished once students graduate. He often keeps in touch with his students well into their professional careers. The mutual respect he builds with his students extends from professional advisor and professor, to long-lasting friendships.
“Being recognized for this award is motivational for continuing to carry out my responsibilities,” de Ràfols said.
Presently, de Ràfols is working with graduate students on a research paper on novels by the Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós. He is also working to launch a Hispanic Gateway Scholarship which will promote interdisciplinary majors and dual-degree programs.
His laughter, positive outlook and enthusiasm for education, makes this advising award well deserved for de Ràfols.