On February 15, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas, Rafael Almanzar received the 2017 TEXAAN Outstanding Academic Advisor Award. TEXAAN, which stands for Texas Academic Advising Network, serves as a professional representation of academic advising excellence in Texas by providing professional development, networking, recognition, and dissemination of information. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Rafael relocated to College Station, Texas in January 2014. Since his arrival, he has won several advising awards from the BGA (Biochemistry Graduate Student Association), Texas A&M University, and NACADA (National Academic Advising Association). He has also given back to the advising profession by presenting at several conferences such as the TxGAP Conference and UTSA Academic Advising Conference. He co-chaired the UAC (University Advisors & Counselors) Advisor Briefing Day event which occurred this past September and currently co-chairing the UAC Symposium, which is an annual conference for academic advisors at Texas A&M.
Recently, Rafael was admitted to the PhD in Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. He will start his doctoral study in the fall and plans to conduct research on the factors that influence college retention in first generation underrepresented students.