Born and reared in Sunnyvale, Rafael received an A.B. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Stanford University. Inspired by his Spanish heritage (including a love of jamón serrano, Semana Santa and tauromaquia), his graduate studies at San José State University focused on philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. An avid traveler, he has trekked across northern Spain on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Prior to becoming a Bronco, he worked in admissions at Stanford University’s Summer Session and Electrical Engineering department, experiences that will serve him well as assistant dean.