Rafael "Rafa" Ordaz

Rafael "Rafa" Ordaz

Rafael Ordaz
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, 2012

“It has been a difficult but awesome experience being far from my family in order to do what I really want.”


Born and raised in Venezuela, Rafael “Rafa” Ordaz sought the opportunity to gain a wealth of new experiences and to learn the tools for success in business. He also wanted to play the sport he loved, baseball – not an impossible goal for someone who showed such promise. His talent for playing catcher developed into a scholarship from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. This success turned out to be the first of many for Rafa.

Early success developed into a great opportunity. While at Ellsworth, John Govek, the Ashford University Saints’ head coach, noticed Rafa’s excellence as a student and team member. John knew Rafa would be a good addition to Ashford’s Clinton campus, and Rafa had heard great things about Ashford’s business program. Because he also knew that Ashford had the technologies to give him a head start in the workplace, he was happy to enroll in fall 2010 and settle in to Clinton campus life.

He quickly found a community of friends and supportive staff members. “I am extremely appreciative for all the guidance I have gotten here at Ashford. Since my first day, whenever I had a question or doubt, somebody has been willing to give me a hand.” And as John predicted, Rafa has excelled on and off the field, making the Dean’s list every single semester and starting 28 out of 30 Saints games.

Having graduated in April 2012, Rafa now ponders the next step in his education. He is hoping to join Ashford’s Optional Practical Training program, which provides international students a year of work experience in America. After that, he is considering earning his Master of Science in Finance or Master of Business Administration. With his Ashford degree, he is prepared for anything. Congratulations, Rafa!