Counselor and professor’s perseverance creates happiness for himself and others


Courtesy of Ray Mapeso

Cosumnes River College Department Chair of Counseling and Professor Ray Mapeso shares this photo of him from a hiking trail in New Zealand called the Milford Track. In total, it was a 70-mile hike and it took a total of four days.

With the current pandemic creating what many consider a setback or a pause, current Cosumnes River College Department Chair of Counseling Ray Mapeso is working and operating remotely, staying as efficient and productive as he was before. 

Now that all of Los Rios has transitioned online, many students, staff and faculty have been forced to adapt to a new routine and schedule. In regards to Mapeso and his routine and schedule, “everything is exactly the same.”

Throughout a typical “Ray-day,” (a typical day filled with structure, routine and success), Mapeso said he wakes up at 5:30 a.m., checks all his emails which include student questions and concerns, goes to work, teaches his classes and does appointments, gets off of work, goes to the gym or works out, runs personal errands, watches a little bit of TV, checks up on emails again for student questions and concerns and is asleep by 9:30 or 10 p.m. Then rinse and repeat.

Aside from Mapeso’s daily routine, he said that he attributes his achievements, success and happiness to the people that he surrounds himself with.

Counseling Supervisor Eva Rhodes has worked with Mapeso now for a little more than 11 years and acknowledged the impact Mapeso has had on her as well as the rest of the counseling staff.

“He’s very knowledgeable. He’s very thorough. I mean, he’s just amazing at how thorough he is and his attention to detail,” said Rhodes. “So I figure if anybody will know the answer to whatever question I have, it’s going to be Ray.”

Rhodes also said that he has a tremendous work ethic and that he serves as a prime example for other counselors, staff and especially for the newer counselors that have come in. 

“I think you should always surround yourself with really functional, productive, exciting, stimulating, educated knowledgeable people,” Mapeso said. “If you surround yourself with anything to convert that, then that’s what you’re gonna become.”

Mapeso said that he was born in the Philippines, but he and his parents emigrated to Stockton, Calif. Growing up in Stockton, Mapeso started off at San Joaquin Delta College, transferred to Sacramento State University where he got his Bachelor’s and eventually his Masters in counseling and marriage family therapy. Then most recently completed his doctorate at UC Davis in 2012.

Mapeso said he is able to gain a fair amount of his enjoyment and happiness from traveling during summer and winter breaks. Since the beginning of Jan. 2019, Mapeso has traveled to New Zealand, South Africa, Anchorage, South Korea, Cambodia and the Philippines.

When traveling, Mapeso makes sure that he is surrounded by good travel partners and more specifically, people that have a drive to learn.

“I’m surrounded by friends of mine that are doctors, lawyers, teachers, airline pilots. Just all sorts of people who are smart, exciting, stimulating and highly functional,” Mapeso said. “I kind of choose to do that, I’m not interested in people who don’t want to learn. It’s not part of what I want in my circle.”

Currently, Mapeso is the Department Chair of Counseling at CRC and has now been a part of the staff for 21 years.

Mapeso, human services and human career development professor, is teaching classes within both departments this semester.

Twenty-year-old music major Dayed Amituanai, who is currently in one of Mapeso’s Human Career Development classes, said that Mapeso has helped him significantly on both an academic and personal level in retaining study habits and skills.

“One of the things that I like about him is that he is very interactive. He likes when people are responsive and he really goes out and asks us personal questions and finds a way to integrate that into what we are learning,” said Amituanai.

By observation, Mapeso teaches his class in a very enlightening yet efficient way. He asks how his students are doing, asks for any questions and after going over any topic or assignment, he makes sure that the students verbally assure him that they understand the material.

Mapeso said when life throws him a curveball or an obstacle, he only envisions the positive outcome that can be created from it instead of the hardships that come with them.

“A good word of advice is to always go towards those things that are most difficult. It’s always easier for us to say ‘Oh that’s too hard’, I don’t want to deal with it and go the other way,” Mapeso said. “It doesn’t teach us resiliency and it doesn’t teach us that we can overcome any kind of challenge or obstacle. So I always tend to go towards things that are hard.”

As Mapeso continues on with his life and with his career at CRC, he wants to continue helping others, traveling, and of course, staying put on his “Ray-day” schedule.