Cuyamaca College
Katie Cabral. Photo credit: Courtesy, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

A Cuyamaca College analyst will be honored Monday by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors with this year’s statewide Classified Employee of the Year award.

Katie Cabral, also president of the campus’ Classified Senate, is one of seven classified, or non-instructional, staff members throughout the state to be recognized.

“Since she began her work in research and planning with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in 2016, Katie has stood out as an exceptionally talented and dedicated classified professional,” said Chancellor Lynn Neault. “It was only after working for one year for our district that she received our local equivalent award for classified professionals. I am thrilled to see her now receive statewide recognition for her trademark commitment and excellence.”

District Board President Debbie Justeson said she and her fellow trustees were quick to endorse Cabral’s nomination for the award, particularly for her focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and her work with faculty.

She described Cabral’s “ability to explain data in a way that’s palatable and easy to understand” as “indispensable.”

Cuyamaca College has received state and national recognition for equity-driven initiatives leading to surges in students success in transfer-level math and English. Cabral has been described as an innovator, developing creative ways to present the data behind Cuyamaca’s successful efforts at closing achievement gaps.

Cuyamaca President Julianna Barnes will join Cabral on a trip to Sacramento to accept the award. Barnes added that Cabral’s stepping forward in 2021 as president of Cuyamaca’s Classified Senate – an employee governance group – came at a pivotal time as the campus adjusted to pandemic realities.

“She has fostered communication, collaboration and advocacy among classified professionals in a way that’s nothing short of remarkable,” Barnes said.

Cabral’s connection with the college district started in 2014, when she began working as a part-time psychology instructor at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges. She put her teaching career on hold after she was hired by the district.

Brianna Hays, a senior dean at Cuyamaca said the analyst has “changed the face of research for the campus.”

The Bay Area native moved to San Diego to attend UC San Diego, where she earned her bachelor’s in psychology. She earned her master’s degree in social psychology and evaluation at Claremont Graduate University, and later returned to UCSD as a mental health programs evaluator and researcher.