Born in Mexicali, Cataño was raised primarily in Imperial County and graduated from Central Union High School.
Cataño is a third-year doctoral candidate in San Diego State Uni-versity's doctorate in education CCLEAD program. She received both a master's degree in Sociologi-cal Practice and bachelor's degree in Women's Studies at California State University San Marcos. She upholds a commitment to "paying it forward."
She is the first in her family to reach this level of education. As a Latina, first-generation student, and professional, she says she under-stands the complexity of navigating systems of higher education. She is passionate about serving students, particularly those who have faced insurmountable challenges to reach their goals. Cataño looks forward to getting to know her new IVC com-munity and to work toward building existing efforts to support students' experiences and outcomes, knowing that IVC and the whole community have played a role in their success.
She brings a plethora of experi-ences, skills and research knowledge. She has held multiple positions that have strengthened her work around grant writing, teaching and research. She is versed in both quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry to best support students' success. Most recently, Yolanda was a gradu-ate research affiliate for the Commu-nity College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) and worked on large-scale equity reports for California commu-nity colleges. She is a board member for the Imperial Valley LGBT Re-source Center, where she supports all grant-writing efforts along with all program and center activities ad-ministered at the center.