May 21, 2024
Contact: Melissa Villarin
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Four classified professionals, committed to equitable student outcomes, have been honored with the Classified Employee of the Year Award from the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

The honorees, Yvette Garcia, Melissa Jauregui, Amanda Mellett and Anissa Mitchell were recognized at the Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento on May 20.

Amy Costa“Serving our students successfully requires all hands on deck,” said Amy M. Costa, California Community Colleges Board of Governors president. “The work these classified employees do every day ensures student success and accelerates our reaching the goals of Vision 2030.”

The Classified Employee of the Year Award recipients are nominated by their colleagues and endorsed by the local board of trustees. Winners are selected by representatives from the Board of Governors, the Consultation Council and the Chancellor's Office based on their commitment to Vision 2030, the mission of community colleges and their professional standards.

Sonya Chistian“Yvette, Melissa, Amanda and Anissa represent the very best the California Community Colleges has to offer. We’re proud to work alongside each one of them and admire their hard work and dedication to ensuring our system works for all students,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Sonya Christian.

This year’s recipients are:

Yvette GarciaYvette Garcia, Mt. San Antonio College

Yvette Garcia has served students as an administrative assistant for more than seven years at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). She has demonstrated a deep commitment to the Vision 2030 pillars—People, Systems, Resources and Policy—and has also directly contributed to creating a more inclusive, supportive and equitable educational environment. Her actions reflect a deep and genuine dedication to serving not just the institution's diverse student population through her participation in college activities, but also the wider community through her professional and volunteer efforts such as her work with the Walnut High School Community Club and the Latin Parent Alliance highlighting her proactive approach in addressing educational inequities.

Melissa JuareguiMelissa Jauregui, Coast Community College District

Melissa Jauregui has been with the Coast Community College District for more than five years. Her profound knowledge surrounding state laws related to community colleges, graduation requirements, transfer articulation needs and impact on federal financial aid has been instrumental in her role as the program support specialist in the educational services and technology division. Melissa has consistently proven to be a self-starter, subject-matter expert, and a diligent, hardworking employee. She works with all levels of personnel at each college to develop a common practice for recording credit for prior learning in the areas of industry certification and assessment which has garnered her respect among the workplace and developed positive relationships.

Amanda MellettAmanda Mellett, Sierra College

Amanda Mellett’s dedication to maintaining and improving the physical infrastructure at Sierra College, coupled with her professionalism, attention to detail and work ethic, demonstrates her ongoing commitment to equitable student outcomes throughout her 23 years at the college. Amanda oversees all contract administration and informal bidding as the plant operations coordinator, where she displays high standards of good judgement and knowledge of facility management, which is vital in maintaining a safe, inclusive and high-functioning environment for all students and staff on campus. Amanda leads by example through fostering a collaborative atmosphere with those around her; investing in elevating the aesthetic appeal of the campus and devoting advocacy for Americans with Disability Act projects to account for the diverse student population Sierra College serves.

Anissa MitchellAnissa Mitchell, Barstow Community College

Anissa Mitchell has served as a student success and equity coordinator at Barstow Community College for five years. She is a product of the community college experience and is committed to expanding the goals of equitable access, success and support for all historically disadvantaged students, families and communities. Anissa is a strong advocate for social justice and is passionate about building connections and partnerships with local churches, civic organizations and youth programs through community and grassroot efforts. She is instrumental in fusing (co-)curricular themes of social justice dialogue and strives to conduct regular outreach and targeted comprehensive wraparound services that serve economically disadvantaged foster youth, LGBTQIA+ and other at-risk populations.

Each recipient of the Classified Employee of the Year Award will receive a $750 cash award and a commemorative plaque.

Board of Governor's CEYA award group photo

Left to right: Chancellor Sonya Christian, Board of Governors Member Bill Rawlings, Anissa Mitchell, Yvette Garcia, Melissa Jauregui, Board of Governors President Amy M. Costa


The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving nearly million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision 2030, a strategic plan designed to improve student success, our communities and our planet. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and X (Formerly Twitter).