Katherine 'Kat' Parpana, M.A.

Kat 2

Position Title
Director | Strategic Asian and Pacific Islander Retention Initiative


Kat (she/her/siya) is a Pinay scholar-practitioner with ancestral roots from the Northern Island of Luzon, Philippines in the Ilocos Region; as well as ancestry from Northwestern and Germanic Europe, Southern China, and Spain.  Kat grew up across the Pacific including her homeland of the Philippines, Okinawa, and throughout California.

Kat is a UC Davis alumna with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Asian American Studies and Sociology and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Sacramento State University. Currently, she is a doctoral student pursuing an Ed.D. at the UC Davis School of Education studying Minority Serving Institutions with a special focus on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) at research-1 universities and the educational disparities experienced by AandPI students at these universities

Prior to supporting the retention initiative, Kat was one of the inaugural diversity and inclusion educators and specialists with the Office of Campus Community Relations under the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She also served as an academic advisor and academic counselor with the College of Letters and Science and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Office. Engaged and active in social justice work and diversity education, Kat is a founding chairperson for the award winning ‘Developing Deeper Advising Relationships’ module, embedded in the UC Davis Advising Certificate Series. In addition, she collaborates with organizations including APIs Mobilize, The Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA), and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) in service to the Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. 

Kat believes in the power of shared experiences and the importance of connectivity. When students have a culturally informed network that validates and cares for them holistically, they can truly thrive.

Region in the diasporas I identify with: Philippines, Southeast Asian, Okinawa