Val Zavala was anchor and executive producer of "SoCal Connected" until her retirement in 2018. Since joining KCET in 1987 she has won 15 L.A. Emmy awards. She has covered major issues in southern California politics, education, government, demographics, healthcare, environment, economy, and arts and culture. She has been honored for her community service by numerous organizations including the California Chicano News Media Association, and Hispanic Americans for Fairness in Media among others. She was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University in 1993. She received her M.A. in journalism from American University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University.