Kiersten Elliott, the dean of enrollment services at Santa Monica College, has been named 2012 SMC Manager of the Year.

She was presented the award by SMC President Chui L. Tsang at the college’s annual recognition event June 13.

SMC officials note that as a manager, Elliott offers praise and encouragement to students, staff and colleagues, but she is also hard-working and demanding in the work environment.

“Kiersten is an extremely intelligent, energetic, talented, workaholic, take-charge, positive person,” says Angela Munoz, admissions and records supervisor who reports to and works closely with Elliott.

“But,” Munoz adds with a smile, “she’s also a tough cookie. She’s constantly coming up with innovative ideas that are great for our office, but I can’t keep up with her.”

Elliott, 39, of Brentwood, came to SMC seven years ago. While at SMC she has brought about changes in the admissions office, served as management association president for three years, is one of the chief architects and organizers of the successful VIP Welcome Day for new students, and orchestrates commencement exercises that draw 2,000 students, family members and friends every year.

“What makes SMC so special is its creative and talented staff and its innovative initiatives,” Elliott said. “I really feel like we’re different. Our VIP Welcome Day is like a four-year university. We go above and beyond to serve our students and that’s something we can be proud of.”

Dean of counseling Brenda Benson said of Elliott, “Truly, Kiersten embodies the attributes of what a manager should be.

“She leads by example, she communicates her vision, she genuinely cares about what she does and who she does it with, she’s quick to recognize the accomplishments of others, she keeps her ego out of things, she’s forward thinking, and she never forgets the people side of things.”

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