ellen leeSkyline College is proud to announce that Ellen Lee, Payroll Technician in the Administrative Services division has been named the San Mateo County Community College District nominee for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Classified Employee of the Year Award. Ellen was selected from 4 nominees from all three colleges and the district, to be forwarded to for the state-wide award.

The Classified Employee of the Year Award has been given out annually since May 2009 to honor community college classified employees who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to professionalism and community colleges. Recipients are nominated by members of their college/district community and endorsed by their local Board of Trustees. Award recipients are selected by representatives of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Foundation for California Community College and must have a record of outstanding performance of professional activities, as well as a record of active participation on campus and beyond.
According to her nomination:

“As a payroll technician, Ellen Lee supports the fiscal integrity of the college to be able to provide programs and services for students to navigate college successfully. She is the last point of contact from the college to the district – bearing a tremendous responsibility for accuracy so that people’s lives are not disrupted by bureaucratic mix-ups. Her ability to anticipate issues, correct problems, catch the details that have the potential of either helping or hurting employees is done consistently with accuracy and excellence. She has performed this job for over 37 years and put in place the structures and processes to ensure excellent service to the college. In doing so, the reputation of the college is stellar. The District has confidence in the work from Ellen’s office – a much-appreciated reflection on the college as a whole.

Ellen has a deep knowledge of her job. Over the decades, she has redefined what it means to perform the work. She works well with other members of the administrative services team, the college and the district. Ellen’s style of working with others is always professional and above reproach with an undeniable sense of high ethics and integrity.

Ellen exemplifies the epitome of commitment and dedication to her job and profession. She goes above and beyond at the college. She works tirelessly to connect the community to the college by supporting, sponsoring or coordinating high profile community events that bring hundreds of community members onto the campus each year. She takes an active interest in the international students program and lends her cultural and language expertise to the college in serving and supporting the International Students Program. As the college hosts delegations of visitors in efforts to expand the program, Ellen volunteers to provide cultural guidance. She has voluntarily hosted tea services for visiting delegations and coached the college leadership on etiquette and protocol to maximize the impact of the visit.

Ellen has been actively engaged in the annual Asian Cultural Week activities each year, where the Skyline College Asian Studies Center in collaboration with China Dance School/Theater of San Francisco hosts a special event that brings 500-800 community members onto the campus to experience the programs, services, events, film festivals and Asian cultural showcases festivities.

Beyond the connections and service to the community through Asian Cultural Week, Ellen volunteers to serve the community by participating in the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center. VITA is an IRS sponsored program that assists people who need it most, in the preparation of their income taxes. It brings millions of dollars back into the community. Ellen’s volunteering with VITA means she is able to give back to the community by lending her experience and expertise to support the service to the community. This demonstrates her strong work ethic and sense of civic involvement.

Often staff in “back office” positions are unsung. However, Ellen’s commitment to making sure the college is a well-reputed viable option for the community is evident in the views she articulates and the engagement she provides is attributed to her commitment to open access and higher education opportunities for the community.

Ellen Lee has been the invisible backbone of the administrative services component of the college.”

Congratulations Ellen, we are proud to call you a colleague and a member of the Skyline College family!

Article Compiled by Cherie Colin

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