Elaine Miller Is March Employee of the Month

Posted: March 3, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Elaine Miller
Elaine Miller
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Position at Mason: Business manager of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities (KIHd)

Years at Mason: 10

What She Does: Half of her job entails keeping track of grants for KIHd — more than $4 million each year. The other half of her job requires her to manage a program under KIHd that delivers educational opportunities throughout Northern Virginia. “We deliver a master’s degree in special education, certification classes and other programs, too. It really depends on what that school district needs.”

What She Enjoys Most about Her Job: “The part of my job I like best is, first off, the people and my co-workers.” Secondly, Miller enjoys the variety of work that comes through her office. “We joke that we could all die of many things, but boredom is not one of them. There is never a dull moment around here.”

Life before Mason: In the 1970s, Miller was the first woman trust officer for the Continental Bank in Chicago, Ill. She then raised her children for 22 years before coming to Mason.

What She Does for Fun: In her spare time, Miller likes to garden, help her daughter sew costumes, and go on cruises with her husband. “My favorite cruise has to be the Eastern Mediterranean cruise that included Egypt.”

What Others May Not Know about Her: Miller’s daughter, Nicole Miller, also works for Mason in Customer Service Support for Facilities Management.

Personal Motto: “Enjoy life. You only go around one time, so make the best of it.”

What Others Say about Her:

“For years, Elaine has been responsible for the fiscal integrity of the university’s largest research and service center, overseeing dozens of employees and millions of dollars in external funding annually. Her job may be the most dynamic and most complex of any staff member in the university.”

—Martin Ford, senior associate dean of the College of Education and Human Development

“On a personal note, Elaine is someone you can really look up to as a co-worker and as a person with her down-to-earth nature, logical mind and nonjudgmental views. Elaine also is very unique in that she seems to know a little something about a wide range of topics, whether it’s history, science, health, home improvement and repairs…the list could go on. You could ask her the species of a plant or how to take down an entire wall in your house — there’s no way to describe it other than she just seems to know something about everything!”

—Andrea Bankoski, administrative support, KIHd

“Elaine Miller is our business manager on paper, and the ‘person who does everything’ in reality. Elaine is very talented in the areas of fiscal and program management, and she does a terrific job keeping track of many budgets. Additionally, she manages a remarkable number of projects funded by federal and state agencies. She is not only knowledgeable in all regulations, OSP requirements and [Mason] policies, but she is always available to help others — students, parents, faculty and her colleagues — with the most difficult questions. She is incredibly patient and is very kind to people in general. In many ways, Elaine sets the tone of the mutual respect and support for the entire office. We can count on Elaine’s help if we run into any kind of problem. It doesn’t matter if it has nothing to do with her position description. She helped me with tasks ranging from moving furniture and hanging blinds to Human Resources issues and office security.”

—Ala Showers, executive assistant to the director, KIHd

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