Grants Program Director and Division Coordinator, Institutional Advancement
What brought you to Iliff?
Back in 2008, I was the purchasing director for a small retail/herbal manufacturing company and while I enjoyed the job and my colleagues, I’d been there a long while and it was time for a new challenge. My husband, Chris Mandel, was an MDiv student at Iliff at the time and he forwarded me the email announcement that the Admissions/Student Services department was hiring an administrative assistant. I figured, “how different could being an administrative assistant in a graduate school be from being a buyer at a retail store?” and my new adventure began. It turns out that there has been a lot more overlap between the two positions than I expected, but Iliff smells significantly less like lavender and valerian root than my previous job did.
What do you enjoy most in your work?
There’s the honest (and fully expected) answer of: the people! Besides having amazing colleagues and students around, I really enjoy how I never know what each day will bring. My position description has changed a bit over the years so I now handle lots of the grants around the school, but I still am coordinating many things for my division. Some days I’m tucked away writing all day and other days I’ll be learning how to superglue metal plaques to bricks. The one consistent thing I do find is that the days I dress extra nice are the same days that big shipments of things unexpectedly come in, so I’ll be running around looking fancy while hauling dirty boxes into storage. The unpredictability is wonderful.
How has your time at Iliff shaped you as a person?
I’m a much better person for having worked here and I have learned a lot, both personally and professionally. Over the years, I’ll gotten to know myself better and it’s great to see how Iliff is making a mark on the world. Whenever I go to Admissions events, or even just wearing an Iliff shirt in public, people are always stopping me and saying they know someone who went to Iliff and how amazing and inspiriting that person is.This happens even outside of Colorado, which is fun. I’ve been grateful that the folks at Iliff, especially my boss David Worley, have been willing to take a chance on me trying on new responsibilities over the years, I enjoy learning new things and working at Iliff has kept me well-supplied with new challenges. We’ll see what new adventures next year brings!
“…Erin is a true gem”
Erin, who has been with Iliff since 2008, is the force behind many of the significant grants that has been awarded to Iliff. In addition to her job responsibilities with the Institutional Advancement and Admissions teams, Erin is known for rolling up her sleeves and jumping in to support many of the activities organized by the different departments. As noted by a colleague, “she never complains and consistently makes our teams better.”
From the remarks of her colleagues in nominating Erin for the award, you can see that the recognition is well deserved and long overdue.
“…she is a behind-the-scenes hero that gets everything done almost like magic…Erin is a true gem in this regard.”
“…I believe that she is the first fundraiser in the history of Iliff to secure grants of these sizes, and she just won’t quit…”
“…She knows the grant business inside and out, is always professional, and is interesting and friendly to boot…”