SMC Receives Presidential Award for Exports

Only U.S. Community College to Get Highest Recognition for U.S. Entities for Contribution to Increase in Exports

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at the 2018 Presidents “E” awards ceremony in Washington DC on Monday, May 21. At the ceremony kicking off World Trade Week, 43 U.S. companies and organizations were recognized with the Presidential Export Award. Santa Monica College was one of the honorees. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Commerce)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (left) presents the Presidents “E” Award to Santa Monica College, represented by Interim Associate Dean of International Education Catherine Weir (right) at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Monday, May 21. Santa Monica College was recognized along with 42 other U.S. companies and organizations for making significant contributions to an increase in U.S. exports. SMC was the only community college among the honorees. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Commerce)

Representatives of the companies and organizations that were honored with the Presidents “E” Awards for increasing exports while creating jobs for communities across the United States. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Commerce)

May 22, 2018

SANTA MONICA, CA—The U.S. Department of Commerce recognized Santa Monica College (SMC) with the President’s “E” Award for Exports. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the award to SMC at a ceremony kicking off World Trade Week in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 21. SMC was the only community college to receive the “E” Award; two other four-year institutions, Colorado State University and Colorado Mesa University, were also recognized.

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports; this is the first time that Santa Monica College has received it. SMC is a diverse minority-serving institution with the second highest international student population among community colleges in the nation with 3,400 students from over 100 countries worldwide.

“Santa Monica College has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with the college’s leadership role helping expand international student recruitment programs for other community colleges,” said Secretary Ross in his congratulatory letter to SMC. “The college’s use of partnerships and creative program development to create opportunities for underrepresented markets was also particularly notable…SMC’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery called the award a “testament to Santa Monica College’s commitment to global citizenship and promoting higher education opportunities within California, the U.S., and beyond national borders.”

“Santa Monica College is dedicated to providing the highest quality of undergraduate education to as many students as possible—and we recognize the potential of that in creating a progressive, globally connected society,” said Dr. Jeffery. “We are deeply proud of how that commitment is demonstrated on every level: in a diverse, global campus culture; in curriculum and study abroad programs; and in how SMC has helped expand international student recruitment at sister colleges in the U.S.”

SMC has a robust study abroad program—which offers summer and winter field studies courses in Latin America and South Africa, and shorter ten-day courses in locations like England, South Korea, Denmark, and Russia—and also has an institutional “global citizenship” requirement for students pursuing an Associate of Arts degree. The college has been recognized in the past for its leadership in international education by awards such as the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from NAFSA Association of International Educators and the inaugural 2017 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute of International Education.

At the 2018 President’s “E” Awards Ceremony, Secretary Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations that export U.S. goods and services. Companies representing 18 states were recognized as part of the 56th anniversary of the award. This year’s honorees include 33 small and medium-sized businesses as well as 17 manufacturers.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department’s International Trade Administration. With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, The International Trade Administration lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process by promoting and facilitating exports and investment into the United States; administering Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and removing, reducing, or preventing foreign trade barriers.

U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration.

More information about the “E” Awards; for more information on SMC’s International Education programs, email or View the Department of Commerce’s official press release on the awards.

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About the “E” Awards

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth in one or more international markets.

About Santa Monica College:

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). SMC is the leading transfer college to the University of California campuses, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University; SMC also offers career training options in over 80 fields of study.