Models of Excellence

Models of Excellence Program

2024 Call for Nominations

The call for nominations is open now through October 27.

Does one of your coworkers show special initiative or demonstrate outstanding leadership? Have you noticed that a staff member excels at fostering workplace inclusion and collaboration? It's time to recognize them through Models of Excellence, Penn's campus-wide staff awards program.

The nomination starts with you.

About Models of Excellence

The Models of Excellence Award program celebrates the extraordinary achievements of full- and part-time staff across the University's schools and centers. Each year, Penn offers the whole community the chance to recognize these efforts by nominating staff members for Models of Excellence honors in the fall and by attending the award ceremony on April 2, 2024.

The Awards

The Models of Excellence program has three award categories. Learn about the standards and nomination process for each, as well as the current and previous winners and nominees.

  • Models of Excellence Award Since 1999, this award has recognized staff member accomplishments that reflect initiative, leadership, increased efficiency, and a deep commitment to service.
  • Pillars of Excellence Award Introduced in 2014, this award recognizes the important contributions of our staff in support roles who promote Penn’s success.
  • Model Supervisor Award Since 2007, this award has honored supervisors who are successful and constructive contributors to Penn's success. 

The Nomination Process

You can nominate individual Penn staff members and teams for an award in three categories:  Models of Excellence, Pillars of Excellence, and Model Supervisor. Download the digital Call for Nominations brochure for descriptions of each category.

The nomination process is detailed, and all its components must be completed before the nomination can be accepted. 

Nomination steps:


The table below describes specific criteria for each award category.

Models of Excellence Pillars of Excellence Model Supervisor
Active full-time staff X X X
Active part-time staff X X X
Supervisor, Manager or Director X ineligible X
Staff in Support Roles X X ineligible
in Performance Improvement/ Discipline ineligible ineligible ineligible
Length of time in a supervisory position n/a n/a 3 years or more
Number of staff supervised
(student workers not included)
n/a n/a 2 or more

Who Can Submit Nominations

All members of the Penn community are welcome to submit nominations, including faculty, students, staff, and postdocs. Staff members may nominate themselves or their teams.

Selection and Notification

An annually rotating Models of Excellence Selection Committee reviews all nominations and selects the award winners. The committee is representative of the diversity of our institution, composed of Penn leaders from the Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President of Human Resources areas, previous Models of Excellence award winners, and other faculty and staff members from across campus.

After staff members are chosen for recognition, they will be notified in early 2024. The honoree information is publicized broadly to the Penn community. Honorees are also acknowledged at the spring Models of Excellence Award Ceremony.

Awards, Ceremony, and Reception

In all categories, award recipients each receive $500 and a symbolic award. Nominees selected for honorable mention receive $250 and a symbolic award.


Awards will be announced in early 2024 and the honorees celebrated on April 2, 2024.

Questions? Call 215-898-7729 or contact us by email.