Models of Excellence 2023 blue spotlight background

Models of Excellence 2023

Models of Excellence Program

Congratulations to the
2023 Models of Excellence Honorees

Join the Penn Community in celebrating this year's honorees when the Models of Excellence Program Award Ceremony returns to Irvine Auditorium on April 26 at 4 p.m.

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.  Now is your chance to recognize these efforts.

The Awards

The Models of Excellence program has four award components. 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.
  • Model Supervisor Award Since 2007, this award has honored supervisors who are successful and constructive contributors to Penn's success. 
  • Pillars of Excellence Award Introduced in 2014, this award recognizes the important support our non-exempt, weekly paid staff members provide to promote 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.   The annually published Quick Start Guide to Submitting a Nomination provides all of the information you need to complete this process. 

Nomination steps:

  • Review the eligibility criteria below.
  • Complete the Nomination Form, (available in the fall), which includes two reference letters and supervisor verification of eligibility.
  • Submit the completed nomination through the online form by the fall due date, which will be announced later in 2023.


Active full-time or part-time University staff teams and Individual staff members who are not in Performance Improvement/ Discipline are eligible for Models of Excellence nominations. See the table below for specific criteria in 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
Monthly paid X ineligible X
Weekly paid X X X
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 2023. 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 2023 and the honorees celebrated on stage in Irvine Auditorium on April 26, 2023.

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