Models of Excellence Award

2020 Models of Excellence Program Honorees

Congratulations to this year's honorees! This year Penn's Models of Excellence Program honors 110 exceptional staff members who play key roles in Penn's successes every day.

In lieu of the Ceremony and Reception, we have marked the occasion with a commemorative video and an online publication which celebrate and recognize the 2020 honorees.

The Models of Excellence program recognizes notable staff member accomplishments at Penn that reflect initiative, leadership, increased efficiency, and a deep commitment to service.

ON THIS PAGE:

Standards of Excellence

These Standards of Excellence are used by the nominators and the Selection Committee to identify individual staff members or teams as Models of Excellence for their notable contributions to the mission of the University that go above and beyond performance and job expectations.

Supportive practices, procedures, and policies

  • Brings about significant positive change for the University’s mission.
  • Eliminates significant obstacles to achieving the University’s mission.
  • Resolves, in unique and/or novel ways, problems that impede progress.

Innovative and proactive leadership

  • Uses highly effective and/or novel practices to inspire and lead others to contribute constructively to the University’s mission.
  • Proactively identifies and resolves challenges that interfere with team/unit/school/center activities to further the University’s mission.
  • Encourages a coordinated effort by a complex group and facilitates the group’s ability to meet complicated goals.

Extraordinary service to key constituencies

  • Supports internal and/or external constituencies in ways that exceed expectations and result in unexpected and very positive outcomes that support the University’s mission.

Substantial cost-effectiveness

  • Identifies improvements to University practices, policies, and/or program designs that result in substantial cost savings or financial gain to the University while enhancing the organization’s ability to support the University’s mission.

Exemplary relationship building within and/or outside of the immediate organization

  • Develops and uses strong, constructive, and productive relationships that enable otherwise impossible goals to be met in support of the University’s mission

The Nomination Process

The call for nominations is open September through October each year.

We seek nominations of significant achievements—above and beyond job and performance expectations—to model excellence for the campus. Please consider nominating a deserving staff member or team; we welcome nominations from any level of the organization, including self-nominations.

The nomination process is detailed, and all its components must be completed before the nomination can be accepted.   Each year, the Quick Start Guide to Completing a Nomination provides all of the information you need to complete this process which includes the following steps:

1. Reviewing the eligibility criteria.
2. Complete the Nomination Form which includes two reference letters and supervisor verification of eligibility.
3. Submitting the completed nomination through the online form before the published deadline.

Questions? Call 215-898-1012 or contact us by email.

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 (including the Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President of Human Resources), previous Models of Excellence award winners, and other faculty and staff members from across campus.

Once staff members are chosen for Models of Excellence recognition or accorded an Honorable Mention are notified in January, and the information is publicized broadly to the Penn community. Honorees are acknowledged at the spring Models of Excellence Award Ceremony.

Awards, Ceremony, and Reception

Models of Excellence winners receive $500.00 and a symbolic award. Extremely noteworthy staff member contributions receive Honorable Mentions and are awarded $250.00 and a symbolic award.

2020 Models of Excellence

Kyle Cassidy

Kyle Cassidy, Annenberg School for Communication

Kyle Cassidy exemplifies the leadership and innovation that makes collaborative work at the University so successful at tackling big problems. His leadership in the Penn Virtual Reality Working Group fostered a connection between the Annenberg Center and the School of Nursing to create a virtual training tool for opioid overdose treatment. 

 

Museum Sphnix Move Team

Sphinx Move Team
Penn Museum

The Penn Museum Sphinx Move Team transported the more than 3,000-year-old Sphinx, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, to the grand Main Entrance Hall, reimagining the 10,000 square feet space in new galleries and transforming the human experience for all of the Museum’s visitors.

Team Member School or Center
Anne Brancati Penn Museum
Kevin Cahail Penn Museum
Edgardo Esteves Penn Museum
Molly Gleeson Penn Museum
Brian Houghton Penn Museum
Anna O’Neill Alexander Penn Museum
Robert Thurlow Penn Museum
Jennifer Wegner Penn Museum

Transform Penn's Data Center Team

Transform Penn's Data Center Team
Information Systems and Computing

The Transform Penn’s Data Center Team successfully migrated from the Walnut Street Data Center to a newly conceived, state-of-the-art facility at the Pennovation Center while modernizing network architecture, delivering immediate and long-term benefits to Penn, achieving sustainability targets and providing a cost savings.

Team Member School or Center
Daniel Bachovin Information Systems and Computing
David Cohen Information Systems and Computing
Joseph Demarest Information Systems and Computing
Jeffrey Edwards Information Systems and Computing
Steven Fredricks Information Systems and Computing
Tiffany Hanulec Information Systems and Computing
Gregory Hartley Information Systems and Computing
Donna Jacobs Information Systems and Computing
Dante Keyes Information Systems and Computing
Shijoy Mathew Information Systems and Computing
David Mongeluzi Information Systems and Computing
James Renfro Information Systems and Computing
James Riley Information Systems and Computing
Maria Roberts-Reyes Information Systems and Computing
Charles Rumford Information Systems and Computing
Kent Whiting Information Systems and Computing
Thomas Yoo Facilities and Real Estate Services

Honorable Mentions

Victor Adams

Victor Adams
Division of Finance

With his remarkable leadership, cross-campus collaboration, and wealth of knowledge, Victor Adams, Director in the Corporate Tax, Compliance & Payroll Office, personifies the Division of Finance’s mission to provide world-class service to faculty, staff and students.

Campus Express New Student Experience Team

Campus Express New Student Experience Team
Business Services

The Campus Express New Student Experience Team recreated Penn’s online onboarding site for all new students, providing a welcoming and engaging gateway to the diverse services and amenities that Penn has to offer.

Team Member School or Center
Mark Aseltine Business Services
Christopher Bradie Business Services
Barbara Lea-Kruger Business Services
Ann Weinstein Business Services

College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Team

The LPS Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Team created and launched the first online bachelor’s degree in the Ivy League.

Team NameSchool or Center
Christopher Angelucci School of Arts and Sciences
Ursula Bechert School of Arts and Sciences
Dave Bieber * School of Arts and Sciences
Aaron Boczkowksi School of Arts and Sciences
Yvette Bordeaux School of Arts and Sciences
Leona Brandwene School of Arts and Sciences
Mary Bustamante School of Arts and Sciences
Jacqueline Candido School of Arts and Sciences
Clayton Colmon School of Arts and Sciences
Angelina Conti School of Arts and Sciences
Sara Davis School of Arts and Sciences
Benjamin Filreis * School of Arts and Sciences
Ilene Ford School of Arts and Sciences
Michael Griego School of Arts and Sciences
Joseph Hallman School of Arts and Sciences
Susan Hassett School of Arts and Sciences
Caitlin Hier School of Arts and Sciences
Zachary Humenik School of Arts and Sciences
Betsy Jane Kells School of Arts and Sciences
Jaime Kelly School of Arts and Sciences
Tomea Knight School of Arts and Sciences
Jen Kollar School of Arts and Sciences
Meryl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Sarah Libros School of Arts and Sciences
Jeffrey Lyons School of Arts and Sciences
John MacDermott * School of Arts and Sciences
Marsha Mallet School of Arts and Sciences
Sarah Masino School of Arts and Sciences
Jason Matjasic School of Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Matthew School of Arts and Sciences
Rita McGlone School of Arts and Sciences
Jacqueline McLaughlin School of Arts and Sciences
Melissa Moore School of Arts and Sciences
Amy Mulhern School of Arts and Sciences
Debra Murphy School of Arts and Sciences
Kristine Rabberman School of Arts and Sciences
Brittany Robertson * School of Arts and Sciences
Anna Safford * School of Arts and Sciences
Samantha Sangenito * School of Arts and Sciences
Leigh Anne Scarborough School of Arts and Sciences
Joe Schaffner School of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Shields School of Arts and Sciences
Kristin Sowden * School of Arts and Sciences
Raymond Taylor School of Arts and Sciences
Donna Tomlinson School of Arts and Sciences
Kathy Urban * School of Arts and Sciences
Christopher Veitz School of Arts and Sciences
Levester Williams School of Arts and Sciences
Miriam Wright School of Arts and Sciences
Forerunner Team

Forerunner Team

The Forerunner Team launched a trailblazing initiative to “bring the world to Penn and Penn to the World” by providing a high-touch, in-person experience to prepare new international students and parents for their Penn journey.

Team Member School or enter
Rodolfo Altamirano Penn Global
Batsirai Bvunzawabaya Student Services
Chinedu Eke School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Sung Youn Gwak School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Imani Hall-Harvin Graduate School of Education
Yuhong He Student Services
Sarah Kaufman Graduate School of Education
Soumya Madabhushi Student Services
Amy Nichols Wharton School
Elisabeth O’Connell Provost’s Center
Zoe Qiao Wharton School
Patricia Rea School of Arts and Sciences
Julianne Reynolds Student Services
Sharon Smith Student Services
Charquinta Sullivan Wharton School
Ann Tiao Graduate School of Education
Peter Van Do Student Services
Ryan Villanueva Penn Global
Yuan Yao Student Services
Li Zhang Penn Global

Laura Tepper

Laura Tepper
Law School

Laura Tepper displays a deep understanding of the needs of the Law School’s community, students, faculty, staff and alumni. She utilizes this understanding to develop very effective strategies to approach the community for support of Penn Law, evidenced by her ability to meet the Law School’s $100,000,000 capital campaign goal more than one year ahead of schedule.

Matthew Valenti

Matthew Valenti
Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics

In his role as Associate Director for the Center for Student-Athlete Success, Matthew Valenti led the rebranding of the Office of Student Development, resulting in the creation of the Center for Student-Athlete Success, a national leader in the area of student-athlete development.


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