Models of Excellence Award

2019 Models of Excellence Program Honorees

Congratulations to this year's honorees! This year Penn's Models of Excellence Program honors 92 exceptional staff members who play key roles in Penn's successes every day.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Models Awards. Since 1999, we have received 3,200 nominations, recognized 1,100 honorees and more than 7,500 faculty and staff members have cheered on their colleagues.

Please save the date for the 2019 Models Ceremony on April 23, 2019 in Irvine Auditorium, 4pm-5pm. Reception immediately following.

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


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. 

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.

The next award ceremony and reception for honorees will take place on April 23, 2019 in Irvine Auditorium. All members of the Penn community are invited. More information will be provided as the date approaches.

2018 Honorees

Intercultural Leadership Team
Intercultural Leadership Team

For providing an opportunity for first-year domestic and international undergraduate and graduate students to build intercultural competence and leadership though the team’s inspiring proactivity, self-examination and cultural awareness; and for making a lasting impact as global citizens at Penn and beyond.

Shaina Adams-El Guabli Provost’s Center
Rodolfo (Rudie) Altamirano Penn Global
Batsirai Bvunzawabaya Student Services
Valerie De Cruz Student Services
Katie Bonner Student Services
Yuhong He Student Services
Umi Howard Wharton School
Matthew LeRoy Student Services
Soumya Madabhushi Student Services
Sarvelia Nonantzin Peralta-Duran Wharton School
Julianne Reynolds Student Services
Charquinta Sullivan Student Services
Ryan Villanueva Penn Global

Charity Payne
Charity Payne
School of Engineering and Applied Science

For her role as the essential organizing force, focusing and coordinating the recent growth and continued coherent identity of GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception Laboratory). Most notably, serving as the true hub, she unquestionably led the birth and early success of the Penn Engineering Research Collaboration Hub (PERCH) – a historic and crucial opportunity for expanding the regional, national, and international pre-eminence of Penn Engineering.

Working Group for LGBTQ Student Health
Working Group for LGBTQ Student Health
Student Services

For their role as the central clearinghouse and organizational catalyst for addressing issues that affect the health of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer/Questioning and Transgender students at Penn and for their health-related planning and protocols specific to the needs of LGBTQ students at Penn, with their primary focus being the Student Health Service.

Melissa Bottiglio Student Services
Cyndy Boyd Student Services
Julia M. Burton Student Services
Laura Kay Collins Student Services
Erin G. Cross Student Services
David Glassman Student Services
Ashlee Halbritter Student Services
Heather Hersh Student Services
Sigrid Larson Student Services
Elizabeth Manai Student Services
Judith Max Palmer Student Services
Joyce McNeill Student Services
Daniel Meyer Student Services
Julie M. Mullany Student Services
Giang Nguyen Student Services
Perri Stella Student Services
Meghan Sullivan Student Services
Amanda Finegold Swain Student Services
Erin Taylor Student Services
Leslie Thompson Student Services

2018 Honorable Mention

Faculty Life and Professional Development Team
Faculty Life and Professional Development Team
Perelman School of Medicine

For curating professional development offerings and resources from across the Penn Medicine Health System, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the University of Pennsylvania, resulting in a content-rich website that also functions as a portal for faculty to easily access professional development opportunities, resources, and benefits in the areas of attaining teaching excellence, career development, leadership, research and scholarship, and well-being (including university benefits in physical and emotional health, which are of critical importance to building clinician resilience and preventing burnout).

Vivian Fisher Perelman School of Medicine
Karen Grasse Perelman School of Medicine
Kimberly Haebel Perelman School of Medicine
Rorie Leahy Perelman School of Medicine
Dorothy L. Leung Perelman School of Medicine
Victoria Mulhern Perelman School of Medicine
Chelsea Patrick Perelman School of Medicine
Karen Shala Perelman School of Medicine
Stephanie Taitano Perelman School of Medicine
Jane Waltman Perelman School of Medicine

IRC Information Security Program part 1

IRC Information Security Program part 2

Institutional Risk Committee (IRC) Information Security Program

For building a comprehensive, collaborative Information Security Program that is now a national model—making Penn dramatically stronger and safer while protecting its values of trust, privacy, and openness, and thus setting a very high standard for all future IRC initiatives.

Dan Alig Wharton School
R. Joy Azikiwe Human Resources
Jeffrey Ballentine Information Systems and Computing
Joshua Beeman Information Systems and Computing
John J. Breen III Information Systems and Computing
James Brewer Information Systems and Computing
Robert Brower Human Resources
Sean Burke President’s Center
Richard Cardona Annenberg School for Communication
James Choate Information Systems and Computing
Caroline Couture Information Systems and Computing
Donna Milici Dacey Information Systems and Computing
Robert Desilets Information Systems and Computing
Catherine DiBonaventura School of Design
Darlene P. Dziomba Information Systems and Computing
David James Earley Information Systems and Computing
Ryan Hastings Information Systems and Computing
Paul Herrmann Information Systems and Computing
Michael Herzog Graduate School of Education
Bryan Hopkins Information Systems and Computing
Samuel Jenkins Information Systems and Computing
Sarah Katz Information Systems and Computing
Denise Mancuso Lay Information Systems and Computing
Naila Machado Information Systems and Computing
Sherry Michael Information Systems and Computing
Melissa Muth Information Systems and Computing
John W. O’Brien Information Systems and Computing
Warren Petrofsky School of Arts and Sciences
Magida Phillips Business Services
Jacqueline Koury Raynor Information Systems and Computing
Charles Rumford Information Systems and Computing
Michael Sanker Information Systems and Computing
Scott D. Schafer Audit Compliance and Privacy
Kevin Secrest Audit Compliance and Privacy
Joseph Shannon Division of Finance
Lauren Steinfeld Audit Compliance and Privacy
Matthew Sullivan Information Systems and Computing
David Tarampi Information Systems and Computing
Vivin Varghese Facilities and Real Estate Services
Mark Wehrle Information Systems and Computing
Paul Weidner Division of Finance
Barry Wilson Wharton School
Ira Winston School of Engineering
Wiam Younes Information Systems and Computing
Jennifer Yuan Information Systems and Computing

Gayle Joseph
Gayle Joseph
School of Veterinary Medicine

For independently creating new, innovative ways to advance the research mission at Penn Vet, and most importantly, for her passion for research and for acting on that passion.

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