Models of Excellence Award

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.

Since 1999, this award has recognized staff member accomplishments that reflect initiative, leadership, increased efficiency, and a deep commitment to service. Now, the Models of Excellence Award is one of three award categories in the overall Models of Excellence program.

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

2023 Models of Excellence Honorees

Models of Excellence Award

The Admissions Visitor Center Team 

The Admissions Visitor Center Team embraced the pressures and uncertainties of COVID by developing new applications of existing technology to continue to give virtual real-time, student-led tours throughout the pandemic. They navigated the many protocols and challenges related to COVID by creating an on-campus, best-in-class, welcoming atmosphere that is consistently rated by visitors as among the best college visits they have experienced.

Team MemberSchool or Center
Thomas BergstromProvost's Center
Maya SmithProvost's Center
Andrea ZaleskiProvost's Center

Brian Bayes, Perelman School of Medicine

Brian Bayes, Sr. Data Manager at the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center, is critical to the scientific development, implementation, and success of every trial and study conducted at the Center. He has pioneered new ways for Perelman School of Medicine researchers to partner with Penn Medicine to use electronic health record data for research.

Krista Cortes, Student Services

Krista Cortes, Director of La Casa Latina: The Center for Hispanic Excellence, goes above and beyond their assigned responsibilities to further connect with students, staff, faculty, and community members. Their approach to analyzing problems and willingness to provide constructive feedback, coupled with their constant desire for learning, are all things that inspire staff to reach beyond expectations. They teach to lead and motivate with love – honoring students along their journeys.

Division of Finance Racial Justice and Inclusivity Working Group

The Division of Finance Racial Justice and Inclusivity Working Group focuses on developing a culture of anti-racism, inclusion, and belonging, which has become an integral part of the daily culture within the Division of Finance. From staff programming and training to a diversity, equity, and inclusivity book club, this group aims to actively dismantle racism and provide a culture of acceptance and belonging for employees at Penn.

Team MemberSchool or Center
Patrice AllenDivision of Finance
Sarah BoyerDivision of Finance
Maria DeOliveiraDivision of Finance
Russell DiLeoDivision of Finance
Evelyn FordDivision of Finance
Joseph GibbsDivision of Finance
Amy HooperDivision of Finance
Margaret KipDivision of Finance
Richard LeDivision of Finance
Jeff McCrayDivision of Finance
Elizabeth McNamaraDivision of Finance
LaNeeshia MormanDivision of Finance
Kristy OwenDivision of Finance
Michelle PresburyDivision of Finance
Imani PriceDivision of Finance
Yuri RayfordDivision of Finance
Paul RichardsDivision of Finance
Sherell RutlandDivision of Finance
Bethany SchellDivision of Finance
Heather SeitzDivision of Finance
Celestine SilvermanDivision of Finance
Travis SmaleDivision of Finance
Eric SotoDivision of Finance
Hillary SteinDivision of Finance
Eric StewartDivision of Finance
Raina StewartDivision of Finance
Paul WeidnerDivision of Finance
DeAnna WeiseDivision of Finance
Amanda YeagerDivision of Finance

Hoag Levins, Wharton School

Hoag Levins, Managing Editor at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, consistently demonstrates a deep commitment to elevating the Institute. He amplifies the work of Penn faculty and trainees through his exemplary skills as a writer, videographer, and photographer. He approaches his work with curiosity, energy, and integrity.

Safiya Shabazz-Evans, Perelman School of Medicine

Safiya Shabazz-Evans, Manager of Administration and Finance for the Division of Hematology and Oncology, courageously and generously stepped forward to take a leadership role in organizing and executing a strategic plan to address structural racism in our community. She facilitated town halls, created an ongoing forum for discussion regarding clinical and professional encounters with racism, and started a mentoring program for staff.

Honorable Mention

Accommodated Testing Center Team

The Accommodated Testing Center Team worked collaboratively, mid-pandemic, to advocate and develop a state-of-the-art, 21st-century academic testing center equipped to support a diverse range of learning accommodations and student needs.

Team MemberSchool or Center
Monica AlexanderFacilities and Real Estate Services
Casey BossProvost's Center
Robert ButlerStudent Services
Barbara CavanaughUniversity Library
Amy CollinsProvost's Center
Mark DingfieldDivision of Finance
Sharon DouglassStudent Services
Laurie HallStudent Services
Jane HolahanStudent Services
David MauteFacilities and Real Estate Services
Douglas McgeeUniversity Library
David NerenbergUniversity Library
Jillian PowellProvost's Center
Hannah RutledgeUniversity Library
Robert SadoffProvost's Center
Shawmeron SealProvost's Center
Sharon SmithStudent Services
Aaron SpectorStudent Services
Yuan YaoDevelopment and Alumni Relations

Eating Concerns Team

The Eating Concerns Team, an interdisciplinary treatment team of specialists from Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), works tirelessly to address eating issues and body image concerns facing students across the Penn campus and community. The team regularly treats countless students who present with a wide array of concerns.

Team MemberSchool or Center
Isra AbuyounisHealth and Wellness
William AdelmanHealth and Wellness
Diana BainbridgeHealth and Wellness
Yuliis BellHealth and Wellness
Mary BrennanHealth and Wellness
Batsirai Bvunzawabaya Health and Wellness
Margarita Clara CapistranoHealth and Wellness
Brittan DavisHealth and Wellness
Heather FrostHealth and Wellness
Bramble HeidtHealth and Wellness
Phil MeilmanHealth and Wellness
Sonya MeoraHealth and Wellness
Julie MullanyHealth and Wellness
Nicole NardoneHealth and Wellness
Elizabeth NobisDivision of Recreation & Intercollegiate Athletics
Nicole OttoHealth and Wellness
Maria PellecchiaHealth and Wellness
Rachel ReisHealth and Wellness
Vanessa StoloffHealth and Wellness
Yacob TekieHealth and Wellness
Leslie ThompsonHealth and Wellness
Deborah WesterlingHealth and Wellness
Derik Yager-ElorriagaHealth and Wellness

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