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myHR: February 8, 2017

Penn Recognizes Outstanding Staff Members with 2017 Models of Excellence Honors


At Penn, we recognize excellence in all areas of the University. In that spirit, the 2017 Models of Excellence Program will honor 59 outstanding staff members who play key roles in Penn’s ongoing success.

Now in its 18th year, The Models of Excellence Program spotlights remarkable staff contributions to the University’s standing as a global leader in education, research, and public service. It’s also a unique opportunity for staff to appreciate and be appreciated by their colleagues, along with entire Penn community.

President Amy Gutmann will present honorees from schools and centers across the University with awards for their exemplary service on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 in Irvine Auditorium.

The awards are presented in three categories: Models of Excellence, Pillars of Excellence, and Model Supervisor.

Models of Excellence

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

The Pennovation Center Project Team and the Thrive at Penn Team will be presented with the Models of Excellence award this year.

The Pennovation Center Project Team was selected for creating a physical hub to develop and create an environment to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism for faculty and student inventors and researchers, as well as start-ups and other creative ventures from all over the region.

Pennovation Center Project Team

Laurie Actman, Provost’s Center
Steven Becker, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Michael Borda, Provost’s Center
Edwin Datz, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Leandra Davis, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Ira Kauderwood, President’s Center
Dora Mitchell, Provost’s Center
Michael David Poisel, Provost’s Center
Jennifer Rizzi, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Esaul Sanchez, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Paul Sehnert, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Tony Sorrentino, Office of the Executive Vice President
Ira Winston, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Heidi T. Wunder, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Thomas Yoo, Facilities and Real Estate Services

The Thrive at Penn Team was chosen for developing a new orientation program emphasizing student safety and success through a multimedia format using an innovative, online platform.

Thrive at Penn Team

William Alexander, Vice Provost for University Life
Molly Bonnard, University Library
Christopher Cook, Information Systems & Computing
Erin G. Cross, Vice Provost for University Life
David Fox, Provost’s Center
Marjan Osman Gartland, Vice Provost for University Life
Aman Goyal, Vice Provost for University Life
Ashlee Halbritter, Vice Provost for University Life
Mayumi Hirtzel, Information Systems & Computing
Monica Yant Kinney, Vice Provost for University Life
Meeta Kumar, Vice Provost for University Life
Troy Majnerick, Provost’s Center
Anita Mastroieni, Provost’s Center
Laurie McCall, Vice Provost for University Life
Stephen McCann, Vice Provost for University Life
Noelle Melartin, Vice Provost for University Life
Jessica Mertz, Vice Provost for University Life
Ryan Miller, Vice Provost for University Life
Julie Nettleton, Provost’s Interdisciplinary Programs
Giang Nguyen, Vice Provost for University Life
Litty Paxton, Vice Provost for University Life
Vanessa Stoloff, Vice Provost for University Life
Deborah Westerling, Vice Provost for University Life

The Amazon@Penn Team, Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) New College House Team, and Sung Youn Sonya Gwak will receive Models of Excellence Honorable Mentions.

Amazon@Penn Team

Douglas Berger, Business Services
Christopher Bradie, Business Services
Rafael de Luna III, Facilities and Real Estate Services
David Dunn, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Barbara A. Lea-Kruger, Business Services
Roman Petyk, President’s Center
Stephen Wielgus, Business Services

FRES New College House Team

Douglas Berger, Business Services
Mariette Buchman, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Michael Dausch, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Michael Doherty, Facilities and Real Estate Services
David Dunn, Facilities and Real Estate Services
John Eckman, Residential and Hospitality Services
David Hollenberg, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Monique Jerman, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Paul Kilbride, Residential and Hospitality Services
Pamela Lampitt, Residential and Hospitality Services
Marty Redman, College House and Academic Services

Sung Youn Sonya Gwak, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Pillars of Excellence

The Pillars of Excellence Award recognizes the important support Penn’s weekly-paid staff members provide to promote the University’s mission.

This year’s Pillars of Excellence award will go to Katie Carlin Birch of Business Services. Carlin Birch is recognized for exemplifying the essence of a customer service mentality through collaboration, dedication, and innovative thinking while continually demonstrating a commitment to excellence in for Parking, Transportation, the Ice Rink and Mail Services (PTIRM).

Maya Smith of Business Services is this year’s Pillars of Excellence Honorable Mention. Smith will be honored for her sound decision making, outstanding customer service, and superior organizational skills as the "face of PennCard."

Model Supervisors

The Model Supervisor Award honors supervisors who are effective and productive leaders for the University.

This year Tina Skov Cowan in Development and Alumni Relations and Lilian Wu in the School of Engineering and Applied Science will receive Model Supervisor awards.

Each Models of Excellence, Pillars of Excellence, and Model Supervisor Award winner and winning team member will receive $500 and a symbolic award. Staff members who have earned Honorable Mentions will receive $250 and a symbolic award.

The 22-member 2017 Selection Committee included people from across the Penn community: administrators, faculty, weekly-paid staff, supervisors, and past Models of Excellence honorees. This year, the selection committee carefully reviewed 15 Models of Excellence nominations, 4 Pillars of Excellence nominations, and 9 Model Supervisor nominations submitted by University colleagues and supervisors. All nominees merit recognition for their noteworthy work. Honorees were selected based on their distinguished efforts and impact above-and-beyond expectation.

Congratulations to all honorees, finalists and nominees!

The Penn community is invited to attend the Models of Excellence Award Ceremony and Reception on Tuesday, March 28, at 4 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium.

Visit the Models of Excellence website for ceremony details and to learn how you can nominate a coworker for this prestigious award.

Be in the Know Biometric Screenings for Spring 2017

bitk_webIt’s not too late to Be in the Know. When you join Penn’s wellness campaign, you’ll learn more about your health and can earn up to $200.* Get started with a free biometric screening right here on campus.

If you missed the chance to attend a screening last fall, attend one of these March events. Register now!

March 13 (Claudia Cohen Hall, Terrace Room)
March 14 (Claudia Cohen Hall, Terrace Room)
March 15 (Irvine Auditorium, Amado Recital Hall)
March 16 (Vet School, Hill Pavilion, Room 132)
March 17 (Nursing, Fagin Hall Lobby)
March 20 (Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge)
March 21 (Irvine Auditorium, Amado Recital Hall)
March 22 (Pottruck Health & Fitness Center, Atrium)
March 23 (Claudia Cohen Hall, Terrace Room)

You do not need to complete another biometric screening if you already participated in one of the fall events or submitted your personal results to AREUFIT on or after September 1, 2016.

Can’t make an on-campus screening? You can submit biometric screening results from your doctor, along with Be in the Know Biometric Screening Consent Form. Simply download the form at and follow the submission instructions.

Visit the for all the details about this year’s campaign, including information about the new Penn Healthy You/Campus Recreation partnership.

*All cash incentives are less applicable payroll taxes.

Energize Your Writing

lightbulb-idea-200px-webEven if “writer” isn’t in your job title, writing probably plays an important part of your day-to-day work. Whether you’re crafting emails, presentations, proposals, or web content, you want your words to have impact. Learn how to make the most them by registering now for Words at Work.  

On February 14, 17, and 28 from 9am-12pm, this three-part seminar will give you a no-nonsense perspective on writing effectively at work. The workshop will challenge assumptions about the “right” way to communicate and help you understand the dynamics of written communication. Through hands-on practice, you’ll try out new writing tools that can transform tentative writing into effective communication and energize your writing style. Best of all, you’ll revise your own writing examples. You’ll leave Words at Work a more powerful writer and confident communicator.

Register for Words at Work and tap into the power of the written word. Your department will be charged a nominal fee of $75 at the time of registration.

Simple Ways to Save (More) for Retirement

saving-200px-webAmerica Saves Week is February 27-March 4, making this the perfect time to assess your savings and plan for achieving your financial goals. Whether you want to pay off credit card debt, buy a home, or put away money for retirement, the tools and resources on the America Saves website can help you get started.

When it comes to saving for retirement, Penn also makes it easy for you. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in Penn’s Basic Plan after one year of service. Under this plan, the University makes monthly contributions, based on your age, to a retirement savings account on your behalf. Here are other ways to save even more for retirement.

Start Early
If you’re just starting your career, you may think you have plenty of time to save. But don’t put it off. Thanks to the power of compound interest, your nest egg grows year by year. Consider this: if you set aside $100 a month beginning at age 21, you’ll save more than $191,000 by the time you’re 65 (assuming an annual return of 5%). By contrast, if you wait until age 40, you’ll have to save almost $350 a month to reach the same amount.

Start Now
Did you miss the chance to start early? That’s okay – start now. Once you turn 50, you can make catch-up contributions, an extra amount beyond the normal limits that you can contribute to tax-deferred retirement plans.

Take Advantage of Matching Contributions
If you’re a full-time staff member or eligible faculty member, enroll in the Matching Plan and Penn will match your retirement contributions dollar for dollar, up to 5%. It’s a simple way to double your retirement investment with no extra cost to you. No savings amount is too small to make a difference. If you put aside as little as 1% of your salary in a retirement plan, Penn will match it.

Increase Your Contributions, Even Just a Little
Aim to increase your contributions gradually over time. Consider upping your contribution by 1% each year, or set a monthly or annual total that works for you. Choose a special date to review and level up you contributions each year, such as your birthday or work anniversary. Or put aside an additional $25 or $50 a month, and by the end of the year, you’ll have saved extra $300 or $600. If you’re already contributing the maximum 5% to the Matching Plan, enroll in the Supplemental Plan, which allows you to save as much as you’d like.

Make Saving Automatic
Automatic contributions from your monthly pay mean you don’t have to think about saving. All you do is set the contribution amount and type that’s right for you, and watch the savings add up.

To enroll or make changes to your contribution choices, log on to Penn’s Retirement web portal or contact Penn’s Retirement Call Center at 1-877-736-6738, Monday–Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Healthy Meals: Grilled Salmon and Zucchini Salad

michael-symons-grilled-salmon-zucchini-salad-webAdd a dash of elegance to your week with this quick, delicious dish.

Find the recipe here or send us your healthy recipes and tips

Did You Know? Your Form 1095-C

By now you should have received your Form 1095-C. You can also print a copy from the My Pay section of the secure U@Penn portal at You don't need the Form 1095-C to file your taxes, but you do need to indicate on your tax return if you had qualifying health coverage. Form 1095-C provides proof of that coverage. If you have questions about your form, call Equifax at 1- 855-823-3728.

Power Down Challenge

power-down-challenge-buttonThe Power Down Challenge, Penn’s annual energy conservation campaign, occurs throughout February. Events include Space Heater “Amnesty Day” and the campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge. Check out all of the happenings at the Power Down Challenge website.