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myHR: December 12, 2018

Warm Up for Spring 2019 with Professional Development

Ice thawing on pine tree

It may be frosty outside, but the Spring 2019 term is just weeks away. Time to warm up your skills by registering for Human Resources Learning and Education’s empowering professional development programs.

The Spring 2019 course booklet is available for download now. You can register for courses at

Half-Day Courses

Penn makes it easier to build professional development into your schedule and budget by bringing world-class, three-hour professional development courses to campus. Enrollment is available for a nominal fee—just a fraction of what you would pay for similar off-site programs. Classes like these will help you and your team overcome friction for better productivity:

Taking Control of Conflict
February 19, 9am to 12pm

Navigating Difficult Conversations
March 19, 9am to 12pm

Creative Problem Solving
April 30, 9am to 12pm

Managing Teams
May 23, 9am – 12pm

Free Brown Bag Learning Sessions

Learning and Education’s variety of lunchtime seminars and workshops fit your learning style, including Career-Focus programs that share tips for managing your career, and Brown Bag Matinee video screenings. A complete list of Brown Bag sessions is available in the course booklet. This spring for added convenience, the programs listed below will be offered in the Biomedical Research Building (BRB) and in 3624 Market Street.

Adapting Your Leadership Style
January 16, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, 3624 Market
February 7, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, BRB

Challenging Negative Attitudes
February 6, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, 3624 Market
June 4, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, BRB

Behavioral Interviews
February 14, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, 3624 Market
May 8, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, BRB

Assertiveness Skills
March 6, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, BRB
March 28, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, 3624 Market

Fundamentals of Strategic Planning
April 11, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, BRB
June 12, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, 3624 Market

Leadership Development

Penn’s four outstanding leadership development programs—STEP UP, Essentials of Management, AMP UP, and Leadership@Penn—will be accepting new participants as well. Visit the Leadership Development page for registration and application details for each program.

Visit to see the complete line up of programs and look for our new course guide. We look forward to helping you plan your career development!

Be in the Know Continues in the New Year

Women sitting in yoga pose holding hands

The Be in the Know 2018-2019 wellness campaign continues in the New Year. The campaign, part of Penn Healthy You, gives you an opportunity to participate in numerous activities to maintain or improve your health while earning extra cash. You can receive up to $300* in incentives this campaign year.

Step 1: Biometric Screenings

Congratulations to the 5,420 Penn faculty and staff members who received a free biometric screening or submitted results from their healthcare provider this fall. Now they’re ready to go beyond the screenings, increase their wellness knowledge, and qualify for a Be in the Know cash incentive by taking the online health assessment.

If you didn’t make a fall screening, a select number of on-campus biometric screenings will be held in the Spring. Dates and registration information will be announced soon. You can also submit results from your physician using the Biometric Screenings Consent form. Check the Be in the Know webpage for details.

Step 2: The Online Health Assessment

The online health assessment is a brief and confidential questionnaire administered through Penn’s wellness portal partner, StayWell, and available at When you complete the biometric screening and the online health assessment, you’ve finished the two Core Actions that earn you your first $100 cash incentive. But don’t stop there. You can earn Bonus Actions and receive maximum rewards.

Step 3: Bonus Actions

You can complete qualifying Bonus Actions anytime throughout the campaign year to earn points toward an additional $200* in Bonus Action incentives. Bonus Actions are health-related action steps to maintain or improve your well-being. You can choose from a variety of activities on campus, at home and through StayWell.

If you earn more than 250 Bonus Action points, you will receive VIP status and a special gift on top of the maximum cash incentives, after the campaign year ends August 31, 2019. This fall we celebrated the 63 faculty and staff who earned VIPs status in the 2017-2018 Be in the Know campaign year with a lunchtime reception and presentation of a special gift.

Getting Your Cash Incentive

Incentives will be issued in November 2018, and monthly from January–September 2019, in paychecks or as Penn Recreation credits. Payment times depend on when you complete the Core Actions and qualifying Bonus Actions. Check the Be in the Know webpage at for key dates and more information about this year’s campaign.  

*All cash incentives associated with the 2018-2019 Be in the Know campaign are less applicable payroll taxes. You must be an active full- or part-time benefits-eligible faculty or staff member to participate.

'Tis the Season for Penn Discounts

Man walking down street carrying five colorful shopping bags

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to take advantage of faculty and staff discounts available at Penn’s arts, cultural, and recreational facilities. You can also enjoy special Penn shopping deals, and some unusual gift giving opportunities. Here are some bargains you won’t want to miss this holiday season.


Deals@Penn: Visit the Deals@Penn website for information about the YouDecide discount program and other offers for Penn faculty and staff all year long. Save on everything from apparel to entertainment.

Computer Connection: Penn’s on-campus computer retail outlet offers many holiday discounts. Take a look through the online Holiday 2018 Wishbook for unique gifts – and maybe pick up something for yourself. Get a free $25 gift card with the purchase of any computer, iPad, or Apple Watch purchase, now through December 31.

Penn Bookstore: “Spirit is in Season” at the Penn Bookstore. Check out the bookstore’s collection of Penn holiday ornaments and branded gift items for your favorite Quaker.

While there, stop by the new Starbucks Café or the Marketplace on the second floor for snacks, refreshments, and healthy on-the-go meals. If you can’t make it to the store, visit the website and get free shipping on all orders through the holiday.


The Ice Rink: The Penn Ice Rink hosts its annual Holiday Skate on Saturday, December 15 from 4:30pm-5:30pm. Admission is free with a new toy donation benefiting Toys for Tots. For more information visit the Penn Ice Rink website.

Penn Campus Recreation: A gift certificate makes a great gift this holiday season. You can choose to give a certificate for group exercise, massage therapy, personal training, or the rock climbing wall. You can also gift a membership or put money toward an existing membership to serve as a credit on their account. Gift certificates can be purchased at the Membership Services office in the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center.

Arts & Culture

Annenberg Center: The Annenberg Center offers a 20% discount to Penn faculty and staff for all Annenberg Center performances like The Crossing@Christmas, an evening with the Philadelphia-based chamber choir reflecting on the world in the winter holiday season.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA): Take time out from the end-of-semester bustle with Mindfulness at the Museum. These sessions, held weekly from 12pm-1pm, are focused on helping you to develop healthier minds and bodies, reduce stress, foster compassion, and increase memory skills. Admission is always “free for all” at ICA.

Morris Arboretum: Regular admission to Morris Arboretum is free for PennCard holders.

The arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway Nights, open Fridays and Saturdays through December 22, is a delight for rail fans and greenery lovers of all ages.

Penn Museum: The Penn Museum Shop features one-of-a-kind gifts from around the world, including jewelry, clothing, accessories, crafts, games, books, and more. All visitors to the shop will receive a 10% discount and Penn Card holders will receive a 25% discount from December 14-December 23. All proceeds benefit the Museum.

Looking for an experiential gift to give this season? Try one of Penn Museum’s group tours The Secret Life of Pets in the Ancient World or Ancient Alcohol: A Taste of Bygone Booze. Tours accommodate up to 30 people and can be booked through or 215-746-8183.

If you want an alternative for the kids who have every video game imaginable, take advantage of the 40 Winks sleepovers. This event allows children ages 6-12 and their families or chaperones to experience the Museum in a new way with games, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and flashlight expedition through the galleries.

Give yourself an early gift, and a break from work, by checking out The Daily Dig, a 15-minute exploration of an extraordinary artifact. During The Daily Dig at 1pm you hear the perspectives of archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists, and other museum specialists. Daily Digs are offered over winter break, too. This is free with your Penn Card.

New IRS Retirement Contribution and Saver's Credit Income Limits for 2019

Graphic depicting increase in money with coins and money bagThe IRS has announced the annual retirement contribution limits for 2019. The limit for pre-tax and Roth contributions for people under age 50 has increased to $19,000 per person. The limit for people age 50 and over is $25,000.

The limit for annual contributions to an IRA has increased to $6,000 per person. If you are at least 50-years-old or turn 50 at any time in 2018, the limit is increased to $7,000.

The Saver’s Credit (also known as the Retirement Contributions Credit) income limits have also increased. The Saver’s Credit income limit is now $64,000 for married couples filing jointly, $48,000 for heads of household, and $32,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately.

Visit the Contributions web page for details or contact the Retirement Call Center at 1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738) for help determining the right weekly or monthly contribution amount to maximize your savings.

Healthy Meals: Skillet Honey Pomegranate Chicken Thighs

Skillet Honey Pomegranate Chicken garnished with lemons and pomegranate

Spice up your dinner menu with delicata squash glazed in a sweet and fiery Mexican-inspired chipotle honey sauce. Pairs best with cilantro rice and beans.

Find the recipe here.

Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips.


Did You Know: Human Resources Special Hours

The Division of Human Resources will be closed Monday, December 24, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019 during Penn’s Winter Break. However, many of our resources such as the Employee Assistance Program and Staff and Labor Relations will still be available. Check the hours on our website.

Have a safe and wonderful break!