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myHR: December 11, 2019

Celebrate the Holiday Season with Penn Winter Discounts

Graphic of opened present revealing surprises in Penn-themed colors

The holiday season is here and that means faculty and staff can take advantage of various discounts at Penn’s arts, cultural, and recreational facilities. You can also enjoy special Penn shopping deals, and some unique gift giving opportunities. Here are some deals you won’t want to miss.


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 2019 Wishbook to snag a great deal on the perfect gift! To stack up the savings, remember to download these holiday coupons valid through December 31.

Penn Bookstore: The Penn Bookstore wants you to keep warm all winter long with 25% off select cold-weather styles. Browse the bookstore’s collection of Penn holiday ornaments and branded gift items for your favorite Quaker. While there, stop by the 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 ground shipping on all orders through the holiday.


Penn Ice Rink: The Penn Ice Rink hosts its annual Holiday Skate on Saturday, December 14 and 21 from 6 pm-7 pm. Admission is free with a new toy donation benefiting Toys for Tots (Skate Rental not included). For more information, call 215-898-1923 or visit

Penn Campus Recreation: A gift certificate makes a great holiday present You can choose to give a certificate for group exercise, massage therapy, personal training, or the rock climbing wall. You can also give a membership or put money toward an existing membership to serve as a credit on the member’s 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 Presents performances, including this season’s highly anticipated performance of PHILADANCO’s Xmas Philes, an Annenberg Center original commission that mixes classic holiday hits with the excitement of contemporary dance. Use promo code PENN when purchasing tickets online, on the phone or in person at the box office. Click here for tickets and information.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA): Discover your inner compass with Mindfulness at the Museum. These sessions, held weekly from 12 pm-1 pm, 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, Saturdays and Sundays through December 29, is a delight for rail fans and greenery lovers of all ages.

Penn Museum: Visit the newly renovated Penn Museum featuring exciting new spaces, including the new Sphinx, Mexico and Central America Gallery, and a suite of Africa Galleries, along with a transformed Main Entrance Hall. Admission is free with your PennCard.

The Penn Museum Shop features one-of-a-kind gifts from around the world, including jewelry, hand-made scarves and other accessories, clothing, Mexican hot chocolate, African spices and sauces, books, and more. Penn Card holders receive a 25% discount (exclusions may apply) between December 11-24, 2019.

Looking for an experiential gift this season? Try the gift of an annual membership or one of Penn Museum’s private group tours, such as the Secret Life of Pets in the Ancient World. Tours can be booked through or 215-746-8183.

If your child has ever wondered what happens in a museum at night, the Museum’s 40 Winks sleepover gives curious kids an “after-hours passport.” Featuring a guided flashlight-led expedition, scavenger hunt, make-your-own-souvenirs, and other activities, 40 Winks adventurers roll out their sleeping bags once the sun goes down. In the morning, campers enjoy a breakfast buffet and all participating children receive free admission to the museum through August 2020. (Adults must be 21+; children must be ages 6-12.) The VIP experience offers the chance to sleep nearest the 25,000-pound Sphinx of the Pharaoh Ramses II and a special t-shirt.

For families who are looking for fun and educational things to do during the Special Winter Vacation, from December 26-29, the Penn Museum will feature interactive storytelling designed for young children, touchable artifacts, coloring stations, and more during Global Adventures. Families can enjoy Global Guides tours with immigrants from Africa, Mexico, Central America, Iraq, or Syria, who add a personal touch to the objects on display. Guests can also take part in the Daily Dig, a 15-minute pop-up talk, which happens each day at 1:00 pm, allowing participants to dig a little deeper into one object, while the Artifact Lab hosts “open window” times to talk with conservators.

Additionally, adults 21 and older can learn about the origins of legendary creatures like vampires and snake-haired demons while experiencing the galleries in the dark. Night Vision: Monsters, Myths, & Legends flashlight-tours are available for adults only on Thursday, December 26 and Friday, December 27 at 5:30 pm.

Be in the Know Screenings Are Just the Beginning

African-American woman playfully holding halved grapefruit over eye

As Penn’s Be in the Know 2019-2020 wellness campaign continues in the New Year, eligible faculty and staff will have more opportunities to maintain or improve their health while earning extra cash. Be in the Know participants can stay active and aware throughout the year with Bonus Actions, like the new upcoming 30 Day Wellness Challenge.

Biometric screenings are just the beginning to Be in the Know. This fall, approximately 5,300 Penn faculty and staff members received a free on-campus screening or submitted results from their healthcare provider. If you were unable to attend a fall screening clinic or you’d like to refer a new coworker to earn Refer-a-Friend points, watch for more screenings in the Spring term.

Your biometric screening is Step 1. Step 2 is the online health assessment available at This brief, confidential questionnaire is administered through Penn’s wellness portal partner, StayWell. The biometric screening and the online health assessment are the two Core Actions required to earn to your first $100 cash incentive.

Step 3, Bonus Actions, lets you earn more points and incentives. Participants can receive up to $300* in incentives this Be in the Know campaign year. If you earn more than 350 total campaign points, you will receive VIP status and a special gift on top of the maximum cash incentives after the campaign year ends June 30, 2020.

Bonus Actions Review

Be in the Know Bonus Action points give you a little extra encouragement to take care of yourself with wellness basics like preventative health screenings, wellness events and programs, physical activity, and StayWell’s online programs. You can complete qualifying Bonus Actions anytime throughout the campaign year to earn points toward an additional $200* in Bonus Action incentives.

Bonus Action points can add up quickly. For example, you can earn 30 points with Penn’s new 30 Day Wellness Challenge.

Take the 30 Day Wellness Challenge

Penn’s Be in the Know 30 Day Wellness Challenge is a simple yet customizable Bonus Action to get 2020 off to a healthier start. You can complete the challenge between January 1 and March 31, 2020 to qualify for points.

While your 30 day wellness challenge may be—well, challenging—participation is easy.

  • Download a 30 Day Wellness Challenge Packet. The packet contains a simple Pre-Challenge Goals Sheet to guide you toward success and a Post-Challenge Reflection Sheet to help you recap your 30-day experience.
  • Choose the area you want to work on: nutrition, sleep or stress management.
  • Select your consecutive 30-day time frame to complete the challenge between January 1 and March 31.
  • Complete the Pre-Challenge Goals Sheet before beginning your challenge to determine goals and an action plan.
  • Track your own progress during your 30 days using your favorite method. You can use a paper journal, a spreadsheet, or a giant poster board with gold star stickers--whatever motivates you to self-track during the challenge!
  • Following the challenge, complete the Post-Challenge Reflection Sheet.

To earn 30 Bonus Action points for the 30 Day Wellness Challenge, submit a Proof of Bonus Action Form, along with the required 30 Day Wellness Challenge Goals Sheet and Reflection Sheet, to ARUFIT. Submission instructions are on the Proof of Bonus Actions form.

More details are available in the 30 Day Wellness Challenge packet.

You’ll find other Be in the Know challenge options on Penn’s StayWell portal.

Check the Be in the Know webpage for more updates about this year’s campaign.

*All cash incentives associated with the 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.  Incentives will be issued in November 2019, and monthly from January – August 2020, in paychecks or as Penn Recreation credits. Payment times depend on when you complete the Core Actions (biometric screening and online health assessment) and qualifying Bonus Actions.

Incentives for Be in the Know Bonus Actions will not be paid until you first complete the two Core Actions (a biometric screening and StayWell's online health assessment). Bonus Action incentives are paid when you reach every 50 point level (50 points, 100 points, 150 points, and 200 points.) However, any remaining unpaid Bonus Action points will be paid in the final incentive cycle, August 2020.

Strategic Planning Sets Teams Up for Success

Team surrounding table full of charts, graphs, and plans

You’ve probably heard the expression “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Well, so does strategic planning, especially in today’s work environment where complex tasks and projects are more common than ever. By using strategic planning skills you set yourself and your team up for success. Learn how to create strategies that will improve your results and strengthen your organization at the Fundamentals of Strategic Planning workshop January 16, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., 3624 Market Street, Suite 1A South.

In this free workshop, Penn staff project leaders will learn to identify the foundation for creating a strategic team, discover strategic values, participate in strategic planning efforts, and avoid common pitfalls that derail strategic plans.

Carla Thomas, Senior Training and Development Consultant, and workshop facilitator, says by consistently dedicating time to strategic planning, teams can enhance their performance.

“Productivity and efficiency increase when we take the time to prepare for seen and unforeseen initiatives. It can be the difference in getting the project done or being delayed,” Thomas says. 

“In this workshop, participants will learn the importance of strategic planning as well as useful tools and tips for how to regularly engage in the process,” she says.

The workshop will cover the five essential components of strategic planning:

  1. Clarify your vision
  2. Gather and analyze information
  3. Formulate
  4. Implement
  5. Evaluate and control

Register today for the Fundamentals of Strategic Planning workshop and gather the information and resources you need to help your team win.

For more professional development opportunities, visit the Learn and Grown section of the HR website

Start the New Year with Penn Basketball Family Days

Penn Quakers Men's Basketball TeamThe holiday season means lots of activities for faculty and staff, but the family-filled fun doesn’t have to end once the Special Winter Vacation comes to a close. Get an exciting start to your New Year during Faculty and Staff Family Days with Penn Basketball at the Palestra.  

The women’s team will go up against Princeton on January 11 at 1 pm. The men’s team will take on Dartmouth on February 1 at 7 pm.

The Division of Human Resources and Penn Athletics invite benefits-eligible faculty and staff to cheer on the teams and enjoy game-day snacks and beverages.

The Family Day offer includes discounted game admission compliments of Penn Athletics, and a $5 concession coupon for each discounted ticket you purchase, compliments of Human Resources. Eligible faculty and staff can purchase a maximum of four discounted tickets.

Family Day tickets are $6.50 for the men’s game and $3.50 for the women’s game. Order tickets online and enter the code FAMILY, or click on the links below:

Men’s Basketball vs Dartmouth

Women’s Basketball vs Princeton  

You can also purchase tickets at the Penn Athletics Ticket Office located at Weightman Hall, 235 S. 33rd Street between Walnut and Spruce. Women’s basketball tickets will be on sale until January 8, 2020 and men’s basketball tickets will be available until January 29, 2020.

To get your $5 complimentary concession coupon(s), present your game ticket and your PennCard at the Human Resources table outside the entrance to Section 208 on the night of the game. Pickup will close 10 minutes into each game.

At this year’s men’s game, fans will be able to attend a special post-game autograph session. Also, Quaker basketball posters will be available at each game.

So save the dates, and come celebrate Quaker Hoops!

Healthy Meals: Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken in balsamic sauce topped with cranberries

This easy one-pot recipe practically cooks itself. Tender, juicy chicken thighs are marinated in a tangy balsamic blend for at least a day. Once the flavor is soaked in, top with fresh herbs and cranberries then let it bake to crispy, tangy perfection.

Find the recipe here.
Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips. 

Did You Know? Human Resources Special Winter Vacation Hours

The Division of Human Resources will be closed Wednesday, December 25, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020 during Penn’s Special Winter Vacation. However, many of our resources such as the Employee Assistance Program and Backup Care will still be available. Check the hours on our website.

Have a safe and wonderful winter break!