myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR: December 6, 2017

Human Resources is Moving 

HR professionals standing outside Franklin BuildingMoving, whether it’s to a new home or office, can be an exciting experience. It’s an opportunity to live or work in a new space and make it your own. Starting on December 15, the Division of Human Resources will have a new space when it sets up shop at the Franklin Building.  

Human Resources will make the move to the Franklin Building. Benefits, Recruitment, Records, Staff and Labor Relations, and the Office of the Vice President will be located at 600 Franklin Building. Compensation and HRIM will move to 433 Franklin Building. Quality of Work-Life (QOWL), Communications, and Learning & Education (L&E) will continue to be at 3624 Market Street, Suite 1A. 

The move has been in the works for the past six months. During that time the HR Move Team – Angela Cabrera, Angela Merritte Mansaray, Bronwyn Gurley, David Chau, Gary Truhlar, and Wendy Harris – has been working hard to plan every detail of the move to ensure a smooth transition for staff. As a result of the team’s efficiency, there will be minimal interruption of services provided to faculty and staff during the move. 

With the excellent support of staff from Facilities & Real Estate Services (FRES), the space was redesigned to be more customer focused. One of the features will be additional consultation rooms that will give greater opportunity for Penn faculty and staff to meet with HR professionals, Retirement Savings counselors, Wellness specialists, and other advisors about their personal and professional development needs. The space will also include more windows, conference room space, and an upgraded reception area. 

Joseph Gerrard, Recruitment Specialist, says he likes his current office, but that he is looking forward to the move. 

“The team who is putting this move together has been working a ton on this, so I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor being admired,” Gerrard says. 

Melissa Brown, Benefits Coordinator, says she is “looking forward to the move for the newness, new furniture and rugs.” Brown says the new space will also give coworkers an opportunity to work in closer proximity to one another, easing their task of collaborating when needed. 

“Because of how the new space is configured we will get to interact even more with the rest of our HR team members,” she says. 

Angela Merritte Mansaray, Senior Benefits Specialist, Retirement, says “my hope is that all faculty and staff will enjoy our new light-filled space and surroundings. The space will be a breath of fresh air for Human Resources.”  

Spring Ahead with Penn’s Professional Development Programs

Slinky toyWinter is coming, but it’s time to think spring! Registration for Penn’s spring term professional development programs is open now, so you can stretch ahead for success in 2018.

The Human Resources Learning & Education staff has prepared a practical and inspiring array of programs to bring out the best in you and your team—from free lunchtime seminars to in-depth courses.

Penn’s popular professional development programs fill up quickly, so register now on Knowledge Link.

Skill-Building Courses

Penn makes it easier to build professional development into your schedule and budget by bringing world-class professional development courses to our 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 stretch to meet your school or center’s goals:

Project Management (January 18, 2018)
The Art of Presentation (February 20 & March 28, 2018)
Leading with Emotional Intelligence (April 5, 2018)
Coaching Skills for Managers (May 17, 2018)

Free Brown Bag Learning Sessions

Learning & Education offers an assortment of lunchtime seminars and workshops to fit your learning style, including Career-Focus programs that share tips for managing your career and Brown Bag Matinee video screenings.

“Learning with Lynda” sessions blend online learning with classroom sessions. Participants are encouraged to take the online Lynda course in advance of the session, then attend the on-campus session to practice the skills. Upcoming sessions include: 

Building Accountability into Your Culture (January 9, 2018)
Communicating with Empathy (March 15, 2018)
Creating Great Workplace Habits (May 31, 2018)

The “TED Talk Tuesday” series provides an opportunity to watch workplace-relevant talks and engage in dialogue with colleagues. Here’s a sample from our TED Talk line-up:

How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done (January 23)
Super-Resilience: How to Fall Up (February 27, 2018)
The Tribes We Lead (April 17, 2018)

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! 

Penn Seasonal Discounts and Events

Snow capped LOVE statue It’s a wonderful time to take advantage of faculty and staff discounts at Penn’s many arts, cultural, and recreational facilities, where holiday programs are available through the end of the year. You can also enjoy special Penn shopping discounts. You’ll find something for everyone on your gift list—including yourself!


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 travel. Visit Penn’s YouDecide portal for the latest gift discounts.

Computer Connection: Penn’s on-campus computer retail outlet offers holiday discounts now through December 31 during Holiday Sale 2017. Stop in for free cookies and expert tech talk on December 7 and 8 from 4pm to 6:30pm.

Penn Bookstore: Enjoy a 20% storewide discount plus free gift wrapping at the Annual Winter Sale-A-Bration December 7 and 8. Check out the Bookstore’s Gifts Under $25 and the collection of Penn holiday ornaments.


The Ice Rink:
Penn 1923 Ice Rink hosts its annual Holiday Skate on Saturday, December 16. Admission is free with a toy donation benefiting Toys for Tots.

Penn Campus Recreation: Give the gift of relaxation by purchasing massage therapy gift certificates at the Membership Services office in the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center.

Arts & Culture

Annenberg Center Live: The Annenberg Center offers a 20% discount to Penn faculty and staff so you can enjoy world-class live entertainment right on Penn’s campus. Now through December 15, you can order a special Flex Pass voucher and get 3 tickets for $103.20! Use “PENN” as the promo code.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA): Admission is always “free for all” at ICA. The Speech/Acts group exhibition and the Nathalie Du Pasquier, BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT design retrospective continue through December 23.

Morris Arboretum: Regular admission to Morris Arboretum is free for PennCard holders. Penn faculty and staff are also entitled to all member discounts on holiday craft workshops and botanical education courses.

The arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway, open now through December 31, is a delight for rail fans and greenery lovers of all ages. The final evening of the railway’s special Friday Night Lights evening display is Friday, December 29. 

Penn Museum: Explore cultures near and far right here in Philadelphia at unique Penn Museum events like Second Saturdays Winter Solstice on Saturday, December 9. General admission to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is free for PennCard holders. While you’re there, take advantage of a 15% Penn faculty and staff discount at the Penn Museum Shop filled with unique gifts inspired by the museum’s international collections. Save an additional 10% during the Museum Shop’s holiday sale, December 14-23.

Human Resources Special Winter Vacation Hours

Holiday light watchAs we near the end of the 2017 calendar year, the Division of Human Resources would like to remind you of our schedule during the upcoming winter break.

Human Resources will be closed Monday, December 25, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018 for Penn’s Special Winter Vacation. During the break, some of our resources will still be available to faculty and staff as shown below:


Contact Information


Holiday Schedule

Penn Benefits Center

1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236)

Penn's health and welfare benefits

December 25: closed
January 1: closed

Retirement Call Center

1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738)

Penn's retirement plans

December 22: open 8am–6:30pm EST
December 25: closed
January 1: closed

Staff and Labor Relations


Emergency employee relations issues

December 25: closed January 1: closed
(Voicemails checked daily December 26–29)

Employee Assistance Program


Personal and professional life issues

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Backup Care


Temporary in-home dependent child and adult care services to help you manage your professional responsibilities

Please register and schedule care in advance.

Care services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Penn’s wellness portal and Be in the Know helpline.

December 25: helpline closed
January 1: helpline closed

Have a safe and wonderful winter break!  

Healthy Meals: Fat-Free Apple Crumb Dessert

Bowl of fat-free apple crumb dessertJust in time for the holiday dessert table. This sweet delight makes a nice treat for the calorie conscious. 

Find the recipe here. 

Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips. 



Did You Know: You Can Try the Y for Free

Give the Y a try with a free family pass now through December 31, 2017. Simply download this flyer and present it with your PennCard at any Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA or Regional Y Alliance location. Penn faculty and staff also get a 10% discount on Y memberships with no joiner fee.



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