Awards and 
Appreciation Events

The Models of Excellence Award

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


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
Call for Nominations

The 2017 nomination for the Models of Excellence Awards is now closed.  Thank you to all those who submitted a nomination.  The honorees will be announced in January 2017.

The Models of Excellence Award program celebrates the extraordinary achievements of full- and part-time staff across the University's schools and centers.

For a look at last year's winners, click the links below.

Models of Excellence Honorees
Pillars of Excellence Honorees
Model Supervisor Honorees

The Nomination Process

Nominations for Models of Excellence awards are due in the fall for contributions made during the previous fiscal year (July 1–June 30). We seek nominations of significant achievements—above and beyond job and performance expectations—to model excellence for the campus. Please consider nominating a deserving staff member or team; we welcome nominations from any level of the organization, including self-nominations.

The nomination process is detailed, and all its components must be completed before the nomination can be accepted.

The Models of Excellence Nomination Guide provides all of the information you need to complete this process.

Follow these steps:

  1. Review the Nomination Guide.
  2. Complete the Nomination Form.   
  3. Request and collect forms required for each award type.
  4. Send to before the published deadline.

Questions? Call 215-898-1012 or contact us by email.

Selection and Notification

An annually rotating Models of Excellence Selection Committee reviews all nominations and selects the award winners. The committee is representative of the diversity of our institution, composed of Penn leaders (including the Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President of Human Resources), previous Models of Excellence award winners, and other faculty and staff members from across campus.

Once staff members are chosen for Models of Excellence recognition or accorded an Honorable Mention are notified in January, and the information is publicized broadly to the Penn community. Honorees are acknowledged at the spring Models of Excellence Award Ceremony.

Awards, Ceremony, and Reception

Models of Excellence winners receive $500.00 and a symbolic award. Extremely noteworthy staff member contributions receive Honorable Mentions and are awarded $250.00 and a symbolic award.

The next award ceremony and reception for honorees will take place on March 28, 2017 in Irvine Auditorium. All members of the Penn community are invited. More information will be provided as the date approaches.


2016 Models of Excellence Award Winners

Penn Wellness/Be in the Know Team: for the implementation of a University-wide health initiative that has engaged over 4,200 University employees on a wellness path.

Amy R. Blake, Human Resources
Christopher Blickley, Human Resources
Stephanie Brown, Human Resources
Elizabeth Devietti, Center for Public Health Initiatives
Matt Gauntt, Human Resources
Tamika N. Graham, Human Resources
Ashlee Halbritter, Campus Health and Student Health Service
Moriah R. Hall, Perelman School of Medicine
Sheila D. Hall, Human Resources
Rebecca Huxta, Campus Health and Student Health Service
Chris Hyson, Human Resources
Karen E. Kille, Human Resources
Soncerae D. Lewis, Human Resources
Erica Schulke, Human Resources
Sara Solomon, Center for Public Health Initiatives
Katrina Z. Terrell, Human Resources
Geri B. Zima, Human Resources

Penn Wharton China Center Project Team: for creating a space that fosters and strengthens Penn’s faculty and student relationships with Penn’s Chinese partners and supports outstanding research opportunities.

Dan Alig, The Wharton School
Jessie Burns, Provost's Center
Laura Cavender, President's Center
Leo Charney, Provost's Center
Christina Cook, President's Center
Ed Datz, Facilities and Alumni Relations
Tara A. Davies, Development and Alumni Relations
Malini Doddamani, The Wharton School
Jeffrey Edwards, Information Systems and Computing
Stefan Frank, The Wharton School
Amy E. Gadsden, Penn Global
Eric Greenberg, The Wharton School
Yanan Guo, The Wharton School
Mike Hugel, The Wharton School
Marko Jarymovych, The Wharton School
Joann Desiderio Kent, The Wharton School
Artemis Velahos Koch, Finance
Karuna Krishna  The Wharton School
Jimmy Lieu, The Wharton School
Anna M. Loh, The Wharton School
Maureen McGinness, The Wharton School
Amanda Mott, President’s Center
Alison Noji, Penn Global
Maria O’Callaghan-Cassidy, The Wharton School
Kelly O’Connor, Development and Alumni Relations
Janice Orlov, Provost’s Center
Roman Petyk, President’s Center
MaryAnn Q. Piccolo, Finance
Josh Piven, Provost’s Center
Jim Quinn, The Wharton School
Orna Rosenthal, Development and Alumni Relations
Charles C. Rumford, Information Systems and Computing
Elizabeth Santilli, The Wharton School
Scott Sharpe, Development and Alumni Relations
David Siedell, The Wharton School
Jane Simons, The Wharton School
John Singler, The Wharton School
Laura Park Smith, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Jerry Steinbrink, The Wharton School
Mark H. Wehrle, Information Systems and Computing


2016 Models of Excellence Honorable Mentions

The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) ACE Mentor Team: for their collaborative efforts to provide skilled mentors to a diverse group of minority community high school students in the areas of architecture, engineering and construction.

Susan H. Long, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Dave Dunn, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Mariette J. Buchman, Facilities and Real Estate Services
Marilyn Jost, Facilities and Real Estate Services

Springfield Mills Restoration Team: for their creative use of limited resources and funds to preserve and restore the Grist Mill at the Morris Arboretum.

Thomas J. Wilson, Morris Arboretum/Business Services 
Robert Gutowski, Morris Arboretum/Business Services

 Wharton Course Match Team: for designing and implementing an innovative course allocation system that assesses and matches students with their individual preferences for their course of study.

Hugh MacMullan IV, The Wharton School
Alexander M. Lamon, The Wharton School
Frank DeVecchis, The Wharton School
Jason Lehman, The Wharton School

Amy Ortwein, The Wharton School
John R. Piotrowski, The Wharton School
Margaret K. Troncelliti, The Wharton School

Click here to learn about previous Models of Excellence honorees and view photo galleries of Models of Excellence Award ceremonies and receptions.

Questions? Call 215-898-1012 or contact us by email.