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.

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

The 2018 nomination period for the Models of Excellence Awards is now closed.

Please save the date for this year's Models of Excellence ceremony and celebration on April 4, 2018 at 4pm.

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

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 and eligibility criteria.
  2. Complete the Nomination Form which includes two reference letters and supervisor verification of eligibility.
  3. Submit the completed nomination through the online form 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 April 4, 2018 in Irvine Auditorium. All members of the Penn community are invited. More information will be provided as the date approaches.

2017 Honorees

2017 Models of Excellence Awards

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

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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


Thrive at Penn Team: for developing a new orientation program emphasizing student safety and success through a multimedia format using an innovative, online platform which results in significant positive change for the University's educational mission by delivering an extraordinary service to Penn students, who now arrive on campus, more knowledgeable about resources and more prepared to thrive.


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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

2017 Models of Excellence Honorable Mentions

Amazon@Penn Team: for creating an on-campus service center with Amazon that focuses not only on business terms but also how campus space, community needs, importance of safety, innovative services distinctive to Penn, and technology all coalesce in a common solution.

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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: for working together to build the first purpose-built college house using innovative ideas and methods that serve to enrich the academic life of Penn's students by bringing together undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff in a shared community that embodies the intellectual vibrancy and social diversity of its urban setting.

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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: for being the main driving force behind the entire student support system within the School of Engineering and Applied Science while bringing about positive change at the University and School through her leadership.      

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