HR recognizes staff as Models of Excellence

For the 14th year, Penn’s Models of Excellence Program is honoring exceptional staff members who have gone well beyond their expected duties to effect positive change at the University.

“The program is designed to not only recognize extraordinary, above-and-beyond contributions to the University,” says Marilyn Kraut, director of Quality of Worklife Programs in the Division of Human Resources, “but also to model what it looks like to overcome obstacles, to take initiative, to assume leadership when it’s not your title, and to forge relationships to get something done that wouldn’t be otherwise.”

Nominations for the award are reviewed by a selection committee, which changes every year and is comprised of University leaders, past winners, key administrators, and other faculty and staff. Each winner receives $500 and those earning an Honorable Mention receive $250. On stage at the annual Award Ceremony, President Amy Gutmann presents all with a symbolic award specially designed for the program, featuring an etching of College Hall.

The honorees this year reflect the diverse ways in which Penn staff can help advance the mission of the University.

Kenneth Ogawa of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) is being awarded for his promotion of “electricity literacy” and his efforts to reduce electricity consumption on campus.

In the School of Arts and Sciences, Anthony Piccione was selected as a Model of Excellence for his role in developing skill-building programming for students at the Wilson Community School, a partnership between Alexander Wilson Elementary School and Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program Team earned recognition for creating a program for first-generation and minority Philadelphia high school students to improve their academic performance and prepare for college.

The cross-University Shoah Foundation Team brought to campus the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archives of Holocaust testimonies for academics, campus groups, community organizations, and the public to deepen their knowledge about the Holocaust.

And finally, the FRES Lean Process Improvement Team received an Honorable Mention for harnessing innovative tools to improve the performance of the division's service.

The entire campus community is invited to attend the Models of Excellence Award Ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, at 4 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium. To RSVP, email Human Resources at or call 215-898-1012.