HR lauds exemplary staff with 2014 Models of Excellence Awards

Since 1999, the Division of Human Resources (HR) has honored more than 600 notable staff members who exhibit a deep commitment to Penn through its Models of Excellence program.

HR recently added another batch of exemplary staff to the list with the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Models of Excellence Award and Pillars of Excellence Award, a new component that recognizes weekly-paid full- and part-time staff.

“All of our 2014 Model Supervisor, Models of Excellence, and Pillars of Excellence honorees offer great examples of innovation, leadership, teamwork, and commitment to service,” says Marilyn Kraut, director of HR’s Quality of Worklife Programs. “They’ve all gone above and beyond job and performance expectations. And their achievements impact the campus, the Penn community, and beyond.”

The 2014 Models of Excellence Awards, which were nominated by colleagues and chosen by a committee, went to two teams: the Travel and Expense Management Initiative Team and Penn’s Move-in Team.

The Travel and Expense Management Initiative Team was recognized for successfully implementing a new and improved travel and expense system by refining processes, collaborating with stakeholders, and communicating with their customers. The team was comprised of staff members from Audit, Compliance and Privacy, Business Services, Finance, Information Systems & Computing, and the Office of the Executive Vice President, including Sean Stickel, Sandra Ardis, Michele Dolce, Hilary Easley, Do Hyun Kim, Barbara A. Lea-Kruger, Jennifer Miller, Mark Mills, Roxanne Bataitis, James I. Horstmann, David Ishmael, Kristy Owen, Michael J. Popko, Tom Slavinski, Paul Weidner, Kalyani Balasubramanian, Jeanine M. Kleba, Teresa Leo, and Janet R. Plantan.

Penn’s Move-in Team was honored for creating new and innovative features such as online check-in, social media, and campus resources to make the Move-in experience more efficient and welcoming for students and their families. The recognized team was comprised of staff members from Business Services, the Division of Public Safety, Information Systems & Computing, and University Life, including Nathan A. Cockrum, Dennis Daly, Paul Forchielli, Elizabeth R. Hartzell, Derek Hunsberger, Thomas J. MacDonald, Michelle Majeski, Holly Marrone, Sarah L. McFarlane, Wilma D. Smith, Kevin Thurwanger, Lenny Zeiger, Cherie A. Heller, Gary Williams, Renee Jordan, and Maria Fumai Dietrich.

The 2014 Pillars of Excellence Awards were awarded to Laura Farrington, an administrative assistant for Fire and Emergency Services in the Division of Public Safety, and Ruth Kelley, the program coordinator for facilities planning and operations at Penn Arts & Sciences.

Farrington was recognized for successfully launching and maintaining the PennReady Blue Book Program—crisis management action plans for every building on campus—and applying extraordinary talent, expertise, cooperation, coordination, and drive.

Kelley earned the award for her inexhaustible energy, resourcefulness, and expert administrative support.

“We’re especially excited about the addition of the Pillars of Excellence category this year,” Kraut says. “It gives the University a way to recognize weekly-paid staff members who make substantial contributions to Penn’s work environment and create the strong foundation that keeps the University operating smoothly and successfully.”

The 2104 Model Supervisor Award finalists, who were nominated for laudable leadership, motivation, communication, and support, include Silvana Burgese, manager of Penn Law’s Faculty Support Staff; Ann Marie Franco, director of the School of Nursing’s Office of the Dean; and Miriam R. Wright, director of enrollment management for the College of Liberal and Professional Studies in Penn Arts & Sciences.

The Model Supervisor Award winner will be announced at the Models of Excellence Awards Ceremony and Reception, where fellow award winners and honorable mentions will also be honored. The ceremony is open to the Penn community and will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, in Irvine Auditorium.

All award winners and honorable mentions will receive a symbolic award. Winners will also receive $500, honorable mentions will receive $250, and all nominees of the program will receive a certificate of acknowledgment.

To RSVP for the ceremony, contact HR at or 215-898-1012.

For more information, visit the HR website.

Models of Excellence