2022 Models of Excellence awards salute notable Penn staff

Since 1999, Penn’s Division of Human Resources has honored hundreds of extraordinary staff members who exhibit a deep commitment to the University and its mission.

The Models of Excellence Awards are presented to staff members who show notable contributions to the mission of the University that go above and beyond performance and job expectations.

Although the traditional Models of Excellence ceremony could not take place this spring, the University invites the Penn community to take a moment to celebrate the 2022 honorees by viewing a digital guide assembled by the Division of Human Resources (HR).

“The digital guide gives the Penn community a deeper view into the award nomination, including a brief description of the individual and team accomplishments and quotations from the award nominators,” says Karen Kille, senior work-life consultant at HR.

Last October, Penn coworkers and colleagues nominated 688 individuals for the awards. From this pool, 22 teams and individuals from schools and centers across the University were selected to receive the 2022 Models of Excellence honors. 

“Each year, the Models of Excellence Award program celebrates the extraordinary achievements of University staff,” says Jack Heuer, senior vice president, Division of Human Resources. “Each year, we are inspired by their dedication and commitment to carrying out Penn’s mission as a global leader in education, research, and public service. The honorees encourage excellence, are inspiring role models, and have shown great resilience over the past year. We are excited to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.” 

The awards were given in four categories: Models of Excellence, Pillars of Excellence, Model Supervisor, and Supporting Penn Through COVID-19 and Return to Campus Work.

The Models of Excellence Award recognizes notable staff member accomplishments that reflect initiative, leadership, increased efficiency, and a deep commitment to service. The Pillars of Excellence Award, which was introduced in 2014, recognizes the strong foundation and important support Penn’s weekly paid staff members provide to promote the University’s success. Established in 2007, the annual Model Supervisor Award is given to a Penn supervisor who demonstrates exemplary behavior and serves as an outstanding role model. 

In response to highly unusual circumstances during the pandemic, HR expanded the Models of Excellence Program last year to recognize responses by Penn staff for their contributions and extraordinary efforts under challenging circumstances of the pandemic. Nominations in the Supporting Penn Through COVID-19 and Return to Campus Work award category showcase those individuals or teams that contributed directly to creating extraordinary outcomes for the Penn community.

“These individuals and teams model—in the face of uncertainty and without a template to work from—inclusion, innovation, and impact in creating and delivering programs and services that affect our communities locally, nationally, and globally,” Kille says. 

Each award-winner and winning team member received $500 and a symbolic award. Staff members who have earned Honorable Mentions will received $250 and a symbolic award.

Penn’s premiere staff recognition program will accept nominations for next year’s awards this fall. Visit www.hr.upenn.edu/models for details.