Penn's Models of Excellence Staff-Recognition Program Turns 10 Years Old

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422April 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA –- The University of Pennsylvania’s Models of Excellence program, the primary vehicle for recognizing and honoring contributions that staff members make to Penn, is marking its 10th anniversary.

This milestone and past honored achievements will be celebrated along with this year’s winners at the 2009 Models of Excellence awards ceremony that will begin at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 16, in the Zellerbach Theater at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. A reception will follow at 5:30.

The Models of Excellence Program was introduced in 1999. A separate Model Supervisor Award was created in 2007.

Topping the list of this year’s honorees is the 11-member PennMoves Team, which devised a plan for distributing 70,000 pounds of valuable but discarded student furniture, appliances and other items to local organizations and individuals in need. In past years, these items would have been discarded.

Also at the ceremony, this year's Model Supervisor will be announced.

Since 1999, the program has honored more than 500 staff members from nearly 1,500 nominated for their outstanding achievements, including the:

  • Development of an Animal Blood Mobile Program for collecting and maintaining canine and small-animal blood that revolutionized the way veterinary hospitals around the world collect blood for their patients.
  • Establishment of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars/General Honors programs, a system for identifying and publicizing undergraduate research projects.
  • Creation of a tutoring program through the residential college house system to provide academic support for new students.
  • ntegration into the University’s library system of a seamless process for access to more than 70 million volumes through an Ivy League consortium and a regional library sharing initiative called BorrowDirect+.
  • Development of software for Penn’s Wharton School that allows multiple-user participation and real-life simulations of business transactions, a process now adopted by business schools worldwide.

Former honorees, nominees and contributors to the program said, when informally surveyed, that the Models program has had an impact on their work and the University. Such an honor, some said, causes them take greater leadership roles, apply more ideas for cost-effectiveness and feel a greater emotional commitment to the effort. Others noted that they see more examples of teamwork, have a better understanding of the importance of everyone’s contribution to a team and are more committed personally to being part of team efforts.

Additional information on this year’s honorees and previous winners is available at
Those wishing to attend the award ceremony and reception may request an invitation to