Faculty and Staff Achievement Awards

The Faculty and Staff Achievement Awards are awarded to faculty and staff who exhibit excellence in the workplace.

If you are a Penn State employee, you may nominate an individual for any of the awards based on the criteria laid out above. You must provide a statement supporting why the individual is deserving of the award. You may submit a form online via:

Nominations are now open for 2014 awards. The deadline to nominate someone is January 8, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Cassandra Kitko at cmt2@psu.edu

Awards Given Annually

The Barash Award for Human Service

The Barash Award for Human Service was created in 1975 by the family of the late Sy Barash. It is an annual award to a full- time member of the faculty, staff, or student body of The Pennsylvania State University at University Park who has contributed most, apart from regular duties, to human causes, public service activities and organization, or the welfare of fellow humans. These human service activities must have been performed in University Park, the Borough of State College, College, Patton, Harris, or Ferguson Townships.

Any full-time person at the University Park Campus who meets the criteria for the award as previously described is eligible for consideration. The award carries a stipend of $1,000.

The McKay Donkin Award

The McKay Donkin Award was established in 1969 in honor of the late McKay Donkin who served as Vice President for Finance and Treasurer of the University from 1957 to 1968. The award, which consists of a $500 stipend and a certificate, is presented to the full-time member of the faculty or staff or the retiree who has contributed most to the “economic, physical, mental, or social welfare of the faculty” of the University.

The Award for Administrative Excellence

The Administrative Excellence Award, which carries a stipend of $1,000, is made annually to a member of the staff of The Pennsylvania State University whose performance methods and achievements exemplify administrative excellence. Criteria considered in the evaluation of nominees include:

  • total experience in administrative position(s)
  • accumulative levels of responsibility and authority
  • years of service at the University, and in present position
  • impact on own organization, and on University in general
  • content of material submitted by nominators

A brief resume or vita, including items relevant to the award criteria, would be particularly helpful, as well as an organizational chart and job description to depict where the nominee fits administratively.

The Staff Excellence Award

This award recognizes the consistently outstanding performance of a staff member who has demonstrated and practiced the philosophy of continuous quality improvement, team spirit, managerial excellence in the performance of assigned duties, and provided leadership in establishing a quality service orientation, so as to benefit his or her unit and the University.

The award, consisting of a $500 stipend and certificate, will be given in recognition of meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • demonstrated sensitivity to others
  • leadership commitment to teamwork and efficiency of operation
  • demonstrated ability to skillfully manage his/her unit
  • commitment to continuous quality improvement
  • demonstrated service orientation to unit customers

To be eligible for the award, full-time University staff must have at least five years of active service.

The Staff Support Award

The Support Staff Award, established in 1997, recognizes the overall high quality performance of a non-exempt member of the staff in fulfilling the mission of the University and of his/her unit.

The award, consisting of a $1000 stipend and certificate, will be given in recognition of meeting the following criteria:

  • dedicated focus to customer service
  • commitment to quality improvement
  • outstanding abilities
  • team work
  • professionalism

To be eligible for the award, full-time non-exempt staff must have at least five years of active University service.

The Dr. James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award

The Dr. James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award was created in February 1988 by the University. The award, sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association, and given in honor of Dr. James Robinson, 1949, a devoted alumnus and former Alumni Council member, is designed to recognize a University faculty or staff member who promotes the concept of equal opportunity through affirmative action and/or contributes to enhancing the educational environment of the University through improving cross-cultural understanding.

The award, consisting of a $1500 stipend and certificate, will be given in meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • demonstrated commitment in the spirit of equal opportunity through affirmative action
  • demonstrated leadership in the elimination of discrimination through encouragement or understanding between person of different races, sexes, age groups, ethnicity, or religious heritage
  • demonstrated commitment to meeting the special needs of students, faculty, or staff who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups.

To be eligible for the award, full-time University faculty and staff must have at least two or more years of active service.