Silvana Burgese, Penn Law’s Faculty Support Staff Office Manager, won the University of Pennsylvania’s Model Supervisor Award at a ceremony April 3 in Irvine Auditorium. Nominations for the award were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of University leaders, past winners, key administrators, and other faculty and staff.
Burgese C’90 came to work at the Law School in 1991 after graduating from Penn and has been manager of the Faculty Support Staff (FSS) Office since 2002. Nominated for the award by the members of her team, she was one of three finalists.
“I am so honored that I was selected as a finalist,” Burgese said. “The FSS team helps to make my job easier. They are an awesome group.”
The FSS team consists of nine staff members who handle a wide range of responsibilities for the faculty, from organizing events; to coordinating appointments, tenure, and promotion; to providing administrative support for various academic centers and programs.
In their nomination letter, the staff members noted that “none of us has ever had a supervisor as supportive, intelligent, and dedicated to their employees as Silvana.”
“Silvana sees all of her employees as integral members of the Faculty Support Staff,” they added. “No matter their position, everyone is treated equally.”
Among the attributes they singled out were Burgese’s availability to her staff at all times, her mastery of problem-solving, her willingness to embrace change and new technologies, and her support of professional development for the members of her team.
“She demands excellence not only from us, but from herself as well,” they wrote. “We think it is a testament to her personality and character that she has never become embittered or ill-natured; she is always smiling and laughing while continuously looking out for the best interest of her employees. We are better employees, and our department is a better department because she is our manager.”
The University’s Models of Excellence program recognizes exceptional staff members who have “gone well beyond their expected duties to effect positive change at the University” and honors supervisors who are role models.
As part of the award, Burgese received $500 and a glass trophy at the Awards Ceremony.