Awards & Recognition
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the logistics of coordinating certain aspects of the award programs while complying with pandemic safety protocols and guidelines, the decision was made by the OPP Vice President's Office, to place some of the award programs on hold through Fall 2020, such as, pizza parties and distribution of gift cards/awards. Later in the fall, the programs will be reassessed and an update will be shared with you.
Programs on HOLD through Fall 2020
Length of Service Award (certificates only)
Departing Employees Award (certificates only)
University Service Award (certificates only )
Spring Celebration (cancelled for 2020)
Purpose: The purpose of this program is to recognize superior performance by OPP employees and teams on a specific event, problem, work challenge, process or project. This recognition is intended to be timely.
Eligibility: All employees (including wage payroll and full-time Penn State students) and teams are eligible for this award.
Criteria for Selection: Employees or teams who have displayed exemplary performance related to a specific event or outcomes are selected. Supervisors, managers, and directors may select employees or teams in their areas or other areas.
Number of Recipients: There is no specified number of recipients.
Award: Certificate and “blue buck”. The “blue buck” can be redeemed at OPP Stores for a $25.00 Creamery gift certificate or $25.00 Penn State Bookstore gift certificate.
Award Presentation: Recognition of recipients will be handled in the most appropriate, as determined by the nominator.
Process: Nominator completes the online award form, which is sent directly to the Buildings & Grounds Administrative Team. The B&G admin. team logs the award into the data base, prepares the certificate and "Blue Buck," and contacts the nominator. The B&G admin. team will also notify Fran Yeager for inclusion in News & Views. Once the employee receives their "Blue Buck," they can visit OPP Stores to select their gift certificate. OPP Stores bills the appropriate budget for selected gift certificate.
Purpose: The purpose of the award is to provide recognition to the employees who best exemplify our values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery Excellence and Community for Penn State and the customers served by the University.
Eligibility: All OPP employees across three categories: custodial, technical service, staff
Process: Nominator completes nomination form and sends it to the Spirit of Physical Plant Award Committee, Physical Plant at 200 Physical Plant Building, or emailed to Annette Lose.
The Safety Buck Program is designed to recognize and reward individuals who proactively contribute to the prevention of injuries and incidents at OPP and Penn State. Anyone can nominate any OPP employee for safe and proactive behavior. To submit a nomination, please follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Email [email protected] with the employee name(s), budget and task number and the reason you wish to nominate the employee for the Safety Buck. Please include "Safety Recognition Program" in the subject line of the email.
Step 2: The OPP Safety Recognition Review committee will review and approve requests.
Step 3: Once approval is obtained, the OPP Safety Office will send the certificate and Safety Buck to you, the nominator.
Step 4: Present the certificate and Safety Buck to the honoree in whatever manner you deem appropriate.
Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize long continuous service with the University.
Eligibility: All regular full-time employees are eligible for service awards.
Frequency: The award will be presented as soon after eligibility as practical.
Procedure: Regular full-time employees will be eligible for a service award on their anniversary date. Intervals for the award are as follows:
- 5-Year Award: At the completion of five years of continuous regular full-time employment.
- 10-Year Award: At the completion of 10 years of continuous regular full-time employment.
- 15-Year Award: At the completion of 15years of continuous regular full-time employment.
- 20-Year Award: At the completion of 20 years of continuous regular full-time employment.
- Above 20-Year Award: To be continued at five-year increments.
The program will be controlled and monitored by the OPP Vice President's Office, Annette Lose.
Type of Award: A certificate is presented to each individual in recognition of the number of years of continuous employment with the University. The certificate includes the appopriate anniversary date for each individual.
Presentation: Unit discretion
Purpose: To recognize OPP employees for continuous University service upon their departure from the University (resignation or retirement).
Eligibility: Employees departing with five or more years of continuous University service and employees retiring with 25 or more years of service will receive a certificate and other recognition, if appropriate.
- All employees departing with five or more years of continous University service will be awarded a certificate by the appropriate manager or supervisor in the employee's work unit.
- Staff employees departing with 20 years or more of continuous University service will be honored with a work group function, and a certificate by the appropriate director of the division, and memo from the Vice President of Physical Plant.
- Technical Service employees departing with 20 years or more of continuous University service will be honored with a work group function, and a certificate by the director of the division in the presence of the employee's work group, and memo from the Vice President of Physical Plant.
B. Retiring Employees
- Employees retiring from the University with 25 years of more of continuous service with OPP will be honored with a luncheon or pizza party, and a certificate. Employees retiring from the University with less than 25 years of continuous service for OPP will be treated as a departing employee. See section A.
Type of Award: Departing and retiring employees will receive a certificate attesting to their service and signed by appropriate OPP personnel. The Office of the Vice President for Physical Plant will be responsible for having the certificates prepared and will coordinate disbursement with the employees unit leadership.
A. Departing Employees
- All employees with 5-19 years of service will receive a certificate in the employee’s work unit. Supervisor will determine location and arrange for presentation of the certificate.
- Employees with 20 years or more will receive a certificate in the employee's work unit, and a VP memo. A work group function may be arranged at the unit's discretion, and attended by the employee’s manager, supervisor, and representatives of employee’s work group.
- All employees retiring with 25 (or more) years of continuous service will be presented with a certificate and VP memo at a work function to be coordinated by the employee's unit and may include the supervisor, manager, or director, VP office representative; and guests selected by the employee. Ex. employee may choose to have a pizza party for colleagues in their immediate work area (maximum of 20 pizzas).
Responsibility & Administration:
A. Departing Employees
- For employees with 5-19 years of service, the supervisor is responsible for arranging the appropriate ceremony in keeping with the above guidelines. The Office of the Vice President in coordination with the Human Resource Office is responsible for identifying when an employee has stated his/her intent to leave and to notify the Unit Director when employees have worked with the University for 5 or more years. Certificates and the VP memo will be prepared by the Vice President's Office as appropriate.
- The employee's unit is responsible for all arrangements if a presentation or work function is desired.
B. The policy covers the F&B Award Program guidelines and does not preclude any presentation made by the individual's work group or the EBA.
Purpose: To recognize OPP employees for 25 years of University service.
Eligibility: All full-time regular OPP employees who have completed 25 years of regular, full-time University employment, of which the last 10 years are continuous.
Frequency: The award is presented as soon as possible after the 25-year anniversary date.
Type of Award: Employees with 25 years of University service will be honored with a luncheon or pizza party. The University 25-year plaque and chair are presented at this event if possible.
Presentation: A luncheon or pizza party will be held – employee’s choice. At the celebration, the Vice President or Deputy will present the certificate and chair.
Spring Celebration: Cancelled for 2020 due to COVID19 guidelines for large events and social distancing protocols
Purpose: To create an opportunity for management to express its appreciation to employees for their contribution to OPP in the previous year. Also, a forum for announcement of the Spirit of Physical Plant Award winners.
Eligibility: All OPP employees are invited to the celebration/picnic.
Number of Recipients: All OPP employees.
Procedure: All OPP employees are invited to attend a celebration/picnic event. The event is held once on first shift and once on second shift. Employees attend on work time and are allowed approximately 1.5 hours for the meal/event. The Office of the Associate Vice President plans the event. Food is prepared and served to employees by members of management.
Type of Award: Food and camaraderie.