Penn State Staff Smeal information professional development you rock awards rise above awards

Recognition of Excellence

Integrity is a fundamental part of our culture. The Smeal Honor Code is a pledge that holds the community accountable for integrity and ethical behavior. It reads:

“We, the Smeal College of Business community, aspire to the highest ethical standards and will hold each other accountable to them. We will not engage in any action that is improper or that creates the appearance of impropriety in our academic lives, and we intend to hold to this standard in our future careers.”

The RISE Above awards honor Smeal staff, faculty, graduate students and student organizations for their commitment to advancing Smeal’s goals to promote integrity and ethical behavior.

You Rock! Award

Honor & Integrity, Human Resources and the Staff Advisory Committee are excited to inform employees that effective May 2019 all staff “You Rock” award recipients will be automatically elected for the annual RISE ABOVE staff award.

The You Rock! Award recognizes Smeal staff members who have made a significant workplace contribution. This contribution is about more than just executing the functions of one’s job, it is about supporting community, embracing responsibility, demonstrating respect for others, completing one’s tasks with integrity, discovering opportunities for doing things better, and excelling as members of Smeal. In other words, recipients of the You Rock! Award embody our shared Penn State Values, and are leaders who inspire others to actively support cultural commitments to ethics at Smeal. More information is available at

RISE Above: The RISE Above award honors a staff member who shows ethical awareness and ethical decision-making, and demonstrates an on-going commitment to integrity and ethical behavior. This commitment can be demonstrated by proposing initiatives for implementation to promote integrity and ethical behavior, showcasing best practices, or leading and inspiring others to aspire to the highest ethical standards.
More information on the Smeal Staff Award Program and the RISE Above award is available at

PAWS-itive Notes

We can celebrate our community by recognizing the contributions of others. Take a moment to encourage a student, faculty, or staff member who has made a difference. Recognize their "Positive Act Within Smeal" by contacting the Integrity Advocates for a notecard. Small acts of kindness like this benefit both the recipient and you. It feels good to spread cheer!

Giving Voice to Values

In recognition of the critical role staff play in the success of Smeal, along with Smeal’s commitment to continuously developing a culture of Honor & Integrity, a new professional development opportunity is being provided to further empower staff to act on their values in the workplace. All staff members are encouraged to apply to be a part of a Giving Voice to Values (GVV) professional development opportunity.

GVV, developed by Dr. Mary Gentile, has been used widely in undergraduate, MBA and executive education programs in business schools around the world. GVV also has been utilized by many corporate audiences as a stand-alone program and as an integrated part of leadership development or ethics programs. Smeal is the first college at Penn State to offer this learning opportunity to staff. Beginning in 2019, two pilot programs were offered.

GVV starts from the premise that we want to act on our values, but that we also want to feel we have a reasonable chance of doing so successfully; GVV is designed to help individuals become more effective in acting on values even when there are pressures to do otherwise. Those who are selected to participate in this professional development opportunity will: work together to explore the factors that encourage (and discourage) us from voicing our values; identify what values conflicts are and how to see them as a normal part of the modern workplace; discuss reasons why we often remain silent even when we know something is not right; develop plans to achieve solutions when we are faced with the need to act on our values; listen more to others who are trying to voice their values and help be a change agent to improve our college.

Time Commitment: This professional development opportunity is offered throughout the year. Those who are selected to participate in a particular cohort will be expected to dedicate approximately 1 hour per week, for 6 weeks, to complete online learning activities or meet in person for discussions with other staff. 

Outcomes: Recognition of achievement will be provided to those staff that successfully complete this professional development program. Participants will be able to cite this program as an example of satisfying the new Smeal unit-wide goal, assigned to all staff members, to “Support Smeal’s culture by actively engaging in activities that demonstrate and further develop the college’s commitments to integrity.”

Need more information on what Giving Voice to Values is? Click this link to hear from one of our former participants.