The Extraordinary Customer Service award is given to a university employee who is consistently optimistic and serves students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors with great care.
Gracious. Responsive. Prompt. Patient. Poised. Those are some of the words researchers have used to describe Marie Penn. As a sponsored programs administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs, Penn is integral to supporting and submitting proposals for external research funding. Her job is driven by deadlines under high pressure, and there’s a high attrition rate—still Penn does her job really well, and with a smile. She understands the myriad regulations and policies established by potential funders, making it easier for applicants to navigate the difficult and stressful process. Penn’s initiative in solving problems has eased the frustrations of -researchers and improved the speed and efficiency of submitting proposals. Her work helps faculty members and students realize their research dreams, push the boundaries of knowledge, and enhance UT’s reputation.