Penn 2015 Models of Excellence Award Honorable Mention: LDI Digital Editor

Penn 2015 Models of Excellence Award Honorable Mention: LDI Digital Editor

Hoag Levins Cited for Multimedia Work on Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Program

Hoag Levins, Amy gutman

Photo: Megan Pellegrino
LDI Digital Publications Editor Hoag Levins receives a "Model of Excellence" award for multimedia production from University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann at a ceremony in Irvine Auditorium.


Hoag Levins, LDI's Digital Editor, has been awarded honorable mention in this year's Penn Models of Excellence Awards for his writing, photography, video production and website publishing efforts documenting and promoting LDI's annual Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) program.

The awards were announced in the Penn Current newsletter and given at the annual 2015 Models of Excellence ceremony in Irvine Auditorium hosted by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann.

"One of the goals of our SUMR program is to tell the story of Penn's efforts to bring a higher level of diversity and opportunity to the field of health services research and to offer potential candidates a vivid sense of what this experience is all about," said LDI Deputy Director Joanne Levy who is also founder and director of the SUMR program. "Hoag's incredibly vibrant communications work has done that to a degree we haven't previously achieved."

Now in its 16th year, the SUMR program brings a new new cohort of healthcare-focused undergraduates from across the country to LDI to spend the summer immersed in the work of Penn's health services research community.

SUMR: Pairing scholars and mentors
Sponsored by LDI and The Wharton School's Health Care Management Department, the three-month SUMR program runs from the last week of May through August and pairs each student with at least one faculty mentor and that mentor's ongoing research project. The SUMR concept is to engage young scholars in hands-on research activities rather than classroom simulations.

Another goal of the program is to promote student interest in applying for health care-oriented doctoral programs, such as The Wharton School's PhD program in Health Care Management and Economics. In the long term, the program works to expand the pipeline of underrepresented minority group members entering the field of health services research. To date about 17% of SUMR alumni who have graduated from college have gone on for a PhD in a related field.

Penn's Models of Excellence award program
Created in 1999 and managed by the Penn Human Resources Department, the Models of Excellence Awards recognize university staff members for "initiative, leadership, increased efficiency and a deep commitment to service."

"The entire staff at LDI is thrilled that Hoag has received this recognition for his extraordinary service to our SUMR students and their faculty mentors," said LDI Executive Director Dan Polsky. "His innovative and proactive leadership in creating LDI's multi-media communication strategy and platform has served to bring our constituents from across the campus closer together."

Levins is an award-winning former investigative journalist who spent 40 years as a reporter and editor in newspapers, magazines, radio and digital media companies in Philadelphia, Manhattan and Washington, D.C. before coming to Penn.

The two top winners of this year's Excellence award were the Penn Green Campus Partnership team for integrating sustainability into campus planning, design and operations; and the Quaker Days Team for its extraordinary service to admitted students.

ARCH and Nanotech teams
The three honorable mention awards went to the ARCH Team for fostering cultural diversity, awareness and community; the Singh Center for Nanotechnology Team for the planning, designing and construction of the new nanotechnology center; and Hoag Levins for creating and executing a comprehensive multi-media communication and promotional program for the SUMR program.