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Employee Community Engagement


Microsoft Teams Chat Groups

Want an easy way to chat with colleagues on different topics? Join the GSE All Staff & Faculty Team on Microsoft Teams, our collaboration platform that can keep you connected and organized in one space.

How to Join:

  1. Log into
  2. Click on the "Teams" icon on the screen’s left side
  3. Click "Join or Create Team" in the upper right corner
  4. Choose "Join a Team with a Code" & enter xc9f9sl
  5. We recommend setting your channel notifications to "banner and feed” (learn more about managing notifications here)

Current Channels:

  • General
  • Admin Resource Center channel and notebook - Complementary to our Penn GSE and One Penn GSE websites, this space is for staff and faculty to informally ask questions and share insights and advice on all things administrative to support and enhance each other's work.
  • IT News and Tips - IT team to share new features, tools, and tips and answer any following questions.
  • Remote Teaching Support - Ask questions, share tips and best practices, and support each other as we aim for the best remote learning experiences for our students.
  • Parents Group - Whether you're expecting, have young to grown-ish children, or are caring for kids in other ways, come share insights and resources, ask questions, and support one another in this incredibly challenging act of juggling career and parenthood. For more information on meeting dates, times, and online resources, complete this online form
  • Wellness - Let's discuss all things wellness, from sharing favorite recipes to looking for workout ideas or a workout buddy to reviewing mental health resources.
  • Music Playlist - Have fun sharing your favorite music that gets you through the day - from indulgent pop, local jams, nostalgic soundtracks, alt rock, sweet soul, soothing instrumentals and more. Non-explicit versions please.

Affinity Groups

Many of us came together in our summer community meetings to share how we individually and collectively can take actions that move the work of equity and anti-oppression forward. As part of this effort, HEARD along with the REI (Race, Equity, and Inclusion) Committee have created affinity groups for the GSE community.

These groups provide support around issues of race, equity, and inclusion, and discuss ways that we can make our community a more just, equitable, and welcoming place.
Groups and its facilitators:

Each of these groups is developing its own vision and activities. Please reach out to the facilitators directly if you would like to join the discussions or if you would like more information.

Staff & Faculty Committees

The committees listed below are designed to address some of the action items and next steps discussed in our 2018 Climate Study. Members of these groups are staff and faculty representatives from all levels and areas of the school who share their experiences and perspectives, and are collaborating in response to our community’s needs and well-being.

GSE holds a sign-up period for the committees each fall. This is a great professional and personal development opportunity and space to further connect with colleagues.

To ensure that we’re progressing on initiatives, committees will:

  • Commit to a year of service
  • Have co-chairs
  • Meet monthly (or close to monthly, as appropriate) and across groups as needed
  • Have quarterly check-ins with the Dean and Chief People Officer
  • Provide updates and reports back to the School periodically

Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) Committee 

Appointed by Dean Grossman which she chairs along with Deputy Dean Matt Hartley and Professor Howard Stevenson, the Committee has faculty, staff, and student representation. Its charge is to:

  • Address ongoing issues of school climate and safety around race and diversity
  • Develop proposals about how the School might best marshal its resources to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • In the past, it has recommended ways that University policies on sexual harassment could be better implemented at GSE

Community and Social Responsibility Committee (CSRC)

The Committee will find ways to enhance relationships across GSE in the following areas:

  • Provide social opportunities for connection and collaboration with a focus on employee wellness and sustainable practices
  • Create mechanisms to share information and best practices, and increase cross-team communication
  • Make recommendations for personal and professional development opportunities
  • Partner on service projects with the larger community
    • In the past, it has organized Penn GSE's MLK Day of Service and the Share the Warmth clothing drive

Staff Advisory Committee (SAC) 

The staff-only Committee strives to build and support a culture that fosters trust, understanding, and respect through education, communication, and collaboration in these aspects:

  • Recognize the value of staff and importance of their work by providing the opportunity to be an active voice within the School. Provide space to frame and proactively discuss staff needs in a timely manner
  • Close feedback loops between Penn GSE leadership and staff by providing a sounding board to brainstorm and test communication, initiatives, and more
  • Increase efficiency of existing policies, procedures, and opportunities by opening up a two-way communication channel

Suggestions & Recommendations 

Do you have ideas on how to improve employee engagement at GSE? We would love to hear your thoughts! Please share them here

Contact Penn GSE Human Resources

For any questions, concerns, or additional information regarding Human Resources topics, please contact us.


Kate Hellings
Chief People Officer
3700 Walnut Street | 425


Kristine Chin
HR Manager,

Training & Operations


3700 Walnut Street | 426


Olivia Farkas 

HR Manager,

Recruitment & Retention
3700 Walnut Street | 426