Thomas V. Gibson Award for Creativity and Innovation

Thomas V. Gibson retired from Penn State in June 2006 as the Associate Vice President for Finance & Business. Prior to that, Tom served for many years as the Assistant Vice President for Housing and Food Services and the Director of Food Services. Tom embodies a creative, innovative soul and is known for challenging his staff to imagine the unimaginable and to make happen the inconceivable. While directing all of Housing and Food Services, Gibson made it a practice to empower and support his leaders. To extend honor and appreciation to Tom and all those who will follow in his footsteps, the Thomas V. Gibson Award for Creativity and Innovation was established in 2005. The award recognizes those who demonstrate visionary leadership and champion change that leads to quality improvement, among other criteria.


An employee (exempt, non-exempt, technical service, or wage) or group of employees who have worked in or supported Housing and Food Services for at least one year is eligible for this award. Individual employees as well as teams may be considered for this award. Award recipients will not be eligible to be considered for nomination two years in a row.

Selection Process

A director serving as chair, plus a seven-member awards committee—consisting of two technical service employees, two staff exempt employees, two non-exempt employees, and the previous year's award recipient—will select a finalist who demonstrates all or some of the following characteristics:


The recipient will be presented with a statue and a monetary award—and will have his or her name displayed on a plaque in the lobby of the Housing and Food Services Building. If the recipient is a team, they will share in the monetary award and will have the team's name displayed on the plaque.

Read the FAQ's for more information on the nomination process and considerations.


Any customer or employee who works in or supports Housing and Food Services can nominate one or more persons or teams for this award each year.

  • Demonstrates visionary leadership
  • Champions change that leads to quality improvement
  • Utilizes “out-of-the-box” thinking to solve difficult problems
  • Develops new approaches to capitalize on evolving trends and changing demographics
  • Applies sound business, organizational, and interpersonal practices in unique and successful ways
  • Identifies opportunities for progress and takes the initiative to follow through