In a virtual ceremony August 6, Licensing Associate III Adrienne Pennell has been named a UF Superior Accomplishment winner for her outstanding service at UF Innovate | Tech Licensing. Pennell was among more than a dozen nominees in the Clerical/Office Support category for Division 1.
“I am beyond honored to have been nominated to the Superior Accomplishment Award for the Division One category,” Pennell said. “The nomination alone is an incredible honor but to have been chosen this year was totally unexpected.”
The award program recognizes staff members nominated by their peers as those who “contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life provided to students and employees.” For Tech Licensing, Adrienne’s guidance and efforts to transition the tech transfer office from one specialized database to another demonstrated all of those “outstanding and meritorious” attributes.
“Without Adrienne’s knowledge, enthusiasm, leadership, and dedication, Tech Licensing would have made a far less efficient transition to the new database,” said Dr. John Byatt, associate director of UF Innovate | Tech Licensing.
“Although Information Services has a database administrator responsible for helping set up the new database, that person needs to interface with someone inside our office who understands the needs of the office and is familiar with both the old and the new databases,” Byatt continued. “Adrienne was and is that person.”
Pennell has been with the office since 2012. Her regular responsibilities as a Licensing Associate III, the most senior level in that role, include providing support for all aspects of managing IP protection and licensing of new technologies disclosed by UF faculty and staff. She works with Byatt to serve faculty mostly in IFAS, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Dentistry.
She also organizes and leads regular meetings for all the office licensing associates, updates standard operating procedures as needed, and continuously ensures federal compliance.
“The database migration project is just one reason Adrienne deserves this award,” said Jim O’Connell, assistant vice president of UF Innovate. “She is a high impact team player, and regularly identifies strategic shortcomings in our processes, and at the same time identifies how to fix those shortcomings, permanently. She’s got the unique ability to fully understand a very granular level of detail, and see the broader vision to find a solution. UF Innovate is very, very lucky to have her; any team would be.”
“She is THE go-to person for all questions regarding the database or federal reporting,” added Byatt. “Adrienne has accomplished all of this while still supporting a portfolio of more than 400 cases and expertly handling communications with faculty, attorneys, and licensees. In short, Adrienne is a rock star!”
The Superior Accomplishment Awards program started Sept. 11 and accepted nominations through Oct. 31. Employees were nominated based on their outstanding service in their fields during the academic year of Aug. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019. UF Division-level award recipients received $200 in addition to a certificate and university memento. Pennell and other division-level awardees now compete for university-level awards (eight $1,000 and eight $2,000 cash awards plus an opportunity to attend a UF football game in the president’s box this season).
“I am honored that I get the opportunity to represent our office,” said Pennell. “I have never loved a job, an industry, or my colleagues quite the way I love our UF Innovate team. Helping everyone from faculty to students and our team is the greatest reward. I look forward to continuing the effort to make UF Innovate the best place at UF. And, of course, ‘Go Gators!’”
By Sara Dagen, marketing & communications manager, UF Innovate