Conversation Starters

Conversation Starters on the Penn State Values

Over the course of this year, the University community will be focusing on how we concretely live out the Penn State Values in our daily activities.

We encourage faculty, staff, department, student, and group meetings to include a brief reflection on each of the Values over the course of the year. Each group is encouraged to develop their own means of fostering this discussion and reflection. However, we’ve provided the following as a resource for you to utilize and adapt as needed.

  • How do we try to instill the value of ______ in our daily activities and program?
  • If you had to identify and describe the work that another individual in our group is doing that exemplifies the value of ______, who is that and why?
  • How has our group provided an environment for us to strive for the value of ______?  What examples can we point to that demonstrate this commitment?
  • How and where do we see the value of _____ alive and well in our group?
  • How has the value of _________ formed and motivated our work, goals, and daily activities as a group?
  • Where do we see the value of __________ exemplified by another group at Penn State?  What can we learn from their example to strengthen our own commitment to _________?
  • Where do we, as a group, fall short in demonstrating the value of ___________?
  • What can we do to strengthen our commitment to the value of ____________ in our group and daily activities?
  • How can we better exemplify the value of ____________? What do we need to change in order to do so?

The following are questions specific to select Values:


What academic or professional standards are applicable to our group?  How are our actions aligned with these standards?


Do our group’s conversations demonstrate civil discourse that respects the dignity of everyone?  How?

What actions have we taken as a group to foster diversity and inclusivity?  What can we do better in these areas?


Do we hold ourselves and others accountable for our decisions and actions on a daily basis here at Penn State? How do we do so? Are there ways in which we can improve our commitment to Responsibility in this regard?


Excellence is something always “in process” and never fully achieved.  What areas of our group’s responsibilities and actions would benefit most from an increased focus on Excellence?


How do we manifest the value of Discovery by trying to better ourselves through further learning, developing and enhancing our own skills, and self-reflection? Are there areas in which we can improve?


How does our work at Penn State directly benefit or improve the communities we serve?

Community is also about working together for the betterment of our University. How does our work help strengthen the University community? Can we think of a particular example?