SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel University Professor of Education Dr. Gordon Pace was recently honored with the EU Babcock Innovation Award for his diligent work in connecting with local public school districts to secure educational partnerships with EU.
The Babcock Innovation Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member who has shown innovative thinking, practice, or behavior to advance the mission and improve the work environment of the university.
Pace connected with six local school districts to secure official partnerships on behalf of the university. He presented the idea for a flexible degree program where school districts select teachers to participate and identify courses from EU’s graduate education course catalog that best meet the needs of their school district. Educators receive a tuition discount and earn a graduate degree from Evangel University.
This innovative school district partnership program has empowered Evangel to expand its reach into local school districts and effectively serve local educators. School districts are better able to equip and train teachers through Evangel’s graduate classes and teachers increase their capacity to best meet the needs of students.
The school district partnerships have led to exponential growth in Evangel’s graduate education master’s programs and created an ongoing pipeline for enrollment.
In total, 82 graduate students have participated in the partnership program, with three new school district partners beginning later this year.
“We are grateful to Dr. Pace for his innovative thinking and creative work to expand Evangel’s outstanding reputation in our local school districts,” said Dr. Shonna Crawford, chair of Evangel’s Education Department. “The close working relationships we have with school leaders via these partnerships has informed our programs and helped us stay on the cutting edge in preparing future educators and administrators.”
About Dr. Gordon Pace
Pace serves as an education professor and coordinator of educational leadership in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. He spent 34 years in K-12 education as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.
Prior to his time at Evangel, Pace served seven years as the Reeds Spring School District superintendent and eight years as the Ozark School District superintendent until his retirement in 2013.
“Dr. Pace is a divergent thinker,” said Dr. Chris Bauman, superintendent of Ozark schools. “His thought process challenges the status quo and organizes information so that new ideas are created seamlessly. When you think of innovation at Ozark schools, you think of Dr. Pace and all that he brought to us.”
Pace holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Evangel University, a master’s degree from Western Michigan University, an Education Specialist degree from Missouri State University, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was honored by the Missouri Association of School Administrators in 2020 with the association’s Outstanding Emeritus Educator award.
Pace and his wife, Jeannine, have two daughters, Jennifer Pace and Suzanne (Pace) Turner, both of whom are EU graduates.
About Evangel University
Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,200 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master and doctoral degrees.