There are some colleagues who can always be counted on to lend a hand and go the extra mile. At McIntire, Instructional Technology Specialist Jane Pace is known as one of those special people.
In recognition of her longstanding dedication to the Commerce School community, Pace has been selected to receive a 2022 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contributor Award, the highest individual employee honor a staff member can earn at UVA. The award, which recognizes the excellence of staff members “whose service and contribution far exceed the overall mission and values of the University,” is given to a total of 11 employees across Grounds for their exemplary generosity, attention, and care.
Pace, who was nominated for the prestigious award by her peers, will receive a $1,000 monetary prize and an engraved gift, and be formally recognized at a reception in the coming weeks.
The Perfect Recipient
Despite being a highly regarded, beloved member of McIntire relied on by colleagues and students alike for her guidance and expertise, Pace admits she was somewhat shocked to discover she was a recipient of the award named for the former UVA Executive Vice President and COO who served the University for more than 40 years.
“I was honored, humbled, and surprised to hear I had been nominated and won a Leonard Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award,” she says. “I appreciate my supervisor, [McIntire CIO and Assistant Dean for Operations] Bryan Lewis, for organizing this nomination and all those who submitted on my behalf. This is truly an honor.”
For Lewis, Pace and her service to the Commerce School over the course of more than 36 years represent a devotion that spans decades helping McIntire to prepare for opportunities and overcome difficulties.
“From the early days of implementing instructional technology to the demands of the pandemic, she has faced every challenge with an unwavering commitment to students and faculty,” he says. “Her career has supported tens of thousands of students, including multiple Marketing cohorts that have won regional and national American Advertising Federation (AAF) competitions. Jane always puts the needs of the University first, and that dedication to maintaining greatness makes her the perfect recipient of the Leonard Sandridge Award. When I asked the McIntire faculty to support her nomination, I had no shortage of offers.”
Professor Carrie Heilman, whose Promotions students represent UVA at AAF’s annual National Student Advertising Competition, echoes Lewis’s comments: “Jane has been instrumental in supporting the Promotions program for the past three decades, starting with Jack Lindgren, who launched the program with Jane back in the early ’90s. From teaching the students how to use the Photoshop and InDesign software, to ordering new hardware for the Promotions Media Lab, I couldn’t teach Promotions without Jane’s help. I am incredibly grateful for Jane’s assistance—and the students absolutely love her too.”
Good Vibes Only
Having started her career at McIntire the fall of 1986, when Professor Emeritus Rich DeMong hired her as a Faculty Assistant in the Finance area, Pace held a great many roles within the School before moving into her current position as Instructional Technology Specialist.
According to Professor Mark White, it’s a position for which Pace’s talents and disposition are particularly well-suited.
“Jane is the consummate contributing colleague—always cheerful, always helpful, and always there to solve a problem,” he says, noting that literally generations of students have benefited from her patience and conscientiousness regarding attention to the finer details of information technology. “She’s a McIntire gem.”
Professor Roger Martin says Pace “does so much that helps so many,” that the majority aren’t even aware just how much they are benefiting from her efforts. “She has a really tough job,” he explains. “Most people who need her help are on a fairly tight or stressful timeline, so she has to provide support in some very difficult situations. But she does it with real professionalism and a spirit of helpfulness that represent the very best of what we do at McIntire. I don’t know how she manages the technical details of all the things she works on, yet is also able to see issues from a faculty or student perspective to help all of us who rely on her. I can’t even begin to count the number of times Jane has made my life better, and am thrilled that she received the very well-deserved recognition of this award.”
Assistant Dean of Academic & Faculty Affairs Chris Elliott also praised Pace’s attitude, resilience, and enduring positive impact on McIntire: “Jane has a buoyancy of spirit that you can sense in her after only the briefest of interactions. She has adapted to more change than many people will encounter in a full career, and she continues to serve with both her well-earned expertise and a generous heart. We are a better and more caring community because of Jane Pace, and I am honored to call her a colleague and a friend.”
In 2021, when asked to reflect on her career at the Commerce School, Pace credited her faculty and staff colleagues for her success. Now, it’s only fitting that she is recognized for the invaluable support she has provided to others throughout her admirable career at UVA.