Pacific’s School of Education Dean Wins Education Award from Alma Mater
It was only fitting that Lynn Beck sat beside Bettye Quinn when she was an undergraduate at Belhaven University in her native Jackson, Mississippi. They ended up choosing parallel paths in education that involved molding the minds of future teachers.
After years of being a beacon in education, Beck recently received an award established in honor of her former classmate. On Saturday, Oct. 2, Beck's alma mater honored her with the Bettye Quinn Education Award.
Instituted at Belhaven in 2002, the annual award is given to graduates who have become leaders in the field of education. The recipients also must exemplify the Christian liberal arts college's motto, "To serve, not to be served," in their career, community and church.
Since becoming dean of Pacific's Gladys L. Benerd School of Education in 2005, Beck has established a number of innovative programs to enhance access to the teaching profession, such as the Evening Degree Program for Educational Professionals (EdPro2), a degree completion program for paraprofessionals and early childhood educators, and the 2+2+2 Teacher Apprentice Program, a program designed to create a pipeline into mathematics teaching for local students. She also has recently launched a masters degree program in Shanghai, China.
During her days as an undergraduate, Beck took a child development course with Quinn, who became a highly successful educator herself. Today Quinn is an associate professor at Belhaven and serves as director of the university's elementary education program.
"She is a most beloved and highly respected professor at the university," Beck said.
Beck graduated with an English degree from what was then Belhaven College in 1974, following in the footsteps of her mother and each of her four aunts. Her grandfather Dr. Guy T. Gillespie served as president of Belhaven from 1921 to 1954.
"My grandfather had such a strong belief in the power and importance of education, and this award is named after an amazing professor of education," Beck said. "I am both touched and deeply honored to receive an award that has such a deep, personal meaning for me."
It is the second award Beck has received in the past few weeks. On Sept. 14, she was awarded a Spirit of Literacy Award from San Joaquin A+. The nonprofit organization provides educational programs and services to schools throughout San Joaquin County.