Innovation of the Year

Innovation of the Year

Maricopa Community Colleges and the League for Innovation in the Community College co-sponsor the Maricopa Innovation of the Year Awards Program. This program provides an opportunity for all employees to showcase innovations they have designed and implemented that positively impact the education of students. The Innovation of the Year Award is designed to recognize and acknowledge these employees, their innovative programs and projects, and their commitment to excellence in education through innovation.

One winning Innovation is chosen from each college and the District Office. The District-wide Innovation of the Year project receives the Dr. Paul M. Pair Innovation of the Year Award to further the innovation.

The District-wide Innovation of the Year winner is also acknowledged by the League for Innovation in the Community College, along with other winning innovations submitted by community colleges from across the country, on their website.

Dr. Paul M. Pair Award

This Districtwide Innovation of the Year Award is named in memory and in honor of Dr. Paul M. Pair, long-time member and former president of the Maricopa Colleges Foundation board. 

About Dr. Paul M. Pair

Dr. Paul M. PairDr. Paul M. Pair embodies the saying, "The only constant today is change." An educator, innovator, lecturer, and member of several computer and education associations, Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from McPherson College in 1922. He soon earned his Masters in Education from the University of Washington and commenced his life of education-related travels. Over the years, he has served as a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, director of several prominent business schools, and eventually co-founder and director with his wife, Pauline, of the Pair School of Business in Chicago.

Feeling strongly that education is a lifelong experience and that persons must not be afraid to train and retrain and even change careers several times, Paul and his son Reese continued as pioneers in the field of data processing education and co-founded The Automation Institution of Chicago. Paul and Pauline have been responsible for the creation of scholarships at McPherson College, Control Data Corporation, Tarleton State University, and Arizona State University. Four perpetual scholarships have been created in Paul Pair's honor.

Dr. Pair likes to quote Longfellow in summarizing his life-long dedication to education: "Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and departing, leave behind us footprints in the sands of time!"  

Adapted from Glendale Community College archives

2023-24 Timeline

  • Proposal submission period: October 20 - December 1, 2023
  • College/District Office Selects Winning Innovation: December 4 - 20, 2023
  • Videos submitted for the districtwide competition: February 16, 2024
  • Districtwide Judging of Winning Innovations: February 19 - March 1, 2024
  • Announcement of Districtwide Winning Project: March 22, 2024

Learn more about the program